Addiction is easy to blame on the addict. After all, he or she is the one that picked up this horrible habit in the first place, right? Loving homes have been provided. Endless attempts for help have been offered. Boundaries have been set, lines have been crossed, and too many tears have been cried over a seemingly unstoppable storm raging through what was once a happy home. Yet, somehow hope always returns.
Addiction as a Family Disease
Watching a family member change under the influence of substance abuse is painful. The addict isn’t acting like his or her old self and that can be scary and frustrating. Addiction changes the very fabric of who people are by rewiring the parts of the brain that determine identity and personality. It’s important that family members understand that their loved one isn’t deliberately betraying their trust. He or she is struggling with very physical demands and cravings that change behavior in unfortunate ways.
Little fault can be assigned when addiction has become prevalent in the family home. Everyone is stressed and struggling, each family member dealing with the addiction in his or her own way. At some point, the substance in question has become the household authority and, though not everyone is using, everyone is subject to the rules and consequences. Whether or not we like to admit it, addiction affects everyone.
Is this to say the family is to blame? Of course not. Families do the very best they can to help their loved one. Sometimes that can mean harmful but well-intentioned enabling, or indirectly supporting someone’s addiction for the sake of not wanting them to suffer. Other times attempts to help can mean strict rules and regulations in the home, often with harsh consequences that can create arguments and discomfort. Addiction is bewildering, hurtful, and frightening.
Addiction as a family disease means that, in addition to sharing in the hardships and suffering, when an addict chooses to get appropriate treatment and healing, everyone heals as well. Like a storm passing over, not just one person is saved from the rain, but everyone under the clouds. Together, as a family, a new life can be created through the transformative power of recovery. Treating addiction is more than putting down a substance for good. True healing involves picking up a whole new set of tools for building the life that the family always knew was possible.
The Center for Life Change proudly offers family therapy programs and group counseling for those who are supporting someone in recovery.
Healing happens here.
For more information call 951-775-4000 for more information.
Pain management is a challenging health problem, so it is understandable to see why so many Americans turn to prescription drugs to find relief. If you are dealing with chronic or severe pain, then it can be helpful to have medications that will take away the discomfort.
Some people start taking opioids due to ongoing pain issues, such as back pain or arthritis. Other people only plan to use the pain medication temporarily after major surgery. Using these controlled substances can be helpful for a short time, but the problems start to occur when short-term use turns into a long-term addiction.
Risk of Opioid Use
Tens of thousands of people in the United States die every year due to opioid abuse. The problem is so serious that the opioid crisis has been called a public health emergency. This crisis is impacting people of all ages. Even people who haven’t had a history of addictive behavior can easily fall into the addiction. Eventually, the use of these medications can result in overdose deaths.
Overdoses can occur when prescription medications are used. Or, patients turn to street drugs when the prescriptions run out.
Exploring Other Options
To combat the opioid crisis, doctors are being encouraged to minimize the use of this class of pain-relieving medications. Instead, alternative pain relief treatments can be used, with opioids being administered as a last-resort option. Additionally, many states have passed laws that limit the number of pills that can be prescribed at once.
If patients are prescribed opioids, then they need to be educated about the potential risks and the proper use of these drugs.
Overcoming an Opioid Addiction
Every type of addiction is unique, which is why it is important to seek personalized addiction recovery services. If you are struggling with an opioid addiction, or any other type of addiction, then you can rest assured to know that you don’t need to overcome these problems by yourself. An experienced addiction recovery team can provide valuable strategies and resources to help you break the pattern of addiction.
For more information, you need to talk to our staff at The Center for Life Change. Call today to learn about the services that are available: (951) 775-4000
Cymatics is the term used to describe the way the frequency of sound vibrations change the matter of that which sound is passing through. For example, stand next to the PA system at a small venue music show. You might feel as though the music is rattling your brain inside your head. You feel a vibration from deep inside your body and music itself evokes emotion. Play music near a glass of water and you’ll see the ripples in the water change with the music. What we hear and what we listen to can influence the material makeup of who we are.
Dr. Masaru Emoto famously experimented with taking cymatics one step further. Rather than examine the frequency of vibration, Dr. Emoto investigated frequency of intention. Not only does how sound vibrates matter, but what sound vibrates matters. Through a variety of experiments, Dr. Emoto found that negative vibrations and intentions caused matter (water in a petri dish) to muddle. Dark, cloudy, and messy patterns formed when statements like “I will kill you”or “I hate you” were written on the dish. Certain music with heavy vibrations and dark language caused the same effect. On the other hand, “I love you” and Buddhists chants created clear beautiful crystallizations in the water.
There are many cliche sayings in recovery which encompass this philosophy. “What you feed grows”, for example. It is normal to feel anger, depression, anxiety, and tension in early recovery. Learning to meet ourselves where we are and embrace our emotions is an important practice for lifelong recovery. However, indulging our negative moods too far can have a negative influence on who we are and what we are.
The Christian radio channel KLove has a tagline “Positive and Encouraging”. Songs about God, life, and faith, are grounded in hope, truth, and belief. Music has a powerful capacity to illustrate emotion in a unique way, so take heed of what you allow into your head while your main goal is health and positive transformation..
Even if you aren’t familiar with the term “benzodiazepines,” you have likely come across these drugs at some point. Common brand names for these prescription drugs include Ativan and Valium. While these drugs are often prescribed, many people don’t realize the potential challenges from benzodiazepine addiction and withdrawal that can happen when the person stops using the medication.
Anxiety Management with Medication
The use of medication to manage anxiety can be a helpful option for certain people. Benzodiazepines have a calming effect, which can be beneficial to reduce the symptoms associated with anxiety. The problem lies in the abuse of these drugs, which has increased the need for rehabilitation services when someone is addicted.
When the drug is used, it affects the person’s mood by changing the way the neurotransmitters function in the brain. Chemical balances are adjusted, helping to create a feeling of calmness. Now, there are more than two dozen drugs in the United States that are classified as benzodiazepines. These sedatives can be powerful and dangerous, especially when used on an ongoing basis.
Use of Benzodiazepines
The FDA approved the first benzodiazepine in the 1960’s, and it was approved for prescribing in 1963. But, as the use of the medication grew, industry professionals started to notice a dependence on the medication, even when the patient maintained the same prescription dosage.
This class of medication is often prescribed for people of all ages. It is estimated that approximately 5% of the population between the ages of 18 and 80 are currently using benzodiazepines. The use of these medications is increasing. As a result, the risk of benzodiazepine addiction is increasing as well.
Are You Addicted to Benzodiazepines?
If you are addicted to this class of medications, then it is essential to find professional support from an addiction recovery center. With the right help, it is possible to overcome the addiction safely and take control of your life again.
Our team at The Center for Life Change is here to assist with your customized addiction recovery program. We understand the importance of breaking the addictive behavior. Talk to us to learn more about your options: (951) 775-4000
Drinking alcohol is a normalized part of our popular culture. Alcohol consumption is even biblical. Throughout time, alcohol has become an integral part of how we experience community and society. Alcohol addiction is easy to write off for many parents, families, and loved ones due to the fact that drinking so is normal. Unfortunately, binge drinking has become normalized as well. Call it ‘college’, call it ‘the party’, call it ‘being a bartender’, or anything else…it may seem effortless to discount signs of alcohol addiction. Other factors may be involved in ignoring signs of an alcohol addiction.
As parents, we may not be prepared to deal with the shame and guilt we might feel if our children have developed such an illness as alcoholism. As family members and friends, we may be afraid of watching our friends’ lives unravel, especially if their drinking isn’t ‘that bad’, right now. Whatever it is that keeps us from speaking up and inquiring about our loved one’s health and safety needs to be assessed within our hearts. When we can take an objective look at the drinking patterns and subsequent behaviors being demonstrated by our loved one, we might notice what we hadn’t before: evidence of a developing alcohol addiction.
Alcoholic Drinking Patterns
Your loved one’s drinking more than usual. They aren’t necessarily inebriated on a regular basis. Yet, you notice when the opportunity for an alcoholic beverage arises, they rarely decline.
After having one drink, they usually have another. They might not get ‘drunk’ but they rarely have only one beverage at each sitting.
You hear them rationalize, justify, or validate their drinking. They might say things like “it’s just one” or “I’m barely buzzed” or “I had a long day”.
If they are of age, they are regularly buying alcohol, “just to have in the house”.
Social activities are becoming more about alcohol than spiritual, personal, or external factors.
Friends are beginning to change from the social circle you’ve always known to new friends.
There is a blatant lack of interest for participating in family events that don’t involve alcohol.
Defensiveness, aggression, and irritability might show up when questioned about their drinking.
If you believe someone in your life is struggling with an alcohol addiction, contact The Center for Life Change today to learn how you can help. We offer an intensive outpatient recovery program to help alcoholics find sobriety and peace in their lives, for the rest of their lives. This is life long recovery. (951) 775-4000.
Deciding to move forward with a drug rehab program is a big step. One of the most important decisions that you can make is choosing the right program to support your needs. Is it necessary to check in to an inpatient clinic, or can you achieve full recovery with an outpatient program?
The most important thing you need to know is that every person is unique. Just because a specific program worked for someone you know, doesn’t mean that the same system will be right for your needs. Instead of jumping to conclusions about the treatment program, it’s best to assess your needs and talk to an addiction recovery expert for personalized recommendations.
Inpatient vs. Outpatient
With an inpatient program, the person stays in a residential facility during the initial treatment. This form of rehabilitation can be helpful for some people. But, the challenge of an inpatient system is that people are removed from the day-to-day life. So, it is impossible for a person to maintain responsibilities for school, work, or family at the same time.
In comparison, an outpatient rehabilitation program may or may not include overnight stays. But, the majority of the treatment is completed while the person continues their life as normal. Ongoing treatments and counseling sessions are available during off-hours. This solution is ideal for someone who needs to maintain their personal or professional activities while overcoming the addiction.
Flexibility for Addiction Recovery
There’s no question that outpatient addiction recovery offers more flexibility compared to an inpatient program. A variety of therapies and programs are available, which can be planned around the person’s schedule and obligations. At the same time, the person can receive continued support from family and friends, helping to build a solid foundation for a future of sobriety.
At The Center for Life Change, we believe that every person should receive personalized care. We are here to assess your needs and provide recommendations about the treatments that are right for your situation. Contact us to learn more about the options that are available to help you overcome addictive behavior: (951) 775-4000
Self-conscious: feeling undue awareness of oneself, one’s appearance, or one’s actions
Self-obsessed: excessively preoccupied with one’s own life and circumstances; thinking only about oneself
A young member of Alcoholics Anonymous once told his sponsor he felt too self-conscious. His sponsor promptly replied, “You’re not self-conscious. You’re self-obsessed.”
Self-Conscious or Self-Obsessed?
Highlighting the definitive difference between self-consciousness and self-obsession might seem like a matter of semantics. Self-Conscious refers to the unnecessary amount of focus on the self. We are self-conscious about the way we look, act, or appear to others. Self-obsession refers to only thinking about oneself in an “excessively preoccupied way”. Arguably, one is inherent in the other. Thinking in a self-conscious matter results in self-obsession. Hyper focused on our insecurities, we might be completely consumed with self-conscious thoughts.
Either obsessed or conscious, one thing is for certain: humans spend a lot of time thinking about themselves. We can’t help that we do it. Our consciousness exists for a reason. Inner narratives serve many purposes: fulfilling hunger, intuition, making judgments, sensing and avoiding danger. There is a limit to how self-centered we need to be. Addiction to drugs and alcohol completely erases that limit.
In active addiction, self-centeredness and self-will run riot. Meaning, that when harmful substances enter and take over the mind it, becomes all about one person: the self. Most don’t mean to be so selfish. Yet at the debilitating demand of addiction there is no one else to act on behalf of. Drugs and alcohol take over some of the most basic functions of our minds even when it comes to taking care of ourselves. Survival functions like eating, sleeping, and hunting exist in the midbrain which is eventually reprogrammed to seek drugs as a way to survive. Considering the distraction of such self-serving needs, it is no surprise that the need of others aren’t readily apparent on the radar of someone addicted to drugs and alcohol.
Addiction exacerbates the inherent human drive to think about the self. As addiction progresses, so do the self-centered thoughts, actions, and behaviors. Problematically, the brain is vulnerable to programming. Hence, the way the brain changes in response to drugs. Habits are some of the deepest programming that occur in our minds. Through addict-behaviors we create habits that are both self-conscious and self-obsessed.
Recovery is also progressive. Through the work of recovery, we learn to create new habits that help us be of service to others.
For many years, there was a false assumption that drug users are typically the people living in urban areas. But, drug use among the middle class is on the rise, which means that it is time to let go of the stereotype. People of all ages and income levels can fall into the trap of drug addiction.
Suburb Drug Abuse Usually Starts with Painkillers
It is common for middle-class residents to get trapped by an addiction that starts with prescription drugs. Opiates are prescriptions that have become relatively cheap and easy to dispense. Doctors can prescribe Vicodin or OxyContin for medical issues and pain relief. When narcotics became available legally, people started to have a false security about the opiates that were prescribed.
If a doctor recommended the medication usage, then it makes sense that patients assume the safety of the drugs. But, even if the person follows the recommended dosage and frequency, it is possible to develop addictive behavior with the drug use.
The prescription medication companies can improve the purity of the opioids compared to the products that are sold on the streets. But, don’t be fooled to believe that these prescriptions are any less addictive or dangerous.
Access in Middle-Class Suburban Homes
Even teenagers in these homes have a higher risk for addiction due to the ease of finding the prescription pills in the medicine cabinets at home. For example, a teen might be able to locate the drugs by stealing from a prescription bottle from their parents or grandparents.
At some point, the home supply runs out, which turns the person to look for another source. Many states are improving systems to decrease the risk of prescription refills. So, people with an addiction to prescription drugs commonly turn to street products to get what they need. As a result, the use of heroin has increased 5x in the last decade, mostly due to people who are looking to feed an addiction that started with prescription drug use.
At The Center for Life Change, we offer personalized solutions for every type of addiction. Whether the addiction started with prescriptions or recreational drugs, we can help. Call to learn more about the services that are offered: (951) 775-4000
President and CEO of the National Council for Behavioral Health wrote that increased awareness about mental illness among staff members at a prison helped de-escalate crisis situations. She explained that the staff are “more aware of a situation before it presents itself. And, of course, having the training gives them understanding of the basic steps of trying to calm the inmate down, assessing their needs and asking if they’re suicidal.”
She is referring to Mental Health First Aid, a new national program teaching people how to manage mental health crises. First Aid is a common training for many. Almost any office or public area, including retail shops, have a first aid kit. Rubbing hydrogen peroxide on a cut and applying a bandage does wonders to a surface level wound. What is the equivalent of a band aid to someone having a panic attack? Is there gauze for stopping the stream of suicidal ideation? Can a hot/cold pack reduce the inflammation that is the obsession of craving for drugs and alcohol? Learning how to approach mental health with a first aid mindset can help practitioners, family members, and loved ones feel more safe.
When we see someone experiencing a mental health episode, we might respond in self-centered fear. First, we aren’t aware of what to do. We are aware, however, of how afraid or uncomfortable we might feel. As family members of loved ones in recovery, we know this helpless feeling. Until we learned about addiction and alcoholism we saw our loved ones suffering in great physical, spiritual, and emotional pain. We didn’t have an answer. Now that our loved ones are in recovery, it does not mean they are immune to the proverbial bumps and bruises of mental illness.
Understand that recovery is not always graceful. What is always possible is the way we can approach it with grace, mercy, and compassion. Our loved ones are learning every day and doing the best they can to act accordingly. The same goes for us. Together, as a family unit, we can heal.
Even with the best of intentions for recovery, there are times when recovering addicts get trapped by the patterns of self-sabotage that show up. Yes, the person has a choice regarding the decisions that are made each day. But, it is important to understand that addiction is a disease, making it a challenge to stay on-track and avoid the self-sabotaging behavior.
There are a few common trends that might increase the risk of self-sabotage. Addressing these root causes could have a positive impact on long-term recovery:
Low Self Worth: When a person feels bad about himself, then this inner perception can drive outward behaviors. It is important to focus on tasks that help yourself overcome the self-defeating thoughts that lead back to using again. Self-care routines are essential to building the foundation that is needed for self-confidence.
Poor Relationships: Don’t be fooled into thinking that you can maintain the same relationships that you had when you were using. If your friends are caught in the world of addictive behavior, then it is harder for you to maintain sobriety. Self-sabotage can happen if you choose to spend time with people who don’t support your addiction recovery goals.
Emotional Management: Whether you are holding onto anger, frustration, or resentment, these emotions can push you back to a place where you want to escape reality with another high. Sometimes, these emotions are targeted at family members. But, some addicts struggle with these emotions that are targeted at themselves. Work with a therapist to find the right tools that will help you process the emotions so that you can maintain a positive mindset.
Minimizing the effects of self-sabotage can help you build the foundation that is needed to live a long, healthy life. If you have any thoughts or habits that are sabotaging your results, then you need to tap into the resources that are available from an experienced addiction recovery team.
At The Center for Life Change, we are working hard to provide the resources that are needed to help you overcome the common trends and habits that drive addiction. If you need support to change your life, then we invite you to contact us for more information about the services that are available: (951) 775-4000