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If you follow media coverage of addiction at all, you may have noticed a change in language over the past several years. Terms like “junkie,” “clean,” “drug abuser,” and others have gradually fallen out of use. You may still see “addict” from time to time, but even the use of that word is discouraged in most publications. It’s tempting to see advocacy of less morally loaded terms as a rather superficial issue in the face of an ever-increasing rate of fatal overdoses, but language actually plays an important role in helping people recover from addiction.

If you’ve been guilty of using some of those terms with negative connotations, don’t feel too bad. Studies have found that even medical professionals who specialize in addiction treatment use them surprisingly often. Studies have also found that when medical professionals use these terms, patients experience worse outcomes. The reason appears to be that once a doctor or therapist has characterized a patient as an “addict,” that person is easier to dismiss than help. The nature of addiction is that it’s hard to get rid of. Patience is absolutely necessary when trying to help someone with a substance use disorder and if your own language implies she can’t be helped, you are less likely to put in the effort. This is why it’s better to refer to a patient as “a person with a substance use disorder.” That recognizes the patient as a person, and one who needs help.

Dismissive language also adds to the stigma of substance use disorders. The stigma is one of the most common reasons people who need help are reluctant to seek it. Despite the progress we’ve made increasing awareness of addiction in recent years, the stigma is still powerful, especially for people who are already struggling with emotional pain and feelings of isolation. The fear of being labeled a “junkie” might keep her from reaching out. What’s more, most people with substance use disorders don’t fit the stereotype at all. Addiction is largely a hidden problem. You may have the tact to not refer to your friend in AA as a “drunk,” but you don’t always know who might be struggling with substance use. A careless word can hit hard.

Fortunately, awareness of how we talk about addiction is spreading. A recent survey found that about 60 percent of Americans now view addiction as a disease rather than a character flaw or a moral failing. That progress is perhaps largely due to the proliferation of 12-step programs around the world, as well as more recent awareness campaigns by the federal government and nonprofits. However, that still leaves a sizable minority who think of addiction in moral terms. Casual use of language that blames people with substance use disorders only reinforces that misconception.

If you or someone you love is struggling with addiction or mental illness, we can help. Recovery Ways is a premier drug and alcohol addiction treatment facility located in Salt Lake City, Utah. We have the resources to effectively treat a dual diagnosis. Our mission is to provide the most cost-effective, accessible substance abuse treatment to as many people as possible. Request information online or call us today at 1-888-986-7848.

The post Does it Really Matter How We Talk About Addiction? appeared first on Addiction Treatment Center Recovery Ways.

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Anxiety, depression, and addiction have all become increasingly common in recent decades. Mental health and addiction are closely linked as well. Mental illness can lead to addiction and vice versa. For people recovering from addiction, stress and anxiety are common relapse triggers. Staying mentally healthy requires a holistic approach that involves positive social connection, healthy diet, regular exercise, and according to a growing body of research, reconnecting with nature.

Spending time in nature has consistently been shown to reduce levels of stress and anxiety. One study showed participants images of either natural scenes or of built environments for ten minutes. They were then asked to complete tasks intended to induce mental stress. The participants why spent 10 minutes looking at pictures of natural scenery were found to have much higher activation in the parasympathetic nervous system, the “rest and digest” part of the autonomic nervous system that counterbalances the “fight or flight” stress response.

The effect is especially pronounced when looking at awe-inspiring natural images. One study showed participants images either of mundane natural scenes, such as parks or trees, or awe-inspiring scenes, such as canyons or mountain ranges. The group that looked at awe-inspiring scenes reported greater improvements in their mood and the participants evinced greater pro-social values. The researchers don’t know exactly why this happens, but it could be that awe-inspiring scenes change our perspective. Compared to the awesome power of nature, our own problems appear insignificant.

Although just seeing natural images, especially awe-inspiring images, can reduce stress and anxiety, actually getting out into nature is even better. One study found that hearing natural sounds can speed your recovery from a stressful situation. Another study found that walking in the forest decreases stress hormones and increases the immune system’s natural killer cells as well as anticancer proteins. Participants who walked in the city did not experience similar benefits.

While we don’t understand all the mechanisms that make nature so soothing to humans, it does make intuitive sense. From an evolutionary perspective, cities are like an alien environment. Humans have only been concentrated in cities for just over 100 years, compared to 100,000 years we’ve spent mostly in natural settings. While nature can occasionally be threatening, its shapes, colors, sounds, and smells are deeply familiar. Spending time in nature allows your mind to relax, even while your attention is drawn to your surroundings. This is why preservation of natural areas as well as incorporating green spaces into cities is so important.

If you or someone you love is struggling with addiction or mental illness, we can help. Recovery Ways is a premier drug and alcohol addiction treatment facility located in Salt Lake City, Utah. We have the resources to effectively treat a dual diagnosis. Our mission is to provide the most cost-effective, accessible substance abuse treatment to as many people as possible. Request information online or call us today at 1-888-986-7848.

The post How Nature Can Improve Your Mental Health appeared first on Addiction Treatment Center Recovery Ways.

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Most of us are familiar with anti-drug ads on TV. From the “brain on drugs” commercials of the 1980s to more recent commercials like the “above the influence” campaign, the federal government and nonprofits have spent millions of dollars on ads trying to convince kids to stay away from drugs. Last year, when President Trump declared the opioid crisis a public health emergency, he promised “Really tough, really big, really great advertising, so we can get to people before they start.” Are these anti-drug ads really effective?

Researchers have been studying the effects of these ads since shortly after they began in the early 1980s with Nancy Reagan’s “Just say no” campaign. What they’ve found so far is a mixed bag. It appears the early commercials didn’t work at all, and may have actually made things worse. The main problem appears to be that the ads were essentially made for adults, and perhaps also to appeal to the congressmen who controlled the funding for the ads. However, what motivates responsible adults can be very different from what motivates teens. Many teens simply found these commercials absurd or hysterical, such as the “brain on drugs” commercial in which the woman smashes up the whole kitchen with a frying pan.

Even worse, these commercials sometimes piqued the curiosity of the teens they were trying to dissuade. Teens are naturally curious anyway and a stern warning from the TV is a good way to ensure at least some teens try drugs at the first opportunity, just to find out what all the fuss is about. What’s more, teens are often rebellious. If they feel like drugs are something their parents and teachers would disapprove of, it might be an effective way to assert their independence.

The newer, “Above the influence” ads seem to fare a little better than the ads of the 1980s and ‘90s precisely because they consider the difference in the teen perspective. The newer ads recognize that individuality and autonomy are important to teens and they emphasize how drugs diminish your freedom and make you boring. This was also an effective approach for teen anti-smoking ads, which suggested that not smoking was like taking a stand against corporate manipulation. One study found that about 12 percent of teens who hadn’t seen the “Above the influence” ads starting smoking marijuana, while only eight percent of teens who had seen the ads did. That’s a pretty significant difference, although there may be confounding factors.

While it does appear that anti-drug ads can be effective to some degree, they should probably be considered a secondary tool. Not only do teens remain skeptical of authority, even authority that speaks their language, but their media habits change quickly. They watch less TV and see frewer ads, and they have to be reached through different avenues. What’s more, programs that promote mental health and emotional regulation have a much broader impact and appear to be more effective in keeping experimentation from turning into a substance use disorder.

If you or someone you love is struggling with addiction or mental illness, we can help. Recovery Ways is a premier drug and alcohol addiction treatment facility located in Salt Lake City, Utah. We have the resources to effectively treat a dual diagnosis. Our mission is to provide the most cost-effective, accessible substance abuse treatment to as many people as possible. Request information online or call us today at 1-888-986-7848.

The post Do Anti-drug Commercials Work? appeared first on Addiction Treatment Center Recovery Ways.

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Identity plays a complicated role in addiction. Studies have found that younger people with no clear sense of identity, especially social identity, are at greater risk of associating with people who use drugs and alcohol. These groups are an easy way to find social acceptance and form a social identity. Being part of such a group often brings a certain notoriety, but that’s often better than anonymity. Unfortunately, having an identity tied to drug and alcohol use makes it more likely you will develop a substance use disorder.

If you already have a substance use disorder and have had it for a while, it becomes part of your identity. It may consume your identity. One characteristic of addiction is that your thinking becomes very rigid. You fixate on feeding your addiction and it’s easy to begin to think of your identity as only someone who is addicted to a particular thing. You begin to exclude all other facets of your personality from your increasingly narrow awareness.

Making addiction the focus of your identity can be an impediment to getting help. Most people cling tightly to the sense of who they are. We defend our opinions fiercely, especially opinions that relate to our core values. We tell ourselves stories about our past and our personality. We build up a particular sense of self over our lifetimes. Anything that disturbs this edifice can be disorienting and threatening. If your addiction is a major part of your identity, you might have trouble letting it go. It has defined you for years, guiding your actions and giving you a sense of purpose. It’s only normal to fear giving that up.

However, loosening your grip on addiction as part of your identity is necessary before you can move forward. If you can only see yourself as someone with a substance use disorder, your temptation will always be to slide back into that groove.

Perhaps the best way to let go of addiction as a defining feature of your identity is to broaden your scope. Identities are always complex and multifaceted. We play different roles in different situations. We like some things and dislike others. Start by recognizing all the other aspects that make up your identity, or identities. You may also be a friend, a parent, an artist, an athlete, a chef, a carpenter, a teacher, or any number of things that reflect your different activities and values.

After you’ve broadened your scope, start nurturing these other aspects of your identity. If you’re a parent, spend more time with your kids. If you’re an artist, spend more time paining. The addictive side may always be there, but you can choose to cultivate the more constructive aspects of your identity. Eventually, you’ll start seeing yourself in terms of these more positive aspects. Most people’s identities change over their lifetime anyway, so it’s a good idea to nudge that change in the right direction.

If you or someone you love is struggling with addiction or mental illness, we can help. Recovery Ways is a premier drug and alcohol addiction treatment facility located in Salt Lake City, Utah. We have the resources to effectively treat a dual diagnosis. Our mission is to provide the most cost-effective, accessible substance abuse treatment to as many people as possible. Request information online or call us today at 1-888-986-7848.

The post Finding a New Identity After Addiction appeared first on Addiction Treatment Center Recovery Ways.

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Obsessive-compulsive disorder, or OCD, is a condition characterized by intrusive, unwanted thoughts and rituals meant to relieve the anxiety created by those thoughts. Typical obsessive thoughts include fear of germs or contamination; unwanted taboo thought, often about sex, religion, or harming oneself or others; or having things perfectly symmetrical or in some specific order. To allay the anxiety caused by these thoughts, people with OCD might wash their hands or clean compulsively; repeatedly check things, such as making sure the door is locked or the stove is off; compulsively arrange things in a particular way; or count things.

People with OCD often feel like they have to perform certain rituals to keep bad things from happening. These rituals can become time consuming and disrupt one’s life. However, the intrusive thoughts can be extremely distressing, and the rituals offer relief, however temporary. This cycle of intrusive thought, relieving it with compulsive action, and the intrusive thought recurring is self-reinforcing. Every time you engage in the compulsive behavior, it becomes more deeply imbedded in your brain.

The causes of OCD are not well understood. We know that genetics plays a large part. If you have a parent, sibling, or child with OCD, there is a much greater chance that you will have it, although it is typically diagnosed by age 19. Childhood abuse or trauma may also be a risk factor. Sometimes OCD develops as a result of a streptococcal infection, indicating that OCD is at least party biological.

OCD is partly genetic and brain scans show that people with OCD have brains that function different from those without OCD. When you add in early childhood influences, you start to get a picture of a disorder that is deeply rooted in genes, biology, and personal history. These factors are very similar to addiction and, in fact, people with OCD are far more likely to struggle with substance use disorders. Andl like addiction, it appears that OCD can’t be cured in the sense that it goes away and you never have to think about it again. If you have OCD, you may always be prone to obsessive thinking and compulsive behavior.

Although OCD can’t usually be cured, it can be treated effectively. Medication, typically an SSRI, is usually part of the equation. These may help to the anxiety from intrusive thoughts to a manageable level. OCD is also typically treated with exposure and response prevention, or ERP, therapy. The idea behind ERP is simple: you are exposed to the stimulus but aren’t allowed to engage in the compulsive behavior. For example, you might shake hands with someone, or grab a doorknob and then not be allowed to wash your hands before eating lunch. This might cause extreme anxiety at first, but it’s impossible to sustain that anxiety for very long. Eventually, it will subside, and you will learn that nothing terrible will happen if you don’t engage in the compulsive behavior. The intrusive thoughts may persist, but you learn to manage the anxiety and enjoy a better quality of life despite those thoughts.

If you or someone you love is struggling with addiction or OCD, we can help. Recovery Ways is a premier drug and alcohol addiction treatment facility located in Salt Lake City, Utah. We have the resources to effectively treat a dual diagnosis. Our mission is to provide the most cost-effective, accessible substance abuse treatment to as many people as possible. Request information online or call us today at 1-888-986-7848.

The post Can OCD Be Cured? appeared first on Addiction Treatment Center Recovery Ways.

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It’s normal to be disappointed if you relapse, especially if you’ve been sober for a while. You may feel like you’ve wasted all your hard work and disappointed the people who care about you. You may feel an impulse to punish yourself, either by beating yourself up emotionally, or engaging in some other self-destructive behavior. Although those feelings are understandable, they are not very helpful.

The notion that we should be punished for our mistakes is deeply ingrained. Our justice system in the US is mainly punitive, meaning we typically fine or imprison someone who is found guilty of a crime. However, that’s not the only possible aim of a justice system. Some cultures, for example, emphasize reconciling the parties and making the community whole again, which prison can never accomplish. Even in this country, drug courts recognize that many people who commit drug-related offenses need treatment rather than punishment.

We also have the idea that unless we punish others, whether it’s a dog, a child, or a burglar, they will continue to misbehave. From the behaviorist standpoint, we believe we need to condition people to avoid doing bad things, and that’s what punishments are for. This may be what’s behind the impulse of someone to punish herself after a relapse. She might feel that unless she feels the full weight of her error, she will continue to repeat it. However, most of the time, the impulse to punish oneself is preemptive. It’s a consequence of having internalized the criticism of people we care about, typically parents. By heaping scorn on ourselves for our mistakes, we hope that others will forgive us or spare us.

While this strategy might smooth things over socially, it’s not helpful psychologically, because now the critic is in your own head. And often, we are much harder on ourselves than others are. This merciless self-talk can lead to anxiety, depression, and a general sense of hopelessness. Telling yourself you’re a screw-up, and weak, and whatever else only digs you in deeper. It turns a mistake into a disaster.

What you need is not punishment for your mistake, but encouragement to try again. Relapse is extremely common. By some estimates, as many as 90 percent of people addicted to alcohol or opioids will relapse in the first year. Some even go so far as to say relapse is part of recovery. It’s fine to feel disappointed after a relapse, but remember that most people who have succeeded in recovery have relapsed at least once. Punishing yourself will only make matters worse, but encouraging yourself can make things better.

If you or someone you love is struggling with addiction or mental illness, we can help. Recovery Ways is a premier drug and alcohol addiction treatment facility located in Salt Lake City, Utah. We have the resources to effectively treat a dual diagnosis. Our mission is to provide the most cost-effective, accessible substance abuse treatment to as many people as possible. Request information online or call us today at 1-888-986-7848.

The post Why You Shouldn’t Punish Yourself After a Relapse appeared first on Addiction Treatment Center Recovery Ways.

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A substance use disorder can have many negative effects on your life, damaging your relationships, finances, career, and health. Perhaps most disturbing is the way substance use changes your brain. Your neurotransmitter levels change to adjust to the presence of the substance and brain imaging studies suggest the structure of your brain actually changes with prolonged substance use. These changes can have a significant effect on your behavior and personality, including the following.

Increased secrecy

One common way substance use disorders affect personality is to make people more secretive. There are several reasons for this. One is that many substances are illegal and so it’s not a great idea to be too open about using them. Another is that at some level, people know that substance use is becoming a problem. They don’t want their loved ones to know how much they’re using, or that they’re using at all. This tends to make people more cautious in general. If you’re preoccupied with a substance, as often happens in addiction, there’s always a risk you might let something slip. As a result, it’s often easier to just not reveal much of what you’ve been doing. This can lead to suspicion and mistrust and strain relationships.

Loss of interest in things you used to enjoy

Perhaps the most prominent characteristic of addiction is that substance use becomes your top priority. That means everything else gets bumped down. That includes friends, family, work, and other interests. This is unfortunate for many reasons, but among them is that our interests, hobbies, and other things we do for fun are often central to our identities. While a job might just be a job, how you choose to spend your free time is a lot more about who you are. If you used to spend your free time rock climbing but now you spend all your free time drinking, that’s going to have a significant impact on your identity and quality of life. You may lose interest in things you used to enjoy for another reason too. Addiction can cause or worsen depression, a major symptom of which is loss of interest in things you used to enjoy. Depression alone can have as much impact on your personality as addiction.

Depression or anxiety

Addiction can often cause or worsen depression, anxiety, or both. Depression and anxiety are common co-occurring conditions with substance use disorders. They often precede addiction, but studies have also found they can be a result of addiction. Substance use changes brain chemistry, often leading to rebound effects and poor emotional regulation. Alcohol, for example, can temporarily reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety, but when your blood alcohol level starts to drop, your symptoms typically come back even worse than before, so that you have to drink just to feel normal. People with substance use disorders often feel trapped by their addictive behavior, leading to feelings of helplessness and hopelessness. The shame people with substance use disorders often feel can lead to depression, while the fear of withdrawal can lead to anxiety.

Risky behavior

Addiction can lead to behavior that many people would not have thought themselves capable of. This happens for a variety of reasons. Since substance use becomes the top priority, ethical concerns may be swept aside when someone with a substance use disorder is trying to get drugs or alcohol. They may borrow money, steal money, or steal items to sell for drugs. This kind of behavior would typically be unthinkable if not for the addiction. Many substances can also affect your judgment in various ways. Alcohol is probably the most common example. People make all kinds of terrible decisions when they’re drinking and if you drink all the time, you will make more terrible decisions. Other drugs, like cocaine or methamphetamine can lead to reckless behavior because of overconfidence or paranoia. Methamphetamine, in particular, can lead to risky sex and greater risk of contracting an infection.

Emotional volatility

As noted above, substance use throws your brain out of balance. Using cocaine, for example, massively increases the dopamine in certain parts of your brain and most people feel let down when the drug leaves their system. Alcohol can relieve anxiety temporarily, but then your brain overcorrects and it comes back worse than before. As a result, your mood largely depends on the level of substances in your system. You might feel calm for a while, then a couple hours later become irritable and aggressive. These swings are often more dramatic than you would normally experience. Some brain imaging studies have shown that prolonged substance use can shrink areas of the prefrontal cortex that are responsible for emotional regulation. As a result, not only do you have to deal with shifting levels of neurotransmitters, but also a reduced ability to regulate emotions.

Changes in friends

Substance use often results in changing friend groups. You may alienate your old friends and gravitate toward people whose habits are similar to your own. People often feel less bad about their substance use if they have friends whose use is as bad or worse than their own. Being around different people will have an effect on your behavior and personality. We often unconsciously adopt the opinions, habits, and expectations of the people we spend most of our time with.

Drug-specific changes

In addition to the changes caused by substance use disorders in general, there are many personality changes that are specific to certain drugs. Cocaine, for example, often makes people more aggressive and paranoid, and these effects may persist even after quitting. Prolonged marijuana use may lead to lethargy, poor concentration, and poor memory.

If you or someone you love is struggling with addiction or mental illness, we can help. Recovery Ways is a premier drug and alcohol addiction treatment facility located in Salt Lake City, Utah. We have the resources to effectively treat a dual diagnosis. Our mission is to provide the most cost-effective, accessible substance abuse treatment to as many people as possible. Request information online or call us today at 1-888-986-7848.

The post 7 Ways Addiction Can Change Your Personality appeared first on Addiction Treatment Center Recovery Ways.

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Substance use disorders are complex and unpredictable. If two people have similar risk factors for addiction, one may have a serious problem while the other doesn’t and the reason for the difference may not be apparent. While there probably isn’t anyone with zero risk for developing a substance use disorder, there are certain people with greater risk than others.

Young adults have the highest risk of substance use disorders.

By far, the group with the highest risk of developing a substance use disorder are people between the ages of 18 and 25. This is a turbulent age when people suddenly have more freedom and more responsibility, but haven’t quite developed the judgment to manage it all effectively. Human brains aren’t fully developed until about the age of 25, and the prefrontal cortex, which is responsible for self-control, emotional regulation, and foresight, is the last part of the brain to develop. Meanwhile, young adults have to deal with the challenges of living on their own, dating, starting new jobs, going to college, and so on. The result is often high rates of stress, anxiety, depression, and reckless behavior, all of which can lead to substance use disorders. The good news is that if you haven’t developed a substance use issue by your mid twenties, your risk declines significantly.

Middle-aged people have the highest risk of depression.

Despite the pressures of youth, depression risk is actually higher among middle-aged people, especially women. Middle-aged women are thought to be at higher risk of depression because hormonal changes related to childbirth, menstruation, and menopause, as well as possible problems with infertility. Middle-aged women also frequently feel stressed by the demands of raising children while working, then having to adapt to the children leaving home. Although middle-aged men don’t suffer from depression at the same rate as middle-aged women, they are more likely to die by suicide. Setbacks for people in middle age are often more devastating because the stakes are greater. Losing a job or getting a divorce typically have greater consequences for someone at 45 than at 25. Middle age is when the possibilities for life are dramatically reduced, and if you don’t like where you are, your situation might feel pretty hopeless. This can lead to depression, which is a major risk factor for substance use, especially alcohol. Despite headlines about frat boys dying of alcohol poisoning, middle-aged men are actually at much higher risk. It’s also not uncommon for a substance use disorder that began as a young adult to continue to worsen into middle age.

Older people face more pain and grief.

Traditionally, older people have been safest from developing substance use disorders, and that may still be true to some extent. However, older people do have their own challenges. Substance use, especially drinking, is common after the death of a spouse, for example. Loneliness is a major problem among older people and it can lead to depression and worse health outcomes. Older people are also more likely to be prescribed opioid painkillers for medical procedures or chronic pain. Excessive use of opioids can easily result in dependence and addiction. The good news is that in the absence of other risk factors, many older people can taper off their opioid use without the need for full addiction treatment.

If you or someone you love is struggling with addiction or mental illness, we can help. Recovery Ways is a premier drug and alcohol addiction treatment facility located in Salt Lake City, Utah. We have the resources to effectively treat a dual diagnosis. Our mission is to provide the most cost-effective, accessible substance abuse treatment to as many people as possible. Request information online or call us today at 1-888-986-7848.

The post Are You Ever Safe from Developing a Substance Use Disorder? appeared first on Addiction Treatment Center Recovery Ways.

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Recovery Ways is excited to announce we are going in-network with Tricare. This means that our intensive outpatient program, or IOP, as well as our partial hospitalization program, or PHP, will be covered as in-network for patients with Tricare.

Tricare is a program that covers the civilian healthcare component of the US Department of Defense Health System. It covers civilian health benefits for US military personnel, military retirees, and their dependents. Tricare covers almost 9.4 million people worldwide.

This comes amid growing awareness of the unique pressures service members face. Veterans and active duty military personnel are at much greater risk for PTSD, depression, and certain substance use disorders. While the military’s zero-tolerance policy has resulted in lower rates of illicit drug use in the military than in the civilian world, armed forces members use opioid painkillers and alcohol at higher rates than civilians. Drinking has traditionally been encouraged in the military and nearly half of service members report weekly binge drinking. The rate of drinking is higher among service members who have seen combat. Prescription opioids are also misused at a higher rate among service members. As many as 11 percent of service members report misusing prescription opioids, much higher than civilians, and that figure appears to be growing.

Depression and PTSD are also extremely common among service members. A 2014 study from the Journal of the American Medical Association found the rate of depression among service members was five times higher than the rate of depression among civilians. The same study found that service members were 15 times more likely to suffer from PTSD than civilians. Both depression and PTSD significantly increase your risk for addiction as well.

The good news is that PTSD, depression, and addiction are treatable. IOP and PHP programs are on the continuum of treatment that will meet the needs of the majority of people needing treatment. PHP and IOP programs may be good for people struggling with alcohol use disorder in particular. Both allow you to live at home during treatment. Of the two programs, PHP provides the most structure. Our clinical staff will develop an individualized plan to help you develop skills in relapse prevention, communication, setting boundaries, life skills, managing grief and trauma, emotional regulation, and spiritual wellbeing. Patients in the PHP program are tested regularly for drugs and alcohol.

IOP is a bit more flexible and allows you continue work or school during your treatment. Like the PHP program, IOP patients will receive an individualized treatment plan to develop key skills for recovery. Patients are required to attend three morning or evening group therapy sessions per week. Patients will also develop outside resources, such as mutual aid groups, to support their recovery. IOP is especially good for people with mild to moderate addictions or who have already completed inpatient treatment and are making the transition to regular life.

If you have Tricare insurance and you or a dependent is struggling with addiction or mental illness, we can help. Recovery Ways is a premier drug and alcohol addiction treatment facility located in Salt Lake City, Utah. We have the resources to effectively treat a dual diagnosis. Our mission is to provide the most cost-effective, accessible substance abuse treatment to as many people as possible. Request information online or call us today at 1-888-986-7848.

The post Recovery Ways Will Soon Be in the Tricare Network appeared first on Addiction Treatment Center Recovery Ways.

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March 17th is St. Patrick’s Day, which, in the US, is typically celebrated by donning green, eating some corned beef and cabbage, and drinking excessively. More than 30 million Americans have some Irish ancestry and many of those now embrace the raucous Irish stereotypes. Is it true that the Irish are especially fond of alcohol?

As with any such generalization, we can only answer in broad terms. In general, it does appear that Ireland has a high rate of alcohol consumption overall. One study found that the average Irish person drinks about 20 percent more than the average European. What’s more, the Irish appear to drink more heavily. About half of Irish drinkers have some degree of alcohol use disorder, which comes to roughly 1.3 million people out of a total population of 3.2 million. That’s about 40 percent of the population, compared to about 14 percent of American adults with some degree of alcohol use disorder. 55 percent of Irish men identify as binge drinkers, as do 18 percent of Irish women. Not all Irish are heavy drinkers though. About 25 percent of Irish don’t drink at all, compared to about 30 percent of Americans.

How much you drink mainly depends on your family background and where you’re from. One study found that Irish students, especially males, drank more than students from other countries. It also found, unsurprisingly, that higher alcohol consumption tended to run in families. Students with fathers or older siblings who drank heavily were more likely to drink heavily themselves. These students also had a very different idea about what constituted problem drinking. The study also found significant regional disparities. In the areas the have the highest attendendance of Catholic mass, drinking was less common. However, in areas where cricket was the most popular, indicating greater influence of English culture, drinking was more common.

It seems some of Ireland’s heavy drinking can be explained by the influence of their powerful neighbor. Other factors include genetics and having a long-standing drinking culture. Brewing and distilling was a prominent cottage industry in much of Ireland’s modern history. However, there are other factors that have allowed drinking to get worse in recent years. The cost of alcohol keeps dropping, while it becomes more available. There is little restriction on advertisement and little effort to encourage people to drink less. Health care, missed work, and crime costs Ireland about 3.7 billion euro per year, which costs the average taxpayer more than 3000 euro per year.

Behind each of these statistics are many frayed relationships, missed opportunities, accidents, and tragedies. Clearly, this is not something that should be celebrated. There are far more worthy aspects of Irish culture to celebrate this St. Patrick’s day, including the food, music, dancing, language, literature, and Ireland’s natural beauty.

If you or someone you love is struggling with addiction or mental illness, we can help. Recovery Ways is a premier drug and alcohol addiction treatment facility located in Salt Lake City, Utah. We have the resources to effectively treat a dual diagnosis. Our mission is to provide the most cost-effective, accessible substance abuse treatment to as many people as possible. Request information online or call us today at 1-888-986-7848.

The post Do the Irish Really Drink More? appeared first on Addiction Treatment Center Recovery Ways.

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