Three Common Holiday Relapse Triggers

Three Common Holiday Relapse TriggersFestivities of the holiday season may have arisen to boost people’s spirits during dark, cold times, but these holiday activities may be excruciating for recovering addicts, especially if temptation and stress trigger cravings for addiction. Learn how you will be tempted to relapse during the holidays, because careful planning and sensible strategies can help you counter drug abuse.

What Leads to Relapse during the Holidays

The following problems during the holidays lead many recovering users to relapse:

  • Parties and festivitiesParties during the holidays can tempt recovering addicts to relapse. Alcohol is present at many parties during this time, and proximity to drugs is a strong relapse trigger. People at holiday parties can also lead to relapse, because they people who are antagonistic to recovery may gather at these parties. Avoiding parties and people that will cause you stress is sometimes impossible due to work or family obligations, but letting go of grudges can prepare you to face antagonists peacefully. Whatever a holiday party might bring, plan to attend and exit the party at any point to safeguard your recovery.
  • Busy schedulesIt is possible to have too much of a good thing, and the holiday season proves it every year. Too much planning, traveling, entertaining, visiting and spending can bring severe stress, which increases the risk of relapse. However, setting financial limits can help people reduce stress. Decide upon the expenses and activities that are most important to you and your family, and include activities that impact you the least financially and physically. For instance, a stroll or drive through a decorated area can be a memorable, cheap way to celebrate.
  • Depression—Many people struggle with depression during the holidays, especially if they deal with feelings of disappointment or sadness. Someone’s expectations may be so high that the actual holidays can never measure up, thus leading to sadness. Also, the end of the year can inspire people to look back over the old year, or many years gone by, and they may look wearily toward the year to come. This kind of despair can trigger a relapse, especially if users originally abused drugs to cope with problems. An easy ways to treat depression during the holidays is to find a way to serve someone. Volunteering for suffering people allows you to think about something other than your own problems, and the morale boost you feel may be instantaneous.

Taking care of your physical health is also important, so exercise, rest and moderate unhealthy foods to help yourself avoid relapse.

Help Staying Sober during the Holidays

If you fear relapse during the holidays for yourself or a friend, then call our 24 hour, toll-free helpline for instant, confidential support. Seek resources right now that can protect your hard-earned sobriety.

The Relationship between Gambling and Anti-Depressants

The Relationship between Gambling and Anti-DepressantsWhen a person’s gambling habits begin to significantly interfere with daily life, he or she is suffering from a gambling problem. When a person is no longer able to control his or her compulsion to gamble, he or she is suffering from a gambling addiction. Those who suffer from a gambling problem or gambling addiction may also struggle with depression. Compulsive gamblers often become depressed due to the stress and anxiety that results from excessive gambling.

When a compulsive gambler uses a mind-altering substance to self-medicate for feelings of depression, he or she is at risk for developing a drug addiction. However, even if a compulsive gambler has a prescription from a doctor for antidepressants, any type of misuse of the medication may soon lead to drug addiction. Anti-depressant abuse and compulsive gambling stimulate the same reward pathways in the brain. Therefore, in the same way that a compulsive gambler is unable to control the urge to gamble, he or she may be unable to control the urge to abuse anti-depressants.

Symptoms of Compulsive Gambling and Anti-Depressant Addiction

Compulsive gamblers continue to gamble even when they are forced to file for bankruptcy. Anti-depressant addiction is similar, causing users to continue to take anti-depressants to the detriment of their physical wellbeing. As is the nature of any addiction, the addicted person continues the addictive behavior despite significant consequences, such as financial destitution, damaged personal relationships, and deteriorating health. People who suffer from compulsive gambling and anti-depressant addiction may recognize the negative consequences of their behavior and wish to overcome their addictions. However, they often feel trapped by their own urges.

Treatment for Compulsive Gambling and Anti-Depressant Addiction

The treatment offered by high quality rehab centers can help those who suffer from a combination of compulsive gambling and antidepressant abuse. With medical care, counseling, and holistic therapy, rehab patients can regain control of their behavior. Throughout treatment, patients develop healthy coping mechanisms that allow them to live a fulfilling life without gambling or taking anti-depressants. After finishing treatment, patients follow a carefully designed aftercare plan that helps prevent relapse.

Need Help Finding High Quality Rehab Treatment?

If you or someone you love is struggling with a gambling problem and an addiction to anti-depressants, please allow us to help. Call our toll-free number today to reach one of our admissions coordinators who can connect you to a high quality addiction treatment center. We are available 24 hours a day to answer your questions and help you find the treatment that is right for you or your loved one.

How to Find a Professional Interventionist for a Mental Health Situation

How to Find a Professional Interventionist for a Mental Health SituationAddiction is often complicated by mental health issues. Mental health issues like depression, bi-polar disorder, and paranoid schizophrenia can cause or contribute to substance abuse. Finding an interventionist who specializes in treatment for both addiction and mental health issues can help you get your loved one into a program that best meets his or her needs.

Professional Interventionists

Professional interventionists are trained in the art of helping family members and other loved ones communicate with their addicted loved one. When a family enlists the help of an interventionist, the interventionist works with the members of the intervention team to understand how to help their loved one see that he or she needs treatment. Interventionists help the team leader decide when and where the intervention should take place and work with the members of the team to rehearse what they will say to their addicted loved one. An interventionist can also help a family find the right kind of treatment for their addicted loved one and make the arrangements necessary for admission to a program. Working with a professional interventionist takes all the guesswork out of reaching out to your addicted loved one.

Intervention for Mental Illness and Addiction

Understanding how mental illness impacts substance abuse is an important part of any intervention process. Working with an interventionist who specializes in dealing with those who suffer from mental illness is important. The Association of Intervention Specialists, as well as the National Association of Drug and Alcohol Interventionists, can help you locate a trained interventionist who specializes in mental illness. Interventionists listed with these organizations have met educational and performance standards for their discipline and can bring a myriad of solutions and options to help you solve very complex situations. You can also call our toll-free number to get more information about finding the right kind of interventionist for your unique situation. Dual Diagnosis treatment facilities offer diagnosis and treatment for both mental illness and addiction, and a professional interventionist can help you find this kind of program for your loved one.

Finding Help for Addiction and Mental Illness

Mental illness can cause or contribute to substance abuse and addiction. If you or a loved one struggle with addiction and you think there may be a mental illness present, we are here to help you. Our admissions coordinators are available 24 hours a day to answer your questions about addiction and help you find treatment. Call our toll-free number now.

Four Ways that Rehab Improves Your Coping Skills

Four Ways that Rehab Improves Your Coping SkillsDrug or alcohol addiction can be caused and prolonged by numerous different maladaptive behaviors and thought processes. Addiction often occurs and continues because the addict does not possess the necessary coping skills to deal with the daily struggles of life. While the main focus of a professional rehab program is to end drug use and overcome addiction, there are also many aspects that are focused on the development of healthy coping skills.

How Addicts Can Learn New Coping Skills in Rehab

Four ways that rehabilitation treatment can help an addict improve his or her coping skills and support long-term recovery include the following:

  • Cognitive therapy – This form of therapy seeks to help patients identify and change dysfunctional thoughts, unwanted behaviors and negative emotional responses. Patients develop skills that allow them to change their negative beliefs by identifying distorted thinking and learning how to relate to others in healthier ways. Cognitive therapy often consists of the therapist encouraging the patient to test his or her distorted thinking, thus proving it to be unhelpful and unrealistic.
  • Behavior therapy – This form of therapy recognizes the fact that addicts often learn and reflect their negative behavior from their surrounding environment. The overlying goal of behavior therapy is to recognize and eliminate negative behaviors by replacing them with newly learned and healthier behaviors. Behavior therapy is often set up with a reward and penalty system that offers special privileges for accomplishing certain goals and penalties for failure to adhere to certain rules. Learning new healthy behaviors can help individuals to cope with life during recovery.
  • Group therapy – By learning from the failures and triumphs of others, addicts may be better prepared for certain situations they may face in the future. Group therapy can help individuals to gain multiple perspectives on addiction and how other people have successfully coped with difficult situations. Group therapy can aid in learning how to process certain emotions by seeing others process their emotions.
  • Vocational and educational programs – These programs can help addicts in recovery to learn new skills that allow them to acquire and keep better jobs. Vocational programs also teach addicts how to cope with the stressors of employment and how to deal with life after addiction.

These different aspects of rehab can help recovering addicts to learn problem-solving skills and to be flexible with unexpected situations that life may bring. A key aspect of many of the rehab programs is stress-management, which can help addicts in recovery to avoid relapsing when certain triggers arise.

Need Help Finding Treatment for Addiction?

If you or someone you love is struggling with addiction and needs help, please call our toll-free helpline now. Our admissions coordinators are standing by 24 hours a day in order to help you find a treatment program that will work for you. Begin your road to recovery. Call us today.

Are My Prescription Drugs Safe to Take?

Are My Prescription Drugs Safe to Take?People like to assume that doctors can’t be wrong and that, if a drug or set of drugs is prescribed, they must be safe. Although doctors go through extensive training, and drugs are tested rigorously before being offered to the public, mistakes and unexpected reactions occur. Drugs that were once deemed safe are later pulled from shelves, as was the case with Darvon and Darvocet, two once commonly prescribed pain medications. If you are taking multiple drugs to manage pain, to treat co-occurring medical and mental health issues, or to use recreationally, the risks associated with use increase.

Prescription Drug Side Effects

All prescription drugs come with potential side effects. The most dangerous of these are severe allergic reactions, but something even as seemingly harmless as acetaminophen (found in Tylenol) can cause fatal liver damage. This drug is found in many prescription combination drugs, and you may not realize how much of this substance you are ingesting, if you are taking multiple prescription drugs or combining prescription drugs with over-the-counter painkillers. Knowing the contents of the drugs you are taking is essential to keeping yourself safe.

Substances react uniquely to different body compositions and something as seemingly harmless as a grapefruit can make medication no longer work correctly. If fruit can reduce the safety of a medication, consider how powerful drugs can affect one another. Taking medications with opposite effects can also hide the symptoms of an overdose, increasing the risk of fatality. Research the ingredients in your medications, and learn how they interact with one another, with your body, and with the environment.

Dependence and addiction are possible results of taking drugs such as opiates or benzodiazepines. Using multiple medications increases your addiction risk as does a personal or family history of substance abuse. Talk to your doctor about any addiction concerns before and while prescribed potentially addictive substances. If you recognize a prescription drug use problem developing, speak up and reach out for help.

Prescription Drug Abuse Help

If you are concerned about your or a loved one’s medication misuse, call our toll-free helpline. We are here 24 hours a day to connect you to the resources that match your unique needs. We have access to the top therapists, addiction professionals, and rehab programs across the country, and our admissions coordinators listen to you, your concerns, and your wants before offering advice and information on the best step to take next. Please don’t hesitate to give us a call today.

How Psychoeducational Groups Can Improve Your Recovery

How Psychoeducational Groups Can Improve Your RecoveryPsychoeducational groups can be an extremely effective and powerful form of intervention. These groups are highly organized and time limited. When compared to other counseling groups, psychoeducational groups generally involve fewer lessons and more members, incorporate specific activities with desired outcomes, and help establish goals for members.

What Are Psychoeducational Groups?

There are many different forms of treatment for addicts. Psychoeducational groups are mainly focused on providing an addict with information about specific topics to help give the addict additional resources and information. The following are some examples of what psychoeducational groups offer:

  • Psychoeducational groups are more structured than other treatment methods.
  • Psychoeducational groups provide the addict with specific topics and modules to discuss and learn more about.
  • The main intention of psychoeducational groups is to provide the addict with more information about topics, such as addiction and the specific drug being used.

Basically, psychoeducational groups focus on information and how to use this information in real life.

What Are the Benefits?

The following are benefits of attending psychoeducational groups:

  • Psychoeducational groups address an addict’s mental and emotional problems, such as anxiety, depression, trauma, and severe stress. These may also be the addict’s triggers to use. By addressing these issues, addicts will feel more relaxed and begin to understand the reasons behind their drug use.
  • Psychoeducational groups also help the addict develop realistic and specific goals and objectives for what is acceptable for life. By setting realistic goals, addicts are able to obtain these goals, work with perseverance, and ultimately build self-confidence.
  • Because today’s society is culturally mixed, psychoeducational groups relate to each group member by implementing real life situations relevant for all cultures.

Psychoeducational groups may not be for everyone; however, they can offer powerful tools to addicts in recovery.

Drug Addiction Treatment

If you or a loved one is struggling with an addiction to either drugs or alcohol, please call our toll-free helpline today. Our highly trained counselors are available 24 hours a day to answer your addiction questions and help you find the necessary treatment. You have nothing to lose, but everything to gain. Call us today.

How do I Find a Nine-to-Five Job after Rehab?

How do I Find a Nine-to-Five Job after Rehab?One of the most common problems people face when they consider attending rehab is finding a job once treatment ends. In fact, some people who desperately need to recover from drug abuse may even avoid rehab because they fear losing their job and becoming unemployed. However, the truth is that someone’s employability skyrockets once her addiction ends. The psychological power of addiction causes many addicts to fixate on the risks of recovery rather than the rewards, but rehab will benefit you professionally if you seek it.

How Addiction Recovery Enhances Employability

Most employers understand that a clean and sober worker offers the following benefits over an addict:

  • Increased productivity
  • Improved reliability and attendance
  • Decreased risk for on-the-job injury
  • Improved workplace harmony and attitude

Due to these benefits, many companies allow their employees to return to work after completing addiction treatment. Further due to these benefits, many insurance programs even cover certain rehab expenses. Simply put, recovery is good for business, and smart business owners know that. If your employer forbids the time you need to get sober (which may be illegal, depending on your local and state laws), find comfort knowing that, once you finish treatment, you will be far more employable by someone else than you currently are.

Job Finding Services for Recovering Addicts

Numerous resources help recovering addicts find employment after treatment. First, many recovered addicts will give new rehab graduates a job at their companies. Second, many treatment programs offer job placement counseling as well as career guidance services during aftercare. Everyone understands that employment is critical and that the stress from seeking a job can trigger relapse. In response to this knowledge, many programs help addicts get jobs once treatment ends.

Overcoming Treatment Concerns

It is normal, and even wise, to be concerned about finding a job once treatment ends, but many people use this concern as an excuse to avoid rehab. When considering whether or not to attend treatment, consider the following truths:

  • Continued substance abuse is likely to cost you your job
  • Addiction limits your potential to thrive, grow and advance professionally
  • The cost of ongoing drug abuse is much greater than the cost of treatment
  • You will be far more employable once you are sober
  • No job is worth the risk of disease, overdose or death from addiction

The psychological power of addiction causes many addicts to cite work as an excuse to avoid help, but you can you afford treatment; what you cannot afford is to avoid it.

Help Finding Jobs after Rehab

Our toll-free helpline is open 24 hours a day to get recovering addicts into the treatment and jobs they need to stay clean. Our admissions coordinators can answer your questions about life after rehab, including issues about employment. Their help is confidential and there are no strings attached, so call now to reclaim your life.

Five Reasons to Hire a Professional Interventionist

Five Reasons to Hire a Professional InterventionistLike hiring an electrician to wire a house, hiring a professional interventionist gives families an expert to guide them through the challenging process of confronting a loved one about his or her addiction to behaviors or substances.

What Is a Professional Interventionist?

An interventionist is an experienced professional who acts as a neutral third-party in a planned intervention and guides the process of talking to a person about his or her unhealthy drug use and behaviors in a nonjudgmental and understanding way.

Using a licensed, accredited professional interventionist helps participants balance negative and positive comments according to the National Intervention for Drugs and Alcohol (NIDA). There are several goals for a professional intervention, but the main goal is to convince the person to get professional help. During the process everyone works together to encourage the person with a substance use problem to make the following changes:

  • Shift his or her attitudes
  • Accept responsibility for actions
  • Admit there is a problem with substance abuse or a behavior
  • Understand how much the substance abuse or behavior has harmed family and friends
  • Take action to overcome the substance abuse or behavior

Advantages of Using a Professional Interventionist

Many family members and friends may feel overwhelmed about the idea of confronting a loved one about his or her addiction. There are several reasons to use a professional according to information from the Association of Intervention Specialists, a group that promotes professional, evidence-based practices.

  • Reason 1 – Professional interventionists, such as a Board Registered Interventionist (BRI), undergo extensive training and offer legal protections. The following are the minimum qualifications for a BRI:
    • State recognized certification or license in a counseling related field
    • Malpractice insurance, a minimum of $1,000,000/3,000,000
    • Complete a minimum of 14 hours of training/education on intervention
    • Minimum of two years of work experience conducting interventions
    • Submit three peer evaluations and supervised practical experiences
    • Adhere to Board Registered Interventionist Code of Ethics
    • Pass an oral and/or written exam
    • Provide a letter verifying license and/or certification
    • Must continue training by obtaining five continuing education credits per year
  • Reason 2 – Professional interventionists offer training for supportive family members and friends at every stage of the process. The interventionist helps family members gather a supportive network and find a non-threatening place to meet. He or she also guides the network members through recovery giving them options for support even if the substance abuser refuses treatment.
  • Reason 3 – A professional ensures the intervention process is non-threatening and factual. The interventionist helps describe the self-destructive behavior of a substance abuser and offers examples of how his or her actions cause serious problems. He or she keeps the intervention on track by reminding participants about the goals for the intervention.
  • Reason 4 – A professional provides a framework for an effective intervention, which includes planning at every stage. A professional intervention almost always concludes by ensuring a substance abuser goes into an accredited addiction treatment program.
  • Reason 5 – A professional offers experience with mental health disorders and addiction. Around 43% of people with a substance abuse disorder have a co-occurring mental illness according to the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. SAMHSA’s 2009 National Survey on Drug Use and Health found that adults who experience any form of mental illness during a year are more than three times as likely (20% vs. 7%) to abuse or be dependent on substances.

In addition to providing objectivity and guidance during the intervention, a professional offers expertise during difficult situations. For example a professional is especially recommended to handle situations that may include violent outbursts. A professional also is experienced with suicidal language and is familiar with the signs of drug use and identifying when a person is under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Professional interventionists keep an intervention on track by avoiding coercion and keeping participants from attacking each other or trying to introduce feelings of shame or judgment.

Need Help Finding a Professional Interventionist and Addiction Treatment?

A substance use disorder affects a person’s entire family. When friends and family realize a loved one has an addiction and needs help, a professional offers the most effective guidance. Addiction is a brain disease that produces uncharacteristic behaviors in a person, commonly denial and anger. Having an objective, experienced person guide an intervention helps everyone involved keep on track and achieve important goals.

If you or a loved one is suffering with addiction, reach out today for help. Our admissions coordinators are available at our toll-free helpline 24 hours a day, seven days a week to guide you toward the best treatment options. Don’t spend another day worrying about your loved one or feeling powerless. Call today, and get the help you need.

Work-Related Stress and Sex Addiction

Work-Related Stress and Sex AddictionMany people struggle with sex addiction, which can become an even greater concern with workplace stress. If you know someone who is a sex addict and deals with stress from work, then she needs professional help to address both problems at the same time and recover completely.

How Sex Addiction Works

Engaging in sexual behaviors does not necessarily mean sexual addiction; in fact, many people participate in sexual behaviors throughout their lives without developing an addiction. However, some people become dependent upon sex, both in thought and action, so sex can become a compulsive and harmful habit. Addicts often become overwhelmed by mental preoccupation with sex, and they may neglect other responsibilities as a result.

Sex addicts often take participate in a variety of sexual behaviors. Addicts may regularly view pornography and masturbate, and these acts may take priority over other meaningful activities. Additionally, a sex addict may turn down social offers because they would rather participate in sexually charged activities, which may damage relationships with friends of family over time.

Sex addicts sometimes engage in multiple or sequential affairs. They may realize how much emotional pain they cause their spouses, but they think they cannot stop themselves from acting on their sexual impulses. For other addicts, sexual behavior only involves a single partner, but they may coerce their partners to participate in sexual behaviors with which they are uncomfortable.

Sex as a Stress Reliever

When work-related stress affects people, they will seek ways to cope. Some people seek healthy ways to deal with stress, but others may become involved in sexual activity to feel better. Using sex to relieve stress can encourage a sex addiction, which will drive people to use sex for any problem that develops. Having sex to relieve stress is not always a problem, but it can be when someone requires sex to feel happy.

Sex Addiction in the Workplace

Sex addicts may have great difficulty functioning in the workplace. They face stress in hiding their problem and may constantly fear that others will find out. Sex addicts who frequently view pornography may fear that employers will look into their computer history. Those who cannot go through the day without masturbating may fear that coworkers will catch them. Lastly, if a sex addict becomes sexually involved with coworkers, he may fear the possibility of rumors or law-suits. Regardless of what a sex addict’s situation is, the workplace may feel like a burden, which can increase stress and worsen problems. Sex addicts who deal with work-related stress need professional help to recover.

Help for Sex Addicts with Work-Related Stress

If you or a loved one suffers from sex addiction and work-related stress, please call our toll-free helpline today. Our admissions coordinators are available 24 hours a day to answer any questions you have about treatment for both of these conditions; you can recover with the right help.

The Connection between Troubled Personal Relationships and Sex Addiction Development

The Connection between Troubled Personal Relationships and Sex Addiction DevelopmentSex addiction is both a devastating issue and one of the most controversial mental illnesses people can face. The results can be crippling and the causes are often unknown, but certain patterns emerge between addicts: for many people, sexual activity becomes a way to self-medicate underlying emotional pain. For some people that emotional pain comes from troubled personal relationships, so for them sexual activity – an act that is supposed to unify people – actually isolates them further. If you struggle with problems in your relationships and feel compulsions for sex as a result, then seek professional help to begin your recovery.

How Sex Addiction Affects the Brain

Most human behaviors and responses are driven, reinforced and controlled by a system of chemical signals in the central nervous system. Certain experiences release chemicals that promote wellbeing into the endocrine system. The “pleasure center” of the brain recognizes these chemicals and uses its influence to encourage the experience that caused the pleasure. During and after sexual activity, these “feel good” chemicals are released into the bloodstream, so the pleasure center motivates people to continue seeking sexual activity. Similar responses in the brain drive the following behaviors:

  • Spending money
  • Exercise
  • Eating
  • Smoking
  • Lying or stealing
  • Physical pain (cutting, tattoos and etc.)
  • Hard work

Some people are more sensitive to these bursts of feel-good chemicals and become addicted to whichever behavior stimulates them. Some people are born with a biological predisposition toward behaviors like sex, while others become dependent on sex as a way of comforting themselves for the following issues:

  • Anxiety disorders
  • Depression
  • Self-esteem problems
  • Personality disorders
  • Suicidal thought or actions
  • Posttraumatic stress disorder
  • Loneliness

The problem is that, instead of offering lasting relief, compulsive sexual activity makes people feel much more desperate, ashamed and lonely.

How Relationship Troubles can Cause Sex Addiction

The following relationship problems can increase someone’s risk for sex addiction:

  • Sexual abuse by a loved one
  • Emotional or physical neglect
  • Feeling unable to live up to a parent’s expectations
  • Exposure to sexually explicit materials at a young age
  • General loneliness or isolation

Many sex addicts are unaware of the underlying conditions that drive their behavior, but they do know that, no matter how hard they try, they simply can’t stop seeking sex, regardless of the cost.

Sex Addiction Treatment and Recovery

Many aspects of sex rehab resemble drug or alcohol treatment. Individuals must first “detox” by quitting the compulsive behavior and stopping the chemical reaction in their brains. After this step, which breaks the physical addiction, patients must then learn new coping skills to manage their cravings and temptations. This often involves a combination of counseling and education in an environment that provides accountability and security. This recovery can be accomplished in either residential or outpatient formats depending on each addict’s needs. This means that, if you struggle with compulsive desires for sex, professional treatment can help you recover.

Help Breaking Sex Addiction

If you struggle to control your sexual behavior, or are concerned about sex addiction in a friend or loved one, then please call our confidential helpline today. The admissions coordinators at our toll-free, 24 hour number will answer all of your questions and help you find the best treatment for your particular needs. In the process of breaking sex addiction, many people have also found healing for deep relational hurt or trauma, so call now, because there is hope for you.