addiction family disease

How to Cope When Addiction is a Family Disease

Did you know addiction in families is such a common occurrence that 1 in 8 minors lived with a parent (or more) who has had a substance abuse disorder in the past year?

This can have negative effects on the child that can persist through their adult lives. They may form negative habits or negative emotions that can impair their daily lives.

The sober parent will also develop issues from the addiction of the other parent. Furthermore, it may strain their relationship with their siblings and their own parents.

This is why addiction is a family disease – it affects the whole family and even friends. This is also why treatment for addiction is something the whole family must go through. Read on to find out how the family can work through it together.

Why Addiction is a Family Disease

A family is a system in which the parts are all connected to each other. Each unit may have different purposes, but the way one moves affects the way all others move. Hence, when one part changes, it affects the stability of the home and may form stresses on the system.

Think of the family members as the wheels of a car – all must go in one direction so the whole family can move forward. When one tire goes missing, the whole thing becomes unstable and dangerous.

That’s why you can consider addiction as a family disease. It causes harm to the unity of the family and the health of the individual members. An addicted person usually disregards his/her responsibilities at home, which might lead others to shoulder that responsibility, which might then cause resentment.

A worse scenario is when the troubled member becomes violent to the other members. When worse comes to worst, the family may end up cutting ties with the addicted person.

Likewise, treating addiction is also a family affair. This is because the patient needs support from the ones closest to him/her during this process. The kind of support they get will determine whether they will have a successful recovery.

Even if family members are successful in making the first push toward recovery, drug addicts can still go into relapse. For instance, they must force the addict to receive further treatment after detoxification process, even if they already feel well. The ones who go through this first step without treatment will most likely go back to using drugs.

How to Work Through Addiction as a Family

Families have different ways to cope with addiction in the family, but there are wrong ways to do it. To learn what to do instead, consider our tips below on working through addiction as a family unit.

1. Learn About Addiction

There are a lot of studies of drug abuse on the internet, which can help change the mindset of families about it. They may recognize that the addicted person needs help, not anger or violence to make them snap out of it.

Since addiction is a medical condition, addicted people are patients that need medical treatments, too. Learning about its causes and treatments can also make families hopeful about recovery.

2. Recognize the Addiction

First, the family must intervene when they see signs of addiction in a family member. Many families choose to remain silent in hopes that the addicted one will work it out themselves. It’s rare that this course of action works out for all parties – if it happens at all.

Treatment begins with seeking it. If the addicted person isn’t doing it themselves, the family must help him/her toward it.

If you have a family member who’s addicted, don’t be afraid to call them out on it. Communicate with the other family members and stage an intervention to help the troubled member realize their wrongdoings and know that they can seek help with the support of the whole family.

3. Don’t Provide Support

Too often, families get duped into thinking that one has changed and they only need one last push to complete the transition. They may lend money to help the addicted person pay their bills, for example. However, this only worsens the whole situation.

This only allows them to continue acting that way as they know they’ll get help when they need it. In this example, they’ll continue to spend their own money on drugs since someone will be paying their bills.

Another way to provide unhelpful support is to shoulder their responsibilities. A husband with an addicted wife, for instance, may pull double shifts when the wife loses her job due to drugs. A parent may shoulder the house chores assigned to their addicted child since he/she can’t do it anymore.

The husband and the parent in these examples are solving the problems for the addict. Yes, this can make them feel bad in the short-term. Still, it’s favorable to the addict in the long-term since they don’t have to worry about anything else.

Unless what you’re giving is medical help, resist the urge to “help.” They need to feel the consequences of their actions. This can help them wake up and seek treatment for themselves.

4. Go to Family Therapy Sessions

As addiction is hard for the whole family, everyone needs to recover from it, too. It can help break down the anger, stress, guilt, distrust, and other negative feelings that the family has accumulated.

These family therapy sessions have a high success rate in transforming the dynamic of the family into a well-tuned one. These can help resolve conflicts and help understand the struggles of the addict, as well.

This may also help resolve the reason why the person turned to drugs in the first place. The sessions will help the family identify it and then they can work through it on their own terms.

Get the Right Treatment for Addiction

As addiction is a family disease, it’s the family who must take initiative in finding the right treatment. It should have studies backing it as a reliable form of treatment and not DIY treatments off the internet. If you need any help, don’t hesitate to contact us today and let us help you work through it as a family.

adult children of alcoholics

4 Common Personality Traits in Adult Children of Alcoholics

Screaming, yelling, and fighting.

Imagine waking up in the morning to the sound of your parents fighting. Not just arguing, but screaming, shouting, and maybe even throwing things.

Not sure what’s going on, you stumble downstairs to find out what’s wrong. Peering over the staircase, you can barely make out what your parents are saying. But you know whatever is going on must be serious. Afraid you might be in trouble yourself, you decide to skip breakfast and hide out in your room.

Being the Child of an Alcoholic

Children of alcoholics live in a strange reality. One minute everything is calm and serene. Then suddenly, without warning, a crisis erupts in their living room. The endless cycle of drama and pseudo-resolution may even continue into adulthood.

If you or a loved one is the child of an alcoholic, you’re not alone. Almost 28 million children in the U.S. are currently living with an alcoholic parent.

While we can’t change the past, learning from it can help us reshape our future. Read on to learn more about the personality traits that are common among children from alcoholic households.

Tips for Children of Alcoholics

Before you start reviewing the ways alcoholism impacts children, you’ll want to prepare yourself for what you might be feeling.

It’s normal for survivors of alcoholism to want to defend their parents, especially given the ways that alcoholism has shaped their lives. It’s also natural to feel anger, sadness, and even guilt.

We suggest that you write down any negative judgments that arise, whether they are against yourself or another individual, as you learn about the damage alcohol can cause. Research shows that writing down how you feel helps you process your feelings. You don’t have to read them, just write them down to get them out of your head.

Once you’re in the right headspace, you’re ready to begin looking at some of the darkest parts of alcoholism and the way you or another child might react to them.

1. Children of Alcoholics Expect Excitement

Constant crises and daily dramas can cause children of alcoholics to expect life to be tense. This is because their experience has shown them that anything can go wrong, at any time. As they grow familiar with feelings of panic or fear, they start to expect them all the time.

Usually, when we think of something as exciting, we think of it as fun. However, this type of excitement refers to a more scary feeling stemming from fear.

Rather than feeling joyfully excited, children of alcoholics often feel fearfully excited.

Then, once they become adults, their minds stay stuck in crisis mode. This chaotic outlook on life usually continues in their own lives until they unlearn it.

2. Children of Alcoholics Often Experience Insecure Attachment

During early childhood, it’s important for kids to feel secure. It’s during this time of their life that the groundwork is being laid for how they will function as adults.

Insecure attachment is one consequence of an unstable, alcoholic household. It is often characterized by the need for things to be surprising or different. However, things don’t necessarily have to be exciting (scary or adrenaline-fueled) for an insecure attachment to form in children of alcoholics.

Children of alcoholics may feel that a crisis must always be present in their lives because it is all they have ever known to be true. For instance, adult children of alcoholics might seek out unstable relationships, jobs, and financial situations.

This is because people who struggle with an unhealthy attachment to instability are also prone to behaviors like self-sabotage. As fear and doubt creep in about their future, they’ll feel a familiar sense of panic.

Of course, insecure attachment is subliminal behavior. In their own minds, adult children of alcoholics are doing everything possible to be happy. It just so happens that being unhappy is more comfortable and familiar.

3. Children of Alcoholics Are Susceptible to Addiction

Another problem that adult children of alcoholics face is the potential for substance abuse and addiction. The combination of genetics and experiences cause these individuals to have a higher probability of struggling with addiction than the average person.

Studies show that when a parent abuses alcohol before conception, their child is more likely to also have addiction problems. In fact, genetics can increase the risk of having addiction by 40 to 60 percent— or more, in some cases.

4. Children of Alcoholics Are Overwhelmed by Emotions

Alcoholic parents aren’t as emotionally available to their children as they should be. Moreover, children may witness their alcoholic parents behaving wildly during active addiction.

While they may think, “I will never act that way,” they are unconsciously learning from their addicted parents. Many adult children experience feelings of disgust when they notice any extreme similarities between their and their addicted parents’ behavior.

Unregulated emotions and feelings of self-hatred can lead to the development of serious mental health issues, like depression. They can also cause high levels of anxiety, anger, and other negative emotions.

Dealing with Adulthood as the Child of an Alcoholic

Children of alcoholics tend to also struggle with small setbacks in their plans. This makes personal relationships and self-discipline especially challenging to maintain.

They may find themselves yelling at their partner for being a few minutes late to a date. They may overly criticize themselves for not being able to complete a personal goal. For these individuals, even being stuck in traffic can feel like a reason to hate themselves— or others.

The Addiction Treatment Services blog provides reliable information to help families recover from addiction. Knowledge and communication are the keys to healing, and being whole again.

Do you know someone who might be struggling with alcoholism? There are things you can do to help without putting yourself at risk. Check out our latest article about how to hold an alcohol intervention.

For any additional information about alcohol detox and treatment options, contact us here or call us at (855) 247-4046.

friendship and recovery

Friendship and Recovery: Parting Ways With Addicts

Once you’ve gotten sober, you’ll need to cut out the negative influences in your life. Friendship and recovery can be quite complicated.

One of the hardest things about getting sober is the complete shift in lifestyle that you have to make. You’ll need to seek out new hobbies and activities to keep your mind off of using substances. You’ll also need to say goodbye to some of your old acquaintances.

It doesn’t have to be forever, but it’s integral to surround yourself with the right people when you’ve made the decision to stop using. Some of your friends, of course, may still be addicts. So, how do you tell them you need some time away?

In this post, we’ll be giving you some tips on how to part ways with the negative influences in your life. You’ll learn more about prioritizing your recovery, living a sober lifestyle, and moving forward with the positive things in life without worrying about what you’re leaving behind. 

Friendship and Recovery: How to Get Rid of Bad Influences

It’s important to note that when you get sober, there’s going to be a considerable change in how you live your life. With help from your family and doctors, you’ll have higher chances of success. However, if you’re going to make sobriety work, then you need to know that there will be some temptation during your recovery.

Being able to see who has your best interest in mind and who has their own best interest in mind is critical for a successful recovery. You have to figure out who supports your recovery and who doesn’t.

You Need Support

People that struggle with addiction can recover with help from good support systems. In fact, many addicts come from healthy families and have healthy relationships. However, there’s almost always an undercurrent of bad influences as well.

When you decide to get sober, you’re taking responsibility for the part you played in becoming an addict. Admitting that you’ve got a problem is a huge step in the right direction. But it’s only the first part of a long process.

To get and stay sober, you’re going to need the help of supportive parents, friends, family members, partners, and even ex-partners. It’s impossible to go through recovery alone. So, the sooner you realize the importance of keeping good influences around you, the better this process will go.

The same goes for keeping bad influences away. There are people in your life that will actively prevent you from achieving your goal of getting and staying sober. It doesn’t necessarily mean that they’re trying to sabotage you or your life. There could be a lot of reasons why someone close to you doesn’t want you to give up substance use. Even so, you’ll need to keep these people at arm’s length while you go through your recovery.

Signs of a Negative Influence

Cutting ties with anyone is hard, and not all of the people from your old life will interfere with your recovery process. Still, some of them will make it hard to resist the urge to return to substance abuse. It’s unfortunate, but you need to get away from these kinds of people— at least while you’re still in the process of getting sober.

Being objective about who to cut ties with can be tough, so here are some of the telltale signs of a negative influence. You should put some distance between yourself and friends that:

  • criticize your decision to get sober
  • frequently cause you emotional distress
  • accuse you of being “no fun” or “boring now”
  • have a pattern of influencing your decisions in a negative manner
  • are ignorant of their own addiction or unwilling to seek treatment 

These aren’t all of the signs, but they’re some of the more obvious ones.

If you’re particularly close with someone that acts in any of the ways listed above, then you will have to make the difficult but critical decision to cut ties with them. It will be especially hard if you see the person every day or if the two of you live together.

It’s Not Goodbye, It’s See You Later

The truth of the matter is that if someone really cares about you and has your best interests in mind, then that person will see why you have to have some time apart. If anyone in your life is resistant to you temporarily cutting ties with them, that’s an even greater sign that you’re making the right decision.

Again, it’s almost never out of maliciousness. It can be hard for people in the middle of substance abuse problems to be happy for those that decide to stop. For reasons of jealousy or insecurity with their own inability to get clean, they’ll appear to be trying to pull you back into the addiction.

The best way to approach these types of conversations is to recognize that you played a part in this unhealthy relationship. Taking ownership of your own problems will show them that you’re not blaming them for what’s transpired or passing judgment on them for not seeking help.

The conversation could go any number of ways.

There will likely be a negative reaction. No one wants to hear that they’re part of a toxic relationship. If you feel that someone isn’t taking you or your health seriously, then you should cut ties entirely and focus on your recovery.

The important thing is that you find the best treatment possible to get and stay sober.

Surround Yourself With the Right People

The good influences in your life will make themselves apparent right away. Having a network of supportive and loving people is just as important as the treatment that you receive. You’ll meet supportive doctors, nurses, and peers during treatment that you’ll be able to rely on for years to come.

Eventually, you may see some of your old friends again. It’s important to remember that people can change and that addiction changes people. Maybe some of them have even decided to get sober, too. If that ever happens, you can decide whether or not you want to be for them what they weren’t for you: a friend.

Help from Addiction Treatment Services

For help finding addiction treatment, visit Addiction Treatment Services.

Be sure to also check out our blog for more informative and inspirational articles about getting sober, finding friendship and recovery, and starting a new life.

anger management and recovery

Anger Management and Rehabilitation: How Controlling Anger Can Improve Recovery

Anger and anger management are serious problems for many Americans. Sixteen million people throughout the country suffer from a condition known as Intermittent Explosive Disorder (or IED). This condition is characterized by sudden feelings of anger that are disproportionate to the situation.

Moreover, most people don’t realize that anger issues and substance abuse often go hand in hand.

In fact, people who struggle with anger management problems may be more prone to substance abuse. They may turn to drugs or alcohol to help them cope with their problems. However, they may also find that drugs or alcohol make their anger problems worse.

The connection between addiction and anger makes anger management courses an excellent benefit for people in recovery. Read on to learn more about the vital role that anger management can play in addiction recovery.

Anger and Addiction

Everyone gets angry from time to time. Addicts, though, might find that they get angry more often than other people. There are many links between anger and addiction, and it’s not always clear which one leads to the other.

Some of the most well-known connections between the two are explained below:

Self-Medicating to Manage Emotions

The act of self-medicating is pervasive among individuals who struggle with addiction.

Some people who know that they have trouble managing their anger may turn to drugs or alcohol because they think that using will help them cope.

For example, people with anger issues may use depressants like alcohol or opioids to stay calm and slow their reflexes. They may even use sedatives to try to keep their anger under control.

Drugs and Alcohol Triggering Anger

On the other hand, drugs and alcohol can also trigger anger in some people.

Substance use can reduce impulse control and make it harder for some people to control their temper. Under the influence of drugs or alcohol, a minor annoyance can become a major issue and cause someone to act irrationally.

For example, alcohol impairs cognitive abilities. So, alcohol misuse can cause people not to think through things as clearly as they might usually. They might also care less about the consequences of their actions when they’re under the influence of a particular substance.

Drugs, Alcohol, and Domestic Abuse

It’s also important to note that there is a striking correlation between the rates of substance use and domestic abuse. There is also a particularly strong link between alcoholism and intimate partner violence.

One study, which involved 67 participants, even showed that alcohol increased the likelihood of physical aggression in men who already had anger problems and difficulty managing their emotions.

This study revealed that sexual aggression was higher after consuming alcohol. These findings were accurate even among men who did not have anger problems and were able to manage their anger well when sober.

Benefits of Anger Management in Recovery

There are some significant connections between anger management issues and substance abuse.

For many people, getting sober can be very beneficial in helping them to better control their anger. However, getting to the root of the issue is also important. If you struggle with anger management issues, you need to figure out why and how you can cope with them.

Participating in anger management while in recovery can bring about many benefits, including the following:

Learn to Recognize Triggers

When anger management is part of your addiction recovery plan, you’ll have an easier time figuring out what kinds of situations trigger your anger.

Once you can recognize these triggers, you’ll be able to cope with them or avoid them altogether.

If you find that you’re more prone to anger after consuming drugs or alcohol, you may feel even more motivated to give them up for good.

Learn to Cope with Triggers

Recognizing triggers is the first step. Avoiding them is great when you can, but you’re not always able to do that.

While in anger management, you’ll learn how to cope with your triggers in healthy ways that don’t involve alcohol, drugs, or other destructive behaviors.

Take Responsibility for Your Actions

A big part of anger management involves learning to take responsibility for your actions. Generally, this is a big part of recovery, too.

By participating in anger management as part of your recovery, you’ll have a much easier time accepting what’s happened in your life so far and finding the motivation to make positive changes going forward.

Repair Your Relationships

When you learn to take responsibility for your actions and control your anger, you can also start to repair your relationships with your family, friends, and others who have been affected by your anger issues.

Participating in anger management also shows your loved ones that you’re prioritizing both your mental and emotional health in your recovery.

What to Expect from Anger Management

If you are feeling hesitant about doing anger management training during your addiction recovery, remember that there are plenty of good reasons to participate and lots to take away from it.

Every anger management program is different, but some experiences among them are similar. During your participation, you can likely expect to:

  • talk about your past experiences
  • work on identifying your personal triggers
  • learn mindful, healthy ways to respond to your triggers
  • share your feelings in either a one-on-one or group setting
  • learn problem-solving skills and tips to handle things in a more productive way
  • cover other communication techniques and effective ways of addressing your anger

After anger management, you’ll find that you’re more patient and have an easier time dealing with frustrating situations. It’s a long road, and you’ll have to practice, but you will see improvements if you focus on the program.

Get Help Today

Anger management can be very beneficial to individuals struggling with addiction.

If you struggle with anger issues and also need help getting sober, finding a recovery program that includes anger management is crucial.

Do you need help finding a recovery program near you that fits your needs? If so, contact Addiction Treatment Services today.

We have compassionate, caring admissions specialists available at all times to help you take the steps you need to move forward toward recovery.

References

Advanced Solutions International, Inc. (n.d.). Anger in the Families. Retrieved from https://www.aamft.org/Consumer_Updates/Effect_of_Anger_on_Families.aspx

Graham, J. (2017, July 19). Why is everyone so angry, and how can we change that? Retrieved from https://www.deseretnews.com/article/865685019/Why-is-everyone-so-angry-and-how-can-we-change-that.html

Shorey, R. C., McNulty, J. K., Moore, T. M., & Stuart, G. L. (2017, March). Trait Anger and Partner-Specific Anger Management Moderate the Temporal Association Between Alcohol Use and Dating Violence. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28317513

Alcoholic Intervention

Ready and Willing: 12 Alcoholic Intervention Tips to Get Others On Your Side

The prevalence of alcohol abuse is on the rise, with recent studies noting that one in every eight adults in the United States is an alcoholic.

While many enjoy an occasional drink in a social situation or with dinner, excessive drinking is a dangerous and sometimes deadly habit.

Are you concerned about a loved one? Don’t wait; you need to read this article.

Here are 12 tips to help you plan an alcoholic intervention that’ll get your loved one and others on your side.

How to Hold an Impactful Alcoholic Intervention

1. Research Alcohol Addiction Before the Intervention

An intervention is a serious step in striving for an addicted loved one’s sobriety. Therefore, it requires a great deal of care and consideration in order to work.

But before you can run, you must walk.

One of the best ways to prepare for an intervention is to research alcoholism and the most common treatment options for it. Doing so will allow you to better understand what your loved one is going through.

Your research will also shine a light on just how dangerous alcohol addiction can be, allowing you to better communicate the serious nature of addiction to your team as well as your addicted loved one.

2. Build an Alcoholic Intervention Plan

If you and your team don’t prepare properly, it won’t take much for your intervention to go off the rails.

Every detail of the intervention should be carefully planned.

Start by choosing the right time and location. A private place that your addicted loved one visits often is a good choice.

3. Form the Right Team for the Intervention

Perhaps no aspect of the intervention is more important than who you choose to include. Your group should consist of people who have been directly affected by the addict’s behavior.

Most interventions include immediate family and close friends only. However, you may also choose to include their employer if their addiction has impacted their job performance.

Also, make sure that your group size isn’t too big or too small. If you include too many people, you run the risk of embarrassing your loved one. Too few people, however, may lessen the impact of the intervention.

4. Consider Inviting a Professional to the Intervention

Planning an intervention— especially for someone you love— can be a mind-boggling experience.

You want to convince the addict that his or her behavior needs to change immediately. But, understandably, some methods work better than others.

To increase your chances of getting through to your addicted loved one, bring in an intervention specialist for help. These professionals are trained to help you organize and execute your intervention while reducing the possibilities of negative outcomes.

Most intervention specialists work with local rehab facilities. Your best bet is to contact a local facility and inquire about their specialist services.

5. Empathize with Your Addicted Loved One During the Intervention

The overwhelming majority of addicts don’t choose to be addicts. While it’s easy to write off addictive behaviors as some sort of moral flaw or character weakness, addiction is actually a complex disease.

In fact, there’s rarely one sole cause of addiction. A wide variety of factors, from genetics to environment to mental health, can influence a person’s likelihood of developing an addiction.

What’s more, addiction isn’t something that most addicts enjoy. For an alcoholic, the serious mental and psychological impact of alcohol addiction, as well as the constant cycle of guilt, anger, and sadness, can perpetuate destructive behaviors.

While it’s impossible to understand addiction unless you’ve been there yourself, it’s important to do your best to empathize. Approach this experience knowing that it may help someone you love get treatment.

6. Prepare and Rehearse Your Speeches Ahead of Time

As mentioned before, every aspect of the intervention should be carefully planned out. This includes your speeches.

Although improvising what to say may seem like a good idea, emotion often gets the better of people, especially in high-stress situations. With this in mind, it’s better to write your speech ahead of time and practice reading it aloud in a calm, clear manner.

If you’re not sure where to start, there are some excellent example scripts online you can use for inspiration.

7. Aim to Inspire Change at the Intervention

The overall purpose of an intervention isn’t to guilt the addict; it’s to inspire change.

Throughout each step of the planning process, keep your end goal in mind. Everything and everyone should work together to help your addicted loved one get the help that he or she deserves.

8. Demand Action During the Intervention

If your loved one is deep in the throes of addiction, merely asking for rehab isn’t going to be enough.

You’ll need to demand action.

For some people, the idea of confrontation can be frightening. However, remember that your loved one’s life is on the line.

Remember, be understanding but firm. Demand action, even if that means changing your relationship with the addict.

9. Expect and Prepare Yourself for Any Outcome

In truth, there’s no telling how an intervention will go. Even if you’ve enlisted intervention help, have a great group, and wrote powerful, impassioned speeches, the addict may still refuse to acknowledge the problem.

You’ll want to prepare for every possible outcome of the situation.

Typically, one of two things will happen.

Your loved one will either agree to attend rehab or flat out refuse. It’s that binary.

Keep an open mind. Though you should do your best to reach the addict, ultimately, the decision to enter rehab is not yours to make.

10. Treat Addiction as a Group Problem

Imagine walking into a room where a circle of people condemns your behavior and dwells on your mistakes.

In a situation like that, you most likely wouldn’t be receptive to change. In fact, it may even make things worse.

However, if that same group of people was to discuss the problems of your behavior in a way that came across as more caring and less judgemental, then you may be more receptive to hear what they have to say.

Remember this when planning your intervention. It’s best to tackle substance abuse as a group issue instead of a single person’s shortcomings.

Make it clear to your addicted loved one that everyone is invested in his or her well-being and that they only want to help.

11. Remain Calm During the Intervention

You will likely feel a mix of emotions while planning an intervention. You may feel angry, sad, or even guilty. All of this is normal.

However, it’s important to process each of these emotions and better understand your feelings before the intervention.

During the intervention itself, remain calm. Speak at a normal volume and treat it as a conversation, no matter how much you’re hurting.

12. Have a Post-Intervention Plan in Place

Whether your intervention succeeds or fails, you’ll need to know what comes next.

If your loved one agrees to enter treatment, which facility will they attend? Have the names and addresses of local treatment facilities ready just in case.

If your addicted loved one chooses to continue drinking, how will your relationship change? What will be the consequences of the addict’s decision? These are some of the things you’ll have to think about in the event that your loved one rejects help.

Hosting an Alcoholic Intervention: Tips for Success

You don’t have to watch your loved one sink deeper into addiction one drink at a time. Hosting an alcoholic intervention can be an effective, life-saving move that inspires positive, long-term change.

Keep these tips in mind as you begin planning your intervention.

If you’d like more information about planning interventions, local rehab facilities, or insurance information, please don’t hesitate to contact us today.

References

Harvard Health Publishing. (n.d.). Questions & Answers: Is addiction hereditary? Retrieved from https://www.health.harvard.edu/newsletter_article/Questions_andamp_Answers_Is_addiction_hereditary

Schuckit, M. A. (2017, September 01). Remarkable Increases in Alcohol Use Disorders. Retrieved from https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamapsychiatry/article-abstract/2647075

Treatment, C. F. (1999, January 01). [Table], Figure 2-5: Scripts for Brief Intervention – Brief Interventions and Brief Therapies for Substance Abuse – NCBI Bookshelf. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK64942/table/A61063/

Willingham, A. (2017, August 11). Study finds 1 in 8 Americans struggles with alcohol abuse. Retrieved from https://www.cnn.com/2017/08/10/health/drinking-alcoholism-study-trnd/index.html

Painkiller Addiction in Student Athlete

The Painkiller High School Problem: How Injuries Aren’t the Only Risk in Athletics

High school is one of the most important times in our lives. It is a time of learning, growth, and opportunity, and shapes us for the rest of our lives. There are few things shape us as much as school sports, which teach high school students to work in teams and build relationships.

While the benefits of playing high school sports are many, there are also risks involved. The main risk is being injured, which may lead to an even more deadly risk: addiction to painkillers. In this article, we’ll walk you through what painkillers are, why high school athletes chase the painkiller high, and how young athletes can avoid addiction.

Painkillers: What Are They?

Painkillers are a class of prescription medication called opiates. Opiates come from the opium plant and work by mimicking the pain-reducing chemicals in your brain called endorphins. Endorphins reduce stress and pain and create a feeling of well-being.

Opiates act like endorphins because connect to the same places in your brain and create a sense of euphoria, energy, or well-being. Opiates are powerful because they cause a strong intoxicating effect and are addictive.

Common painkiller drugs include morphine, codeine, and Oxycontin. These drugs are for patients who have suffered an injury and are suffering from intense pain.

The Painkiller High: Dangers for Student-Athletes

So why are painkillers so dangerous for high school athletes? The first reason that painkillers are so dangerous for student-athletes is the potency of these drugs. Painkillers are very easy to overdose on based on their high potency.

Over 68% of overdoses in the United States are from painkillers and with over 130 Americans dying from opiate overdoses per day, the threat is real.

Student-athletes are more likely to use painkillers than others. High school athletes are already more likely to use illegal drugs than students who don’t play sports, which may be due to the stress of performing.

But high school athletes are even more likely to sustain an injury at some point in their sports career. These injuries can be serious, like a broken leg or torn ligament, and need more time to heal and pain management techniques.

Student-athletes are often given a prescription for these painkillers when they suffer an injury. While the painkillers reduce pain in the short term, some students start using the pills to get high or get addicted while managing their pain.

Consequences of Painkiller Abuse

The first and most obvious consequence of abusing painkillers is an overdose. Painkiller overdoses are one of the leading causes of death in the United States. Drug users who don’t die from an opiate overdose may suffer from brain damage or organ damage due to lack of oxygen, which may last for a lifetime.

Painkiller abuse can also affect the digestive system of users. Painkillers make the bowels slow down, which leads to constipation, nausea, and vomiting.

The most dangerous consequences of painkiller abuse are an increase in use and using more dangerous drugs. Because painkillers are so addictive and powerful, they lead to addiction and an increased tolerance for the drug. This is dangerous because it causes the user to take more pills to get the same high, which leads to overdoses, serious financial issues, and crime.

Heroin Abuse

When addicts either can’t afford more painkillers or their prescription runs out, they turn to a cheaper drug that is easier to get: heroin. Heroin is an illegal opiate that is usually sold as a powder or resin, which is then smoked, snorted, or injected into the body. It is cheap, easy to get, and very strong,

Heroin is dangerous because the potency isn’t consistent and different things are added to it to make it stronger. Fentanyl is one of the strongest prescription painkillers on the planet and is added to heroin to increase the potency. This has lead to a sharp increase in overdose deaths from opiates.

Avoiding Painkiller Addiction in Student-Athletes

There’s not much you can do to prevent student-athletes from getting injured. But there are many steps you can take to make sure that young athletes don’t become addicted to painkillers.

The first step you can take is to make sure that your student-athlete isn’t prescribed painkillers in the first place. Painkillers help manage pain but there are other ways to reduce pain.

Anti-Inflammatories

Over-the-counter medications like Ibuprofen and aspirin reduce inflammation and pain. They are hard to overdose on, aren’t addictive, and are easy to find.

R.I.C.E

R.I.C.E stands for the four steps of recovery: Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation. Resting the injured body part, icing the injury, compressing the injury with wraps, and elevating the injury above your heart reduces pain and increases recovery.

Physical Therapy

Physical therapy can help reduce the pain from longterm or recurring injuries. It also prevents injuries in the future by strengthening joints and the muscles surrounding them.

Management

Making sure to supervise your young athlete’s painkiller prescription is also important. If your student-athlete has a painkiller prescription, make sure that they take the right amount and don’t have access to the pills.

You can also make sure that the prescription is appropriate for their injury. If the pain won’t last more than a couple of days, then that is how long the prescription should last for. If the pain takes longer to go away, make sure that the doctor has a plan to reduce the use of painkillers over the course of recovery.

Protect Student-Athletes from Addiction

Now that you know a little more about the use of painkillers in high school sports, you can educate student-athletes about why a painkiller high is so dangerous. The only way to stop addiction is by educating people, and that starts with spreading the word.

If you have any questions about opiate addiction, treatment, and recovery, please visit our blog.

References

xanax-abuse

5 Signs Your Partner is Struggling With Xanax Abuse

Illegal drug use in the US is rising and we all know about the raging opioid crisis. But it’s not just illegal drugs and opioids that are dangerous. Prescription drugs are can be just as addictive and deadly when abused.

We see Xanax abuse glorified in rap songs, but those abusing it could be risking their lives. If you suspect that your partner might be abusing Xanax, you may become very concerned.

If you’re not sure whether they’re suffering from an addiction, there are a few tell-tale signs to look for. Here are a few of them that you might notice in your partner and it might be time for them to seek help.

How Dangerous Is a Xanax Addiction?

If your partner has been abusing Xanax, they could be putting themselves into a lot of danger. Doctors prescribe Xanax to people who suffer from anxiety, and when used as prescribed, it’s very effective.

But when abused and used alongside alcohol, Xanax can be deadly. It can cause users to stop breathing and even put them into a coma in some cases.

If your partner drives after abusing Xanax, their reactions will slow down. This means they could injure themselves or others as a result. When taken in high enough doses, it will have a sedative effect that can last for days.

Now you know about the dangers of Xanax. Let’s take a look at some of the signs that your partner might be struggling with Xanax abuse.

1. Their Behavior Has Changed

One of the signs of any kind of addiction to drugs is when the user’s behavior changes. You might notice that your partner acts differently around you and could be a lot more irritable.

They might also start to engage in risky behavior more often. This includes driving while clearly under the influence, getting into physical altercations, or even stealing from you or other people.

You might notice that their work performance suffers and they may fail to show up to work some days. This can quickly lead to some financial stress which can put a huge strain on your relationship.

2. Their Body Has Changed

As well as their behavior changing, you might also notice some changes in their body too. There are a number of physical symptoms that go with a long-term Xanax addiction that you should look out for.

You might notice that they’re more drowsy than usual and move around slowly. Their speech might be slurred and you might struggle to understand their speech more often.

Another common sign of a Xanax addiction is a dip in their sex drive, and combined with these other signs can also put a strain on your relationship.

There are a could of serious physical changes you need to watch out for too. These include your partner having breathing difficulties and their vision becoming blurry. If these things happen, make sure to visit the hospital as soon as possible.

3. They Experience Psychological Issues

As well as behavioral and physical changes in your partner, they may also experience some psychological issues. Because Xanax is a benzodiazepine, that means it affects the mind more intensely when it is abused.

Your partner may become much more annoyed and irritable, and you might feel like you’re sometimes walking on eggshells around them. They might also lose focus easily and forget the details of the conversations you’ve had together.

They might become manic or feel confused a lot more too. They could also experience issues falling asleep even when they complain about being tired. These are common psychological signs and if your partner suffers from these, it might be time to seek help.

4. They Lie About Drug Use

Addicts like to keep their drug abuse secret, so if your partner starts to lie about their drug use, that’s a big sign.

They might also become very defensive when you ask them about Xanax abuse and could become angry with you.

They might also lie to their doctor in order to get access to more Xanax.

5. They Push You and Family Away

Addiction is destructive and it could cause your partner to push away family and friends. They may do so in order to put their habit first, which is a common trait among people who struggle with addiction.

It might start slowly and be tough to notice. They might miss out on family events and gatherings. They might spend money you were saving in order to fund their habit.

These little things add up and can lead to a very stressful relationship with them. If this does happen in conjunction with these other symptoms of Xanax abuse, it’s time to seek treatment.

It’s Time to Help Your Partner Struggling With Xanax Abuse

As with every other addiction, you can’t force an addict to get clean if they don’t want to. They have to want to kick the habit for themselves, otherwise, they are bound to fail.

There are lots of great ways to get help for your partner though. You can stage an intervention to show them how much they are hurting themselves and their family. Then, you can find a treatment program that can help them get and stay clean from their Xanax abuse problem.

Looking for rehab programs to help your loved one with their Xanax addiction? Check out our range of treatment programs to see which ones could help your family heal from addiction.

References

successful intervention

8 Elements of a Successful Intervention for an Addict with Depression

One in three people who suffer from depression will use alcohol as a way to cope. Although it’s a depressant, it can have a euphoric effect on people in smaller doses. But, at higher doses they start to lose coordination.

It’s only when their use gets out of control that someone is able to start noticing the pattern of addictive behavior in their life. As more problems develop, it may become clear that it’s time for them to have an intervention.

If you’re the loved one of someone who is suffering from addiction and depression, you’re not alone. There are steps you can take to get them help. Learn how to host a successful intervention here.

1. Understand How Depression Works

People who have to fight depression are dealing with an uphill battle every day. It’s difficult to have the energy to get basic tasks done. They may start to give up their social activities and hobbies as the illness takes them deeper and deeper into sorrow.

If someone has been treating their depression with alcohol or drugs, overcoming addiction is the only way to restore their mind to health. Otherwise, their energy is being drained from them by the booze before they have a chance to use it.

2. Include Loved Ones and Friends

The intervention team that you put together will have a major impact on the outcome. You usually want to try to find four to six people that the addict loves and respects to share their feelings about their use. 

It’s important not to ask anyone to the intervention that the addict dislikes or that will not be able to hold themselves back from saying everything they are feeling. You don’t want someone there who is going to sabotage your efforts.

3. Make a Plan for the Intervention

Every intervention should have a plan for what the arguments are, what the solution will be, and what steps the group will take to get there. Make sure you get everyone together for a preintervention so you can all get on the same page.

4. Keep the Conversation Focused on Solutions

At this intervention, you will need to work hard to stay focused on the solutions that you are offering to your loved one. You will notice that they give you a lot of push back and want things their way. They might say things that are designed to push your buttons. 

Just make sure that you keep your attention on the problem at hand. Don’t respond if someone tries to make you mad.

5. Anticipate Their Objections

Your loved one will most likely challenge the idea that they need any form of serious treatment for their substance abuse. They may mention that they have other commitments like children or work that they need to take care of. 

Make sure that you have a prepared and rational response for each of their concerns before you host the intervention. You need to be able to give them the support they need to engage in treatment.

That might mean arranging someone to watch their child, speaking to their coworkers about who can cover their shift, and volunteering to help your loved one get to their treatment program if it’s not inpatient.

6. Ask For an Immediate Commitment

Many people who are faced with an intervention want to run away and take some time to use before they go to treatment. But you shouldn’t give them this time if you want them to be successful.

The more your loved one delays treatment, the longer they will continue to have a problem. When it comes to using drugs, you never know when someone’s last day is coming. So make sure they get into treatment right away.

7. Let Them Know They’re Not Alone

Your number one goal in this intervention is to make your loved one feel like you are there to support them without enabling them to continue to hurt themselves.

Make sure you lay down your line but also make it clear that if they respond, you are there to take this journey with them. Many addicts feel like it is too late for them to get forgiveness and make the right choice, but it’s never too late for anyone.

8. Don’t Give In

An intervention isn’t over until the addict says yes. Unfortunately, not everyone responds well to their first intervention meeting. They could become angry or defensive and may even be resentful about being accused of having an addiction.

They may also lash out and call you a hypocrite or feel like you have betrayed them. It’s important that you are ready for all of these potential responses while still acting out of a place of hope. Even if your intervention doesn’t seem to be working in the moment, you never know what tomorrow will bring.

Where to Go for Help

Many people will experience emotional highs and lows at various points throughout their lifetime. But clinical depression is a lasting depressed mood state that can interfere with someone’s ability to work, provide for themselves and maintain a good lifestyle.

When you struggle with depression for years, it can feel like there will be no end in sight and many people choose to turn to substances to get rid of the emotional pain. But the more you use, the more dependent you become.

It’s easy to slip to the point where you need an intervention. But hearing the truth from a loved one is incredibly difficult on a fragile depressed mind. It’s important to take care to find a quality treatment center to help. Learn more about treatment options here.

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