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One of the biggest threats to someone in recovery is the cravings that can arise following one of many triggers, or triggering situations. Because some many misunderstand the nature of cravings and how they relate to drug addiction, we will review their meaning and the danger that they pose to those trying to reach sobriety.

How Cravings Can Derail a Person’s Recovery

“Craving is a subjective experience of wanting to use a specific drug. Craving is a core symptom of drug addiction. A craving is distinguished from hunger in being an intense, directed toward the use of a specific drug.” Put simply, they are powerful urges to use a drug, ones that are nearly impossible to be ignored. The patient’s mind and body both pull toward the substance and don’t relent easily.

This is why controlling cravings and learning to avoid or stand firm against triggers is so crucial. The road to recovery is fraught with these strong lures, and without methods of standing against them, the individual will likely fall into relapse. Even those who have abstained for a long period of time are at risk simply because of the biological nature of cravings. They can absolutely overwhelm the mind and prevent the person from thinking about (let alone doing) anything else.

Part of working to stand against them is avoiding triggers. One such trigger is referred to as “cues.” These are usually related to the place – or environment – where the drugs were previously used, and so the sight of them causes triggers. This could be a particular room, a bar, a house… or the people that the person used drugs with. Avoiding these locations and the company helps to avoid that lure of falling back into old habits.

Another trigger is the “expectation” that they feel in seeing others drink or use drugs, or the wistfulness in remembering how they felt after drinking or using. Alcohol and drug addiction are involved greatly with the desire for that instant gratification, with how good it feels in the  moment, even if what comes after is all negative.

Imagine you have a sweet tooth and you’re home with a cake sitting on the counter. It’s much harder to avoid grabbing a slice in this scenario than if there aren’t any desserts in the house at all, don’t you think? In a similar way, the availability of substances makes a difference in the intensity of cravings. Those who know (or just believe) that there is no chance for usage will feel this less strongly than those who know (or believe) that there is an opportunity waiting for them.

Thinking too much about the perceived reward is another dangerous scenario, since the more “attention” that is paid to the craving, the stronger it seemingly becomes. This makes sense, since thoughts of all kinds will become more overpowering if you dwell on them, though not all thoughts produce the same kind of dangerous results as those in question.

Lastly, being in a state of high stress, as expected, will make it all the harder to avoid drinking or drug use. “Daily stress can cripple the prefrontal cortex, the brain’s executive function, such as concentration, planning, and judgment. As a result, addicts lose the ability to be reflective (reg­ulate behavior), and impulses take a stronger hold over their behaviors.” This is why so many people report that they “need a drink” following a hard day at work… and why this can lead to destructive habits.

If you want to learn more about the role that cravings play in drug addiction and how to avoid them, then contact The Bergand Group. We offer recovery programs for yourself or for others or are seeking education materials about addictions. The Bergand Group is Maryland’s leading addiction treatment and recovery center and offers support for those struggling with addiction and mental health issues, including direction for those who may be denying an addiction.  We can help you to work through your addiction in a safe and healthy environment where everyone is committed to your care.

SOURCE

About The Bergand Group:

At The Bergand Group in Baltimore and Harford County, Maryland, our therapists have more than twenty years of experience in the mental health and addiction fields. Our focus is on providing comprehensive mental health care and appropriate care for addictive disorders. We offer both alcohol rehab and drug rehabilitation. If you or someone you know is struggling with alcohol or substance addiction, there is help available. We also offer several other services, including family therapy and counseling. We can help. Contact us today.

The post Drug Addiction: Cravings, Triggers, and the Threat of Relapse appeared first on The Bergand Group.

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It’s been long established that part of the crisis surrounding opioid abuse is doctors’ involvement. It can be difficult to see why these professionals might prescribe (and over-prescribe) these drugs in the first place, so let’s explore how that happens in order to better understanding where we stand today.

The Role That Doctors Play in Opioid Abuse

There has been a lot of discussion lately about our doctors: whether or not we still trust them, and how they come to give these painkillers out, still, despite the dangers. Though it’s obvious that there are many factors involved with the current state of opioid abuse, “physician behavior has played an important role in the development of this crisis and will continue to play an essential role in how it continues to evolve.”

How did this “pattern of overprescription” begin, and why does it still happen? There isn’t a single reason on which anyone can lay blame. A person’s doctor may offer them painkillers for a variety of reasons, the most obvious of which is to manage chronic or other pain. Those doctors might be pressured by their patients to provide them with medications of one kind or another, and those doctors might “give in” because some patients will go elsewhere to ask for the same drugs, if denied.

Another “motivator” might be the influence from other doctors. If many of their peers don’t see the harm in prescribing X drug, then he or she may subscribe to that way of thinking. Studies from the 1970s suggested that “physician behavior is therefore influenced by social signals and not always governed by evidence, best practice, or guidelines,” which may help to explain why similarly-grouped areas of physicians all have similar thoughts (or, at least, practices) regarding the distribution of these pills.

What else has contributed to doctors’ role within opioid abuse? According to some, it’s cultural. In the past, higher levels of pain were “accepted” and relief from them was sometimes frowned upon. For better or worse, we are now more open with our pain and are more likely to report it, which may be a part of these more frequent prescriptions. Not only do people want an antidote for their pain, but most will push for the more immediate solution, the one with the quickest “benefits,” even if that also comes with consequences. This is why pills are the first thing on many people’s minds rather than alternative medicine.

Something else that certainly hasn’t helped in this situation is that “a variety of structural factors have created a situation in which doctors are poorly educated about pain management.” More than that, they’re so busy that they rarely are able to stop and consider for long whether or not a single patient actually needs the painkillers, or if another option might work. There isn’t enough time or education for this, and many just don’t think to ask the questions in the first place. Is the solution to open communication, to discuss it in a forum during some kind of continuing education?

There are no easy answers when it comes to addiction, and especially not within opioid abuse. We can only hope that doctors across the country will stand together and against this dangerous trend. If you want to learn more about the role that health professionals play within the opioid epidemic, then contact The Bergand Group. We offer recovery programs for yourself or for others or are seeking education materials about addictions. The Bergand Group is Maryland’s leading addiction treatment and recovery center and offers support for those struggling with addiction and mental health issues, including direction for those who may be denying an addiction.  We can help you to work through your addiction in a safe and healthy environment where everyone is committed to your care.

SOURCE

About The Bergand Group:

At The Bergand Group in Baltimore and Harford County, Maryland, our therapists have more than twenty years of experience in the mental health and addiction fields. Our focus is on providing comprehensive mental health care and appropriate care for addictive disorders. We offer both alcohol rehab and drug rehabilitation. If you or someone you know is struggling with alcohol or substance addiction, there is help available. We also offer several other services, including family therapy and counseling. We can help. Contact us today.

The post Opioid Abuse Perpetuated by Over-Prescribing appeared first on The Bergand Group.

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For those on the outside looking in, it can be confusing and distressing to see loved ones continue to engage in drug use even after the situation has been brought to light. “A key characteristic of drug addiction is that the individual suffering from it continues to use despite harmful consequences.” Why, though, does it continue?

Why People Perpetuate Their Drug Use Despite Consequences

One of the biggest reasons why these patients may continue with their habits of drug use is due to genetics, or family history. Put simply, they are in more danger of addiction right off the bat, and they therefore have a more difficult time stopping these behaviors. Many of these pre-dispositions are inherited and are then made more complicated by the addictive nature of drugs and alcohol.

Something else that can cause a person to continue using is if they have been “self-medicating.” In this scenario, the substance is thought of as a kind of “fix” for something unpleasant in their lives, whether that be a failed relationship, a lost job, or other conditions. The person is unable to face the harsh emotions of his or her life, and so substance use provides an apparent safe haven. This kind of escapism is dangerous, of course, since it really doesn’t provide any kind of “fix” at all, and rather creates even more danger and negativity for the person.

As mentioned above, the substance is often viewed as a positive thing despite it being very much the opposite. To that end, many people view having a few drinks or using drugs as a reward for, say, getting through the work day. Thinking of these things as rewards makes them even more dangerous, particularly if there are few, or no, other rewards in the person’s life. “There is now extensive research showing that providing alternative rewards to those who formerly lacked them may improve addiction treatment outcomes.” If they have something else to motivate them in place of the substance, then it’s that much easier to opt for for that instead of drug use.

Many people who are struggling with an addiction have what can be called “impaired insight,” or a skewed sense of self. They may be in heavy denial over their own usage habits whether that means not admitting it aloud, or not owning up even to themselves. It’s clear to see why they might then struggle to stop the use, considering they may truly not believe there is an issue with their habits. Practicing mindfulness is a crucial tool so that the individual can exercise more control over his or her actions.

Finally, something that plagues many people who suffer from addictions is the “urge to use,” or those cravings and triggers that bring them back to the substance time and time again. They may not get any joy out of it, or even any reward, as mentioned above, but there is still a compulsion. It has been hard-wired into their brains at that point so they are “programmed” to think about it and are lured back in. It may be less than pleasurable – it may be actively unwanted – but that doesn’t eliminate the pull of the substance.

If you want to learn more about the reasons that people continue drug use, then contact The Bergand Group. We offer recovery programs for yourself or for others or are seeking education materials about addictions. The Bergand Group is Maryland’s leading addiction treatment and recovery center and offers support for those struggling with addiction and mental health issues, including direction for those who may be denying an addiction.  We can help you to work through your addiction in a safe and healthy environment where everyone is committed to your care.

SOURCE

About The Bergand Group:

At The Bergand Group in Baltimore and Harford County, Maryland, our therapists have more than twenty years of experience in the mental health and addiction fields. Our focus is on providing comprehensive mental health care and appropriate care for addictive disorders. We offer both alcohol rehab and drug rehabilitation. If you or someone you know is struggling with alcohol or substance addiction, there is help available. We also offer several other services, including family therapy and counseling. We can help. Contact us today.

The post Drug Use: Why Does It Go On and On? appeared first on The Bergand Group.

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Once you realize that it’s time to find rehabilitation for either substance use or for issues of mental health, then it’s time to determine which facility will best suit your needs. Finding this “ideal” location is easier said than done, of course, and you may be more than a little stressed in trying to find the rehab center that is best suited for your needs.

Finding Your Ideal Rehab Center

Not every rehabilitation facility is created equally and so you have to do your due diligence in order to find the best one for yourself or for a loved one. There are a number of avenues that you could explore to find a place that will most effectively accommodate your situation, including recommendations from others, online reviews, and more.

If you choose to take to the internet in order to find a rehab center, then make sure that you’re very diligent in your search. There are a notoriously large number of fraudulent locations that advertise online, and though Google has been cracking down on these, some will still get through the cracks. If you are going to pick a potential facility from these listings, do what you can to ensure it’s a credible place with real reviews and a location that you recognize.

In listening to the recommendations of others (whether they be family, friends, or health professionals), make sure that they know what kinds of issues you are having and how extensive those issues are. It may be uncomfortable to talk about this with people (whether you’re close with them or not), but honesty will allow them to best assess your situation and then make suggestions that are the most helpful. You should also strive toward this kind of honesty if you enter into treatment and are speaking with a professional there for similar reasons: you want the kind of treatment plan that is tailored to you.

A big part of entering into rehabilitation that will work most effectively is to realize that it is a process, and often a long one. This isn’t something that will happen in a day, a week, a month, or sometimes, not even a year. Whether you need aid for mental health or addiction, it will take time for you to work through organized treatment. Beyond that, recovery is more of an ongoing experience than anything, so patience and hope are necessities to move on.

Something else of note is that you can’t, within your own mind, think of any rehab center as “the fix”… and, really, you shouldn’t think of anything as a “fix” at all. There is no magic cure that will lead you to an eternal sobriety. It seems almost silly to say this, but it’s important to remember so that you can face rehabilitation with a sense of realism and understanding.

There are more specific and tangible considerations, when it comes to finding a treatment center, such as cost, location, whether it’s covered by insurance, and much more. You also want to find a place that is “accredited” so that you know that they operate to a certain standard and have been inspected (and passed). Obviously, the process of finding this “ideal” location is fraught with complications, but the end result will be an experience that makes all the difference in the world.

If you want to find a rehab center that accepts most insurances and which is also accredited, then contact The Bergand Group. We offer recovery programs for yourself or for others or are seeking education materials about addictions. The Bergand Group is Maryland’s leading addiction treatment and recovery center and offers support for those struggling with addiction and mental health issues, including direction for those who may be denying an addiction.  We can help you to work through your addiction in a safe and healthy environment where everyone is committed to your care.

SOURCE

About The Bergand Group:

At The Bergand Group in Baltimore and Harford County, Maryland, our therapists have more than twenty years of experience in the mental health and addiction fields. Our focus is on providing comprehensive mental health care and appropriate care for addictive disorders. We offer both alcohol rehab and drug rehabilitation. If you or someone you know is struggling with alcohol or substance addiction, there is help available. We also offer several other services, including family therapy and counseling. We can help. Contact us today.

The post Rehab Center Search Can Be Complicated appeared first on The Bergand Group.

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So often, an addiction is complicated by the presence of mental illness. That mental health disorder, though, isn’t often addressed during addiction treatment despite the enormous number of cases in which both conditions are present. Why is this, and what can we do to change it in order to find the best help possible for these patients with co-occurring disorders?

How Can We Help Those with Co-Occurring Disorders?

According to a recent SAMHSA survey, “of the 43.5 million people with a mental illness, 20 percent of people suffer with both substance use disorders and mental illness, representing over 8 million people with co-occurring substance use and mental illness.” This is a huge number of people, of course, and to have to work through both a mental health disorder in addition to issues of substance abuse is more than a single person could deal with on their own.

How are these situations addressed by the professionals committed to helping the people who bear them? According to the research, they aren’t often being addressed at all. Even if the patient receives help for an addiction OR for mental illness, very few receive the care they need to combat both. Since addiction can often lead to the development of mental illness, or vice versa, it’s absolutely crucial for professionals to be able to identify these states and to be equipped to deal with them. Otherwise, the individual is likely to continue to suffer with half of their problems undiagnosed.

What should these addiction treatment professionals do, then, in order to diagnose and help a greater number of people who may have co-occurring disorders? They must be able to identify both situations: mental illness and addiction. This seems like a given. In addition, there have to be changes to the mistakes that are currently being made: “lack of attention to signs and symptoms of substance use disorders; non-disclosure by patients who do not report substance-related problems when evaluated; and under-diagnosis and lack of treatment when a substance use disorder is known to be present.” Starting to gradually make changes to the state of things will have hugely positive effects for the people who are currently suffering.

There may be some blame with the patients, though, who could (at least unconsciously) be misleading their health care professional. If the individual isn’t actually admitting to having certain problems, or just isn’t describing it to its full extent, then the provider won’t know the truth of the situation. Whether this is done intentionally or not, it causes issues in that it prevents the person from receiving the kind of care that they truly need. After all, how could that care be provided if the doctor isn’t aware of the extent of the issue?

Finally, for those who co-occurring disorders involve alcohol abuse, there is another challenge entirely. “Alcohol use disorders are often hard to accept because alcohol is legal and part of social fabric for many, including doctors.” This obviously makes it more difficult to be identified as an issue serious enough to warrant action, since it is socially acceptable (to a degree). Even if loved ones are suspicious that the drinking has ventured into ‘abuse’ territory, they may still not feel comfortable talking to the loved one about it, or to a health professional.

Help starts with an honest conversation about one’s addictive state and his or her mental health. If you are worried about the possibility of co-occurring disorders, then contact The Bergand Group. We offer recovery programs for yourself or for others or are seeking education materials about addictions. The Bergand Group is Maryland’s leading addiction treatment and recovery center and offers support for those struggling with addiction and mental health issues, including direction for those who may be denying an addiction.  We can help you to work through your addiction in a safe and healthy environment where everyone is committed to your care.

SOURCE

About The Bergand Group:

At The Bergand Group in Baltimore and Harford County, Maryland, our therapists have more than twenty years of experience in the mental health and addiction fields. Our focus is on providing comprehensive mental health care and appropriate care for addictive disorders. We offer both alcohol rehab and drug rehabilitation. If you or someone you know is struggling with alcohol or substance addiction, there is help available. We also offer several other services, including family therapy and counseling. We can help. Contact us today.

The post Co-Occurring Disorders Aren’t Being Recognized appeared first on The Bergand Group.

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It’s too easy for a person to think of those suffering from an addiction as “them,” as opposed to “us.” It’s easy to draw lines between two groups of people and to think of them that way – as two different, divided, separate groups – rather than as an afflicted part of the whole. However, in the midst of this opioid epidemic, we can’t afford to think this way and absolutely must change the conversation in order to help those who need it.”

Learning to Talk About the Opioid Epidemic

“Overdose occupies the top spot for leading cause of accidental death in the United States, claiming over 50,000 American lives for the third year in a row.” There can be no division between Americans made for fear that “we” might become like “them.” Anyone has the ability to suffer from an addiction, which means that anyone, and everyone, should be there to help those who are struggling. These are people that we know, our acquaintances and coworkers and maybe even loved ones, so it’s an absolute necessity that we band together to ease the burden for all of addicted America.

Who is to blame for the tone of these conversations in the past? At least in part: news outlets. Particularly in online articles, writers use sensationalized language to up the drama within these stories, and usually to “alienate and dehumanize” the people who have addictions. Like many people and sources, these stories contribute to the stigma that still exists and which surrounds people who have addictions. This is especially damaging during this opioid epidemic, since fighting with anything short of a united front will produce slow and sub-par results. If people believe that those with addictions “deserve it” somehow, or that they themselves could never “sink” to that point, then that divide will act as a major roadblock toward progress for recovery.

“Correctly talking about addiction means omitting sensationalism for more accurate narratives, avoiding stigmatizing language, acknowledging evidence-based solutions, and working to give faces and names to the vast number of fathers, mothers, sisters, cousins, friends, and neighbors affected by this sweeping public health crisis.” It may sound like a lot to do, but it’s completely necessary for us as a nation to be able to make serious progress on this front. We have to admit that everyone is at risk, and that those currently struggling are our fellows, people who need aid and empathy rather than stigma and disdain.

So, what are some tips for changing the conversation surrounding substance abuse? Language is at the forefront, of course, and we should all strive to avoid words that are inherently insulting, like “junkie.” Put them as a person first – “an individual with a substance use disorder” – so that they are thought of as a person first, and not as their disease. Similarly, words that call the usual stigma to mind should be avoided: “clean” or “dirty,” for example, have the kind of context that we want to eliminate.

The good news should be spread in order to promote hope and encouragement. “Substance use disorder is actually a good prognosis disorder, in that the majority of patients fully recover.” More than that, they’re able to lead normal lives and to get back on their feet. This is the kind of thing that we should be telling people above all else.

If you want to learn how to better change the conversation surrounding addiction during this opioid epidemic in America, then contact The Bergand Group. We offer recovery programs for yourself or for others or are seeking education materials about addictions. The Bergand Group is Maryland’s leading addiction recovery center and offers support for those struggling with addiction and mental health issues, including direction for those who may be denying an addiction.  We can help you to work through your addiction in a safe and healthy environment where everyone is committed to your care.

SOURCE

About The Bergand Group:

At The Bergand Group in Baltimore and Harford County, Maryland, our therapists have more than twenty years of experience in the mental health and addiction fields. Our focus is on providing comprehensive mental health care and appropriate care for addictive disorders. We offer both alcohol rehab and drug rehabilitation. If you or someone you know is struggling with alcohol or substance addiction, there is help available. We also offer several other services, including family therapy and counseling. We can help. Contact us today.

The post Opioid Epidemic Conversation Requires Clear Communication appeared first on The Bergand Group.

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“Everyone knows” that family history plays a big role in one’s life, whether that be for a certain kind of illness or some sort of addiction. Looking into your own addiction risk factors allows you to know how best to proceed, particularly if they indicate that you are in danger of developing habits of substance abuse.

Determining Your Personal Addiction Risk Factors

Many people think that the kinds of tragedies centered around addiction could never happen to them or to someone they care about… until they happen. Ideally, everyone would know their level of risk for developing an addiction so that they can best prepare and defend against it in whatever form that might take. The most obvious is family history, since this kind of chemistry is passed down genetically and might pose a threat to a person even without their having, for example, problems with self control.

“Our genes help determine how we metabolize drugs and the intensity of the pleasure that they give us. Genetic influences also affect our levels of dopamine and other mood regulators in the brain.” Essentially, genetics play the largest role in determining addiction risk factors since it affects brain chemistry and how appealing the effects of drugs and alcohol will be to one person as compared with another. Professionals will usually suggest that those with, say, a family history of alcoholism avoid drinking entirely to avoid developing an addiction.

How early in life a person is exposed to drinking or drugs is also a big influence on the potential for developing an addiction. Those who are in high school or even college (essentially, before the legal drinking age, and before their brains have finished developing) are considered to be at a much higher risk than if they waited. Since many binge drinking habits are practiced in teenage years, this is a serious concern.

We’ve talked before about the impact of trauma, crisis, and change in a person’s life, and how those things can make it easier for them to fall into patterns of addiction. When someone is fired, when a loved one dies, when a parent was abusive in childhood: these are all occurrences that would add to one’s risk factors for the development of an addiction. These kinds of circumstances are difficult enough on their own, which is often why people will try to cope, or feel better, by turning to the use of substances. While this may appear to “work” for a while, it isn’t a solution by any means, and will lead them down a dangerous and unhealthy path.

Trauma, which may have happened in childhood and “stopped” since, or which may even be ongoing, is a similar situation. “When trauma victims try to medicate their pain with alcohol or other drugs, they place themselves at high risk for developing an addiction.” A group that is often overlooked within this category are veterans, those who suffer from PTSD and who may turn to drinking or drug use in order to forget or to feel better. People who experience trauma have to be aided by society rather than ignored so that they can get the help that they need to withstand the lure of substance use.

If you are worried about your own addiction risk factors, then contact The Bergand Group. We offer recovery programs for yourself or for others or are seeking education materials about addictions. The Bergand Group is Maryland’s leading addiction recovery center and offers support for those struggling with addiction and mental health issues, including direction for those who may be denying an addiction.  We can help you to work through your addiction in a safe and healthy environment where everyone is committed to your care.

SOURCE

About The Bergand Group:

At The Bergand Group in Baltimore and Harford County, Maryland, our therapists have more than twenty years of experience in the mental health and addiction fields. Our focus is on providing comprehensive mental health care and appropriate care for addictive disorders. We offer both alcohol rehab and drug rehabilitation. If you or someone you know is struggling with alcohol or substance addiction, there is help available. We also offer several other services, including family therapy and counseling. We can help. Contact us today.

The post Addiction Risk Factors Assessment appeared first on The Bergand Group.

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The Bergand Group by The Bergand Group - 3w ago

Self control is difficult enough in non-addictive situations, and for those who have never experienced an addiction, the idea of overcoming it with willpower alone probably seems impossible. It isn’t impossible, but it is difficult, which is why cultivating a strong sense of self control despite the challenge is essential to addiction recovery.

The Role of Self Control in Addiction Recovery

“Self-control is key to the ability to resist desires for immediate gratification in order to obtain greater rewards in the future.” When it comes to addiction, it’s a key piece of being able to cease damaging habits and to form new ones. A little self control can go a long way, but a lack of it can do the same in the opposite direction, in drawing a person back to drinking or to drugs. Triggers and cravings can make this all the more difficult, but there are some steps a person can take to be able to strengthen their self control in order to make the recovery process easier.

One way that researchers suggest that this practice begin is with the use of emotions. By that, they mean something like taking the time to imagine the shame one might feel after a long night of drinking, or the joy in being able to spend time with friends rather than getting high alone. “Emotions push us to value the future more than we normally would,” and so utilizing them to feel what that future might be like is a way that allows for a stronger push against these habits.

Most effective, you might already have guessed, are positive emotions, which have been proven to be able to “undo” the damage caused by  negative ones. Pushing for positive emotions, even in objectively neutral or negative situations, can help to change a mind set, to alter brain chemistry, and even to reduce the pull of instant gratification, which plays a big role in substance abuse. If it’s too far to jump from anxious to happy, then researches note that feeling angry can also help to make progress.

Put simply, there isn’t just one emotion that will work “best” to strengthen your self control. The concept in a more general sense is what should be focused on, and then the individual can test out a few emotions in order to determine which is the best at distancing him or herself from the addictive substance. “Fighting emotion with emotion” allows you to be focused on, and even consumed by, one particular feeling in order to replace what harmful thoughts were previously there as a result of the addiction. Leaving an empty space rather than focusing on another emotion allows for the  mind to wander and can be dangerous in recovery.

Be in control of your emotions rather than letting them control you. If you want professional help in strengthening your self control when it comes to addiction recovery, then contact The Bergand Group. We offer recovery programs for yourself or for others or are seeking education materials about addictions. The Bergand Group is Maryland’s leading addiction recovery center and offers support for those struggling with addiction and mental health issues, including direction for those who may be denying an addiction.  We can help you to work through your addiction in a safe and healthy environment where everyone is committed to your care.

SOURCE

About The Bergand Group:

At The Bergand Group in Baltimore and Harford County, Maryland, our therapists have more than twenty years of experience in the mental health and addiction fields. Our focus is on providing comprehensive mental health care and appropriate care for addictive disorders. We offer both alcohol rehab and drug rehabilitation. If you or someone you know is struggling with alcohol or substance addiction, there is help available. We also offer several other services, including family therapy and counseling. We can help. Contact us today.

The post Self Control Can Be Strengthened appeared first on The Bergand Group.

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With every aspect of substance abuse: if we are able to better understand them, then we have a better chance of helping those who need it. In this case, addiction cravings is the item in question, and the point of focus is the contention that they have a “distinct timetable” which would help people to better combat these impulses.

How Your Thoughts Feed in to Addiction Cravings

Everyone faces cravings at some point or another, though they’re obviously not always substance-related. You could give in to a number of impulses, and though they’re likely not good for you, they won’t necessarily result in the kind of devastation that an addiction would bring. Understanding how these desires come about is a key piece of helping the patient to avoid giving in to them, and that would be made easier if there were more warning/indication of when they might arise.

Luckily, perhaps, there are a lot of studies done on this very subject. People are introduced to “cues” in their lives which often trigger the threat of relapses. Whether they visit locations that used to provide the drug or spend time with people that they used to drink with, these cues are often enormous triggers for a boom in cravings for that substance. Conversely, then, “craving in the absence of cues decreases much more quickly, often beginning almost immediately after quitting.”

Unfortunately, though, those cues can be present in a lot of places and can be varied in the form that they take. Whether it’s “a clock, the TV, a neon sign,” or just about anything else, whatever you previously associated with drinking or drug use is likely to produce addiction cravings even if you’ve worked through recovery. Your brain has just been wired that way and it takes some time to even begin to change it. Even more unfortunately, human brains often work against us, filling our minds with thoughts like “I can’t live without it” or more even as we’re trying to better ourselves. “One thought leads to another leads to another, and these thoughts fill your head… That’s rumination — the pathway to craving.”

As a result, you have to produce thoughts and actions to replace the ones that used to ‘live’ there. Otherwise, it will be difficult to ignore the empty space that seems to exist in their absence. It’s likely too difficult to outright avoid all possible cues, since they’re probably in places that you still frequent (like home or work), which is why it’s absolutely critical that you get help in adjusting how you think. Changing your thought patterns will allow for a smoother recovery in the long run, but it will also help you to more easily turn away from possible instances of relapse.

It isn’t easy to take on all by yourself, but there are a few things that you can start doing now in order to make it easier a tiny bit at a time. For example, try to redirect these thought as soon as you notice them, rather than allowing them to continue for any amount of time. Also, make sure to keep a busy schedule full of things that hold your attention, if you can, so that you are engaged and interested rather than doing something that allows your thoughts to drift.

If you want professional help in overcoming addiction cravings, then contact The Bergand Group. We offer recovery programs for yourself or for others or are seeking education materials about addictions. The Bergand Group is Maryland’s leading addiction recovery center and offers support for those struggling with addiction and mental health issues, including direction for those who may be denying an addiction.  We can help you to work through your addiction in a safe and healthy environment where everyone is committed to your care.

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About The Bergand Group:

At The Bergand Group in Baltimore and Harford County, Maryland, our therapists have more than twenty years of experience in the mental health and addiction fields. Our focus is on providing comprehensive mental health care and appropriate care for addictive disorders. We offer both alcohol rehab and drug rehabilitation. If you or someone you know is struggling with alcohol or substance addiction, there is help available. We also offer several other services, including family therapy and counseling. We can help. Contact us today.

The post Addiction Cravings Can Be Hard to Avoid appeared first on The Bergand Group.

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It may not be immediately clear what medication management is, what it means, or why it’s so important for those recovering from an addiction. The truth is that this is a crucial piece for those who are working to move away from substance abuse of any kind, so if you need advice or guidance for medication management in Anne Arundel County, or any other part of Maryland, then call on the Bergand Group.

The Importance of Medication Management During Treatment

The Bergand Group has a drug free/abstinence philosophy as the foundation to addiction treatment. However, The Bergand Group also recognizes evidence-based and appropriate use of medications and dietary supplements to assist with addiction treatment and co-occuring disorders. This knowledge goes into our medication management systems.

As it can be dangerous for some people to utilize other drugs as they are recovering from an addiction to drugs, medication management in Anne Arundel County (and everywhere else) is absolutely crucial. There are some medications that may help a great deal to reduce the symptoms of withdrawal and to ease the experience as a whole, but taking them without professional guidance has the potential to be a dangerous roadblock on that journey to recovery. This is where the Bergand Group comes in.

When patients come to The Bergand Group, they are first evaluated to assess the severity of their addiction. Together with an addiction treatment physician, patients and therapists decide which combinations of treatment methods will work best for them. Our physicians are experienced and trained in the use of a spectrum of medication usage including Suboxone, an opioid pharmacological intervention that is used for detoxification and short term stabilization purposes, and Vivitrol, a once-monthly medication that helps reduce opioid and alcohol dependence and cravings. Our physicians are both American Board of Addiction Medicine and Suboxone certified.

Medication management is always used in conjunction with other programs such as group, individual, and family therapy and counseling. The physical withdrawal symptoms from certain substances such as opioids and alcohol can be especially strong, making it difficult for the patient to concentrate on other aspects of recovery. Medication management treatment is used to treat the physical withdrawal symptoms of addiction to allow the patient to move forward with other facets of the recovery process.

So, clearly, managing medication is critical to the individual having a safe and successful recovery from an experience with substance abuse. Whether the patient works within either of the treatment options – Suboxone or Vivitrol – the Bergand Group is right there alongside them to ensure that the process goes smoothly. The most important thing within recovery is that the person has a reliable support system, one that can really help, and that is what we can offer.

If you want professional help for medication management in Anne Arundel County and beyond, then contact The Bergand Group. We offer recovery programs for yourself or for others or are seeking education materials about addictions. The Bergand Group is Maryland’s leading addiction recovery center and offers support for those struggling with addiction and mental health issues, including direction for those who may be denying an addiction.  We can help you to work through your addiction in a safe and healthy environment where everyone is committed to your care.

SOURCE

About The Bergand Group:

At The Bergand Group in Baltimore and Harford County, Maryland, our therapists have more than twenty years of experience in the mental health and addiction fields. Our focus is on providing comprehensive mental health care and appropriate care for addictive disorders. We offer both alcohol rehab and drug rehabilitation. If you or someone you know is struggling with alcohol or substance addiction, there is help available. We also offer several other services, including family therapy and counseling. We can help. Contact us today.

The post Medication Management in Anne Arundel County appeared first on The Bergand Group.

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