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Alcohol

Although alcohol purchase and consumption is legal, it is still the most common addiction. Deaths related to alcohol are more frequent than deaths related to any other substance. This addiction is particularly dangerous because many hold the misconception that it cannot be bad for you if it is legal.

Methamphetamine

Methamphetamine, otherwise known as meth, remains the area’s largest drug problem. The meth epidemic took over the west coast in the 1990s, and many locals still struggle with their methamphetamine addiction. While legislation has made it nearly impossible to manufacture meth in the United States, the drug is still available through international drug trafficking.

Marijuana

Marijuana dependence in Washington and Oregon has significantly increased since the legalization of the recreational drug. For some, marijuana is used as often as alcohol, but many people don’t realize its addictive potential because it is so widely used.

Opiates

Opiates, often consumed in the form of heroin, are extremely addictive and highly dangerous. The risk of using these drugs is high because they are often injected intravenously with shared needles, exposing the user to viruses like HIV.

Prescription Drugs

Using prescription drugs, especially opioids, can be a slippery slope. Even if you need them and get a doctor’s prescription, they are highly addictive, and users often find themselves addicted by the time their prescription runs out. This can lead them to search for the drug from illegal dealers. Even though these drugs are sometimes recommended by a doctor, they need to be approached with caution.

Is someone you love suffering from an addiction? Our team at Free by the Sea is ready to help anyone who has the courage to finally take back control of their life after struggling with addiction in and around Alaska, Tacoma, Seattle, Portland, Vancouver, and Olympia. The path to sobriety can be difficult, but those with an unparalleled support system will put themselves in the best position for living a substance-free life. Contact us today to plan a visit or schedule a consultation.

The post What are the Most Common Addictions in Washington/Oregon? appeared first on Free By The Sea.

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Has a loved one recently completed rehab or addiction treatment? You’re probably elated that they’ve begun recovery, but you need to remember that the road to recovery is a long one. Because of their addiction, your loved one may have lost or broken many relationships, so it’s important that you’re there to support them while they get back on their feet. Here’s a few things you can do to help.

Accept Them with Open Arms

Your loved one may come out of rehab nervous that they’ve lost their family or thinking that everyone is angry with them. While they may have upset many people, it’s important to accept your loved one without judgement to give them the support they need.

Create a Substance-Free Environment

This is the most obvious step, but it can also be the most important one. Make sure to keep substances out of your home and out of sight of your loved one. Try to plan activities that don’t involve other people indulging substances. For some recovering addicts, even the sight of substances can be a trigger.

Be There to Listen

Many people lose relationships through their addiction, so if you’re someone your loved one trusts, it’s important for you to be there because you may be one of the only people they can talk to. Explain to them that you’re always available for comfort and to hear whatever’s on their mind.

Encourage Them to Join Support Groups

You can do so much to help your loved one through recovery, but you can’t do it all. It’s important for your loved one to spend time with peers and mentors who understand their struggle. While it’s best for them to avoid old friends with bad habits, encourage them to join and attend support groups.

Be Patient

Recovery takes a long time and a lot of effort. Don’t expect your loved one to be “fixed” or perfectly behaved all the time. It can take a long time to adjust to life after rehab, and they may be dealing with inner struggles outside of their addiction as well.

Are you or someone you love suffering from an addiction? Our team at Free by the Sea is ready to help anyone who has the courage to finally take back control of their life after struggling with addiction in and around Alaska, Tacoma, Seattle, Portland, Vancouver, and Olympia. The path to sobriety can be difficult, but those with an unparalleled support system will put themselves in the best position for living a substance-free life. Contact us today to plan a visit or schedule a consultation.

The post 5 Ways to Support Your Relative’s Recovery appeared first on Free By The Sea.

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Avoiding Triggers

The holiday season is hectic. With multiple celebrations, parties, visits from old friends and family, travel, and returning home, the winter months are a stressful time. On top of that, the copious amounts of alcohol served at holiday parties can be dangerous. While the holidays are a time of joy and celebration, they can also be full of triggers if you have an addiction. Spending the holidays in rehab frees you from the stresses and temptations of the holiday season.

Life Without Addiction is the Best Gift

You may feel guilty that you’re missing out on valued family time or feel that a piece of your family is missing without you there. However, spending the holidays in rehab can be the best choice for both you and your loved ones. Recovering from your addiction is the best gift you can give to both yourself and your loved ones, and it will allow you the chance to happily celebrate with them in future years.

Take Time to Heal

The holidays offer a seasonal break from work, school, and other responsibilities. Typically, this time is spent celebrating with family, but if you have an addiction, it may be best to take this time to heal, instead. When you don’t have to worry about your regular obligations, you have more energy to put into your treatment at rehab.

You’re Not Alone, Even in Rehab

Although spending the holidays without your family seems like a bleak way to celebrate, the season won’t go unnoticed in rehab. Rehab centers organize safe, festive activities for participants without the triggers that can come with normal holiday festivities. Also, you’re bound to make friends to celebrate the holiday season with. Residents typically form fast friendships with one another.

Our team at Free by the Sea is ready to help anyone who has the courage to finally take back control of their life after struggling with addiction in and around Alaska, Tacoma, Seattle, Portland, Vancouver, and Olympia. The path to sobriety can be difficult, but those with an unparalleled support system will put themselves in the best position for living a substance-free life. Contact us today to plan a visit or schedule a consultation.

The post Why Spending the Holidays in Rehab Might Be a Good Thing appeared first on Free By The Sea.

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What is life like after rehab? This is a common and sometimes scary question for people who are about to complete a rehab program. Returning to family, friends, and work can be difficult and will require some effort. Knowing what to expect after rehab can help you maintain your sobriety and make the transition easier for you and your friends.

A New Schedule

While in rehab, days, meals, and activities are more or less planned out so you don’t have to worry about time management. After rehab, you’ll need to create your own schedule to maintain regularity and keep you on track. It sounds silly, but sitting down and writing out a schedule to adhere to can be a great help. Include rising and bed time, exercise, meals, school or work, and time to attend meetings.

Active Effort to Avoid Relapse

Sobriety isn’t easy, and you’ll need to continue to work hard to keep your new lifestyle on track. Stay away from things you know are triggers, including events, people, and places. Continue to attend meetings, and engage in new hobbies such as exercise, reading, cooking, volunteering, or painting. You may find your new passion!

Repairing Relationships

You may have hurt your friends and family during your addiction. It is important to try your best to repair and strengthen your relationships with these people. A strong support network is part of the ideal post-rehab environment. Reach out and apologize to people you may have hurt. Don’t be discouraged if they are still upset – it will take time to heal relationships, and those closest to you will appreciate your efforts.

Are you or a loved one suffering from addiction? Our team at Free by the Sea is ready to help anyone who has the courage to finally take back control of their life after struggling with addiction in and around Alaska, Tacoma, Seattle, Portland, Vancouver, and Olympia. The path to sobriety can be difficult, but those with an unparalleled support system will put themselves in the best position for living a substance-free life. Contact us today to plan a visit or schedule a consultation.

The post What to Expect After Rehab appeared first on Free By The Sea.

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The first step in the road to recovery is admitting you need help choosing the rehabilitation program that’s right for you. There are several different types of rehabilitation programs. Some specialize in certain addictions, while some are designed to treat patients that suffer from other mental or medical issues as well as their addiction. You’ll also need to decide between inpatient or outpatient rehab. We’ve outlined some of the similarities and differences to help you choose.

Inpatient Rehab

Inpatient rehab is a program where the person lives at the facility while they are being treated. When the patient is admitted to the program, the first step is typically a detoxification. Inpatient rehabs provide constant supervision and care in a controlled environment, so there is less exposure to stress and other factors that may lead to a relapse. Patients in an inpatient rehab program spend their days working towards recovery through a series of treatments such as group therapy, one-on-one counseling, 12-step meetings, presentations, and educational group sessions. Recreational activities are also offered so clients can heal through meditation and art therapy.

Outpatient Rehab

With outpatient rehab programs, participants reside in their homes with their families, and they can continue to attend school or work. This is ideal for clients who wish to keep their treatment out of the public eye. They go to therapy sessions and meet with health professionals a few times a week. Outpatient rehab is less expensive than inpatient rehab because the patients are not paying for room and board. Participants in outpatient rehab have more freedom, but this also means they are exposed to stressors and substances at home and in the outside world. Outpatient rehab is best for clients who are able to abstain from substances on their own, but need additional help to permanently recover.

The team at Free by the Sea is ready to help anyone who has the courage to finally take back control of their life after struggling with addiction in and around Alaska, Tacoma, Seattle, Portland, Vancouver, and Olympia. The path to sobriety can be difficult, but those with an unparalleled support system will put themselves in the best position for living a substance-free life. Contact us today to plan a visit or schedule a consultation.

The post Is Inpatient or Outpatient Rehab Right for You? appeared first on Free By The Sea.

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 For those suffering from a drug problem, premature aging can be a real concern. Addictions do not allow a person to stop using without help, even when watching their body deteriorate. Drugs cause significant stress on the body and affect the pulmonary and cardiac system, as well as the health of the teeth, lymph, and skin. In most instances, the effects and premature aging caused by an addiction cannot be reversed. Seeking help for addiction as soon as possible can help prevent these effects on your body and appearance.

Consequences of Smoked Drugs on Your Body

Many of the most popular street drugs are smoked. Drugs that smoked contain high concentrations of carcinogens as well as a multitude of other toxic chemicals. These toxic chemicals and carcinogens can cause serious pulmonary, renal, and cardiovascular problems such as emphysema, heart disease, kidney disorders, and other serious, life-threatening conditions.

Meth, cocaine, crack, heroin, and even marijuana, when smoked, can lead to premature aging of the skin and hair. In addition, smoke inhalation can cause skin conditions such as eczema, skin cancer, and psoriasis.

Consequences of Drug Use on Your Immune System

Drug use weakens the immune system. When certain drugs, for example, cocaine, enter the body the immune system automatically attempts to fight the drug. Over time the drugs will weaken the immune system’s ability to fight the infection, leaving the addict more venerable to illness and injury.

A weakened immune system can also mean a toxic level of drugs in the bloodstream. When an immune system is under constant stress, premature aging can begin, and life expectancy of the drug user is greatly reduced. Drugs such as alcohol and tobacco, which are often used together, can greatly increase the rate that this process occurs. To combat and prevent effects of a drug addiction, addicts and serious drug users should seek help as soon as possible.

Free by the Sea encourages addicts or people impacted by a loved one with an addiction who are looking to prevent the possible effects of a drug addiction in the Pacific Northwest, including Washington (Vancouver), Oregon (Portland), Alaska and surrounding areas to contact us for guidance and assistance.

 

The post Addiction and Premature Aging appeared first on Free By The Sea.

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Free By The Sea | Blog by Free By The Sea - 2M ago

People suffering from addictions often blame others for their troubles. Addicts find it easy to ignore responsibility for their actions and avoid confronting the challenges associated with admitting and recovering from their addiction. One thing addiction experts know for sure is that the blame game has to come to an end for recovery to begin.

How Blame Can Be Harmful

 Addicts will blame everyone but themselves for their addiction. The misplaced blame often comes from the addict’s past, for example, an alcoholic father, an abusive mother, struggles with depression, etc. While external factors can contribute to addiction, they are not fully to blame, and addicts must realize that they themselves are responsible for their addiction. Others may have encouraged or even influenced choices that led to addiction but ultimately the addict makes the decisions – however hard or easy they may be.

About Taking Responsibility

An important first step in recovering from addiction is leaving the blame behind. One of the first steps in recovery is to take responsibility for his or her actions. Addicts must learn to accept that they have an addiction. Admitting and accepting mistakes made in the past and realizing that they could be seen as valuable learning experiences can help on the road to recovery.

Our message to addicts is that although you may have been through challenges, like a traumatic past or health issues, these experiences do not define you. Learning to stop blaming others for your situation can be tough, but it is a necessary step for recovery. For addicts who are ready to get the help they need, taking responsibility for their actions is crucial. We can help you take that step.

Free by the Sea encourages addicts or people impacted by a loved one with an addiction in the Pacific Northwest, including Washington (Vancouver), Oregon (Portland), Alaska and surrounding areas to contact us for guidance and assistance.

The post The Blame Game appeared first on Free By The Sea.

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Drug addictions are serious problems that impact the lives of the drug user and his or her family and friends. The earlier a person uses drugs, the higher the chances are of that person developing an addiction. Drugs change the functionality of the brain and developing brains are even more vulnerable to addiction.

Be Hyperaware During Transition Periods

The risk of drug abuse is greatly increased during times of transition, such as moving or changing schools or making the advance from elementary to middle school or from middle to high school.

Children that advance to middle school may be exposed to cigarettes and alcohol for the first time, and teens moving up to high school may encounter greater availability of drugs, exposure to social activities where drugs are used, and access to older teens who use drugs. At this age, it is a normal stage of development to want to try new things and take greater risks. The key is to prevent this behavior so that it does not result in experimentation with drugs.

Monitor the Use of Drugs for Athletic or Academic Performance

It is common for teens to think that drugs like steroids can be used to help improve his or her appearance or athletic performance. Substances such as alcohol or Xanax are used by adolescents to reduce anxiety in social situations, or to create the illusion that they are “cool.” It is also common for teens to abuse prescription ADD and ADHD stimulants such as Adderall for weight loss or cramming before exams and tests.

Start Education at a Young Age

The key to reducing drug abuse is prevention. Addiction experts have devolved a range of programs to help reduce drug abuse. These programs positively alter the balance between risk and protective factors for drug abuse in families, school, and communities. These programs are designed for various age groups and can be designed and used in individual and group settings such as at school, in neighborhood groups or at home. The three types of programs are:

  • Universal Programs – These programs address risk and protective factors common to all children in a given setting such as community or school.
  • Selective Programs – These programs work by targeting groups of teens and children who meet criteria that put them at risk for drug use.
  • Indicated Programs – These programs are designed for youth who have already begun to use drugs.

Free by the Sea encourages parents looking to prevent drug abuse in their children through education in the Pacific Northwest, including Washington (Vancouver), Oregon (Portland), Alaska and surrounding areas to contact us for guidance and assistance.

The post Tips for Preventing Drug Abuse in Children appeared first on Free By The Sea.

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A gambling addiction (sometimes called pathological gambling, gambling disorder, or compulsive gambling) is an impulse-control disorder. Compulsive gamblers cannot control the impulse to gamble, despite the negative consequences on their lives and the lives of their families. A gambling addiction can put a strain on relationships, work, and lead to financial disaster. Various factors can contribute to a gambling addiction, and once a strong addiction takes hold, breaking free from the desire to gamble can be difficult. Free by the Sea Sunset View Drug & Alcohol Recovery Center can help.

What Causes a Gambling Addiction?

 The most common factors contributing to a gambling addiction include:

  • Desperation for money
  • Desperation to be seen as successful
  • The atmosphere of the gambling scene
  • Desire to experience thrills
  • Losses in casual gambling

Gambling addictions usually start small and grow into an unhealthy habit. Betting on sporting events, horse or dog racing, poker games, slot machines, and the lottery are common ways that a gambling addiction can begin. One big win is often enough to keep a casual or infrequent gambler coming back for more.  A gambling addiction can quickly become a costly vice, emotionally, physically, and financially.

What Are Some of the Signs of a Gambling Problem?

Gambling addictions share signs with other common addictions. The signs of a gambling addiction include:

  • Feeling a need to hide the addiction
  • Expressed concern from family and friends
  • Funding the addiction with money that doesn’t exist
  • Having trouble controlling habits and impulses to feed the addiction

As with most addictions, the most telling sign of a gambling problem is the inability to stop. The desire to try to win just one more time to cure the urge, as well as feeling anxious upon the thought of quitting the “game” are signs of a serious gambling addiction.

Symptoms of Excessive Gambling

 Gambling addicts may experience symptoms, both emotionally and physically. Excessive or addictive gambling causes and enhances multiple emotional symptoms such as:

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Suicidal tendencies

 Since gambling can contribute to and cause depression, anxiety, and self-harm, there are also physical symptoms to be aware of:

  • Sleep deprivation
  • Weight gain or loss
  • Acne
  • Dark circles under the eyes
  • Pale skin

Free by the Sea encourages those suffering from a gambling addiction – or those who know someone suffering from a gambling addiction – in the Pacific Northwest, including Washington (Vancouver), Oregon (Portland), Alaska and surrounding areas to contact us for guidance and assistance.

 

The post What is Gambling Addiction?   appeared first on Free By The Sea.

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Drug addiction has no simple cure. Many drug addicts find themselves relapsing time and time again. Why do addicts relapse? It has nothing to do with weakness but everything to do with brain chemistry and the disease known as addiction – sometimes that disease is also depression.

Addiction & Depression: A Vicious Cycle

Addiction to drugs and alcohol impact family and friends in a negative way. The addicted person may find themselves losing old friends, yet making new friends in the drug community. The way they dress doesn’t really matter anymore, and the food they eat comes second to their next fix. Sleeping may become a chore rather than a good way to rejuvenate the mind after a long day – it is here where we see the links between addiction and depression.

What Comes First, Addiction or Depression?

What comes first, addiction or depression? There is no real answer. In many cases, addiction leads to depression, and in many cases, depression leads to addiction. Addiction is a disease with highs and lows. When a person is high, life is good, but when the person is low, the depressive state they fall into makes their addicted lifestyle that much harder.

Depression is a common co-occurring disorder in addiction. In fact, 30 to 40 percent of people with a substance use disorder also have a mood disorder, such as depression. Sometimes the depression leads to drug addiction, and sometimes the drug addiction leads to depression.

Depression is a mental illness that can leave a person feeling lost, lonely and scared. In order to cope, some people turn to illegal drugs or prescription medication to self-medicate their painful feelings of sadness, guilt or worthlessness. Drugs can provide a temporary escape, but once the high of the drug wears off, the bad feelings return. Depression by itself is a debilitating disease but paired with a drug addiction, can be a deadly combination.

Depression and Addiction Symptoms

If you feel a loved one may be suffering from depression, addiction, or both, you can be the person to step up and spark a change. There are options available to you. The list below offers some general warning signs that your loved one may be in trouble.

  • Sloppy appearance, lack of concern for appearance
  • Irritability and anger
  • Changes in eating and sleeping habits
  • Extreme loss of weight (or weight gain)
  • Lack of enthusiasm
  • Chronic aches and pains
  • Suicidal comments or actions
  • Expressions of emptiness, helplessness, or hopelessness
  • Seclusion from friends, families, responsibilities
  • Fired from job or other responsibilities
  • Low on cash, unable to make regular payments on bills

If the bulleted list above describes your loved one, keep reading about depression and addiction. Free By the Sea is a drug and alcohol recovery center in Washington, also serving residents of Oregon. Get in touch to learn how we can help you today.

The post How Addiction and Depression are Linked appeared first on Free By The Sea.

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