SMART Recovery In Addiction Treatment

SMART Recovery In Addiction Treatment

No one doubts that the burden of addiction is considerable, having a profound and detrimental impact on mortality, health, relationships, families, employment, and quality of life. Collectively, the monetary damage from alcohol, substances, and behavioral addictions such as gambling are costly, estimated at over $28 billion per year.

In the United States, over 22 million individuals live with a substance abuse problem. At any given moment, there are approximately 4.5 million individuals who have a substance abuse disorder. In data gathered in 2019 among people aged 12 or older, 60.1 percent (or 165.4 million people) used a substance (i.e., tobacco, alcohol, or an illicit drug) in the previous month, 50.8 percent (or 139.7 million people) drank alcohol in the previous month, 21.1 percent (or 58.1 million people) used a tobacco product in the previous month, and 13.0 percent (or 35.8 million people) used an illicit drug in the previous month.

What Causes Addiction

Having noted the impact of addiction, the question that begs to be asked is “What causes addiction?” Of course, there is no pat answer, but what we do know is that addiction is impacted by the following:

  • Genetics, including the effect of environment on gene expression, account for about 40% to 60% of the risk of addiction.
  • Environmental factors can increase a person’s risk of addiction. Contributing factors include chaotic home environments, abusive situations, parental drug usage, peer pressure, community attitudes toward drugs and poor academic achievement.
  • Age is a factor as teenagers are more at risk for drug use and addiction than other populations.
  • Those suffering with mental health disorders are also a high-risk population.

What is SMART Recovery and how does it work?

Drug and alcohol abuse is frightening. What is more alarming is when you are the one battling an addiction and there does not seem to be a solution. While there are many programs designed to help, this article focuses on one in particular: the SMART Recovery Program. What is it and how does it work?

Developed in 1985, Rational Recovery, an addiction recovery program, enjoyed success as an alternative to Alcoholics Anonymous and other 12-step groups. Studies conducted at the time indicated that an individual was more likely to become and remain abstinent if they participated in Rational Recovery meetings. In 1992, the program incorporated the Alcohol and Drug Abuse Self-Help Network and by 1994 the organization had rebranded to SMART Recovery.

Self-Management and Recovery Training, (SMART Recovery) is a global abstinence-oriented program that brings people together to assist in resolving addiction (drugs, alcohol, activities such as gambling or over-eating). The program is free and strives to help participants learn techniques to transition their lives from self-destructive to happy and fulfilling. Many luxury rehab centers are moving towards SMART Recovery.  Retreat at Sky Ridge uses SMART Recovery programs.

SMART Recovery, in contrast to other recovery programs, teaches that those with addictions are not powerless in managing and maintaining their recovery. A basic tenet of SMART Recovery is that science does not support helpless, negative beliefs about accountability. It also emphasizes teaching participants alternative methods for dealing with negative emotions such as anger, anxiety, guilt, and low self-esteem. Participants are encouraged to seek out and engage in activities that replace their addictive behaviors.

It is a peer community, with meetings run by volunteers, that utilizes a science-based 4-point program to guide participants.

  • Building and maintaining the motivation to change: Through motivational interviewing, participants can determine which of the six stages of change they are in before beginning the recovery process. For example, if the participant has no intention of changing behavior, then they are in the first stage, the pre-contemplation stage. Here, the participant does not see their addiction as a problem and think those who see it as such are exaggerating. On the other hand, if the participant is engaged in treatment and maintaining sobriety, they are in the fourth stage, the action stage – sticking to the plan and determined to make it work.
  • Coping with urges: SMART Recovery is based on a combination of three scientific methodologies: Motivational Enhancement Therapy, Cognitive Behavior Therapy, and Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy. However, the fundamental inspiration behind the scientific and philosophical framework of SMART Recovery is Albert Ellis’ Rational-Emotive Behavior Therapy. Ellis (1913-2007) was an American psychologist whose therapeutic approach focused on changing negative thoughts and unhealthy behaviors into positive alternatives.
  • Managing thoughts, feelings, and behaviors in an effective way without addictive behaviors: To manage thoughts and feelings, participants use a cost/benefit analysis to answer the following questions to better understand their addiction. These questions are to be answered on an ongoing basis:
    • What do I enjoy about my addiction?
    • What do I hate about my addiction?
    • What do I think I will like about giving up my addiction?
    • What do I think I will not like about giving up my addiction?
  • Living a balanced, positive, and healthy life: More than just a recovery skill, managing life to achieve balance in a healthy way is generally the key to success. Understanding personal values and being aware of the areas where there is an unbalance can shift perspective. Those seeking recovery must be honest with themselves and focus first on their areas of need. Recovery is rooted in creating a plan for how changes are going to be made, then working on making those changes within the proper support network.

In conclusion, as with any addiction recovery program, there are pros and cons:

Pros of SMART Recovery

  • The program is totally inclusive with no entrance requirements
  • It is based on scientific methodologies of therapy
  • It is appropriate for treating a broad spectrum of addictions
  • It does not rely on participants believing in a higher power

Cons of SMART Recovery

  • SMART Recovery is not as well-known or widespread as 12-step programs like Alcohol Anonymous
  • There is no professional accountability since volunteers direct meetings
  • To optimize success, participants need commitment, determination, and a willingness for self-reflection. Consequently, the program is not appropriate for everyone
  • The program is not life-long, an important component for some participants

Ultimately, success in addiction recovery depends in large part on choosing a recovery program that works for the individual. SMART Recovery is certainly worth considering.

For more information about Retreat at Sky Ridge and our treatment services, please give us a call at (877) 693-6010 or complete the short inquiry form at the bottom of this page.

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If you or someone
you know needs help,
contact us.

Get started today! Ask a question, inquire about insurance benefits, or request that someone from the admission's team contact you. Complete the short form or call us anytime at (877) 693-6010.

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Addiction Recovery and Young Adults

Addiction Recovery and Young Adults

Young adults navigating the journey of addiction recovery may face different challenges than those of other age groups. Understanding these challenges isn’t just important, but crucial for providing effective support tailored to their specific needs. 

This phase of life is marked by significant transitions and the quest for identity. The emotional, social, and developmental factors it brings can impact both the onset of addiction and the path to recovery. Recognizing and addressing these aspects is key to guiding young adults towards successful, long-lasting recovery. 

With this in mind, we aim to shed light on these unique challenges. Additionally, we’ll underscore the importance of specialized approaches in supporting young adults on their journey to wellness.

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Understanding the Landscape of Young Adult Addiction

Addiction in young adults is both complex and concerning. Usually defined as those in their late teens to mid-twenties, this age group is particularly vulnerable to substance abuse. Factors like peer pressure, stress from life transitions, and the search for identity play significant roles.

Young adulthood is a critical time for emotional and social development. This phase often includes major life changes such as starting college, beginning a career, and forming lasting romantic relationships. The stress of these transitions can sometimes lead to substance use as a coping mechanism.

Additionally, the process of identity formation in young adults can increase the likelihood of addiction. The desire to fit in, experiment, and push boundaries can lead to risky behaviors, including drug and alcohol use. These factors, combined with a still-developing brain, make substance use disorders a pressing issue for this age group.

Recognizing these unique challenges is essential in developing effective prevention and treatment strategies for this demographic. By addressing their specific needs, we can better guide young adults towards a path of recovery and long-term wellness.

Challenges Faced by Young Adults in Recovery

While not totally unique to young adults, addiction often goes hand in hand with emotional and social challenges. The recovery process can often be significantly influenced by these challenges.

Peer Pressure and Social Circles

Social circles, and the peer pressure that often comes along with them, play a pivotal role in the lives of young adults. Wanting to belong and be accepted can have a strong influence. One that can lead to substance abuse and mental health struggles, or for those already in recovery, relapse. 

Social situations involving drugs or alcohol can be challenging for anyone trying to maintain sobriety. Since these activities are more common with their age group, this is especially true for young adults receiving addiction treatment. This makes healthy relationships and supportive social networks crucial for lasting recovery.

A group of young adults sitting outside against a graffiti filled wall, with one looking off into the distance

Educational and Career Impacts

When combined with addiction, educational and career aspirations can be difficult for young adults. Academic responsibilities and career development are stressful enough on their own. Trying to balance them while in recovery only adds to the pressure.

The stigma of addiction in academic or professional environments can present its own set of problems. Supportive educational and workplace environments are necessary for the success of recovery in young adults.

Effective Strategies for Young Adults in Recovery

For young adults in recovery, tailored treatment and support strategies are crucial. They should address the unique challenges and circumstances of this age group, as well as the specific person.

Leveraging Technology and Support Networks

In modern addiction treatment and support, particularly involving young adults, utilizing technology is vital. Online support groups, telehealth counseling sessions, as well as mindfulness and recovery apps offer accessible support that’s readily available. These tools help to maintain engagement in recovery, even when traditional settings aren’t available.

Building Life Skills and Resilience

Developing life skills and resilience are essential for young adults in recovery. These include proper financial skills, time management, and healthy relationship building. By enhancing their resilience, stressors and setbacks can be coped with in a healthy way. 

These skills and strategies help young adults navigate both recovery and everyday life, which promotes long-term wellness and sobriety. They underscore the importance of adapting recovery approaches to meet the specific needs of young adults. By doing so, they provide the tools and support necessary for a successful recovery journey.

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Moving Forward: Empowering Young Adults in Recovery

With the key strategies we’ve discussed and some encouragement, young adults can be empowered moving forward in their recovery. 

  • Remember the value of tailored treatment plans.
  • Embrace technology and find strong support networks.
  • The importance of resilience and developing life skills can’t be overstated.
  • Specialized programs that understand the unique challenges of young adults are pivotal.

When combined these offer a comprehensive approach. They equip young adults with the tools and confidence for a successful and lasting recovery journey.

Young adults facing addiction recovery need strategies that address their unique challenges. It’s important for them and their supporters to actively seek help that understands these specific needs. 

Retreat at Sky Ridge is committed to supporting young adults on their recovery journey, offering specialized programs and a compassionate approach. Embracing these resources can pave the way for a successful and lasting recovery.

 

For more information on addiction treatment services, please give us a call at (877) 693-6010 or complete or short inquiry form at the bottom of this page.

adapt & transform. overcome.

If you or someone
you know needs help,
contact us.

Get started today! Ask a question, inquire about insurance benefits, or request that someone from the admission's team contact you. Complete the short form or call us anytime at (877) 693-6010.

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Relapse Prevention: A Guide to Lasting Recovery

Relapse Prevention: A Guide to Lasting Recovery

A cornerstone of sustainable recovery from drug or alcohol addiction, relapse prevention is more than just avoiding a return to substance use. It’s adopting a new way of life where relapse is less likely. It’s not just abstinence, but a journey of understanding and managing the underlying issues that contribute to substance use disorders.

At the heart of relapse prevention is compassion and knowledge. It’s crucial to recognize that recovery is a personal and often challenging journey. By providing informative guidance on relapse prevention, we aim to offer support and understanding. 

The approach is about nurturing a mindset geared towards lasting recovery with empathetic support and practical information. Each plays a vital role in guiding you through the recovery process.

The goal here is to foster resilience and empowerment, offering insights into the complexities of relapse. In addition, to equip you with the tools to navigate the path of recovery with confidence.

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Understanding Relapse: What It Is and Isn’t

Relapse is often misunderstood as a single event, but in reality, it’s a process. In short, it’s the return to substance use after a period of abstinence. 

However, it needs to be understood that relapse can begin long before actual substance use reoccurs. It often starts with emotional or mental shifts, where old habits and thought patterns resurface.

Additionally, there are several common misconceptions when it comes to relapse. First of all, it’s often looked at as a sign of failure. In reality, it’s a part of the journey for many people, and doesn’t mean the end of recovery. It should be viewed as an opportunity to learn and strengthen the approach to sobriety. 

Another of these misconceptions is that relapse is sudden. However, it typically follows a predictable pattern, often beginning with emotional or mental distress.

Understanding relapse is key to prevention. Recognizing the signs and stages of relapse can empower individuals to seek help earlier and adjust their recovery strategies. It’s a crucial step in fostering a deeper, more resilient journey towards lasting recovery.

The Triggers of Relapse

Relapse triggers can vary and are complex. They often involve a combination of psychological and environmental factors. For effective relapse prevention, understanding these potential triggers is essential. 

Emotional and Mental Triggers

Emotional and mental triggers are often deeply tied to the risk of relapse. Factors like stress, anxiety, and depression can significantly increase vulnerability. Feelings of isolation, worthlessness, and other negative emotions can also be powerful triggers. 

Additionally, situations and settings that previously involved substance use can cause strong cravings. When developing strategies to prevent relapse, it’s important to be aware of these emotional and mental states.

Social and Environmental Triggers

Specific social interactions and environments can also play a role in the risk of relapse. Environments where substance use is prevalent, like parties or clubs, are common triggers. Similarly, being with friends or acquaintances who use substances can increase temptation.

However, a lack of social support or feeling disconnected can have the same effect. In order to maintain long-term recovery, recognizing and managing these social and environmental factors are key.

A person walking through a field of flowers with mountains ahead

Strategies for Relapse Prevention

In relapse prevention, effective strategies need to be practical, actionable, and tailored to individual needs and situations. Focusing on adaptability and personalization, these strategies reflect that each person’s path to recovery is unique.

Developing a Strong Support System

Support groups and a strong community network can play a big part in preventing relapse. They provide a platform for sharing and learning from others with similar experiences. 

Additionally, they offer emotional support, practical advice, and sense of belonging. When a person in recovery begins to feel vulnerable, these can be vital. 

While the importance of family members and friends can’t be overstated, a strong support system should also include healthcare professionals. These addiction experts, with their unique understanding of the journey, can offer guidance and encouragement in tough times.

Coping Mechanisms and Healthy Habits

To help reduce the risk of a relapse and improve mental health, it’s essential to adopt healthy coping skills and positive habits. This may include practices such as mindfulness, meditation, and regular physical exercise. Not only do these activities help in managing stress and emotional triggers, but they also promote overall well-being. 

Additionally, a routine that includes positive behavior patterns, like balanced nutrition, adequate sleep, and fulfilling activities can support long-term recovery.

Creating a Personalized Relapse Prevention Plan

A personalized relapse prevention plan is a critical step in the journey towards lasting recovery. It involves understanding individual triggers, identifying effective coping strategies, and setting achievable goals.

Guidance on plan creation:

  • Start by assessing personal risk factors and triggers.
  • Include strategies that have been effective in the past.
  • Incorporate new methods that address current challenges.

Importance of an individualized approach:

  • Acknowledge that every recovery journey is unique.
  • Tailor the plan to fit personal lifestyle, preferences, and needs.
  • Regularly review and adjust the plan to reflect changes in circumstances and growth in recovery.

A personalized relapse prevention plan is a living document. It evolves with the individual as they grow in their recovery, and ensures that strategies stay relevant and effective.

Navigating Challenges in the Journey

As we’ve discussed, the path to recovery is filled with challenges and setbacks. While they’re a natural part of the journey, not everyone experiences the same ones. That’s why identifying, acknowledging and preparing for these challenges is crucial.

Addressing common challenges and setbacks:

  • Remember, encountering difficulties is not a sign of failure, but an opportunity for growth.
  • Identify common challenges like stress, social pressures, and unexpected life events.
  • Address these challenges by seeking support, practicing mindfulness, or revisiting the relapse prevention plan.

Encouraging resilience and adaptability:

  • Celebrate small victories and learn from setbacks.
  • Be open to adjusting your strategies as needed.
  • Views challenges as opportunities to strengthen and refine the recovery process.

Even when faced with obstacles, by being adaptable and resilient, you can stay committed to long-term recovery. 

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Embracing Recovery: Next Steps and Support

Relapse prevention is an ongoing, proactive process that’s crucial for lasting recovery. While it may not be easy at times, a happier, healthier life free from addiction is well worth the journey.

If you or someone you love is struggling with substance abuse, we encourage you to seek support and professional guidance. Treatment centers like ours can provide the necessary tools and encouragement to put you on the road to lasting recovery.

At Retreat at Sky Ridge, we’re committed to offering support and resources for those on the path to recovery. Through comprehensive care and support, we aim to provide each individual the best possible chance at sustained recovery.

Remember, recovery is a journey of growth and learning. Embrace it with hope and confidence.

 

For more information on addiction treatment services, please give us a call at (877) 693-6010 or complete or short inquiry form at the bottom of this page.

adapt & transform. overcome.

If you or someone
you know needs help,
contact us.

Get started today! Ask a question, inquire about insurance benefits, or request that someone from the admission's team contact you. Complete the short form or call us anytime at (877) 693-6010.

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Chronic Pain and Substance Abuse: The Link Between Them

Chronic Pain and Substance Abuse: The Link Between Them

A person gripping their neck experiencing chronic pain

The intersection of chronic pain and substance abuse is a complex and challenging issue. For many, managing persistent pain is a part of everyday life. But when pain becomes overwhelming, it can lead individuals down the path of substance use as a means of coping. 

This scenario presents a delicate dilemma, where the relief sought through substances can quickly spiral into abuse and dependency. 

At Retreat at Sky Ridge, we specialize in providing comprehensive substance abuse treatment. We understand that many of our clients may have started using substances as a way to manage chronic pain. 

Our approach is sensitive to these complexities. We offer supportive and effective treatment strategies that address both the addiction and its underlying causes.

The Connection Between Chronic Pain and Substance Abuse

Chronic pain, persistent and often debilitating, can significantly impact an individual’s quality of life. When traditional pain management strategies fall short, some individuals may turn to substances as a form of self-medication. These may include prescription medications, alcohol, or illicit drugs. 

Coping Mechanism 

The use of substances can start as an attempt to gain temporary relief from the constant discomfort of chronic pain. Over time, this can develop into a dependency. The body and mind begin to rely on these substances to cope with pain.

Risk Factors

Individuals with chronic pain are at a heightened risk of substance abuse for several reasons. The continuous search for pain relief can lead to prolonged use of prescription painkillers, increasing the risk of addiction. Additionally, the emotional and psychological strain of chronic pain can make the escape offered by substance use more appealing.

Understanding this connection is crucial in addressing substance abuse effectively. Particularly when it originates as a method of managing chronic pain. It highlights the need for treatment approaches that consider the root causes of substance use, not just the addiction itself.

The Dangers of Self-Medicating

Self-medicating for chronic pain, particularly with prescription drugs or the widely available kratom, is a route fraught with risks. While initially it might provide relief, this practice can quickly escalate into a dependency posing serious health risks.

Risk of Addiction 

Prescription painkillers, especially opioids, have a high potential for addiction. Using these medications over a prolonged period or not as medically directed can lead to physical and psychological dependence.

Tolerance and Escalation

Over time, the body can develop a tolerance to pain medication. This leads to the need for higher doses to achieve the same level of pain relief. The escalation can increase the risk of overdose and increase the difficulty of treating the pain and the addiction.

Masking the Pain, Not Treating It

Self-medicating often only masks the symptoms of chronic pain without addressing the underlying cause. This can lead to a cycle where the root problem remains untreated, and the reliance on substances grows.

A hand holding several pill

Recognizing Substance Abuse in Individuals with Chronic Pain

Identifying substance abuse in individuals who initially started using substances to manage chronic pain can be challenging. The lines between management and misuse can often blur.

Changes in Behavior 

Look for changes in behavior. Common indicators are secrecy, social withdrawal, or a decline in interest in activities that were once enjoyable. These can be signs that the use of substances has progressed beyond pain management.

Physical and Psychological Signs

Physical signs like changes in sleep patterns, weight loss or gain, and neglect of personal hygiene can be indicators. Psychologically, signs of substance abuse can include mood swings, anxiety, and depression.

Neglecting Medical Advice 

A key indicator of substance abuse is when an individual starts to neglect medical advice. They may take more medication than prescribed or doctor-shopping to gain additional prescriptions.

Recognizing these signs is the first step in getting appropriate help. It’s important for those with chronic pain to receive comprehensive care that addresses pain management and potential substance abuse.

Approaching Treatment for Substance Abuse

At Retreat at Sky Ridge, our approach to treating substance abuse is comprehensive and multifaceted. We understand the intricate link between pain management and the risk of substance abuse and tailor our treatments accordingly.

Individualized Treatment Plans 

We recognize that each individual’s journey with chronic pain and substance abuse is unique. Our treatment plans are personalized, addressing both the physical aspects of substance dependency and the underlying chronic pain issues.

Addressing Psychological Dependence

A key component of our approach is addressing the psychological aspects of substance dependence. This includes therapy aimed at understanding the triggers that may lead to substance misuse and developing healthier coping mechanisms.

Integrated Care Approach

Our team of professionals work together to provide an integrated approach to treatment. This ensures that all aspects of an individual’s health are addressed.

Supporting Recovery and Relapse Prevention

Recovery is a continuous journey. At Retreat at Sky Ridge, we are committed to supporting our clients every step of the way. 

Counseling and Therapy

Regular counseling sessions, both individual and group, play a crucial role in recovery. They provide a space to discuss challenges, process emotions, and develop strategies to handle triggers related to substance use.

Support Groups

Being part of support groups allows individuals to share their experiences and learn from others who face similar challenges. This community aspect of recovery is vital in maintaining long-term sobriety.

Lifestyle Changes and Holistic Approaches 

We encourage and support lifestyle changes that promote overall well-being. This includes activities like exercise and nutritional counseling.

Aftercare Planning

Our support extends beyond the initial treatment phase. We provide aftercare planning to help our clients transition back into their daily lives. We help provide the tools and support they need to maintain their recovery.

At Retreat at Sky Ridge, our goal is to empower individuals to lead a balanced and fulfilling life. 

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Summing It Up

The journey through recovery from substance abuse, particularly for those also experiencing chronic pain, is complex and multifaceted. It’s a path that requires understanding, compassion, and specialized care. 

At Retreat at Sky Ridge, we are deeply committed to providing this level of comprehensive treatment. Our approach recognizes the critical link between chronic pain and the risk of substance abuse. It’s tailored to address the unique challenges our clients face.

Key points to remember include:

  • The Delicate Balance: Managing chronic pain and avoiding substance abuse requires a careful balance. Understanding this dynamic is essential in developing effective treatment strategies.
  • Personalized Care: Each individual’s experience with chronic pain and substance abuse is unique. This requires personalized treatment plans that address both the physical and psychological aspects of their situation.
  • Holistic Treatment: Our holistic approach is designed to treat the whole person, not just the symptoms. This includes therapies, counseling, support groups, and lifestyle modifications.
  • Long-Term Support: Recovery doesn’t end with treatment. We offer aftercare planning to ensure our clients have the tools they need to maintain their sobriety. 

At Retreat at Sky Ridge, we’re dedicated to helping our clients navigate the complexities of substance abuse. We understand the challenges and are here to provide the support and care needed every step of the way.

 

For more information on addiction treatment services, please give us a call at (877) 693-6010 or complete or short inquiry form at the bottom of this page.

adapt & transform. overcome.

If you or someone
you know needs help,
contact us.

Get started today! Ask a question, inquire about insurance benefits, or request that someone from the admission's team contact you. Complete the short form or call us anytime at (877) 693-6010.

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Dealing with Grief and Loss While in Recovery

Dealing with Grief and Loss While in Recovery

A person dressed in all black standing on a foggy road experiencing grief

Dealing with grief and loss is a profound and often difficult journey. It’s one that can be especially complex during the process of recovery from addiction. Whether it’s the loss of a loved one, the end of a relationship, or the letting go of a previous lifestyle. The challenge lies in facing these emotions head-on while maintaining the progress made in recovery.

At Retreat at Sky Ridge, we recognize the delicate balance needed to manage grief and loss in recovery. Our Residential Treatment program is specifically designed to provide compassionate support and comprehensive care. We ensure that our clients have the necessary tools to navigate their emotions. All without compromising their recovery journey.

Understanding Grief in the Context of Recovery

Grief is a natural response to loss. But its impact can be particularly intense and unsettling for those recovering from addiction. The process of grieving can trigger a range of emotions, from deep sadness and anger to guilt and confusion. For someone in recovery, these feelings can be overwhelming and may even pose a risk to their sobriety.

Different forms of loss experienced in recovery include:

  • Loss of Relationships: This could be due to estrangement, changes in social circles, or the death of loved ones. Relationships affected by past addiction behaviors often leave a complex web of emotions to untangle during recovery.
  • Health Losses: Some grieve physical or mental health changes resulting from addiction, grappling with feelings of regret or frustration.
  • Lifestyle Changes: Recovery often necessitates lifestyle changes. This can feel like a loss of identity or a departure from familiar habits and environments.

Understanding grief in recovery involves recognizing these varied forms of loss and their emotional impact. It’s about processing these feelings in a way that’s healthy and constructive, and not returning to addictive behaviors.

The Impact of Grief on Recovery

Navigating grief during recovery can significantly affect one’s journey towards healing. The intense emotions associated with grief can sometimes be overwhelming. Without proper support and coping mechanisms, they can pose a real risk to someone’s sobriety.

Here are some complications that might arise:

  • Emotional Turbulence: Grief can stir up a storm of emotions that might have been numbed by substance use in the past. These emotions can be unpredictable and intense, making them difficult to manage for someone who is still developing new coping strategies.
  • Risk of Relapse: Unresolved grief is a common trigger for relapse. The pain of loss might lead some to seek comfort in substance use as a way to escape or dull their emotional pain.
  • Complicating Recovery: Grief can complicate the recovery process by introducing additional mental stress and emotional instability. It can make it harder to focus on recovery efforts and can disrupt the progress made in treatment.

Addressing grief head-on and developing healthy ways to cope with its impact is crucial in maintaining sobriety and progressing in recovery.

A person meditating

Healthy Coping Mechanisms

Coping with grief in a manner that supports recovery is essential. 

Here are some strategies that can help:

  • Mindfulness: Engaging in mindfulness practices can help ground you in the present moment and manage overwhelming emotions. Techniques like deep breathing, meditation, or mindful walking can offer a sense of calm and control.
  • Journaling: Writing about your feelings can be a therapeutic way to process grief. It provides an outlet to express thoughts and emotions that might be hard to articulate verbally.
  • Therapy and Support Groups: Seeking professional help from therapists or joining support groups can be invaluable. These resources provide a safe space to share your experiences and learn from others who might be dealing with similar challenges.
  • Routine and Structure: Maintaining a routine can provide a sense of normalcy and stability. Incorporating activities like exercise, hobbies, or social engagements can also be beneficial in managing grief.

Utilizing these coping mechanisms can help manage the emotions associated with grief and ensure that they don’t hinder the recovery process.

The Role of Support Systems

Having a robust support system is indispensable, especially during the vulnerable times of grieving while in recovery. The presence of understanding and supportive people can make a significant difference in how one copes with loss.

Family and Friends

Loved ones can offer a listening ear, a shoulder to lean on, and a comforting presence. They can be instrumental in reminding you of your strengths and the progress you’ve made in your recovery journey.

Recovery Communities 

Being part of a recovery community provides a unique support system of individuals who understand the challenges of maintaining sobriety. These communities, whether in-person or online, offer empathy, shared experiences, and encouragement.

Professional Support

Therapists, counselors, and support group facilitators can provide valuable guidance and support. They can help navigate the complexities of grief without jeopardizing your recovery.

The support of these groups and individuals can provide a buffer against the isolating effects of grief and help maintain a perspective that supports continued recovery.

Navigating Grief without Compromising Recovery

Grieving while maintaining recovery is a delicate balance. 

Here are some tips to help navigate this process:

  • Acknowledge Your Feelings: Allow yourself to feel and express your grief. Bottling up emotions can lead to increased stress and might trigger a relapse.
  • Maintain Recovery Routines: Stick to your recovery routines as much as possible. Whether it’s attending meetings, practicing mindfulness, or keeping up with therapy sessions, these structures provide stability during turbulent times.
  • Practice Self-Care: Take care of your physical and mental health. This can include regular exercise, healthy eating, getting enough sleep, and engaging in activities that you find comforting or relaxing.
  • Set Realistic Expectations: Understand that grieving is a process and it’s okay not to feel okay sometimes. Be kind to yourself and recognize that healing takes time.
  • Seek Professional Help When Needed: If you find that grief is significantly impacting your recovery, don’t hesitate to seek additional professional help. Sometimes, extra support is needed to navigate through these challenging emotions.

Navigating grief without compromising recovery is challenging but possible with the right support, tools, and self-awareness.

Professional Help and Resources

At Retreat at Sky Ridge, we understand the profound impact grief and loss can have on your recovery journey. That’s why we offer a range of resources and professional help to support you during these challenging times.

  • Specialized Counseling and Therapy: Our team of therapists and counselors is trained to help you navigate the complexities of grief. With specialized approaches, they can guide you through the grieving process in a way that supports your recovery.
  • Holistic Treatment Options: We believe in treating the whole person, not just the symptoms of grief or addiction. Our holistic treatment options include various therapies that address emotional, mental, and physical health.
  • Supportive Environment: Retreat at Sky Ridge provides a nurturing and understanding environment where you can safely explore your emotions and work through your grief without judgment.
  • Continuous Support: Understanding that grief doesn’t have a timeline, we offer ongoing support to help you cope with your emotions as they evolve.

Final Thoughts

Dealing with grief and loss is a deeply personal and often challenging experience, particularly during the fragile time of recovery. Understanding your emotions, maintaining your recovery routines, and leaning on a strong support system are crucial steps in managing grief without compromising your progress.

At Retreat at Sky Ridge, we are committed to providing the support and resources you need to navigate these difficult times. Our specialized counseling, holistic therapies, and supportive community are here to help you every step of the way. If you’re struggling with grief and loss during your recovery journey, we encourage you to reach out to us. You don’t have to face these challenges alone – let us be a part of your support system.

 

For more information on addiction treatment services, please give us a call at (877) 693-6010 or complete or short inquiry form at the bottom of this page.

adapt & transform. overcome.

If you or someone
you know needs help,
contact us.

Get started today! Ask a question, inquire about insurance benefits, or request that someone from the admission's team contact you. Complete the short form or call us anytime at (877) 693-6010.

Fill out my online form.

ADHD and Substance Abuse in Adults

ADHD and Substance Abuse in Adults

Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder, commonly known as ADHD, is often perceived as a childhood ailment. It conjures images of restless young kids struggling to stay seated or maintain focus. 

However, this depiction overlooks a significant segment of the population: adults living with ADHD. Far from being limited to childhood, ADHD frequently persists into adulthood, bringing with it a unique set of challenges and concerns.

For many adults grappling with ADHD, the struggles aren’t just limited to inattention, impulsivity, or hyperactivity. Alarmingly, there exists a pronounced chance of dual diagnosis, with a correlation between adult ADHD and risk of substance abuse. 

This connection, though deeply intertwined, is not always immediately obvious, and understanding it is crucial for both prevention and treatment. 

As we look deeper into this topic, we’ll uncover the intricacies of this relationship, emphasizing the need for awareness, early detection, and specialized intervention.

A drawing in chalk of a brain with "ADHD" underneath it

What is ADHD in Adults?

While ADHD stands for Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder, the term might summon memories of children who can’t sit still or have attention difficulties. But, what happens when these children grow up? Does ADHD simply vanish as the candles on the birthday cake increase? Unfortunately, that’s not the case for everyone.

Defining ADHD

ADHD is a neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by persistent patterns of inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity. It’s not merely a phase or a byproduct of modern-day distractions. It’s a genuine, often lifelong, condition rooted in brain structure and function.

ADHD in the Adult Landscape

Adults with ADHD might display symptoms that are subtly different from those observed in children. While children might be excessively restless or overtly inattentive, adults may exhibit:

  • Inattention: This could manifest as trouble focusing on tasks, missing details, overlooking appointments, or being forgetful in daily activities. They might also struggle with organization, leading to cluttered workspaces or repeatedly misplaced items.
  • Impulsivity: Adults might make hasty decisions without considering the consequences, interrupt others during conversations, or struggle with patience. 
  • Hyperactivity: Rather than the overt restlessness seen in children, adults might feel an inner restlessness, often described as a perpetual internal motor. This can lead to them taking on multiple tasks simultaneously or jumping from one activity to another without completion.

To differentiate, while children might fidget in their seats, adults may tap their feet incessantly or frequently change positions while working. The challenge is that these symptoms, especially when mild or moderate, can easily be mistaken for typical adult-life stressors. This makes detection and diagnosis in adults all the more nuanced.

Why Adults with ADHD are at Risk for Substance Misuse

It’s a widely acknowledged fact in the medical community that individuals with ADHD face a myriad of challenges throughout their lives. But how does this relate to substance misuse? Let’s delve into the nuances of this intricate relationship.

The Underlying Challenges

Impulsivity

One of the hallmark symptoms of ADHD, impulsivity can lead adults to make hasty decisions without fully considering the consequences. This might involve spontaneously deciding to try a substance without contemplating the potential risks or long-term implications. Over time, what starts as a mere experiment can spiral into a habit. Especially if the substance provides temporary relief from ADHD symptoms.

Difficulty Focusing

The perennial challenge of keeping one’s attention tethered can be exasperating for adults with ADHD. In certain situations, substances like alcohol, caffeine, or even illicit drugs might seem like shortcuts to enhance focus or calm. However, this is a double-edged sword. While there might be a sensation of enhanced concentration, the long-term effects can exacerbate ADHD symptoms and lead to dependency.

Emotional Dysregulation

Adults with ADHD often grapple with heightened emotions. They may experience mood swings, intense feelings of frustration, or feelings of inadequacy due to their ADHD symptoms. Substances might seem like a way to numb these emotions or serve as an escape from daily struggles.

Substances as a Coping Mechanism

For many adults with ADHD, substances might initially appear as a solution. Like a way to ‘self-medicate’ the challenges that arise from their disorder. For instance:

  • Alcohol might be used to deal with anxiety or the incessant buzz of thoughts.
  • Caffeine could be sought after to heighten alertness and combat the lethargy that can sometimes accompany ADHD.
  • In more severe cases, illicit drugs might be used in an attempt to regulate mood or improve focus.

However, this ‘self-medication’ is fraught with peril. While they might provide temporary relief, they do nothing to address the underlying issue. Over time, this can lead to increased consumption, dependence, and a host of other health issues. This creates a vicious cycle of substance misuse as an ill-fated attempt to manage ADHD symptoms.

Coexisting Challenges

ADHD in adults is seldom an isolated condition. Often, it coexists with other mental health challenges, creating a complex web of symptoms and vulnerabilities. These concurrent disorders can amplify the risks and consequences of substance misuse, forming a vicious cycle that can be difficult to break.

Common Coexisting Mental Health Disorders

  • Depression: Many adults with ADHD experience bouts of depression, stemming from feelings of inadequacy, consistent underperformance, or struggles in maintaining relationships. The emotional lows of depression can drive individuals to use substances as a temporary escape.
  • Anxiety: The chaotic mental landscape of ADHD, filled with racing thoughts and constant distractions, can be a breeding ground for anxiety. This heightened state of worry and nervousness can lead adults to turn to substances as a way to calm their minds.
  • Bipolar Disorder: Some research suggests a higher prevalence of bipolar disorder among adults with ADHD. The manic phases can mirror the impulsivity of ADHD, while depressive phases can drive substance use.
  • Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD): While BPD and ADHD are distinct conditions, they share overlapping symptoms like impulsivity and emotional instability. The challenges of managing BPD can become intensified with ADHD, increasing the allure of substances.

Exacerbation of Substance Misuse

When ADHD coexists with another mental health disorder, the drive to misuse substances can become particularly potent. Here’s why:

  • Self-medication: Adults might resort to alcohol, narcotics, or stimulants in an attempt to alleviate the symptoms of their mental health disorder or to counteract the side effects of their ADHD medications.
  • Impaired Judgment: The combined impact of ADHD and other disorders can severely compromise an individual’s ability to make sound decisions, making them more prone to excessive or dangerous substance use.
  • Social Pressures: The social challenges stemming from ADHD and coexisting conditions can lead to isolation. Substance use can become a way to fit in, cope with loneliness, or manage social anxieties.

The intertwined nature of ADHD with other mental health challenges underscores the need for comprehensive treatment approaches that address all facets of a patient’s mental health, rather than focusing solely on ADHD or substance misuse.

A person biting their nails in a pensive state caused by ADHD

Recognizing the Signs

Identifying substance misuse in adults with ADHD can be a complex endeavor, given that some symptoms of ADHD might overlap with the signs of addiction. However, recognizing these signs early can lead to timely interventions, greatly improving the chances of recovery and minimizing harm.

Key Indicators of Substance Misuse in Adults with ADHD

  • Increased Impulsivity: While impulsivity is a hallmark of ADHD, a marked escalation in impulsive behaviors, especially those related to substance use, can be a red flag.
  • Erratic Sleep Patterns: Drastic changes in sleep—either insomnia or oversleeping—could be indicative of substance misuse. Some might use stimulants to stay awake or depressants to combat ADHD-induced insomnia.
  • Mood Swings: Extreme and rapid mood fluctuations, especially those not typical of the person’s ADHD symptoms, can hint at substance abuse.
  • Social Withdrawal: If an individual with ADHD begins to isolate themselves, avoiding social gatherings or family events, it could be a sign of increasing substance dependence.
  • Neglecting Responsibilities: A sudden drop in work performance, neglecting household chores, or missing appointments can be indicative of a growing substance problem.
  • Physical Symptoms: Bloodshot eyes, unexplained weight loss or gain, tremors, or slurred speech can all be indicators of substance misuse.
  • Secrecy and Denial: A noticeable increase in secretive behaviors, coupled with a defensive attitude when questioned about substance use, can be telling signs.

The Importance of Early Intervention

Early recognition and intervention can make a significant difference in the trajectory of an adult with ADHD’s substance misuse. By addressing the issue before it becomes deeply ingrained:

  • The detoxification process might be less strenuous.
  • Coexisting mental health challenges can be addressed more effectively.
  • The individual can be equipped with coping mechanisms and tools to manage ADHD without relying on substances.
  • The chances of long-term recovery and leading a balanced, fulfilling life are greatly increased.

It’s crucial for friends, family, and colleagues to stay observant, approach the individual with compassion, and guide them toward professional help when signs of substance misuse are apparent.

Treatment Approaches at Retreat at Sky Ridge

Addressing the unique challenges of adults with ADHD who also grapple with substance misuse requires specialized, empathetic care. At Retreat at Sky Ridge, we understand that this dual-diagnosis needs a comprehensive and tailored approach for the best outcomes.

Individualized Therapy

Every individual’s experience with ADHD and substance misuse is unique. Our experienced therapists provide one-on-one counseling sessions tailored to address the specific challenges and triggers of each person. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and other evidence-based modalities are often employed to help individuals recognize patterns and develop healthier coping mechanisms.

Medication Management

For some adults with ADHD, medication can be a helpful tool in managing symptoms. At Retreat at Sky Ridge, our team of experts assesses the suitability of medications, ensuring they’re beneficial and not contributing to substance misuse.

Skill-building and Coping Techniques

It’s vital for individuals to have a toolbox of strategies for managing ADHD symptoms without turning to substances. Through group workshops and individual sessions, we teach mindfulness practices, time management skills, stress-reducing techniques, and other essential skills.

Support Systems 

Building and maintaining a robust support system is crucial for lasting recovery. We offer group therapy sessions where individuals can connect with others who understand their struggles. These sessions foster a sense of community, providing both a space for sharing challenges and celebrating successes.

Holistic Therapies

Recognizing that healing is multi-faceted, Retreat at Sky Ridge integrates therapies such as yoga, art therapy, and nature walks into the recovery process. These activities not only offer therapeutic value but also help individuals find hobbies and passions outside of substance use.

Aftercare and Continued Support

Recovery doesn’t end upon leaving. We provide resources, connections to support groups, and continued counseling opportunities to ensure every individual has the support they need in their ongoing journey.

At Retreat at Sky Ridge, we believe in addressing the whole individual, not just the symptoms. Our comprehensive approach ensures that adults with ADHD have the best chance at a life free from the grip of substance misuse, equipped with the tools and support they need to thrive.

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Conclusion

Adult ADHD, while often misunderstood or overlooked, plays a significant role in the lives of many. When coupled with substance misuse, the challenges can become even more daunting. It’s crucial for individuals, families, and friends to understand the intricate links between adult ADHD and substance abuse, recognizing the signs early on.

Equally important is knowing that there’s hope and help available. Centers like Retreat at Sky Ridge are at the forefront of offering specialized care tailored to the unique needs of adults grappling with ADHD and substance misuse. With a holistic approach that encompasses therapy, medication management, coping techniques, and robust support systems, recovery is not just possible—it’s a tangible, achievable reality.

If you or a loved one are navigating this complex intersection of ADHD and substance abuse, don’t hesitate. Reach out to Retreat at Sky Ridge. Your path to understanding, healing, and a brighter future can start today.

For more information on addiction treatment services, please give us a call at (877) 693-6010 or complete or short inquiry form at the bottom of this page.

adapt & transform. overcome.

If you or someone
you know needs help,
contact us.

Get started today! Ask a question, inquire about insurance benefits, or request that someone from the admission's team contact you. Complete the short form or call us anytime at (877) 693-6010.

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Codependency and Addiction: Navigating their Relationship

Codependency and Addiction: Navigating their Relationship

When we talk about addiction, there’s a word that pops up a lot: codependency. It’s a big issue in relationships where one person is dealing with a substance use disorder. 

Codependency is when one partner relies too much on the other, especially if that other person is struggling with substance abuse. This kind of relationship is pretty common, but it can make things really tough for both people involved.

One person in the relationship may always be trying to help or fix the other, who’s struggling with addiction. But sometimes, without meaning to, they might actually make the addiction worse. At the same time, the person with the addiction might start depending a lot on their partner’s help and care. This can create a cycle where both people keep feeding into each other’s problems. 

In this post, we’re going to look at how codependency and addiction affect each other and why it’s important to understand this if we want to get better.

Understanding Codependency

Let’s start by getting a clear picture of what codependency really means. In simple terms, codependency is when one person in a relationship depends way too much on the other person. This usually happens when their partner is dealing with big issues like addiction or illness. The codependent person thinks they need to take care of everything for their partner, and they end up putting their partner’s needs way before their own.

What Does Codependency Look Like?

Codependency often means getting too involved in your partner’s problems, trying to control or fix everything for them. It can be feeling like you can’t be happy unless your partner is happy or that you can’t live without them. You might ignore your own self-care, focusing only on your partner.

Where Did This Idea Come From?

The term ‘codependency’ started getting attention back in the 1980s. It was first used to describe how family members and partners of people with addiction problems would behave.

They were often so wrapped up in trying to help or change their addicted loved one that they sort of lost themselves in the process. Experts noticed this pattern and realized it was like both people were tied up in the addiction – one with the addiction itself and the other with the need to be needed.

Understanding codependency helps us see why it’s not just the person with the addiction who needs help. Both people in the relationship might need support to get things back on a healthy track.

Two people with their hands chained together to represent codependency

The Cycle of Codependency and Addiction

When codependency mixes with addiction, it creates a cycle that can be hard to break. This cycle can trap both people in patterns that are unhealthy and keep the addiction going.

How the Cycle Works

Imagine one person in the relationship is struggling with addiction. The other, wanting to help, starts putting all their energy into their partner’s problem. The helper might cover up issues, make excuses, or even give money, thinking they’re solving things. But often, this just makes it easier for the addiction to continue.

Meanwhile, the person with the addiction comes to rely on this help. They might feel guilty or helpless, but also like they can’t get by without their partner’s support.

The Roles People Play

The person with the addiction becomes the one who’s being taken care of. They might not learn how to handle their addiction because they’ve got someone always stepping in.

The codependent partner becomes the caretaker. They often feel needed and in control when they’re helping. But deep down, they might also feel scared and overwhelmed. They might worry that if they stop helping, things will fall apart.

This cycle can keep going round and round. The caretaker keeps trying to fix things, and the person with the addiction keeps depending on them. It’s a tough cycle to break, but understanding it is the first step.

Identifying Codependent Behaviors

Recognizing codependent behaviors is key, especially in relationships where addiction is present. Being aware of these signs can help both partners start working on healthier ways of relating to each other.

Here are some common signs of codependency:

  • Always Putting the Other First: You might ignore your own needs and feelings, focusing only on your partner’s problems and how to solve them.
  • Feeling Responsible for Your Partner: It feels like you have to take care of everything for them, especially related to their addiction.
  • Difficulty Saying No: You find it hard to set boundaries or refuse your partner’s requests, even if you know it’s enabling their addiction.
  • Needing to Be Needed: Your self-worth might be tied up in being the caretaker or the ‘savior‘ in the relationship.
  • Fear of Abandonment: Worrying constantly that if you don’t do everything right, your partner might leave or relapse.
  • Ignoring Your Own Health: You might be so focused on your partner that you forget to take care of your own health, both mental and physical.

The Role of Self-Awareness

Recognizing these behaviors in yourself is a big step. It’s easy to get so wrapped up in caring for someone with an addiction that you don’t see how it’s affecting you.

Self-awareness means taking a step back and asking, “Am I doing this for them, or am I doing it for me?” It’s about understanding that you also deserve care and support.

Being aware of these signs can help break the cycle of codependency. It opens the door to finding healthier ways to support your partner and yourself.

Breaking free from codependent behaviors isn’t easy, especially when addiction is involved. But it’s an important part of creating a healthier relationship for both of you.

Impact on Recovery

Codependent relationships can have a big impact on someone’s recovery from addiction. It’s like trying to fix a car while it’s still running; it’s not just difficult, it’s also dangerous.

How Codependency Affects Recovery

  • Enabling: Sometimes, in trying to help, the codependent partner might actually make it easier for the addiction to continue. This could be by covering up problems or giving money, which can hinder the recovery process.
  • Lack of Independence: If the person with the addiction doesn’t learn to cope on their own, they might struggle to stay sober. They need to build their own strength and resilience, not just rely on their partner.
  • Emotional Stress: The stress and tension in a codependent relationship can trigger relapses. Recovery needs a calm, supportive environment, not one filled with fear and anxiety.

Addressing Codependency for Effective Recovery

It’s important for both partners to work on the issues in their relationship. Healing from codependency is just as important as recovering from addiction. Therapy can help both partners understand how their behaviors affect each other and the recovery process. Support groups can offer both advice and understanding, showing that you’re not alone in these challenges.

Breaking the Cycle: Strategies for Change

Getting out of a codependent relationship isn’t easy, but it’s possible. 

Here are some steps you can take:

  • Set Boundaries: Learn to say no and mean it. Setting limits is crucial for both your well-being and your partner’s recovery.
  • Focus on Yourself: Take time for your own interests and hobbies. Self-care is not selfish; it’s necessary.
  • Build Independence: For both partners, learning to be self-reliant is key. This might mean developing new coping skills or finding new sources of support.

Breaking free from codependent behaviors opens up a path to a healthier and more fulfilling relationship. It’s a crucial step not just for the person battling addiction, but for their partner as well.

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We Want to Help 

At Retreat at Sky Ridge, we understand the unique challenges faced by individuals in a relationship with a codependent addict. Our primary focus is on treating those struggling with substance use disorders, which often plays a significant role in the dynamics of codependency.

Here’s how our treatment options can help:

  • Individual Focus: Our residential treatment program is designed to address the complexities of addiction in a supportive, understanding environment.
  • Healing the Addict, Impacting the Relationship: By focusing on the recovery of the person with the addiction, we indirectly contribute to breaking the cycle of codependency. As they heal, the relationship dynamics can start to shift toward a healthier balance.
  • Comprehensive Care: Our experienced staff provides comprehensive care that includes various therapeutic approaches, helping residents overcome addiction and its accompanying challenges.
  • Empowerment Through Recovery: Our goal is to empower those struggling with addiction to gain independence and strength, which can be transformative for both the individual and their relationship.

Final Thoughts

Navigating a relationship with a codependent loved one who’s struggling with substance abuse is challenging. At Retreat at Sky Ridge, while our focus is on treating the individual with the addiction, we recognize the positive ripple effect this can have on their relationships. Breaking free from addiction is a crucial step towards healthier relational dynamics.

If you are dealing with a codependent addict, remember that their journey to recovery is also a step towards healing your relationship. We encourage you to reach out to Retreat at Sky Ridge for support in this journey. Let our experts bring about change that benefits both the individual and the relationship as a whole.

For more information on addiction treatment services, please give us a call at (877) 693-6010 or complete or short inquiry form at the bottom of this page.

adapt & transform. overcome.

If you or someone
you know needs help,
contact us.

Get started today! Ask a question, inquire about insurance benefits, or request that someone from the admission's team contact you. Complete the short form or call us anytime at (877) 693-6010.

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The Dangers of Synthetic Drugs

The Dangers of Synthetic Drugs

Synthetic drugs are a growing concern in today’s world, where drug use takes many forms. It’s important for everyone to understand what these drugs are and why they’re risky. In this section, we’ll give you a basic overview and show why it’s so important to know about these dangers.

Synthetic drugs can be very risky, and it’s crucial to be aware of these risks. Are they dangerous? Yes, and we want to help you understand why. We’ll provide clear information about these drugs, explaining their dangers in a way that’s easy to understand. Join us as we explore the world of synthetic drugs, and the importance of seeking treatment options.

Understanding Synthetic Drugs

Before diving into the risks, let’s get a clear idea of what synthetic drugs are and how they show up in our communities.

What Are Synthetic Drugs?

Synthetic drugs are man-made chemicals. In the United States, they’re often called designer drugs or NPS (New Psychoactive Substances). They’re designed to act like common recreational drugs such as marijuana, cocaine, or amphetamines. Their appeal comes from the fact that their chemical makeup is constantly changing, which often keeps them one step ahead of the law.

There are many different types of synthetic drugs, each with its own dangers. Some well-known examples are synthetic cannabinoids (like Spice or K2), synthetic cathinone (often known as bath salts), and synthetic opioids. Understanding what these drugs are and how they work is crucial for recognizing how dangerous they can be.

How Common Are They and How Do People Get Them?

Synthetic drugs have become more common recently. One reason is that they are easy to get. They’re often sold online or through secret ways that make them widely available, sometimes even to people who don’t realize what they are buying.

It’s important for us to keep learning about these drugs. Understanding their risks and how they affect individuals and communities is a key step in addressing the problem. Next, we’ll look more closely at the specific dangers these drugs pose and what their use means for people and communities.

A person in the shadows suffering from the dangers of synthetic drugs

The Hidden Dangers of Synthetic Drugs

It’s really important to understand how synthetic drugs can affect people, both right away and over time.

Short-Term Effects

Synthetic drugs can quickly cause a bunch of unexpected and serious side effects. These can include really strong hallucinations, unpredictable and violent behavior, a faster heart rate, and intense anxiety. People using these drugs often feel very scared and paranoid. These effects are worrying because they can be very strong and you can’t always predict them.

Long-Term Consequences

One reason people might use synthetic drugs is that they’re harder to detect in drug tests. But the long-term effects can be really serious. People might have lasting memory problems, trouble thinking clearly, and in some severe cases, even paralysis. There’s also a big risk of getting addicted to these drugs, which makes it really hard for users to stop.

It’s clear that synthetic drugs are dangerous, both in the short term and the long term. Next, we’ll look at why these drugs are so harmful and what we can do to reduce their impact. Keep reading for a more detailed look at the world of synthetic drugs.

Why People Use Synthetic Drugs

To really understand why synthetic drugs are so common, we need to look at why people choose to use them. We also want to clear up any wrong ideas that might make these drugs seem appealing.

Common Reasons

There are several reasons people might try synthetic drugs. One big reason is the belief that they are a ‘safer’ choice or offer a ‘legal high’. This isn’t true, but it’s a common misunderstanding. Synthetic drugs are easy to get in many forms, like synthetic cannabinoids and cathinones. This makes them attractive to people looking for a new kind of experience.

Misconceptions

A lot of people wrongly think that synthetic drugs are a safe way to experience different states of mind. Some believe they’ve found a way to use drugs legally, not realizing just how harmful these substances can be. It’s really important to correct these misunderstandings. People need to know the real risks of using synthetic drugs.

Our goal is to better understand why people keep using these drugs by looking into their reasons and the complex factors involved. It’s important to remember that synthetic drugs can be just as dangerous, or even more so, than illegal drugs.

Recognizing the Signs of Synthetic Drug Use

Knowing the signs of synthetic drug use is key to helping people and communities. Both changes in how someone acts and physical signs can be clues to someone’s drug use.

Behavioral Changes

  • Erratic Behavior: If someone’s behavior changes suddenly, like having mood swings or acting aggressively when it’s not like them, it might be a sign.
  • Social Withdrawal: Pulling away from friends and family, or losing interest in hobbies or activities they used to enjoy, can also be a warning.
  • Decline in School or Work Performance: Doing poorly in school or at work might show that drug use is affecting their thinking skills.

Physical Symptoms

  • Altered Consciousness: Seeming really confused, delirious, or in a different state of mind can be a sign.
  • Unexplained Paranoia: If someone is suddenly very paranoid or anxious for no clear reason, it might be due to drug use.
  • Physical Instability: If someone seems uncoordinated, shaky, or like they’re under the influence of something, it could be a clue.

Being aware of these signs can help us step in early to support someone who might be using synthetic drugs.

Impact of Synthetic Drugs on Mental Health

It’s really important to understand how synthetic drugs can affect mental health. These drugs can have a big impact, leading to several risks that need careful attention.

How Synthetic Drugs Affect Mental Health

  • Psychological Distress: Using synthetic drugs can lead to mental health problems like depression, anxiety, and panic attacks.
  • Impaired Thinking: They can also make it harder to think clearly and make good decisions.
  • Worsening Existing Conditions: If someone already has mental health issues, using synthetic drugs can make their symptoms worse.

Addressing Mental Health in Treatment

  • Holistic Approaches: It’s important to treat both the drug use and mental health together. Holistic (whole-person) treatment approaches are really effective.
  • Therapeutic Interventions: Treatments should include therapy to deal with the mental health issues along with the drug use.
  • Supportive Environments: Creating a supportive and understanding environment is key for recovery, focusing on improving mental health.

Understanding the link between mental health and drug use is crucial. It helps in providing the right kind of help and support for those in need.

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Community and Support

Understanding the risks of synthetic drugs is just the start. Building a strong community and offering support are crucial for dealing with these risks.

Why Awareness Matters

  • Educating Communities: It’s important to teach people in communities about the dangers of synthetic drugs. This can help prevent drug use.
  • Empowering Individuals: Giving people the right information helps them make better choices and avoid the temptation of synthetic drugs.

Creating a Supportive Environment

  • Accessible Resources: It’s vital to have resources like helplines, counseling, and treatment centers available for those struggling with drug use.
  • Community Engagement: Getting the community involved helps reduce the shame and secrecy around drug problems and encourages open discussion.
  • Family Involvement: Including families in the recovery process helps build a strong support network for those trying to get better.

Building a caring community means not only knowing the risks but also working together to support each other. 

Conclusion

As we conclude this discussion on the dangers of synthetic drugs, we at Retreat at Sky Ridge want to emphasize the importance of understanding and addressing these risks. If you or someone you love is struggling with synthetic drug use, remember that reaching out for help is a courageous and essential step towards healing and recovery.

Here at Retreat at Sky Ridge, we are committed to providing the support and care needed to overcome these challenges. Our experienced team is dedicated to guiding you or your loved ones toward a healthier, more fulfilling life. Contact us to begin your journey of recovery. Remember, recovery is possible, and we are here to help every step of the way.

Thank you for joining us in exploring the critical issue of synthetic drug dangers. Stay informed, stay connected, and always prioritize your well-being.

For more information on addiction treatment services, please give us a call at (877) 693-6010 or complete or short inquiry form at the bottom of this page.

adapt & transform. overcome.

If you or someone
you know needs help,
contact us.

Get started today! Ask a question, inquire about insurance benefits, or request that someone from the admission's team contact you. Complete the short form or call us anytime at (877) 693-6010.

Fill out my online form.

Physical Activity in Addiction Recovery

Physical Activity in Addiction Recovery

Recovery from addiction isn’t just about stopping the use of substances; it’s about making a positive change in all areas of your life. A big part of this change involves looking at your overall health, and that includes getting active. Exercise isn’t just good for your body – it’s also a great way to help your mind and emotions as you work through recovery.

Here, we’re going to talk about why being physically active is so important when you’re overcoming addiction. It’s not just about staying fit; it’s about building a stronger you, inside and out. Let’s look at how adding exercise to your daily routine can make a big difference in your journey to a healthier life.

Understanding the Benefits of Physical Activity in Recovery

When you’re working on getting better from addiction, your body and brain go through a lot. That’s where exercise, along with proper nutrition can really help. It’s not just about getting fit; it’s about helping your whole body heal from the inside out.

How Exercise Helps Your Brain and Body

  • Feel-Good Chemicals: Endorphins are the chemicals in your brain that make you feel good. When you exercise, your body releases more of these. This can really help when you’re feeling stressed or depressed.
  • Better Health Overall: Regular exercise does so much for your body. It can help you sleep better, give you more energy, and even reduce cravings for substances. Plus, it’s great for your heart, muscles, and lungs.
  • Stress Relief: Recovery can be stressful. Exercise is a great way to let off some steam. When you’re moving your body, you’re also taking your mind off worries and stress. It’s a time when you can just focus on yourself and how you’re moving.
  • Clearer Thinking: Regular physical activity can help clear your mind. It’s easier to think straight and make good decisions when you’re in a routine of exercising. You might notice that you can focus better and remember things more easily.

Exercise is a powerful tool in recovery. It helps your brain and body heal and grow stronger, and it’s something positive you can do every day to help yourself feel better.

A person tying their shoe preparing for a workout and a small dumbbell

Physical Activity as a Tool for Managing Cravings and Stress

One of the tough parts of recovery is dealing with cravings and stress. That’s where getting moving can really come in handy. Regular exercise is a great way to keep both of these challenges in check.

Beating Cravings with Exercise

  • Distracting Yourself: When you’re exercising, you’re focused on what you’re doing – whether it’s walking, swimming, or lifting weights. This focus can take your mind off cravings. It’s like giving your mind a break from those nagging thoughts about substances.
  • Natural Mood Boost: Exercise makes your body release those feel-good endorphins we talked about. These natural mood boosters can lessen the pull of cravings. When you feel better mentally, you’re less likely to turn to substances.

Reducing Stress through Exercise

  • Blowing Off Steam: Stress can be a big trigger for relapse. Exercise is a great way to blow off steam and get rid of tension. After a good workout, you might find that you’re feeling more relaxed and calm.
  • Building Resilience: Regular exercise helps build up your mental strength. Just like your muscles get stronger with a workout, your ability to handle stress improves with regular physical activity. When you’re better at managing stress, you’re less likely to relapse.

Remember, you don’t have to run a marathon or lift heavy weights to get these benefits. Any kind of physical activity that gets you moving and increases your heart rate can help with cravings and stress. The key is to find something you enjoy and stick with it.

Types of Physical Activities Suitable for Recovery

Finding the right kind of exercise for you can make a big difference in your recovery journey. The good news is there are plenty of options to choose from, depending on what you enjoy and how fit you are. 

Different Exercises to Try

  • Yoga: Great for both the mind and body. It helps with flexibility, strength, and stress relief. Plus, the focus on breathing can be really calming.
  • Hiking: Getting out in nature can be super relaxing. Hiking offers the double benefit of exercise and connecting with the outdoors. It’s good for your mood and helps you get a dose of fresh air.
  • Swimming: It’s easy on the joints and a great way to get your heart pumping. Swimming can be both soothing and energizing. Plus, being in water just has a way of making people feel good.
  • Gym Workouts: If you prefer a more structured exercise plan, the gym might be the place for you. You can lift weights, use machines, or even join a fitness class.

Finding What Works for You

  • Start Slow: If you’re new to exercise, it’s okay to start slow. Even a short walk each day is a good beginning.
  • Listen to Your Body: Choose activities that feel good to you. If something hurts or feels too hard, it’s okay to try something else.
  • Mix It Up: Doing different kinds of exercises can keep things interesting. You might find that you like a mix of calm activities like yoga and more active ones like biking or team sports.

Remember, the best exercise for you is the one you enjoy and can do regularly. It’s all about making you feel better, not about how hard you can push yourself.

Building a Routine: Integrating Physical Activity into Daily Life

Getting into a regular exercise routine can be a game-changer in your recovery. It’s not just about doing it once in a while; it’s about making it a part of your everyday life. Here’s how you can build a routine that sticks.

Tips for Creating a Consistent Exercise Routine

  • Set Realistic Goals: Start with small, achievable goals. If you’re new to exercising, try aiming for a 15-minute walk each day, then gradually increase your time.
  • Schedule It: Treat your exercise time like an important appointment. Put it in your calendar or set a reminder. Having a set time each day helps make it a habit.
  • Find Activities You Enjoy: If you enjoy what you’re doing, you’re more likely to keep at it. Whether it’s dancing, playing a sport, or just taking a brisk walk, choose activities that you look forward to.
  • Mix Things Up: Doing the same exercise every day can get boring. Try different activities throughout the week to keep things interesting and work different muscle groups.

The Importance of Consistency

  • Building a Habit: Consistency is key in forming any new habit. The more regularly you exercise, the more it becomes a natural part of your daily routine.
  • Seeing Progress: When you stick to a routine, you’re more likely to see progress. This could be anything from feeling stronger, losing weight, or just having more energy.
  • Mental Health Benefits: Regular exercise can have a huge impact on your mood and mental health. It’s a consistent way to release stress and improve your overall sense of well-being.

Remember, it’s okay to miss a day or adjust your routine as needed. The important thing is to get back on track as soon as you can and keep moving forward.

Retreat at Sky Ridge Call to Action

Support and Resources for Physical Fitness at Retreat at Sky Ridge

At Retreat at Sky Ridge, we deeply understand the vital connection between successful recovery and physical fitness. Our approach to fitness therapy isn’t just about reclaiming your physical strength; it’s about transforming your life through active, engaging therapy that also nourishes your mind and spirit.

Embracing Nature’s Healing Power

Our expansive campus, spanning 130 acres, is the perfect backdrop for your fitness journey. With natural springs, creeks, and spring-fed fishing ponds, our facility offers a serene and invigorating environment for physical activity.

Whether you’re enjoying a peaceful run by the creek or engaging in more vigorous activities, every aspect of our fitness therapy is designed to restore mental clarity and relieve stress.

Tailored Fitness Programs

Our fitness therapy is far from one-size-fits-all. We offer a range of activities to suit your individual recovery stage and physical abilities.

Options include cardio fitness, aerobics, weight lifting, Pilates, running, and resistance training. These activities are not just for physical improvement but also for boosting endorphins and aiding neurogenesis – essential for mood elevation and craving reduction.

Unique Fitness Therapy Options

Experience the thrill and physical benefits of mountain biking. Led by experienced riders, our mountain biking journeys are among our most popular activities. 

They’re a fantastic way to build strength, improve cardiovascular health, and enjoy the mental benefits of being outdoors in the stunning landscapes of Northwest Arkansas.

Final Thoughts

Physical fitness is a cornerstone of the recovery process at Retreat at Sky Ridge. By integrating various forms of exercise into your treatment, you’re not just working on your physical health; you’re also actively contributing to your mental well-being and recovery success. Our diverse range of activities ensures that no matter where you are in your journey, there’s a fitness path that’s right for you.

Transform your life with fitness therapy at Retreat at Sky Ridge. Embrace the journey to a stronger, healthier you, surrounded by the natural beauty of our unique location. Reach out to us today to learn more about how our physical fitness resources can support your recovery and overall well-being.

For more information on addiction treatment services, please give us a call at (877) 693-6010 or complete or short inquiry form at the bottom of this page.

adapt & transform. overcome.

If you or someone
you know needs help,
contact us.

Get started today! Ask a question, inquire about insurance benefits, or request that someone from the admission's team contact you. Complete the short form or call us anytime at (877) 693-6010.

Fill out my online form.

Body Dysmorphic Disorder and Substance Abuse

Body Dysmorphic Disorder and Substance Abuse

Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD) is a mental health condition characterized by an obsessive focus on flaws in one’s appearance. Flaws that, to others, may be minor or even nonexistent. Individuals with BDD often spend significant amounts of time scrutinizing their looks. They engage in repetitive behaviors like mirror checking, or seeking constant reassurance about their appearance.

While the distress and anxiety caused by BDD can be overwhelming, there’s another layer of complexity that often goes unnoticed. It’s the connection between BDD and substance abuse. Many individuals with this disorder resort to drugs or alcohol in an attempt to alleviate their distress. Or to cope with the intense feelings of shame and self-loathing. 

This intersection of BDD with addiction creates a challenging scenario, requiring specialized understanding and care. As we look deeper into this topic, we’ll uncover the intricate relationship between these conditions and explore the path to healing.

A person looking in the mirror suffering from body dysmorphic disorder fretting over perceived cosmetic flaws

Understanding Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD)

Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD) is classified under the umbrella of obsessive-compulsive and related disorders. It’s marked by an intense preoccupation with one or more perceived defects or flaws in physical appearance. 

Common focuses include skin, hair, nose, eyes, or the shape of a specific body part. Along with these fixations, people with BDD may:

  • Engage in repetitive behaviors, such as checking their reflection, camouflaging with makeup or clothing, and seeking frequent cosmetic procedures.
  • Avoid social situations or public places due to fear of scrutiny or judgment.
  • Exhibit extreme dissatisfaction with their appearance, regardless of reassurances from others.

Emotional and Psychological Effects of BDD

The emotional toll of BDD is profound. Individuals may experience:

  • Consistent feelings of shame, anxiety, and self-consciousness about their appearance.
  • Depression or even suicidal thoughts due to their perceived flaws.
  • Significant distress or impairment in social, occupational, or other crucial areas of functioning.
  • An insatiable need for validation or reassurance from others.

It’s important to note that BDD isn’t a case of being concerned about appearance in the way many people occasionally feel. It’s an intense, debilitating obsession that can dominate one’s thoughts and actions.

Common Misconceptions about BDD

BDD is often misunderstood, leading to various misconceptions:

  • “It’s Just Vanity”: One of the most common misconceptions is that BDD is about vanity or being overly self-absorbed. However, BDD stems from deep-seated feelings of worthlessness and anxiety, not vanity.
  • “Cosmetic Procedures Will Help”: While it might seem like getting cosmetic surgery would alleviate the concerns, usually, it doesn’t. They might move on to obsess over another body part or feel that the surgery didn’t “fix” the perceived flaw.
  • “It’s Rare”: BDD is more common than most people realize. Studies indicate that it affects about 1 in 50 people, making it as prevalent as conditions like schizophrenia or bipolar disorder.

By understanding the true nature and implications of BDD, we can approach it with empathy and provide the specialized care needed.

The Link Between BDD and Substance Abuse

For many individuals with Body Dysmorphic Disorder, the constant and overwhelming distress related to their perceived physical flaws becomes unbearable. This distress can manifest in various ways – from anxiety and depression to severe feelings of isolation. 

To cope with these intense emotions and perhaps to escape the persistent negative self-image, some individuals might turn to substances:

  • Self-Medication: Drugs or alcohol might offer a temporary relief from the obsessive thoughts and distressing feelings associated with BDD. They can provide a fleeting sense of confidence or numbness that shields them from their perceived imperfections.
  • Social Facilitation: Social interactions can be particularly challenging for someone with BDD due to fear of judgment or scrutiny. They might use alcohol or drugs to ease social anxiety, making interactions seem more manageable.
  • Distraction: Engaging in substance use can also serve as a distraction from the persistent, intrusive thoughts about their appearance.

Statistics or Studies on BDD and Substance Abuse

While specific statistics linking BDD directly to substance abuse rates are limited, research does indicate a significant overlap. Studies have found that individuals with BDD are at a higher risk for developing substance use disorders. 

For example, a study from the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry found over 40% of individuals with BDD reported substance abuse. This emphasizes the profound connection between these two conditions.

The Dangers of Co-Occurring BDD and Substance Abuse

When BDD co-occurs with substance abuse, the dangers are compounded:

  • Increased Health Risks: BDD’s psychological distress combined with the physical and mental health risks of substance abuse creates a perilous situation.
  • Aggravation of BDD Symptoms: While substances might offer a temporary reprieve, they often exacerbate BDD symptoms in the long run. Alcohol or drugs can increase feelings of depression, anxiety, and paranoia – all common among those with BDD.
  • Treatment Challenges: Addressing co-occurring BDD and substance abuse can be more challenging than treating either disorder alone. The intertwined nature of these conditions means that relapse in one can trigger relapse in the other.

Understanding the profound connection between BDD and substance abuse underscores the need for integrated treatment that address both disorders simultaneously.

Treatment Considerations for Co-occurring BDD and Substance Abuse

When an individual faces both Body Dysmorphic Disorder and a substance use disorder, it is crucial to address both conditions simultaneously. A dual-diagnosis approach is pivotal in such cases, ensuring that the treatment provided is comprehensive and holistic. 

Addressing just one condition can leave underlying issues unresolved. This may lead to relapse or exacerbation of the untreated disorder. 

Tailoring Treatment to Address Both BDD and Addiction

Each individual’s journey with BDD and substance abuse is unique. Thus, treatment should be personalized to fit their specific needs, experiences, and challenges. Factors to consider include:

  • Severity of Both Disorders: The intensity of BDD symptoms and the extent of the substance dependency can influence the treatment approach.
  • Substances Used: Different substances may require varied detox and treatment strategies.
  • Underlying Causes and Triggers: Recognizing the factors that contribute to or exacerbate both conditions can guide treatment plans and strategies.

Therapies and Approaches Effective for Co-occurring Conditions

Several therapeutic approaches have been found effective for treating co-occurring BDD and substance use disorders:

  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT): Cognitive Behavioral Therapy can help individuals recognize and challenge the negative thought patterns associated with BDD. It can also equip them with skills to resist the urge to use substances.
  • Exposure and Response Prevention (ERP): ERP involves exposing the person to their body image fears. This teaches them to refrain from compulsive behaviors such as repeatedly checking their appearance or using substances to cope.
  • Medication: Certain antidepressants, especially selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), have shown effectiveness in treating BDD. When used in conjunction with therapies, they can also assist in the treatment of substance use disorders.
  • Group Therapy: Participating in group therapy sessions can offer support and understanding from peers experiencing similar challenges. It fosters a sense of community and shared healing.
  • Holistic Approaches: Techniques such as mindfulness, meditation, and yoga can be incorporated into the treatment plan. This is to address the emotional and psychological aspects of both conditions.

To achieve long-term recovery, it’s crucial to seek a facility of professionals experienced in handling Dual Diagnosis. This ensures a comprehensive and nuanced approach to healing.

A first person point of view of a person standing on a beach with their hands in front of them holding out a cutout of the word hope with sunlight shining on it at sunset.

How Retreat at Sky Ridge Can Help

Retreat at Sky Ridge is more than just a treatment facility. It’s a sanctuary for individuals seeking to heal and rediscover themselves. At the heart of our mission is a commitment to holistic recovery

We believe that for genuine healing to occur, all facets must be nurtured. This means we don’t just focus on alleviating symptoms but strive to address the root causes of disorders.

Conclusion

Body Dysmorphic Disorder is more than just a concern about appearance. It’s a deep-rooted psychological challenge that can have crippling effects on an individual’s quality of life. When coupled with substance abuse, the complexities multiply, amplifying the pain and suffering experienced by those affected. Recognizing the profound link between BDD and substance abuse is the first step towards a comprehensive solution.

Yet, in the face of these challenges, there is undeniable hope. Comprehensive treatment approaches, like those offered at Retreat at Sky Ridge, have proven transformative. These programs not only target the symptoms but delve deep into the root causes. 

If you or someone you care about is wrestling with these intertwined conditions, remember that you’re not alone. Help is available, and it can make all the difference. 

Don’t let another day go by under the shadow of substance abuse. Reach out to Retreat at Sky Ridge and take the first step towards a brighter, healthier tomorrow.

For more information on addiction treatment services, please give us a call at (877) 693-6010 or complete or short inquiry form at the bottom of this page.

adapt & transform. overcome.

If you or someone
you know needs help,
contact us.

Get started today! Ask a question, inquire about insurance benefits, or request that someone from the admission's team contact you. Complete the short form or call us anytime at (877) 693-6010.

Fill out my online form.

Cross Addiction and Finding Recovery Methods

Cross Addiction and Finding Recovery Methods

Navigating the intricate maze of addiction can often feel overwhelming. It’s not just about cravings or physical dependencies; it’s a complex interplay of emotional, psychological, and sometimes even spiritual elements. 

At Retreat at Sky Ridge, we frequently encounter various manifestations of addiction. One of which is the somewhat elusive concept of cross addiction. But before we dive deep, let’s take a moment to understand its surface. 

Here, we’ll demystify cross addiction, highlighting its nuances and emphasizing how a deep understanding can be instrumental for a holistic recovery. Join us on this journey, and discover how a tailored approach can guide the way to healing.

Defining Cross Addiction

When it comes to addiction, not all pathways are straightforward. Sometimes, the journey is more of a winding road, with unexpected detours. 

Cross addiction can manifest itself in a few ways. It could simply be that a person is compulsively abusing multiple substances, or engaging in addictive behavior, simultaneously. For instance, alcohol and prescription medications, or an illicit substance and gambling. 

Another form is when an individual who’s recovering from one addiction starts another. They often believe it’s a safer alternative or won’t lead to another addiction. Again, this can be substance abuse or other types of compulsive behavior.

However, the brain, once altered by addiction, remains susceptible to other addictive substances and behaviors.

Differentiating cross addiction from other forms of addiction is crucial. While all addictions involve strong compulsion, cross addiction is marked by the switch or addition of a new substance or behavior. This transition is usually made without realizing the risks involved.

Let’s illustrate with a real-life scenario. Imagine a person who’s worked hard to recover from alcohol addiction. They’ve been sober for a considerable period, but then they get prescribed pain medication following a surgery. 

Believing it’s medically sanctioned and thus safe, they begin taking the prescription. However, due to their brain’s altered state from their past alcoholism, they quickly become addicted to the prescription drugs. 

A person holding several pills in one hand and a glass of alcohol in the other

Reasons Behind Cross Addiction

Understanding the root causes and motivations behind cross addiction is critical for effective treatment. Addiction doesn’t arise in a vacuum; there are both psychological and physiological triggers that pave the way for cross addiction.

Psychological Reasons

  • Avoidance of Pain: One reason people turn to substances is to cope with emotional pain, stress, trauma, or anxiety. A person recovering from one addiction might believe another substance can fill the void without causing harm.
  • Familiar Coping Mechanism: Substance use can become a conditioned response to stressors. When faced with new challenges, someone might gravitate towards what’s familiar, even if that “familiar” is a different substance.
  • Misconceptions: A common misconception is that certain substances are “less harmful” than others. Someone might erroneously believe that trading an illicit drug for alcohol, for instance, is a safer choice.

Physiological Reasons

  • Brain Chemistry Alterations: Long-term substance abuse can change the brain’s reward pathways. Once addicted to one substance, the brain becomes more susceptible to getting hooked on another. 
  • Physical Withdrawal: In some cases, an individual might use a different substance to alleviate the withdrawal symptoms. 

The Dangers of Untreated Cross Addiction

Left unchecked, cross addiction can spiral out of control, posing significant risks to one’s health, relationships, and overall well-being.

  • Intensified Health Risks: Using multiple substances can amplify the negative health effects, sometimes leading to dangerous drug interactions.
  • Complex Recovery Process: With multiple substances in play, the detox and treatment process can become more complicated, requiring specialized care.
  • Relapse: Cross addiction can increase the chances of relapse into the initial addiction. What starts as a “harmless” shift to another substance might cause someone to revert to their original drug of choice.
  • Emotional and Social Consequences: Cross addiction can further strain relationships, lead to job loss, and exacerbate mental health issues.

At Retreat at Sky Ridge, we recognize the intricacies of cross addiction. We emphasize the importance of a comprehensive approach to address both the initial and cross addictions.

A lighthouse representing a beacon of hope

SMART Recovery: A Fresh Perspective

Navigating the tumultuous waters of addiction, especially cross addiction, requires robust support systems. Traditional 12-step programs have paved the way for many, but there’s another beacon of hope on the horizon: SMART Recovery. Here’s what you need to know.

Introducing SMART Recovery

  • Self-Management: SMART stands for Self-Management And Recovery Training. It emphasizes empowerment and self-reliance, believing each person has the inner capacity to overcome addiction. With the right tools and support, of course.
  • Science-based: Unlike programs rooted in spiritual principles, SMART Recovery’s foundation lies in cognitive behavioral therapy and the latest scientific research.

Core Principles of SMART Recovery

  • Building Motivation: Recognizing the need for change is the first step. SMART Recovery encourages individuals to explore the pros and cons of their addiction, fostering intrinsic motivation to change.
  • Coping with Urges: SMART techniques equip individuals with skills to cope with urges and triggers effectively.
  • Problem Solving: Rather than following a rigid path, individuals are taught to address challenges in adaptive, constructive ways.
  • Lifestyle Balance: This principle emphasizes the importance of joy, relaxation, and connection in recovery.

Tackling Cross Addiction with SMART Recovery

  • Awareness & Prevention: Through self-awareness exercises, individuals can spot early signs of cross addiction tendencies, allowing for proactive intervention.
  • Behavioral Change Techniques: Since cross addiction often stems from seeking alternative coping mechanisms, SMART Recovery provides tools to develop healthier behaviors.
  • Continuous Learning: Addiction science is ever-evolving. SMART Recovery stays updated with the latest research, ensuring members receive up-to-date guidance.

We value the holistic approach of SMART Recovery. By equipping our residents with knowledge, tools, and community support, we believe they can overcome the challenges of cross addiction.

Conclusion

Cross addiction, though sometimes overshadowed in discussions about addiction recovery, holds undeniable significance in the landscape of substance use and rehabilitation. Recognizing its intricacies and potential pitfalls is vital for anyone on the path to recovery or supporting someone on that journey. Its very nature—a transition or layering of addictions—compels us to approach it with a multi-dimensional strategy. The SMART Recovery approach emerges as an exemplary response in this context. 

Our experts have witnessed the transformative power of this approach firsthand. Consider this not just as another recovery program, but as an invitation to harness your inner strength, embrace a supportive community, and chart a personalized, empowered path towards healing. Your journey, unique and valuable, deserves the holistic and forward-thinking approach that SMART Recovery promises.

Contact us today to start your journey to recovery.

For more information on addiction treatment services, please give us a call at (877) 693-6010 or complete or short inquiry form at the bottom of this page.

adapt & transform. overcome.

If you or someone
you know needs help,
contact us.

Get started today! Ask a question, inquire about insurance benefits, or request that someone from the admission's team contact you. Complete the short form or call us anytime at (877) 693-6010.

Fill out my online form.

Aftercare Treatment: Why it Matters

Aftercare Treatment: Why it Matters

At Retreat at Sky Ridge, where we understand the critical role aftercare plays in the journey to overcoming addiction. There’s no doubt that completing a substance abuse treatment program is a significant milestone. But it’s important to recognize that the path to long-term recovery and sobriety doesn’t end there. 

With that in mind, we want to explore the importance of aftercare in recovery. And how it can provide support for individuals in their continued journey towards a healthier and more fulfilling life. Let’s look into the world of aftercare treatment and discover how it can make a lasting difference in addiction recovery.

What is aftercare?

So, what exactly is aftercare? Aftercare refers to the support and guidance provided to individuals after completing an inpatient substance use disorder treatment program. It offers a helping hand during the crucial period of transitioning back to everyday life. Aftercare recognizes that recovery is an ongoing process that requires continued care beyond the initial treatment phase.

The beauty of aftercare lies in its ongoing support. It’s like having a safety net to catch you when you need it most. After completing your initial treatment program, chances are you’ll face challenges and temptations. But aftercare programs are there to provide the guidance and encouragement necessary to stay on track. 

Aftercare offers a space where you can discuss your struggles and learn new coping strategies. Additionally, you can receive the ongoing support you need to stay sober.

A person with their hand on another in support

Why aftercare matters

Life after addiction treatment can present its own set of challenges. When you complete a program, you may find yourself facing triggers, temptations, and the pressure of reintegrating into everyday routines. It’s during this phase that aftercare becomes crucial. It provides the ongoing support and tools you need to navigate these challenges successfully.

Aftercare plays a significant role in maintaining long-term recovery and sobriety. It’s like having a compass to keep you on the right path. Through continued therapy, counseling, and support groups, aftercare helps you stay connected to the resources that helped you during treatment. It reinforces the lessons learned and equips you with new coping skills without turning to drugs or alcohol.

One of the primary objectives of aftercare is to prevent relapse. We understand that the journey to recovery is not a straight line, and there may be bumps along the way. Aftercare programs are designed to provide you with the tools, strategies, and support network necessary to minimize the risk of relapse. By addressing the root causes of addiction and providing ongoing guidance, aftercare empowers you to overcome obstacles and maintain your progress.

Now that we understand why aftercare matters, let’s explore the different types of aftercare programs available. 

Different types of aftercare programs

At Retreat at Sky Ridge, we offer a range of aftercare options tailored to meet your specific needs. Let’s explore some of the aftercare programs available to support your continued recovery.

Relapse prevention strategy:

  • Develop and document a relapse prevention strategy and aftercare plan during residential treatment.
  • Rehearse and practice the strategy before completing residential treatment.

Referral for addiction support:

  • Refer individuals to self-help groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous.
  • Encourage consistent participation in these support groups for ongoing addiction support.

Regular outpatient follow-up:

  • Schedule regular outpatient follow-up appointments with a clinician or counselor.
  • Ensure access to outpatient therapy if needed for continued support.

Arrangements for controlled living environment:

  • Assist with arranging a controlled living environment post-treatment, such as halfway houses or sober living homes.
  • Support individuals in finding a safe and supportive environment for their recovery journey.

Post-treatment follow-up and support services:

  • Provide post-treatment support through scheduled phone calls, video chats, emails, and text messages.
  • Offer ongoing assistance and guidance to individuals as they navigate their recovery outside of residential treatment.

In-person aftercare meetings:

  • For individuals returning to the surrounding area, weekly in-person aftercare meetings are available at our Eureka Springs campus.
  • These meetings provide a supportive environment to connect with peers and maintain the recovery journey.

Now you’re familiar with the different types of aftercare programs we offer. So let’s look into some of the challenges that can arise during this critical time in your recovery.

One person helping another over a cliff representing support

Overcoming challenges in aftercare

Let’s face it, the road to recovery isn’t always smooth. For this reason, it’s important to discuss  the common challenges people may encounter during aftercare. These challenges can include cravings, triggers, and stress. Remember, you’re not alone in facing these hurdles.

To help you navigate these challenges, here are some practical strategies:

  • Cravings: When cravings strike, distract yourself with a different activity. Reach out to your support network, practice deep breathing exercises, or remind yourself of the negative consequences of substance use.
  • Triggers: Identify your triggers and develop strategies to cope with them. It could be avoiding certain people or places or engaging in healthy distractions. Using relaxation techniques like meditation or listening to soothing music can also help
  • Stress: Stress is a common trigger for relapse. Find healthy ways to manage stress. Engage in physical activities, practice mindfulness or yoga, and seek support from loved ones or professionals.

Seeking professional help is never a sign of weakness. If you find the challenges overwhelming or feel at risk of relapse, reach out to our dedicated team. They can provide guidance, personalized strategies, and the necessary interventions to help you overcome difficult situations.

Overcoming challenges is a part of the aftercare journey. With the right strategies and support, you can navigate these hurdles and continue on the path to lasting recovery. 

The bottom line

Aftercare is an essential part of the recovery process at Retreat at Sky Ridge. It provides ongoing support and guidance to help you stay on track after completing your initial inpatient treatment. Remember, the journey to lasting recovery doesn’t end once your program is complete. It continues with aftercare.

Get help now and let us help you continue your journey towards a brighter and healthier future.

Remember, you’re not alone. Together, we can overcome challenges, celebrate milestones, and embrace the life you deserve. One free from the grip of addiction.

For more information on addiction treatment services, please give us a call at (877) 693-6010 or complete or short inquiry form at the bottom of this page.

adapt & transform. overcome.

If you or someone
you know needs help,
contact us.

Get started today! Ask a question, inquire about insurance benefits, or request that someone from the admission's team contact you. Complete the short form or call us anytime at (877) 693-6010.

Fill out my online form.

Embracing Mindfulness: A Path to Lasting Recovery

Embracing Mindfulness: A Path to Lasting Recovery

We’re going to explore a powerful tool that can make a big difference in addiction recovery: mindfulness. If you or someone you care about is on the path to overcoming addiction, it’s essential to take a holistic approach. One that goes beyond the physical aspects. 

With that in mind, we’ll dive into the world of mindfulness and discover how it can support you in recovery. So, let’s get started and unlock its transformative potential!

Understanding Mindfulness

Before we look at how mindfulness aids in addiction recovery, let’s take a moment to understand what it’s all about. It’s actually quite simple! Mindfulness is all about being fully present in the here and now. 

It’s about paying attention to the present moment, without judgment or attachment to our thoughts or emotions. By cultivating mindfulness, we can develop a deeper awareness of our experiences and find a sense of peace within ourselves.

Now that we have a basic understanding, let’s explore its origins and the benefits it offers in addiction recovery.

A person seated at a desk practicing mindfulness techniques

Mindfulness in Addiction Recovery

Mindfulness is a powerful tool that can significantly impact your addiction recovery journey. Let’s discuss some of the benefits it offers.

Increased Self-Awareness

Practicing mindfulness allows you to develop a deeper understanding of your thoughts, emotions, and triggers. By becoming more aware of your internal experiences, you can better identify and manage cravings, stressors, and negative patterns. This heightened self-awareness empowers you to make conscious choices and respond to challenges in a healthier way.

Stress Reduction

Addiction recovery can be challenging, and stress is often a common trigger for relapse. Mindfulness practices, such as deep breathing and meditation, help calm the nervous system and reduce stress. By incorporating this into your daily routine, you can cultivate a sense of inner peace, resilience, and emotional well-being.

Emotional Regulation

Mindfulness equips you with valuable skills to regulate your emotions effectively. By observing your thoughts and feelings without judgment, you create space for compassionate self-reflection. This non-reactive stance allows you to respond to difficult emotions in a balanced manner, reducing impulsivity and promoting emotional stability.

Coping with Cravings

Cravings are a natural part of the recovery process. Mindfulness can help you navigate cravings by bringing awareness to the present moment. It allows you to acknowledge the sensations without giving in to them. You develop the ability to observe cravings with curiosity and detachment, allowing them to pass without acting on them.

Improved Well-Being and Relapse Prevention

Regular mindfulness practice enhances overall well-being by promoting a sense of calm, clarity, and inner peace. By integrating it into your daily life, you create a solid foundation for long-term recovery. It acts as a powerful relapse prevention tool. It supports your commitment to sobriety and helps you navigate challenges with resilience.

Practical Tips for Incorporating Mindfulness into Your Daily Life

Adding mindfulness into your daily routine can greatly enhance your addiction recovery journey. Here are some practical tips to help you:

  1. Start with Small Steps: Begin by dedicating a few minutes each day to mindfulness practice. Find a quiet and comfortable space where you can focus on your breath, body sensations, or present moment awareness. As you become more comfortable, gradually increase the duration of your practice.
  2. Practice Mindful Breathing: One simple yet powerful technique is mindful breathing. Take a few moments to focus on your breath, observing its natural rhythm. Notice the sensation of the breath entering and leaving your body. Whenever your mind starts to wander, gently bring your attention back to your breath.
  3. Engage Your Senses: Throughout the day, take moments to engage your senses fully. Notice the sights, sounds, smells, tastes, and textures around you. Paying attention to the present moment through your senses can help ground you in the here and now.
  4. Create Mindful Moments: Incorporate mindfulness into everyday activities. Whether it’s eating a meal, taking a walk, or doing household chores, bring your full attention to the task at hand. Notice the sensations, thoughts, and emotions that arise without judgment.
  5. Find Support and Guidance: Consider joining a support group or seeking guidance from a mindfulness teacher. These resources can provide additional guidance, support, and a sense of community as you deepen your practice.
  6. Embrace Mindfulness Apps and Resources: Explore the wide range of apps and online resources available. These tools offer guided meditations, breathing exercises, and programs that can support your daily practice.

Remember, mindfulness is a skill that develops with practice and patience. Embrace the journey, knowing that each moment of mindfulness contributes to your overall well-being and recovery.

A person sitting on a mountain looking over the scenery as an act of mindfulness

Mindfulness and Relapse Prevention

Relapse prevention is a vital part of addiction recovery, and mindfulness is a powerful tool that can make a real difference. By embracing it, you can develop the skills needed to recognize and navigate triggers and cravings. As well as potential pitfalls that may arise along their recovery journey. Let’s explore how mindfulness contributes to relapse prevention in a conversational and easy-to-understand way.

Developing Awareness and Acceptance

Mindfulness helps you become more aware of yourself and your experiences. By paying attention to their thoughts, emotions, and behaviors without judgment, they can spot early warning signs of potential relapse. This heightened awareness allows them to respond with greater clarity and make conscious choices that support their recovery.

Building Emotional Resilience

Emotional resilience is key to maintaining long-term sobriety. Mindfulness equips you with the tools to skillfully navigate difficult emotions and cravings. By observing these sensations without immediately reacting, you create space for self-reflection. 

In addition, you can make healthier choices to cope with challenges. It fosters self-compassion, enabling you to face difficulties with kindness and understanding.

Managing Triggers and Cravings

Triggers and cravings can be powerful forces that threaten recovery progress. Mindfulness empowers you to respond consciously to triggers and cravings rather than reacting impulsively. By observing the thoughts and sensations that arise without attaching judgment, you can detach from the intensity of cravings. And you make intentional choices aligned with their recovery goals.

Enhancing Coping Strategies

Mindfulness provides you with a wide range of coping strategies that support relapse prevention. By incorporating it into daily life, we tap into a sense of inner calm and stability when faced with challenges. Simple activities like breathing exercises, grounding techniques, and meditation serve as anchors during stressful moments. These offer healthier and more sustainable alternatives to turning to substances.

Sustaining Long-Term Recovery

By integrating mindfulness into relapse prevention strategies, you create a strong foundation for sustained recovery. It helps you stay connected to the present moment. You can foster an appreciation for progress and reinforce your commitment to a sober lifestyle. By making these practices an ongoing part of the recovery journey, they increase their chances of maintaining long-term sobriety.

Incorporating mindfulness into relapse prevention strategies empowers you to respond to challenges and triggers with intention and clarity. By developing these skills, you can navigate the ups and downs of recovery more effectively and sustain progress over time.

Take the next step on your journey to recovery

We hope we’ve shed light on the incredible benefits of mindfulness in addiction recovery. Remember, you’re not alone on this journey, and there are resources available to support you every step of the way.

If you’re ready to explore the transformative power of mindfulness, Retreat at Sky Ridge is here for you. Our experts are committed to providing personalized care and helping you build a solid foundation for lasting sobriety.

Contact us and take that brave leap towards a brighter future. You deserve a life free from the grip of addiction. Let us be your partner in this journey, guiding you towards a healthier, happier, and more fulfilling life.

For more information on addiction treatment services, please give us a call at (877) 693-6010 or complete or short inquiry form at the bottom of this page.

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The Symptoms of Alcohol Withdrawal

The Symptoms of Alcohol Withdrawal

Alcohol dependency can trigger a physiological response known as withdrawal. This occurs when someone who has been drinking heavily for an extended period abruptly stops or reduces their intake. 

This condition can result in a broad spectrum of symptoms, ranging from mild discomfort to severe, life-threatening complications. Identifying alcohol withdrawal symptoms is crucial for early detection and treatment. 

Here, we’ll examine the stages and indications of alcohol withdrawal, along with possible complications and treatment. By knowing the warning signs, individuals, as well as their loved ones, can seek help and initiate the path to recovery.

What is alcohol withdrawal?

Alcohol withdrawal occurs when a heavy drinker stops or reduces their alcohol consumption after extended use. Symptoms of alcohol withdrawal can be both physical and psychological. 

The origins of alcohol withdrawal symptoms can vary among individuals. However, they typically stem from alterations in the brain and nervous system that develop from long-term alcohol misuse. 

Heavy drinking can disrupt the neurotransmitters that regulate mood and behavior. Consequently resulting in an addiction to alcohol to maintain normal brain function.

Various factors can heighten the likelihood of alcohol withdrawal. These can include a history of excessive drinking, advanced age, a family history of alcoholism, and underlying medical conditions. 

Moreover, the severity of withdrawal symptoms can differ depending on several factors. This includes the amount and duration of alcohol usage, as well as an individual’s overall health and psychological state.

Typically, alcohol withdrawal occurs in three phases, starting with mild symptoms like tremors, anxiety, and insomnia. As withdrawal progresses, symptoms can intensify, including hallucinations, seizures, and delirium tremens (DTs). DTs are the most severe manifestation of alcohol withdrawal and can prove fatal if left untreated.

A person crouched down with their head in their hands suffering from alcohol withdrawals

What are the symptoms?

Alcohol withdrawal symptoms can span from mild to severe. The onset may occur as early as a few hours after the last drink.

The early symptoms of alcohol withdrawal may include anxiety, tremors, sweating, and headaches, with individuals also experiencing nausea, vomiting, and insomnia. While uncomfortable, these symptoms are typically not life-threatening.

Moderate symptoms of alcohol withdrawal can arise within 12-24 hours after the last drink. They are characterized by an increased heart rate, high blood pressure, confusion, and mood swings. Individuals may also experience auditory or visual hallucinations, which can be distressing.

Severe symptoms of alcohol withdrawal often manifest 24-48 hours after the last drink. These can include include seizures, delirium tremens (DTs), and high fever. DTs present with severe confusion, hallucinations, and agitation.

The timeline for alcohol withdrawal symptoms may vary based on a person’s unique circumstances. Factors such as their amount and duration of alcohol use, overall health, and previous withdrawal experiences. Generally, symptoms reach their peak within the first few days after the last drink. There is typically gradual improvement occurring over several days to a week.

What complications can arise?

Although medical treatment can manage most cases of alcohol withdrawal, severe symptoms can lead to various complications.

As previously mentioned, DTs can develop in a small percentage of people undergoing alcohol withdrawal, which can prove fatal if left untreated. 

Seizures are another possible complication of alcohol withdrawal, particularly in people with a history of epilepsy or other seizure disorders. Seizures can be life-threatening, and urgent medical attention is necessary.

Dehydration, malnutrition, and electrolyte imbalances are other potential complications of alcohol withdrawal, which can cause liver or kidney damage. Additionally, individuals may experience psychological symptoms such as depression, anxiety, or irritability. These symptoms  can persist for weeks or even months after ceasing alcohol use.

A person undergoing severe or persistent symptoms of alcohol withdrawal should undergo medically supervised detoxification. Treatment can help manage symptoms and prevent complications, which in turn increases the chances of successful recovery.

One hand reaching to another offering help

Treatment of withdrawal symptoms 

Alcohol withdrawal is a serious condition that requires timely and appropriate treatment to manage symptoms and prevent complications. The treatment options available vary depending on the severity of withdrawal symptoms and individual needs.

Medications, such as benzodiazepines like diazepam or lorazepam, are commonly used to manage symptoms of alcohol withdrawal. These medications can help alleviate anxiety, seizures, and other withdrawal symptoms. However, these medications should never be used without the supervision of a medical professional. They can be quite addictive and lead to their own complications.

Inpatient, residential treatment may be necessary for individuals experiencing severe withdrawal symptoms or those with a history of severe alcohol withdrawal. Inpatient treatment offers close monitoring and medical management to ensure the safety of the individual and prevent complications. Outpatient treatment may be appropriate for individuals with mild to moderate symptoms of withdrawal. This is assuming they are otherwise healthy and do not require intensive medical management.

Therapy options, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) or motivational interviewing, can also be beneficial for individuals recovering from alcohol withdrawal. These therapies help individuals identify and address the underlying causes of their alcohol use and develop coping skills to prevent relapse.

Ultimately, the best treatment plan for alcohol withdrawal will depend on several factors. These include the severity of symptoms, medical history, and individual needs and preferences. It is important to work with a healthcare professional to develop a personalized treatment plan that addresses all aspects of recovery.

The bottom line

In conclusion, recognizing the symptoms of alcohol withdrawal is crucial in preventing complications and ensuring successful recovery. The early symptoms of alcohol withdrawal may be mild, but they can progress quickly to more severe symptoms. Seeking medical attention is important for managing symptoms and preventing complications.

Treatment options for alcohol withdrawal include medication, inpatient or outpatient treatment, and support groups or therapy options. Working with a healthcare professional to develop a personalized treatment plan is essential for successful recovery.

If you or anyone you know is struggling with alcohol addiction, Retreat at Sky Ridge is here to help. Our expert team provides comprehensive care and support for individuals struggling with addiction. Get help now to start on the path to recovery.

Remember, seeking help for alcohol withdrawal can be the first step towards a healthier, happier life. Don’t hesitate to reach out for support if you or someone you know is struggling with substance abuse.

For more information on addiction treatment services, please give us a call at (877) 693-6010 or complete or short inquiry form at the bottom of this page.

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Adventure Therapy in Addiction Treatment

Adventure Therapy in Addiction Treatment

Addiction is a complex issue that affects millions of people worldwide. While traditional forms of therapy have been proven effective, they don’t always work for everyone. That’s where adventure therapy comes in.

Adventure therapy is a type of therapy that uses outdoor activities and challenges to promote personal growth, self-awareness, and confidence. Adventure therapy is a unique way to approach substance abuse treatment, as it combines physical activity, outdoor experiences, and therapeutic techniques.

Alcohol and drug abuse is often accompanied by feelings of low self-esteem, anxiety, and depression. Adventure therapy can help individuals in substance abuse treatment by providing them with a supportive and challenging environment. It can help them build self-confidence, develop new coping skills, and create positive social connections.

Adventure therapy can offer many benefits to individuals in substance abuse treatment. These include increased physical activity and exercise, improved mental health and well-being, increased self-confidence and self-esteem, and more. In the following sections, we’ll talk about these benefits. We’ll also discuss how they can help individuals on their path to recovery.

A group hiking as a form of adventure therapy

The benefits of adventure therapy

Adventure therapy can offer a variety of benefits to individuals in substance abuse treatment. Let’s take a closer look at those.

Increased physical activity and exercise

Physical activity and exercise are important components of a healthy lifestyle. For individuals in substance abuse treatment, engaging in physical activity can have a positive impact on their physical and mental health. 

Adventure-based activities such as hiking, rock climbing, and canoeing can provide individuals with opportunities to engage in physical activity. Exercise releases endorphins, which can help individuals in recovery feel more positive and energized. Not to mention the health benefits of an active lifestyle.

Improved mental health and well-being

Substance abuse can have a negative impact on mental health and well-being. Adventure therapy can help individuals in substance abuse treatment by promoting positive mental health and well-being. Outdoor activities and challenges can help individuals develop coping skills, increase self-awareness, and reduce stress and anxiety. 

Examples of adventure-based activities that can promote mental health and well-being include meditation, mindfulness exercises, and journaling.

Increased self-confidence and self-esteem

Low self-esteem and self-confidence are common issues among individuals in substance abuse treatment. Adventure therapy can help individuals build self-confidence and self-esteem. This happens by providing them with opportunities to overcome challenges and accomplish goals. 

Examples of adventure-based activities that can promote self-confidence and self-esteem include rock climbing, zip-lining, and white water rafting.

Enhanced social skills and interpersonal relationships

Substance abuse can damage social skills and relationships. Adventure therapy can help individuals in substance abuse treatment by promoting positive social skills and interpersonal relationships. Outdoor activities and challenges can provide individuals with opportunities to interact with others in a positive and supportive environment. 

Examples of adventure-based activities that can promote social skills and interpersonal relationships include team-building exercises, group hikes, and group challenges.

Overall, adventure therapy can be a valuable tool in substance abuse treatment. It helps individuals to improve their physical and mental health. Additionally, it increases their self-confidence and self-esteem, and builds positive social connections. 

Three people in the woods jumping with their hands in the air in triumph

Are you ready?

Adventure therapy is a powerful tool in the treatment of substance abuse. It provides individuals with opportunities for personal growth, self-awareness, and positive social connections. Through adventurous outdoor activities, individuals can overcome challenges, build self-confidence, and develop positive relationships with others.

At Retreat at Sky Ridge, our adventure therapy program is an integral part of the substance abuse treatment program. We provide individuals with unique opportunities for personal growth and transformation. The program is led by experienced and certified professionals who are trained in both adventure therapy and substance abuse treatment.

If you or someone you know is struggling with substance abuse, consider adventure therapy as a part of your treatment plan. The benefits are clear.

At Retreat at Sky Ridge, we are committed to helping individuals overcome substance abuse and achieve long-term recovery. Contact us today to learn more about our adventure therapy program and how it can benefit you or your loved one on the path to recovery.

For more information on addiction treatment services, please give us a call at (877) 693-6010 or complete or short inquiry form at the bottom of this page.

adapt & transform. overcome.

If you or someone
you know needs help,
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Get started today! Ask a question, inquire about insurance benefits, or request that someone from the admission's team contact you. Complete the short form or call us anytime at (877) 693-6010.

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The Effects of Stress on Drug and Alcohol Use

The Effects of Stress on Drug and Alcohol Use

When we face challenging situations, our bodies and minds react with stress, causing physical and emotional tension. While some stress can be beneficial in motivating us to take action, prolonged stress can harm our mental and physical health. One negative impact of stress is the increased likelihood of drug and alcohol use.

Studies show that people who experience high levels of stress are more prone to substance abuse. This is because drugs and alcohol can provide a temporary relief from stress and anxiety. They allow a short-term escape from daily pressures. However, substance use can lead to increased stress levels in the long run, creating a cycle of dependence.

Recognizing the link between stress and substance use is essential for both individuals and society. By understanding how stress can contribute to drug and alcohol use, we can take steps to prevent and address these issues. In this article, we will explore the ways in which stress can increase substance use and discuss prevention and treatment strategies.

The effects of stress on the brain and body

When we experience stress, our body responds with the “fight or flight” reaction. This is a physiological response that helps us deal with perceived threats. We release hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline, which increase heart rate, blood pressure, and respiration.

Various factors can trigger the stress response, including environmental stressors like noise and temperature. Additionally, it may be psychological stressors like work or relationship problems. Stress can have significant effects on neurotransmitters and hormones in the brain. 

This leads to decreased levels of serotonin, which affects mood regulation, potentially contributing to anxiety and depression. This may explain why some individuals turn to drugs or alcohol to cope with stress.

Stress can contribute to anxiety and depression in multiple ways, including changes in brain chemistry, as described above. Furthermore, stress can affect the prefrontal cortex, responsible for decision-making and problem-solving. This can make it difficult for individuals to find solutions to the sources of their stress. In turn, it may result in feelings of helplessness and hopelessness.

Understanding how stress affects the brain and body is crucial in recognizing the potential links between stress and substance abuse. Recognizing how stress can contribute to anxiety and depression can help individuals seek out effective stress management techniques and treatment options.

A person with their head in their hands dealing with the impact of stress

The effects of substance use on the brain and body

Similar to stress, drugs and alcohol can have significant impacts on the brain. For instance, alcohol can increase levels of the neurotransmitter GABA, leading to relaxation and sedation. Drugs like cocaine and amphetamines can increase dopamine levels, causing feelings of euphoria and pleasure.

However, prolonged drug and alcohol use can lead to changes in brain chemistry, leading to dependence and addiction. For instance, alcohol and benzodiazepines like Xanax or Valium can cause anxiety when their effects wear off. This can result in increased use to relieve these feelings. Moreover, long-term substance use can cause changes in brain chemistry that contribute to the development of anxiety and depression.

Prolonged drug and alcohol use can lead to dependence, which is characterized by withdrawal symptoms when these substances are not present. And, of course, addiction, which is compulsive use despite negative consequences. Addiction is a chronic condition that requires ongoing treatment and support.

Understanding how drugs and alcohol affect the brain and body is crucial in recognizing the potential risks associated with substance abuse. Being aware of the risks of substance use is important. It can lead to anxiety, depression, and addiction. 

This knowledge allows individuals to make informed decisions about their use. Furthermore, it helps them seek effective treatment. In the following section, we will explore the link between stress and drug and alcohol use.

How stress can trigger substance use

Stress can act as a trigger for the use of drugs and alcohol as a coping mechanism. Individuals may turn to these substances to alleviate feelings of stress and anxiety. This could be using alcohol to unwind after a long workday or prescription drugs to cope with depression. Stressful life events, such as job loss or relationship breakdown, can also trigger substance use.

While drugs and alcohol may initially provide feelings of relaxation and pleasure, the negative consequences that follow can be severe. Impaired judgment, decreased inhibitions, and an increased risk of accidents or injuries are common examples. Additionally, continued substance use can lead to tolerance and dependence. This makes it more difficult to achieve the same level of pleasure and relaxation.

Substance use can also cause changes in brain chemistry and function, leading to the development of anxiety and depression. Furthermore, substance abuse can result in financial problems, legal issues, and relationship difficulties, leading to further stress and anxiety. Understanding the relationship between stress and substance use is crucial in identifying and addressing these issues.

A person standing in the sunlight with their arms raised having freed themselves from stress related drug and alcohol use.

Prevention and treatment

Breaking the cycle of stress and substance use demands implementing effective stress management techniques. These may include exercise, relaxation methods like yoga or meditation, and therapy. Building a strong social support system and using healthy coping mechanisms can help reduce stress and prevent substance use. This is a productive approach.

There are several treatment options available to help those struggling with substance use. Therapy, such as motivational interviewing, can be effective in addressing the underlying causes of substance use. It can also be instrumental in developing strategies to avoid relapse. Medication-assisted treatment can also be helpful in managing withdrawal symptoms and lowering the risk of relapse.

Dealing with both stress and substance use is crucial for achieving long-term recovery. By developing effective stress management techniques, individuals can reduce the risk of relapse and enhance their overall well-being. Addressing the root causes of substance use, such as trauma or mental health disorders, can also aid individuals in developing strategies for avoiding substance use and sustaining recovery.

Takeaways

The relationship between stress and substance abuse is complex, and both issues must be addressed to achieve lasting recovery. Understanding how stress affects the brain and body can help individuals recognize the potential impacts of stress on substance abuse and seek out effective stress management techniques and treatment options.

At Retreat at Sky Ridge, we’re dedicated to helping individuals overcome substance use and co-occurring mental health disorders. Our comprehensive, evidence-based approach to treatment includes therapy, medication-assisted treatment, and holistic therapies. We also provide ongoing support and aftercare services to help individuals maintain their recovery.

If you or a loved one is struggling with substance use and stress, we encourage you to contact us today. Our compassionate team of experts is here to help you take the first step towards a healthier, happier life.

For more information on addiction treatment services, please give us a call at (877) 693-6010 or complete or short inquiry form at the bottom of this page.

adapt & transform. overcome.

If you or someone
you know needs help,
contact us.

Get started today! Ask a question, inquire about insurance benefits, or request that someone from the admission's team contact you. Complete the short form or call us anytime at (877) 693-6010.

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An Overview of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

An Overview of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is a widely used form of psychotherapy that focuses on the connection between thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. In CBT, individuals work with a therapist to identify and challenge negative thought patterns and replace them with more positive ones. 

The history of CBT dates back to the 1960s. It has since become a widely recognized and researched approach to treating a range of mental health disorders. CBT is especially important as it has been found to be effective in treating conditions such as anxiety, depression, and PTSD. 

In this article, we will explore the principles of CBT and how it works. We’ll also discuss who can benefit from it, the process of therapy, as well as its criticisms and limitations.

Understanding Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

Cognitive behavioral therapy is based on a set of core principles that guide the therapeutic process. These principles include the idea that thoughts, feelings, and behaviors are all interconnected. And as such, changing one can have a positive effect on the others. 

CBT also emphasizes the importance of identifying and challenging negative or distorted thinking patterns. The purpose is then to replace them with more positive, realistic ones.

To achieve these goals, CBT utilizes a range of techniques, including cognitive restructuring, behavioral activation, and exposure therapy. Cognitive restructuring involves identifying negative thoughts and challenging them with evidence-based reasoning. Behavioral activation focuses on increasing engagement in positive behaviors. Exposure therapy involves gradually exposing individuals to the feared stimulus in a controlled and supportive environment.

One of the key features of CBT is its emphasis on addressing cognitive distortions. These are thinking patterns that are inaccurate, biased, or irrational. Common cognitive distortions include black-and-white thinking, catastrophizing, and personalization. 

CBT helps individuals recognize and challenge these distortions, and replace them with more realistic and balanced thinking patterns. By addressing cognitive distortions, individuals can gain a greater sense of control over their thoughts and feelings. Ultimately, they will improve their overall well-being.

The concept and principles of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

How Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Works

Cognitive behavioral therapy is typically conducted in a one-on-one setting with a therapist who is trained in the approach. The therapist and client work together to identify specific goals for treatment and develop a plan for achieving those goals.

The therapist-client relationship is an important aspect of CBT, as it is based on collaboration and mutual respect. The therapist serves as a guide and facilitator helping the client to identify and challenge negative thought patterns. Additionally, they provide support and encouragement throughout the therapeutic process.

The role of the therapist is helping the client develop the skills needed to identify and challenge negative thought patterns. This may involve teaching the client how to use cognitive restructuring techniques or behavioral activation strategies. The therapist may also use exposure therapy to help the client gradually face and overcome their fears.

The role of the client in CBT is to actively participate in the therapeutic process by completing homework assignments, practicing new skills outside of therapy sessions, and providing feedback to the therapist. The client is encouraged to take an active role in setting treatment goals and monitoring progress. This can help to increase their sense of agency and control.

Who Can Benefit from Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) has been found to be effective in many treatment programs for a range of mental health disorders. These include anxiety, depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and substance abuse disorders.

For individuals who have experienced trauma, CBT can be particularly beneficial. It can help individuals to process and make sense of their traumatic experiences. In addition, it assists in developing coping skills to manage symptoms of PTSD. 

CBT may also be used to treat other conditions related to trauma, such as depression or anxiety. This is particularly useful in instances of dual diagnosis, where past trauma or other mental health issues have led to addiction. 

CBT can also be helpful for individuals experiencing relationship issues. It can help individuals to identify and challenge negative thought patterns and behaviors that may be contributing to relationship problems. By learning new communication and problem-solving skills, individuals can improve their relationships and develop healthier patterns of interaction.

The Process of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

Cognitive behavioral therapy typically involves a structured and collaborative process that is tailored to meet the individual needs of the client. The process of CBT generally includes several steps.

Assessment and goal-setting 

The therapist conducts an initial assessment to gather information about the client’s symptoms, thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. Together, the therapist and client identify specific treatment goals that are relevant to the client’s needs and concerns.

Collaborative development of a treatment plan

Based on the assessment and goal-setting process, the therapist and client develop a treatment plan. This plan outlines the specific techniques and strategies that will be used to achieve the treatment goals. The treatment plan is tailored to meet the individual needs of the client and may include a range of CBT techniques. This can include cognitive restructuring, behavioral activation, and exposure therapy.

Implementation of cognitive behavioral therapy techniques 

The therapist works with the client to implement the techniques outlined in the treatment plan. This may involve teaching the client new skills, providing feedback and support, and monitoring progress over time. The therapist may also assign homework for the client to complete between sessions. This helps to reinforce the techniques learned in therapy.

Review and evaluation of progress 

Throughout the course of therapy, the therapist and client regularly review progress and evaluate the effectiveness of the treatment plan. If necessary, adjustments may be made to the treatment plan to better meet the client’s needs and achieve the treatment goals.

A therapy session utilizing the principles of cognitive behavioral therapy

Criticisms of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

While cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) has been widely researched and found to be effective for many individuals, it is not without its limitations and criticisms. Let’s look at a few of the potential criticisms of CBT. 

  • Limitations: CBT may not be effective for all individuals or all types of mental health concerns. Additionally, the structured and focused approach of CBT may not be well-suited for individuals who have difficulty with introspection or who prefer a more exploratory approach to therapy.
  • Critical arguments: Some critics of CBT argue that it places too much emphasis on changing thoughts and behaviors without fully considering the underlying emotional or social factors that may be contributing to mental health concerns. Others have raised concerns about the potential for CBT to reinforce the status quo and support systems of power and control, particularly in cases where the client is experiencing oppression or marginalization.
  • Alternative approaches: There are many alternative approaches to therapy that individuals may consider if CBT does not feel like the right fit for them. These include psychodynamic therapy, interpersonal therapy, mindfulness-based therapy, and others. Some individuals may benefit from a combination of different therapeutic approaches, depending on their unique needs and concerns.

While CBT may not be the right approach for everyone, it is still a widely researched and effective approach to therapy that has helped many individuals improve their mental health and well-being. By working with a trained therapist and exploring different therapeutic approaches, individuals can find the approach that is best suited to their needs and concerns.

Conclusion

Cognitive behavioral therapy is a widely researched and effective approach to therapy. It can help individuals improve their mental health and well-being. By working with a trained therapist and actively participating in the therapeutic process, individuals can develop the skills and strategies needed to manage their thoughts, emotions, and behaviors.

While CBT is not without its limitations and criticisms, it remains a valuable therapeutic approach for many individuals. By understanding the core principles and techniques of CBT, individuals can make an informed decision about whether this approach is right for them.

If you or someone you know is struggling with addiction or other mental health concerns, it is important to seek help from a qualified professional. At Retreat at Sky Ridge, we offer a range of therapeutic approaches, including CBT, to help individuals overcome addiction and improve their mental health. Contact us today to learn more about our services and how we can help.

For more information on addiction treatment services, please give us a call at (877) 693-6010 or complete or short inquiry form at the bottom of this page.

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Get started today! Ask a question, inquire about insurance benefits, or request that someone from the admission's team contact you. Complete the short form or call us anytime at (877) 693-6010.

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Working While in Rehab: Balancing Employment and Recovery

Working While in Rehab: Balancing Employment and Recovery

Rehabilitation, commonly known as rehab, is an all-encompassing treatment approach aimed at helping individuals overcome drug or alcohol addiction. The complexity of addiction affects millions of people globally, and rehab is a crucial step towards recovery.

However, those contemplating rehab may be unsure about the possibility of working while undergoing treatment. The decision to work while in rehab is multifaceted, and there are benefits and drawbacks to consider.

This article will explore the advantages and disadvantages of working while in rehab. Additionally, it will discuss how individuals can strike a balance between their recovery and employment responsibilities. By the end of this article, readers will gain a better understanding of the factors to weigh when deciding whether or not to work while in rehab.

The Benefits of Working While in Rehab

While the primary focus of rehab is on recovery, working during treatment can have advantages. Here are some benefits of working while in rehab:

  • Establishing Normalcy and Structure: Work can provide structure and routine to an individual’s life, which can aid in maintaining overall well-being. A routine can also help alleviate the stress of rehab.
  • Boosting Confidence and Self-Esteem: Work can instill a sense of achievement and purpose, which can contribute to building self-esteem and confidence. This is particularly crucial for those who may have lost self-worth due to addiction.
  • Developing Skills for Reintegration: Many rehab programs aim to reintegrate individuals into society after treatment. Working while in rehab presents an opportunity to acquire skills that may help secure employment and maintain sobriety after treatment.
  • Financial Stability: For those who may be facing financial difficulties due to addiction, working can provide stability. This is particularly beneficial for those who may have lost their job or experienced financial setbacks due to addiction.
  • Avoiding Loneliness and Boredom: Work can offer social interaction and a sense of purpose, which can prevent loneliness and boredom. This is significant since loneliness and boredom can trigger relapse.

Working during rehab can be advantageous in many ways, such as establishing structure, boosting self-esteem, developing skills for reintegration, achieving financial stability, and avoiding isolation and boredom.

However, it’s important to consider whether working is appropriate for each individual. It’s crucial to discuss the decision with a therapist or counselor.

Considerations for Working While in Rehab

While working while in rehab can provide some benefits, it also entails some potential drawbacks that should be taken into account. Here are some of the cons to consider:

  • Increased Stress: Working while in rehab can add to the already significant stress of recovery. This can be especially difficult for those in the early stages of treatment who are still adjusting to the program’s demands.
  • Temptations and Triggers: Working can also expose individuals to situations where they may be tempted or triggered to use drugs or alcohol, particularly if their job entails being around substances.
  • Distraction from Recovery: Balancing work and rehab can be challenging, and some individuals may find that working detracts from their ability to fully engage in their recovery efforts.
  • Job Selection: Not all jobs are suitable for individuals in rehab, and high-stress or demanding positions can exacerbate stress and undermine sobriety.
  • Risk of Burnout: Juggling work and rehab can lead to exhaustion and burnout, which may hinder progress and put recovery at risk.

In conclusion, while working during rehab has some potential drawbacks, such as increased stress, exposure to triggers, diversion of attention from recovery, inappropriate job selection, and burnout risk. Therefore, individuals must consider their options carefully and discuss their decision with their therapist or counselor to determine what is best for their recovery.

Balancing rocks on a beach

Tips for Finding a Balance Between Work and Recovery in Rehab

Achieving a balance between work and recovery is critical for individuals who opt to work while in rehab. Here are some helpful tips to find a balance:

  • Be Realistic: Choosing a job that suits one’s current recovery stage and treatment plan is crucial. Setting practical expectations for one’s work schedule and workload is also important.
  • Communicate with Employers: Informing employers about one’s situation and the need for flexibility is vital. Many employers are willing to make accommodations to support individuals in recovery.
  • Prioritize Recovery: Recovery should always be the primary concern. Scheduling work around treatment and ensuring sufficient rest and self-care are crucial.
  • Seek Support: Reaching out to one’s therapist or counselor, as well as their support network, can assist individuals in finding a balance between work and recovery. This can involve discussing job options, developing coping strategies, and managing stress.
  • Practice Self-Care: Engaging in self-care activities such as exercise, meditation, and spending time with loved ones can help manage stress and prevent burnout.

In summary, finding a balance between work and recovery is crucial for those who choose to work while in rehab. This entails being realistic, communicating with employers, prioritizing recovery, seeking support, and practicing self-care.

By following these suggestions, individuals can strike a balance that promotes their recovery while also fulfilling their employment responsibilities.

Conclusion

The decision to work while in rehab is a personal one that requires careful consideration of the potential benefits and drawbacks. While working can provide a sense of structure and purpose, it can also add stress, divert attention from recovery, and increase the risk of burnout. However, with the right approach, it is possible to find a balance between work and recovery that supports both goals.

At Retreat at Sky Ridge, we understand the challenges of addiction and the importance of individualized treatment plans. Our luxury resort offers a comprehensive range of evidence-based therapies and holistic recovery to address the physical, emotional, and spiritual aspects of addiction. We also recognize that employment can play a positive role in recovery and offer opportunities for our clients to work while in rehab if appropriate.

If you are considering entering a rehab facility and are interested in working while in treatment, we encourage you to speak with our experts to discuss your options. Our experienced therapists and counselors can help you assess the benefits and drawbacks of working while in rehab and develop a plan that supports your recovery goals. With our support and guidance, you can overcome addiction and achieve a fulfilling, sustainable life in recovery.

If you are interested in learning more about our rehab programs or have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.

If you or someone you know is struggling with addiction, it’s important to know that help is available. Contact us to learn more about our SMART Recovery and Motivational Interviewing programs and take the first step towards a brighter, healthier future.

For more information on addiction treatment services, please give us a call at (877) 693-6010 or complete or short inquiry form at the bottom of this page.

adapt & transform. overcome.

If you or someone
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A Closer Look at Motivational Interviewing

A Closer Look at Motivational Interviewing

Motivational interviewing (MI) is a collaborative, person-centered approach to counseling and behavioral change. Often used in the context of addiction treatment, it can be applied to a wide range of behaviors and situations. 

The goal of MI is to help individuals move from a state of indecision and resistance to one of readiness and commitment to change. In this article, we will discuss the principles and techniques of motivational interviewing, its applications, and its advantages and disadvantages.

Principles of Motivational Interviewing

The core principles of motivational interviewing include empathy, acceptance, evocation, and collaboration. Each principle plays a key role in the effectiveness of Motivational Interviewing.

Empathy

Empathy is the ability to understand and appreciate the client’s perspective. Practitioners of MI must show empathy to help patients feel heard and understood, which can help build rapport and trust. 

Empathy can be demonstrated through active listening, reflection, and validation of the client’s feelings and experiences.

Acceptance

Acceptance is the unconditional positive regard that practitioners show to their patients. It involves accepting patients for who they are, without judgment or criticism. 

Acceptance can help patients feel safe and secure in the therapeutic relationship, which can encourage openness and honesty.

Evocation

Evocation is the process of drawing out the client’s own reasons for change. MI practitioners use open-ended questions, reflective listening, and other techniques to help patients explore their own motivations and goals. 

Evocation helps patients identify and strengthen their own reasons for change, which can lead to greater commitment and self-efficacy.

Collaboration

Collaboration is the partnership between the practitioner and the client. MI practitioners work with patients to develop a plan for change that is based on the client’s own goals and motivations. 

Collaboration can help patients feel invested in the change process and can increase their sense of control and autonomy.

A facilitator and patient engaged in a motivational interviewing session.

Techniques of Motivational Interviewing

MI practitioners use a variety of techniques to help patients explore their own motivations and goals. 

Open-ended questions

Open-ended questions are questions that cannot be answered with a simple yes or no. They are designed to encourage patients to explore their own thoughts and feelings. 

Examples of open-ended questions include “What are your thoughts on making this change?” and “What benefits do you think you would experience if you made this change?”

Reflective listening

Reflective listening is the process of paraphrasing and summarizing what the client has said. It expresses empathy and understanding. 

Reflective listening can also help patients clarify their thoughts and feelings.

Summarizing

Summarizing is the process of summarizing what the client has said. It is used to demonstrate that the practitioner has been listening and to help the client see the bigger picture. 

Summarizing can also help patients identify patterns and themes in their thoughts and behaviors.

Eliciting change talk

Eliciting change talk is the process of encouraging patients to talk about their own reasons for change. Change talk can be identified through phrases such as the following: “I want to”, “I need to”, and “I should”. 

Applications of Motivational Interviewing

Motivational Interviewing is used in a variety of settings, including substance abuse treatment, mental illness, criminal justice, and primary care. MI has been found to be an effective approach for addressing a variety of health behaviors. These include substance abuse, smoking, physical activity, and healthy eating habits.

  • Addiction treatment: Used to help patients move from a state of ambivalence and resistance to one of readiness and commitment to change. 
  • Mental health: Used to help individuals with a variety of conditions, such as depression, anxiety, and eating disorders. MI has been shown to be effective in improving treatment outcomes in individuals with mental illness.
  • Criminal justice: Used to help individuals who are involved in the justice system to change their behavior and avoid reoffending. 
  • Primary care: Used to help individuals to improve their health behaviors, such as physical activity, healthy eating habits, and treatment adherence. 

Motivational Interviewing and SMART Recovery

Motivational Interviewing is a core component of the Self-Management and Recovery Training Recovery (SMART) program. A non-profit organization, SMART Recovery offers support groups and educational resources for individuals who want to achieve and maintain sobriety from addictive behaviors, including substance use, gambling, and compulsive eating.

There are several ways that SMART Recovery utilizes the techniques found in Motivational Interviewing for the program. 

Identify and explore motivations

First, MI is used to help individuals identify and explore their own motivations for change. SMART Recovery facilitators use open-ended questions, reflective listening, and other MI techniques to help individuals clarify their reasons for wanting to change their addictive behaviors. 

This collaborative and person-centered approach helps individuals feel heard and understood, which can increase their motivation to change.

Develop a plan for change

Second, MI is used to help individuals develop a plan for change that is based on their own goals and values. SMART Recovery facilitators work with individuals to identify the specific behaviors that they want to change, as well as the steps they can take to achieve their goals. This process is based on the principles of collaboration and autonomy, which are central to MI.

Implement the plan

Third, MI is used to support individuals as they implement their plan for change. SMART facilitators use MI techniques to elicit change talk and to address any barriers or ambivalence that may arise during the change process. 

This approach helps individuals stay motivated and engaged in the change process, even when faced with obstacles.

Summary

Overall, Motivational Interviewing is a key component of the SMART Recovery program. By utilizing MI techniques, SMART facilitators help individuals identify their own motivations for change, develop a plan for change that is based on their own goals and values, and stay motivated and engaged in the change process. 

This person-centered and collaborative approach is a powerful tool for achieving and maintaining sobriety from addictive behaviors.

Mountain view in Eureka Springs, Arkansas.

Advantages and things to keep in mind

Motivational Interviewing has several advantages as an approach to counseling and behavior change. MI is a collaborative and person-centered approach that helps patients to explore their own motivations and future goals. 

MI is non-judgmental and non-confrontational, which can help patients feel safe and secure in the therapeutic relationship. It has been shown to be effective in a variety of settings and for a variety of behaviors.

However, Motivational Interviewing also has some limitations and potential disadvantages. MI requires a skilled practitioner who can effectively use the principles and techniques. The process can be time-consuming and may require multiple sessions to achieve meaningful change. 

Perhaps most importantly, for those in denial or unwilling to adjust their behaviors, Motivational Interviewing may not provide the desired results. In order to be most effective, a person has to want to change.

Conclusion

SMART Recovery and Motivational Interviewing offer a powerful combination for individuals seeking to overcome addiction and achieve long-term recovery. These evidence-based approaches provide patients with the skills, tools, and support they need to build a healthy, fulfilling life free from addiction.

At Retreat at Sky Ridge, we understand that every client’s journey to recovery is unique. That’s why we offer personalized treatment plans tailored to each individual’s needs and goals. Our experienced and compassionate team of professionals is dedicated to providing the highest quality care and support to help patients achieve lasting recovery.

If you or someone you know is struggling with addiction, it’s important to know that help is available. Contact us to learn more about our SMART Recovery and Motivational Interviewing programs and take the first step towards a brighter, healthier future.

For more information on addiction treatment services, please give us a call at (877) 693-6010 or complete or short inquiry form at the bottom of this page.

adapt & transform. overcome.

If you or someone
you know needs help,
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Get started today! Ask a question, inquire about insurance benefits, or request that someone from the admission's team contact you. Complete the short form or call us anytime at (877) 693-6010.

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Addiction Denial: Symptoms, Behaviors & Getting Help

Addiction Denial: Symptoms, Behaviors & Getting Help

Denial is a common feature of addiction. It is the tendency of individuals to deny or minimize the severity of their substance abuse, even when faced with evidence of the negative consequences it is causing. 

Denial can make it difficult for individuals to seek help and can impede the recovery process. SMART Recovery is a self-help program that offers tools and strategies for individuals struggling with addiction. 

In this article, we will explore the nature of denial in addiction, the SMART Recovery program, and how it can help individuals overcome denial and achieve lasting recovery.

The nature of denial in addiction

Denial is a psychological defense mechanism that individuals use to protect themselves from the unpleasant reality of their addiction. It can manifest in various ways, including rationalization, minimization, and projection. 

Rationalization

Rationalization is when individuals justify their addictive behavior with reasons that sound reasonable but are actually excuses. A person struggling with alcohol abuse might say, “I need to drink to relax after a hard day at work.”

Minimization 

Minimization is when individuals downplay the severity of their addiction. For example, a person might say, “I only drink on weekends.” 

Projection

Projection is when individuals blame others for their drug or alcohol use, or the consequences of their addiction. As an example, a person struggling with alcohol and drug use may say, “If my spouse didn’t stress me out, I wouldn’t need to use so much.”

Negative consequences

Addiction denial can prevent individuals from acknowledging the negative consequences of their substance abuse on their life, relationships, and health. It can make them believe that they are in control of their substance abuse, even when the overwhelming evidence suggests otherwise. 

Denial can also make individuals resistant to seeking help, as they may not see the need for it.

Person holding their hand out representing denial

The role of denial in preventing recovery

Denial can be a significant barrier to recovery. It can prevent individuals from seeking help or complying with treatment. If individuals do not acknowledge the severity of their substance abuse, they may not be motivated to change their addictive behaviors. 

They may also resist the advice of healthcare professionals or the support of loved ones. They may see these interventions as unnecessary or unwanted.

Denial can also contribute to relapse. If individuals do not address the underlying causes of their alcohol or drug  abuse, such as emotional distress or trauma, they may continue to rely on addictive substances or behaviors to cope with these issues. 

They may also be more likely to relapse if they encounter triggers or stressors that remind them of their alcohol or drug addiction.

SMART Recovery

SMART Recovery is a self-help program that offers a different approach to addiction recovery than traditional 12-step programs such as Alcoholics Anonymous (AA)

SMART stands for Self-Management and Recovery Training. It is based on the principles of cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) and motivational interviewing (MI).

The program aims to empower individuals to take control of their recovery by providing them with tools and strategies to manage their addictive behavior.

SMART Recovery differs from traditional 12-step programs in several ways. First, it does not require individuals to accept the concept of powerlessness over their addiction or to believe in a higher power. Instead, it encourages individuals to take responsibility for their behavior and to develop their own sense of meaning and purpose

Second, it emphasizes the use of evidence-based techniques, such as CBT and MI, to help individuals change their thinking patterns and behaviors. 

Finally, it provides a non-judgmental, supportive environment where individuals can share their experiences and learn from each other.

The SMART Recovery 4-Point Program

The SMART Recovery program is based on a 4-point program that provides individuals with the skills and tools they need to manage their addiction. The 4 points are:

  1. Building and maintaining motivation: This point helps individuals to identify the reasons why they want to change their addictive behavior and to develop a plan to achieve their goals. It includes tools such as decision-making matrices and cost-benefit analysis.
  2. Coping with urges: This point provides individuals with strategies for managing the urges and cravings that can lead to relapse. It includes tools such as distraction techniques, deep breathing exercises, and assertiveness training.
  3. Managing thoughts, feelings, and behaviors: This point focuses on helping individuals to identify and challenge the negative thinking patterns and behaviors that contribute to their addiction. It includes tools such as the ABCs of REBT (Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy) and thought-stopping techniques.
  4. Living a balanced life: This point encourages individuals to develop a balanced and fulfilling life that is not centered around their addiction. It includes tools such as goal-setting and problem-solving techniques.

How SMART Recovery addresses denial

SMART Recovery provides several tools and strategies to help individuals overcome denial and accept the reality of their alcohol or drug use. These tools include:

  • Cost-Benefit Analysis: This tool helps individuals to weigh the pros and cons of their addictive behavior. It asks individuals to consider the short-term and long-term benefits and drawbacks of their addiction. By doing this, individuals can gain a clearer understanding of the impact of their drinking or drug use on their life and relationships.
  • ABCs of REBT (Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy): This tool helps individuals to identify and challenge the irrational beliefs that contribute to their addiction. It asks individuals to identify the Activating Event (A), the irrational Belief (B) that they hold about the event, and the Consequence (C) of that belief. By challenging irrational beliefs, individuals can change their thinking patterns and behaviors.
  • Brainstorming: This tool helps individuals to generate new ideas and strategies for managing their addiction. It encourages individuals to think creatively and to consider a range of options for managing their addiction.
  • Role-playing: This tool helps individuals to practice new skills and behaviors in a safe and supportive environment. It allows individuals to try out new coping strategies and to receive feedback from others.
  • Goal-setting: This tool helps individuals to set and achieve realistic goals for their recovery. It encourages individuals to focus on the positive changes they want to make in their life and to take concrete steps towards those changes.

I small plant growing between rocks, signifying a breakthrough

Breaking through

Denial is a common feature of addiction, and it can be a significant barrier to recovery. SMART Recovery is a self-help program that offers tools and strategies for individuals struggling with addiction. The program is based on the principles of cognitive-behavioral therapy and motivational interviewing and aims to empower individuals to take control of their recovery. 

By using tools such as the Cost-Benefit Analysis, ABCs of REBT, Brainstorming, Role-playing, and Goal-setting, individuals can overcome denial and develop a clear understanding of the impact of their addiction on their life and relationships.

Through SMART Recovery, individuals can learn to manage their urges and cravings, challenge negative thinking patterns and behaviors, and develop a balanced and fulfilling life that is not centered around their addiction. 

Help is available

Retreat at Sky Ridge provides a supportive and non-judgmental environment where individuals can share their experiences, gain new insights and strategies, and receive support and encouragement from others.

With the right tools, support, and encouragement, individuals can learn to manage their addiction, develop a sense of control over their life and future, and create a fulfilling and satisfying life in recovery.

Conclusion

Denial is a common feature of addiction, but it does not have to be a barrier to recovery. SMART Recovery offers a range of tools and strategies to help individuals overcome denial, challenge negative thinking patterns and behaviors, and achieve lasting recovery. 

By using these tools and accessing the support and encouragement of the program, individuals can take control of their recovery and create a fulfilling and satisfying life in recovery.

For more information on addiction treatment services, please give us a call at (877) 693-6010 or complete or short inquiry form at the bottom of this page.

adapt & transform. overcome.

If you or someone
you know needs help,
contact us.

Get started today! Ask a question, inquire about insurance benefits, or request that someone from the admission's team contact you. Complete the short form or call us anytime at (877) 693-6010.

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Exploring the Complex Effects of Adderall on the Brain

Exploring the Complex Effects of Adderall on the Brain

Adderall is a prescription drug that has been used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and narcolepsy since the 1960s. As a stimulant, it works by increasing the levels of the chemicals in the brain that improve focus, attention, and alertness. 

However, the use of Adderall has also been associated with substance abuse disorders and addiction. It can have serious consequences for an individual’s physical and mental health. In this article, we will explore the complex effects of Adderall on the brain. We’ll also provide information on how SMART Recovery can help individuals break Adderall addiction.

Adderall’s effects on the brain

Adderall works by increasing the levels of dopamine and norepinephrine in the brain. These hormones are involved in the brain’s reward system, which is responsible for regulating motivation, pleasure, and mood. By increasing the levels of dopamine and norepinephrine, Adderall can help to improve focus, attention, and alertness.

In the short-term, Adderall can also cause a range of physical and psychological effects. These can include increased heart rate and blood pressure, decreased appetite, insomnia, irritability, anxiety, and euphoria. Along with the negative side effects, Adderall can also be highly addictive and lead to abuse.

In the long-term, Adderall use can have more serious effects on the brain. Prolonged use of Adderall can lead to changes in the brain’s structure and function.  

It is known to affect memory, learning, and decision-making. Additionally, long-term use of Adderall can lead to increased tolerance, dependence, and withdrawal symptoms. These effects, especially after prolonged use, make it difficult to quit using the drug.

Individual variability in response to Adderall

It is important to note that individuals can have different responses to Adderall. This is due to factors such as genetics, age, weight, and overall health. Some individuals may experience more severe side effects or develop an addiction more easily than others. 

Additionally, factors such as co-occurring disorders and environmental factors can also play a role in an individual’s response to Adderall.

Defining Adderall addiction

Addiction is defined as a chronic disease characterized by compulsive drug-seeking and use despite harmful consequences. Adderall addiction can develop as a result of repeated use of the drug. This leads to changes in the brain’s reward system and increased tolerance to the drug’s effects. 

Over time, an individual may require higher doses of Adderall to achieve the same effects. Using Adderall outside of the medically prescribed amount can lead to dependence and addiction.

A person exhibiting isolation, a symptom of Adderall addiction

Signs and symptoms of Adderall addiction 

Recognizing the signs and symptoms of addictive behaviors is an important step in identifying and addressing Adderall addiction. Here are some of the more common symptoms that may become apparent with substance use disorders.

Increased tolerance to the drug

When an individual takes Adderall on a regular basis, their body may develop a tolerance to the drug. Over time, a person may require higher doses in order to achieve the same effect.

Tolerance occurs because the brain adapts to the presence of the drug and becomes less sensitive to its effects. Increased tolerance can be a significant risk factor for drug addiction. The user may feel compelled to take higher doses in order to achieve the desired effects. Even if doing so puts their health and well-being at risk. 

It is important for individuals who are prescribed Adderall to closely follow their doctor’s instructions. They must regularly reassess their dosage in order to minimize the risk of tolerance and addiction.

Withdrawal symptoms when not using the drug

When an individual stops using Adderall after a period of regular use, they may experience withdrawal symptoms. Withdrawal occurs because the brain has become accustomed to the presence of the drug. It has adapted its chemistry and functioning to compensate for its effects. 

Common withdrawal symptoms of Adderall may include fatigue, depression, irritability, anxiety, and sleep disturbances. In more severe cases, individuals may experience intense cravings, hallucinations, and psychosis. 

Withdrawal symptoms can vary in intensity and duration depending on the individual’s history of use, dosage, and other factors. It is important for individuals who are planning to stop using Adderall to work closely with their healthcare provider. There must be a safe and effective plan for tapering off the drug. This is in order to minimize the risk of withdrawal symptoms and other adverse effects.

Inability to stop despite negative consequences

One of the signs of addiction is the inability to stop using despite experiencing negative consequences as a result. This can be particularly true for individuals with Adderall addiction, as the drug can have significant physical and mental health effects. 

Despite experiencing negative consequences, individuals with Adderall addiction may continue to use the drug, feeling unable to stop their use. Decreased academic or job performance, strained relationships, financial problems, or physical and mental health problems are common.

Spending excessive time and money obtaining the drug

Another sign of Adderall abuse is the excessive time and money spent obtaining the drug. Individuals with Adderall addiction may find themselves preoccupied with acquiring and using the drug. This is often at the expense of other important responsibilities such as work, school, or family. 

It may involve spending large amounts of money to buy the drug. They may engage in risky behaviors such as stealing or selling drugs to support their habit.

This behavior can be particularly concerning. It can lead to financial difficulties and legal troubles, as well as contribute to social and interpersonal problems. Additionally, the use of illicit or improperly sourced Adderall can also be especially dangerous. 

There have been instances of pills resembling and being sold as Adderall that contain other, more dangerous substances. In some cases, they’ve contained no Adderall at all.

Neglecting responsibilities and relationships

Individuals with Adderall addiction may also become increasingly isolated from others. They from social activities or avoiding close relationships in order to hide their drug use. 

This can lead to feelings of loneliness and depression, as well as further exacerbate the addiction cycle.

Engaging in risky behaviors while using the drug

Another sign of Adderall abuse is engaging in risky behaviors while using the drug. This can include driving while under the influence of the drug, engaging in unsafe sexual behaviors, or taking other dangerous risks.

Factors that contribute to Adderall addiction

In this section, we will explore some of the factors that can contribute to Adderall abuse. This can include biological, psychological, and environmental factors. By understanding these factors, individuals and their loved ones can better understand the root causes of addiction. This will enable them to take steps to address them through appropriate treatment and support.

Genetics and family history of addiction

Genetics and family history of addiction can be a significant factor in the development of Adderall addiction. Studies have shown that individuals who have a family history of addiction are at a higher risk of developing addiction themselves. This is because certain genes that are involved in substance abuse may be passed down from parents to their children. This makes them more susceptible to addiction.

Additionally, growing up in a family where addiction is present can also contribute to the development of addiction later in life. Children of parents with addiction may be exposed to drug use and may experience stress and trauma. This can increase the likelihood of engaging in drug use as a coping mechanism.

Co-occurring mental health disorders such as anxiety or depression

Co-occurring mental health disorders such as anxiety or depression can also be a factor in the development of Adderall addiction. For individuals with these conditions, Adderall may provide temporary relief from symptoms such as fatigue, low energy, and lack of motivation. However, over time, the brain may become dependent on the drug in order to function, leading to addiction.

Furthermore, untreated mental health conditions can make it difficult for individuals to cope with other triggers that may lead to addiction. This can create a cycle of drug use and mental health issues.

It is important to note that individuals with co-occurring mental health disorders require specialized treatment. Both the addiction and the underlying mental health condition must be addressed. Seeking appropriate support and treatment for both conditions can be crucial in achieving long-term recovery.

Environmental factors

Environmental factors such as stress, trauma, or social pressure can also contribute to the development of Adderall addiction. For some individuals, the pressure to succeed academically or professionally can lead them to turn to drugs like Adderall. They may abuse Adderall to enhance their performance or cope with stress. Additionally, individuals who have experienced trauma may turn to drugs as a way of coping or self-medicating.

Social pressure can also be a factor in the development of addiction. Individuals may feel pressure from peers to use drugs as a way of fitting in or feeling accepted. Additionally, individuals who have friends or family members who use drugs may be more likely to experiment with drugs themselves.

Social support or lack thereof

Social support, or lack thereof, can be a significant factor in the development of Adderall addiction. Individuals who have a strong support system may be less likely to turn to drugs as a coping mechanism. Social support can also provide a sense of accountability, helping individuals to stay on track with their goals and avoid relapse.

On the other hand, individuals who lack social support may be more vulnerable to addiction. Individuals who feel isolated or disconnected from their peers may turn to drugs as a way of coping with their feelings. Additionally, individuals who have strained relationships may turn to drugs as a way of escaping or avoiding conflict.

It is important to note that social support can be a critical component of addiction recovery. Seeking support from loved ones can be critical in increasing the chances of successful recovery. 

A clock displaying the words "time to overcome" to represent breaking addiction

Breaking Adderall addiction with SMART Recovery

SMART Recovery is a science-based approach to addiction recovery that utilizes Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). It emphasizes self-empowerment and personal responsibility. The program is based on a 4-point program that includes:

  1. Building and maintaining motivation
  2. Coping with urges
  3. Managing thoughts, feelings, and behaviors
  4. Living a balanced life

SMART Recovery can be a useful resource for individuals who are looking to break Adderall addiction. The program offers tools and techniques for managing cravings, identifying and changing negative thought patterns, and building a support network.

One of the key components of SMART Recovery is the emphasis on individualized treatment. Rather than prescribing a one-size-fits-all approach, SMART Recovery recognizes that each individual’s experience with addiction is unique. 

Each person requires a tailored approach to treatment. This can be particularly helpful for individuals with Adderall addiction. There can be significant variability in how individuals respond to the drug and their reasons for using it.

SMART Recovery also offers a variety of resources for individuals in recovery. These include online meetings, self-help materials, and a community forum. These resources can be especially helpful for individuals in continuing their recovery journey. who may not have access to traditional in-person support groups or who prefer a more flexible approach to recovery.

In addition to SMART Recovery, there are several other strategies that can be helpful for breaking Adderall addiction. These can include:

  • Seeking professional treatment: For individuals with severe or long-term Adderall abuse, professional treatment may be necessary. This can include inpatient or outpatient rehab programs, physical detoxification, and therapy.
  • Addressing co-occurring disorders: Many individuals with Adderall addiction may also have co-occurring mental health disorders. Treating these disorders alongside addiction can be key to achieving long-term recovery.
  • Making lifestyle changes: Making daily routine changes, such as regular exercise, healthy eating, and reducing stress, can help support recovery.
  • Building a support network: Having a strong support network of friends, family, and peers can be instrumental in breaking Adderall addiction. This can include attending support group meetings, seeking therapy, or joining a community organization.

Conclusion

Adderall is a powerful drug that can have both beneficial and harmful effects on the brain. While it can be an effective treatment for ADHD, it can also be highly addictive and lead to serious consequences.

Fortunately, there are treatment programs available for individuals looking to break Adderall addiction. If you or someone you know is struggling with substance abuse, we here at Retreat at Sky Ridge want to help. 

By understanding the complex effects of Adderall on the brain and seeking appropriate treatment and support, long-term recovery can be achieved.

For more information on addiction treatment services, please give us a call at (877) 693-6010 or complete or short inquiry form at the bottom of this page.

adapt & transform. overcome.

If you or someone
you know needs help,
contact us.

Get started today! Ask a question, inquire about insurance benefits, or request that someone from the admission's team contact you. Complete the short form or call us anytime at (877) 693-6010.

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SMART Recovery vs Alcoholics Anonymous

Alcoholism has been a significant problem in society for hundreds of years. Alcohol addiction is a serious medical condition that can lead to physical, emotional, and social harm. Millions of people struggle with this condition every year, and the journey of recovery from alcoholism can be a long and difficult one. 

Fortunately, there are many programs designed to help individuals overcome alcohol addiction. Two of the most popular are SMART Recovery and Alcoholics Anonymous (AA). SMART Recovery is an evidence-based approach developed to help individuals gain control over their addictions through self-management techniques, while AA is a 12-step program based on spiritual principles. 

In this article, we will look at both SMART Recovery and Alcoholics Anonymous in more detail and compare them to one another. We will discuss what they entail, the benefits they offer, and how they differ from one another. By the end of this article, you should have a better understanding of each program so that you can make an informed decision about which program is right for you or your loved ones.

An overview of SMART Recovery 

SMART Recovery is an evidence-based approach to addiction recovery that was developed in the early 1990s. This program utilizes a variety of tools and techniques to help individuals gain control over their addictions and reduce their reliance on substances. 

The SMART Recovery program is based on the principles of self-empowerment, personal responsibility, and problem solving. The program encourages individuals to identify and challenge negative thoughts and beliefs, as well as develop healthier coping skills for dealing with stress, cravings, and emotions. 

It also focuses on lifestyle changes like developing healthier relationships, setting goals, and taking steps towards achieving them. SMART Recovery is unique in that it does not rely on any particular religious or spiritual belief system. Instead, it provides a non-judgmental environment where individuals can discuss their experiences without fear of criticism or judgment. In addition to inpatient and in person groups, the program also offers online meetings which allow participants to connect with peers from around the world in a safe space. 

Benefits of SMART Recovery 

SMART Recovery has numerous benefits for those struggling with addiction. Some of these include:

  • Increased self-awareness – Participants are encouraged to identify their thoughts and behaviors that contribute to their addiction so they can develop healthier strategies for managing them.
  • Improved communication skills – Through group discussions and activities, participants learn how to communicate better with others by expressing feelings openly and respectfully.
  • Enhanced problem-solving abilities – By learning new strategies for tackling problems head-on through active listening and brainstorming solutions, participants will be better equipped to handle difficult situations in the future.
  • Peer support – Having access to a community of people who understand what you’re going through can be invaluable when it comes to recovery from addiction.

An overview of Alcoholics Anonymous (AA)

Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) is a 12-step program that was founded in the 1930s. This program focuses on spiritual principles and encourages individuals to rely on a higher power to help them recover from addiction. The 12 steps include admitting powerlessness over alcohol, making amends with those they have hurt, and helping others who are struggling with addiction. 

AA meetings involve individuals sharing their experiences with each other in a supportive environment. At these meetings, members will typically discuss their successes and struggles as well as provide advice and encouragement to one another. 

Participants in AA are also encouraged to develop relationships with other members outside of the meetings. This is done through activities like volunteering or attending social events together. 

Benefits of Alcoholics Anonymous

Some of the benefits AA offers are:

  • Community support – As mentioned above, having access to a supportive community can be invaluable when it comes to recovery from addiction. Members who attend regular AA meetings will have access to ongoing support and guidance from peers who understand what they’re going through.
  • Increased accountability – By regularly attending meetings and developing relationships with other members, participants are held accountable for their actions which can help prevent relapse. 
  • Improved self-awareness – Through the 12 steps, participants learn more about themselves and their addictive behaviors so they can develop healthier strategies for managing them in the future. 
  • Spiritual growth – For those who believe in a higher power, AA provides an opportunity for spiritual growth by encouraging meditation and prayer practices as part of its program.

A group recovery meeting

A comparison of SMART Recovery and Alcoholics Anonymous 

SMART Recovery and Alcoholics Anonymous are both popular programs for individuals struggling with addiction. While these programs have many similarities, there are also some key differences between them. 

The main differences between the programs

The most significant difference between these two programs is their approach to recovery. SMART Recovery focuses on evidence-based techniques such as self-empowerment and problem solving, while AA relies on spiritual principles such as admitting powerlessness over alcohol and relying on a higher power for help. 

Additionally, SMART Recovery does not have any official guidelines or beliefs that participants must adhere to, while AA has a strict set of rules that members must follow in order to remain in the program. 

The similarities between SMART Recovery and Alcoholics Anonymous 

Despite these differences, there are many similarities between these two programs. Both programs offer support groups where members can connect with peers who understand what they’re going through. 

They also both encourage lifestyle changes like developing healthier relationships, setting goals, and taking steps towards achieving them. Additionally, both programs emphasize the importance of self-awareness so participants can better identify thoughts and behaviors that contribute to their addiction.

Choosing what works best for you

Both SMART Recovery and Alcoholics Anonymous offer valuable support and guidance for individuals struggling with addiction. Each program has its own unique approach to recovery that can be beneficial in different ways. 

Depending on your individual needs and preferences, either of these programs could be right for you or your loved ones. Ultimately, the most important thing is to find a program that works for you

It’s important to do research and talk to professionals about which program is best for you before making a final decision. With the right support and guidance, it is possible to overcome addiction and live a healthier life.

For more information on addiction treatment services, please give us a call at (877) 693-6010 or complete or short inquiry form at the bottom of this page.

adapt & transform. overcome.

If you or someone
you know needs help,
contact us.

Get started today! Ask a question, inquire about insurance benefits, or request that someone from the admission's team contact you. Complete the short form or call us anytime at (877) 693-6010.

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What Is Delta-8 and Is It Addictive?

What Is Delta-8 and Is It Addictive?

Anyone that is familiar with marijuana understands that it is the THC that gives you the “high” when the substance is used. Molecularly, THC is Delta-9 because of its molecular structure. The Delta-9 molecules are also the ones growers target when they are modifying strains of marijuana to make them stronger. Delta-9 is considered an illicit substance and is still against federal law to have or consume.

So What Is Delta-8

Delta-8 is also a form of THC but is milder in strength. Delta-8 strains are found in both marijuana and hemp. Since hemp plants are bred to be low THC plants, Delta-9 is usually non-existent in hemp, and the remaining THC is stored in the Delta-8 molecules.

Under the U.S. Farm Bill, hemp is legal to grow, and byproducts of the hemp plant are also legal to be sold. Manufacturers have found a way to condense the Delta-8 THC from the hemp plants and market it as a wellness product.

Wellness or New Way To Get High

Delta-8 is being marketed as a way to relieve anxiety, manage pain, and help with insomnia. The product can be eaten, smoked, or vaped. It is available in many health food stores as well as gas station counters because it is considered a legal byproduct of hemp.

However, many people have discovered that it is a cheap alternative to getting high. The availability and affordability of this product have allowed many people to cross over to Delta-8 as an alternative to the much more expensive marijuana.

As for the health effects, there is no medical proof behind this claim. The substance is not FDA approved, nor have any conclusive medical studies conducted on this product or its medical benefits.

What is being seen in the medical industry is that this product is addictive, and people who are continually using the substance are starting to suffer from the same signs and symptoms of addiction, much like when using other similar substances. People are experiencing withdrawal when not using this substance, and most people need to keep increasing their use to obtain the same high.

Unregulated and Dangerous

Since this product is not regulated by the FDA and has not been tested by any other agency, it should be considered very dangerous for the following reasons:

– There are no manufacturing regulations on Delta-8. To extract this substance from the hemp plant and create a physical substance for consumption, most manufacturers are using dangerous chemical compounds. Most of these compounds are not approved for use on products designed for human consumption when they are regulated products. Many of the chemicals used during extraction leave a residue on the product and then are ingested by the consumer.

– There are no dosing or consumption regulations. People who purchase this substance can use as much as they want without any guidelines. This can quickly lead to overconsumption and addiction. There are also no guidelines on what can or cannot be used with this product at the same time.

This Is Not A CBD Product

It is vital to understand that Delta-8 is not a CBD product and should not be confused with this regulated product. CBD is a hemp-based wellness product, but it has met FDA guidelines, has purity standards, processing standards, and dosing guidelines.

Recovery written on small torn piece of paper

Delta-8 and Addiction

Addiction recovery centers are starting to experience an influx of people suffering from Delta-8 addiction. This substance is as addictive as other similar substances and has the same effects on your body as any type of substance addiction.

Substance abuse counselors have been the first to speak up about the emergence of this unregulated product and bring attention to everyone about the risks of Delta-8. Sadly, the product is still easily found in many stores and is available online. Since it is a health and wellness product, there are no buying limits or age restrictions for purchasing Delta-8.

Addictions do not always have to be about illicit drugs or prescription pain killers. There is real potential for addiction with substances like Delta-8. Sadly, these substances also come with high risks for other health problems as well because of the potential to consume dangerous chemical residue while using the product. If you have been using Delta-8, now is the time to stop. If you are having difficulty stopping, it is time to seek help from a substance recovery center.      

For more information on addiction treatment services, please give us a call at (877) 693-6010 or complete or short inquiry form at the bottom of this page.

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you know needs help,
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Get started today! Ask a question, inquire about insurance benefits, or request that someone from the admission's team contact you. Complete the short form or call us anytime at (877) 693-6010.

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What is Kratom And Why Is It Becoming A Real Drug Problem?

What is Kratom And Why Is It Becoming A Real Drug Problem?

What is Kratom and why is it becoming a real drug problem?

You may have started to see and hear the word “kratom” recently. This “all-natural” mood enhancement supplement has seen a rise in popularity in the United States in the last few years. Unregulated and easily accessible to the general public, kratom is highly addictive, and rehabilitation centers have to address the problem of these new addictions. 

What is kratom?

Kratom (Mitragyna speciosa) is derived from a tropical tree native to several countries in Southeast Asia. The leaves of the kratom tree are harvested, dried, and typically ground into powder form. The most common forms of ingestion are mixing the powder into a drink, and placing the powder in capsules to be taken in pill form.

The most common strains of kratom are green, red, and yellow veins. While these three strains come from the same plant, the distinction in colors refers to the age of the leaves when harvested. As the plant matures, the veins of the leaves begin to change color. The effects of kratom vary depending on the color and harvesting practices.

The effects of kratom

While kratom has psychoactive properties similar to marijuana, it reacts differently depending on the maturity of the leaves when harvested, dosage, and the individual user. Some users report a relaxing and euphoric effect, while others state that it gives them high levels of energy and alertness, similar to amphetamines.

In higher doses, the effects of kratom tend to mimic those of opioids. In the United States, the most common reasons given for kratom use are to alleviate pain, treat anxiety, and to reduce the effects of opioid withdrawal.

The dangers of kratom 

Research has shown that Kratom affects the same area of the brain as opiates. The brain becomes physically changed just like it does with opiates, and the addiction response is very similar. People who use Kratom may start showing signs of physical addiction in as little as 10 days of use. Withdrawal symptoms become worse the longer the product is used. 

There have been several deaths reported from using Kratom. These deaths have occurred from overdosing on the product. People quickly build a tolerance to kratom, and just like opiates, need higher doses to achieve the same effect. 

In addition to the addictive properties of kratom and the potential for overdose, other dangers exist. In April of 2018 the FDA issued a mandatory recall of products containing kratom due to concerns of salmonella contamination after the bacteria was found in tested samples. 

An unusual characteristic of kratom is its effects on the personality of the people using the substance. Studies are currently being conducted to determine if using kratom leads to mood disorders or if people with mood disorders are attracted to kratom. Many mental health professionals and addiction specialists have noticed that there is a dual diagnosis when treating someone with kratom dependency.

The legality of kratom

Currently the drug is not considered a controlled substance at the federal level, nor is it regulated, although the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) lists it as a Drug and Chemical of Concern. Certain states, counties, and municipalities do have regulations and prohibitions regarding the sale and possession of kratom, and US Army soldiers are forbidden from using it.

Both the DEA and FDA have attempted to introduce regulations, and/or outright ban the psychoactive chemicals found in kratom. They have cited the potential for overdose, as well as kratom’s opioid-like effects as making it unfit for both recreational and medicinal use. However, these efforts have failed due to pushback from the public as well as congress.

Kratom is easily accessible and is available at many convenience stores as well as online. Due to the lack of restrictions and regulations anyone is able to purchase it, regardless of age. Although some distributors of the drug include a recommended dosage on the packaging, there are no official guidelines, nor is any amount of kratom considered safe for consumption. This, along with there being no regulations regarding potency, are major contributing factors to the frequency of accidental overdoses caused by use of the drug.

Addiction recovery centers can help

Addiction to kratom is a very real thing. People that have been using this drug can experience the same withdrawal symptoms as those who have used opiates. The effect on the brain and the body is very real, and physical withdrawal can be challenging.

It has been found that many people who have become addicted to kratom are using this drug as a cross-addiction. They are trying to break their habit from another type of drug or alcohol, so they begin to use this substance because they feel it is safe.

In reality, they have traded or added to their addiction. Kratom has the same physical and mental addiction issues as other drugs, and breaking the addiction will most likely require drug rehab.

recovery from Kratom addiction

The road to recovery

If you have entered into a drug rehabilitation program for using kratom, congratulations on starting on your road to recovery. This is your first step in overcoming the addiction and learning how to create a more positive future for yourself.

When you are in drug rehab, you will work closely with a substance abuse counselor. Your counselor will help you discover the roots of your addiction and help you achieve freedom from substance abuse.

While you are in rehab, you will be examined for other conditions that may have enhanced your addiction. Many times there is a coexisting condition or secondary condition like PTSD, anxiety, or depression that is enhancing the addiction. These issues will be addressed as well during rehabilitation so that you can enter into recovery feeling better about yourself mentally and physically.

All natural does not necessarily mean safe

Many people have turned to kratom because they believe that it is safe to use because it is marketed as an all-natural product. This is simply not true. You must remember that many of the illegal drugs out there right now, including opiates, are all made from natural plant products.

Just because you can purchase this product at a convenience store or online without a problem does not make it safe. There are no regulations on strength, manufacturing process, or dosage size. When you are using this product, even for the first time, you are taking a risk.

If you are experiencing signs of addiction or withdrawal from kratom, seek help from a substance abuse recovery center. You can overcome this addiction and move forward to a life in recovery.

Recovery is possible from any type of addiction. It does not matter if it is an illegal drug or something you can buy at the local store. You do not have to live your life dependent on any type of substance. Seek help from a drug recovery center and begin planning your new life in recovery.  

For more information about Retreat at Sky Ridge and our treatment services, please give us a call at (877) 693-6010 or complete the short inquiry form at the bottom of this page.

adapt & transform. overcome.

If you or someone
you know needs help,
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Get started today! Ask a question, inquire about insurance benefits, or request that someone from the admission's team contact you. Complete the short form or call us anytime at (877) 693-6010.

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What To Do With Pushy Relatives During The Holidays

What To Do With Pushy Relatives During The Holidays

What To Do With Pushy Relatives At The Holidays

If you have recently left an addiction recovery program, you know that there will be many challenges that lay ahead when it comes to remaining sober. Your substance abuse counselor has given you many tips and tricks to help you overcome these challenges. You know that you will also be able to find extra support in group meetings throughout the holiday period.

However, it can be not easy, especially during your first holiday season sober, to deal with friends and relatives during this celebratory time. Many people that are new to recovery must be prepared for the three types of people you may encounter during the holidays that can make staying sober difficult.

What Types of Relatives Will You Encounter During the Holidays

While you surely have many different types of personalities among your friends and family, there are three types of people that you may encounter during the holidays.

1. The Over Zealous Helper

It is inevitable that everyone in your code family and circle of friends will know that you have recently completed drug rehab. That is just how friend and family circles work. What you have to prepare for is the overzealous friends or relatives who are going to keep calling out your sobriety because they feel that this is giving you support.

For example, you will sit down at the table for dinner, and they will say, “Don’t forget to skip John with the wine; he’s recently out of rehab.” They really mean well, but the constant “help” they are trying to provide can be nerve-grinding.

2. The Snarky Commenter

There is always one person in the crowd that has to make snarky comments about you going to rehab. Little bits of sarcasm that will make not only you feel uncomfortable but also everyone else in the room. Every family has one person that fits this profile.

The bitter pill personality, for some reason, finds it distasteful that you have overcome addiction and built a better future for yourself. There will never be anything that you can do or say to change this; these individuals are just naturally mean.

3. The Coaxer

There is always that one relative or friend that will try to coax you to drink or do some drugs at the party. They know that you have recently left rehab, but they don’t care. They will say things like, “It’s only tonight. You can go sober again tomorrow.” Or they tell you that now that you are sober, it shouldn’t hurt to do drugs or alcohol once in a while because you are not an addict anymore.

No one is sure why there is always this person in a crowd, but you need to be prepared. Perhaps they just feel threatened by your success. Maybe they do not know better. Your best choice is to stay far away.

don't let other influence you during the holidays

To Each Their Own

Each of these people that you may encounter during the holidays does not realize what an impact they are having on you personally. They have their own agendas, whether it be to help or harm, and they follow that regardless of the effects.

Surround yourself with family members and friends that support your sobriety and avoid these three types of people if possible. If the pressure is too much, you may even want to skip a few of the celebrations to give yourself some relief. The holidays are supposed to be about happiness, and this includes your personal happiness as well. There is nothing wrong with protecting your happiness and success.

Remember what foods to eat while in recovery

Get The Extra Support – Everyone Needs It During The Holidays

If there is anything that you should remember most during the holidays is that it can be stressful, especially if you are new to sobriety. Holidays are emotional, filled with celebrations, and can often leave you feeling overwhelmed.

You are not alone.

Everyone feels this way, and everyone in recovery needs extra support during this time of year. Do not feel embarrassed or scared to seek additional help during this time. In fact, you should actively seek thee extra support to help you during this challenging time.

Go to extra meetings, speak with your substance abuse counselor, take more time to meditate or exercise or do the things that keep you feeling secure in your sobriety. You have made a great effort in breaking addiction. You will get through the holidays now that you are sober.

For more information on addiction treatment services, please give us a call at (877) 693-6010 or complete or short inquiry form at the bottom of this page.

adapt & transform. overcome.

If you or someone
you know needs help,
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Get started today! Ask a question, inquire about insurance benefits, or request that someone from the admission's team contact you. Complete the short form or call us anytime at (877) 693-6010.

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Foods to Eat During Addiction Recovery

Foods to Eat During Addiction Recovery

Foods to Eat During Addiction Recovery

It can be frightening, but also rewarding to make a big change in your life. Beating addiction can  test your mental and physical well-being. 

The body can be greatly affected by alcohol and drug abuse. When getting clean, nutritional requirements can change dramatically and your body needs to be properly fueled.

During detox from alcohol or drugs, your body requires all the fuel it can get. Restoring your body to normal is an important part of recovering from addiction. It’s important to understand the importance of nutrition and addiction recovery.

WHAT VITAMINS AND MINERALS AM I LACKING?

Addiction can have many negative effects on your life. You have to recognize that there’s no single way to beat addiction. The type of addiction you have will impact many factors.

Is a special diet required during recovery?

When relying on drugs and alcohol, you’re less likely to meet the recommended daily food intake. Additionally, you may have a tendency to avoid healthy foods. 

You might choose to eat less nutritious food or skip meals entirely. The old saying about a “liquid lunch” is when someone chooses to drink a beer or cocktail instead of eating.

Additionally, the speed at which your body burns energy can be affected by substance use disorders. This may mean that you’re full of energy one minute, but can barely move the next.

Vomiting or diarrhea is another way addicts deplete the nutrients their bodies need. This can have a negative impact on your physical and mental health and is sometimes difficult to recognize. 

These withdrawal symptoms are your body trying to communicate to you that it isn’t healthy. Depending on your specific addiction, your gut may be damaged so that it’s unable to absorb nutrients from food.

THE BASIC GUIDELINES FOR DETOX/REHAB DIETS

It can be hard to decide what foods you should eat during a detox from drugs or alcohol. It’s important to establish a foundation, such as the Dopamine Diet. Your physical condition can play a part in determining the foundation. 

Different dependencies can have varying impacts on your life. However, there are some basic rules that will apply in deciding what foods are good for those in addiction treatment programs. 

Alcoholism

Your level of dependence on alcohol will determine nutritional deficiencies, such as vitamins. Vitamin B6 and vitamin C are a couple of examples of those depleted when you drink alcohol. 

Alcohol addicts often lose the minerals calcium, zinc and magnesium. Also, osteoporosis is more common in women who have been exposed to alcohol.

Opioid addiction

While the best foods for opioid addiction recovery are varied, they’re all easy to incorporate into your existing diet. Heroin and prescription drugs are the most commonly used opiates. 

This type of addiction isn’t easy to recognize, but it can cause constipation and other digestive problems. A high-fiber diet is important, so leafy greens, whole grains, and beans are all good options.

Stimulant addiction

Cocaine and methamphetamine are linked to this addiction. Stimulants may result in staying up for days on end, which can lead to a variety of health problems. 

A good diet for this addiction should include foods high in Omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3s can help reduce depression and the risk of developing coronary heart disease.

best foods for addiction recovery

THE BEST FOODS FOR DRUG ADDICTION RECOVERY

Here are some basics to remember when looking for foods that can help you recover from addiction.

Fruits and vegetables

A well-balanced diet should include fruits and vegetables. Vegetables are essential for proper nutrition and can also be used to improve the appearance of skin and hair. 

When looking to eat the right foods, fruits should always be included. Blueberries are rich in antioxidants, which can help boost your immune system and clear out harmful toxins. Bananas are also rich in tryptophan which helps to support serotonin which promotes relaxation. Who wouldn’t want to get a good night of sleep?

Whole grains

The dietary needs of someone recovering from an addiction may vary from those of someone who is simply eating healthy. Complex carbs can be your best friend during recovery. Whole grain pastas, whole grains, and rice are all good options to help your digestive system.

Poultry and fish

These proteins contain an amino acid called Tyrosine that is vital in the creation of neurotransmitters norepinephrine and dopamine. This promotes clarity and well-being.

Consuming protein in general is vital. Both animal and plant protein are broken down into amino acids, which the body uses for cell repair.

Other protein sources

  • Excellent sources of B6 include chicken, turkey, tuna and chicken.
  • Red meat, pork and poultry are great for iron.
  • Omega 3s are high in salmon.
  • Lentils, black beans, and other legumes are great vegetable sources.

Although there is a stigma attached to soy foods, it can be used if you have the right cooking skills. It’s easy to digest, high in protein, and can aid in repairing liver damage. It can be easily seasoned which allows it to be used in many different dishes.

HOW DO I BALANCE MY DIET IN ADDICTION RECOVERY?

As we’ve mentioned, your specific recovery needs will vary. However, these guidelines will help you approach your new diet with confidence. 

Include these things in your diet:

  • Complex carbs: These should make up 50% to 55% of your daily calories during detox or recovery. Complex carbohydrates are found in vegetables, fruits, and grains.
  • Dairy products: Even if you don’t eat dairy products often, calcium must be included in your diet. Two to three cups of dairy products per day is a good goal.
  • Protein: Protein should be 15% to 20% of your daily caloric intake. Two to four ounces of protein-rich meat or fish should be consumed twice daily.
  • Healthy fats: Although we would love to say that all fats are equal, it is vital to eat healthy fats. These fats include flaxseed, olive and canola oils.
  • Water: You must stay hydrated with any diet. The rule of thumb is to drink at least twice your body weight in ounces every day. Although it may seem difficult initially, once you get used to the idea of getting enough water, your body will soon feel much better.

preparing your own meals

PREPARING YOUR OWN MEALS

Here’s an example of a meal plan for early recovery that includes breakfast, lunch and dinner, as well as a variety of healthy snacks. It is important to discuss your dietary requirements with a licensed nutritionist to help you determine the best combination of nutrients for you.

  • Breakfast: Start your day with two slices of whole grain bread, toast, and drizzled with olive oil. Salt and pepper to your liking. Avocado toast is a trendy breakfast choice, but it’s also high in energy-producing whole grains, healthy fats, and other nutrients that will give you lasting energy.
  • Lunch: A big salad with fresh vegetables and tuna salad is a great option for lunch. Tuna is rich in vitamins, minerals, protein, Omega 3 fatty acids, and will keep you full until dinner. You can make a simple dressing by mixing equal amounts of olive oil with balsamic vinegar. It’s healthy and easy.
  • Dinner: Finish the day with oven-roasted chicken breasts, sautéed broccoli in olive oil, and a side dish of brown rice. This balanced meal includes lean protein, a healthy vegetable, and whole grains. For dessert, you can try greek yogurt with raw honey and chopped strawberries.
  • Healthy snacks: Reach for some apples, celery sticks with almond butter, or raw nuts if you feel hungry throughout the day.

A NUTRITIONAL DIET TO HELP YOU RECOVER AND STAY HEALTHY

Your nutritional needs will vary depending on where you are in the recovery process. It is important to understand the impact of your substance abuse on your nutritional needs. A balanced diet is essential for any person who wants to live a healthy life, regardless of what drug they are using.

You have already taken the first step to regaining control over your life by seeking help. These tips will help you to use your nutrition to achieve your highest potential. You are worthy of being healthy.

You have already taken the first step to regaining control over your life by seeking help. These tips will help you to use your nutrition to achieve your highest potential. You are worthy of being healthy.

For more information on addiction treatment services, please give us a call at (877) 693-6010 or complete or short inquiry form at the bottom of this page.

adapt & transform. overcome.

If you or someone
you know needs help,
contact us.

Get started today! Ask a question, inquire about insurance benefits, or request that someone from the admission's team contact you. Complete the short form or call us anytime at (877) 693-6010.

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