Why is Addiction So Hard to Overcome?

Most people don't understand why or how other people become addicted to drugs. They may mistakenly think that those who use drugs lack moral principles or willpower and that they could stop their drug use simply by choosing to do so. In reality, addiction is a complex disease, and quitting usually takes more than good intentions or a strong will. 

People with an addiction may feel compulsively driven to seek and use drugs even though they know the substance is causing them damage. They may want to stop using but feel powerless to do so. Over time, continued substance abuse changes how the brain functions, which can drive an increased need for the drug. These brain changes can be long-lasting and lead to harmful behaviors seen in people with substance use disorders. 

Understanding Drug Addiction

Drug addiction is a chronic disease that affects the brain's decision-making center. It is characterized by compulsive drug seeking despite negative consequences. People with addiction often feel unable to control their drug use and continue using despite the harm it causes.

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People who become addicted to drugs often start using substances recreationally or to cope with underlying mental health issues. They may not understand the risks involved and how quickly addiction can develop. Tolerance to drugs builds up quickly, meaning that larger and larger doses are needed to get the same effect. As drug use escalates, so do the risks for negative consequences, including addiction.

Unfortunately, overcoming addiction is not as easy. One cannot just snap out of it; attempting to quit cold turkey could lead to unpleasant withdrawal symptoms. In fact, many addicts will go back to using because the withdrawal symptoms are too difficult to bear.

Why Do Some People Develop Drug Addictions?

Most experts agree that addiction is not caused by a single factor but is instead the result of a combination of genetic, biochemical, and environmental factors. Addiction can also be due to psychological reasons. This means that some people are more vulnerable to addiction than others, even if they're exposed to the same risk factors. 

But just because someone has one or more of these risk factors doesn't mean they will necessarily develop an addiction. Likewise, not having any risk factors doesn't mean someone won't become addicted. Still, the more risk factors a person has, the greater their chance of developing an addiction. 

Psychological Reasons for Addiction 

People with mental issues like anxiety, depression, ADHD, guilt, shame, or bipolar disorder are more likely to turn to drugs as a form of self-medication. Drugs tend to temporarily relieve the symptoms of these underlying mental disorders.

For example, people with anxiety may use marijuana to relax, while someone with depression may temporarily use stimulants to feel happier. However, using drugs in this way can lead to addiction and make the underlying mental disorder worse.

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Biochemical Reasons for Addiction

When someone uses drugs or drinks alcohol, it triggers a dopamine release in the brain. Dopamine is a chemical that is associated with pleasure and rewards, and it helps to reinforce certain behaviors. As a result, the person feels good when they use drugs or drink alcohol and is more likely to repeat the behavior.

Over time, the brain's reward system becomes less sensitive to dopamine, and the person needs to use more drugs or alcohol to achieve the same level of pleasure. This can lead to biochemical addiction, as the person cannot control their use despite negative consequences.

Environmental Reasons for Addiction

Exposure to alcohol and drugs at an early age can increase the risk of developing an addiction later in life. This is because the developing brain is more susceptible to the effects of drugs and alcohol.

In addition, stress and trauma can also lead to addiction. People who cannot cope with their problems may turn to drugs or alcohol to numb the pain. These environmental factors can greatly increase the risk of developing an addiction.

The Challenge of Beating a Drug Addiction

Addiction is a serious issue that affects millions of people around the world. It is a complex condition that can profoundly impact every aspect of an individual's life. Despite the challenges, it is important to remember that addiction is treatable and recovery is possible. Beating addiction is hard, but it is not impossible. 

There are several reasons why overcoming addiction is so difficult.

  1. First and foremost, addiction changes the way the brain functions. Repeated drug abuse alters the brain's circuitry, making it difficult to stop using even when an individual wants to.
  2. Additionally, addiction can lead to physical dependence, meaning that the body becomes accustomed to functioning with the drug and begins to experience withdrawal symptoms when it is not present. These withdrawal symptoms can be extremely unpleasant, making it difficult for someone to stay sober for any time.
  3. Finally, addiction often co-occurs with other mental health problems, which can complicate treatment and make a recovery all the more difficult. 

Despite the challenges, however, treatment is possible, and many people do go on to lead healthy, drug-free lives.

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How to Overcome Addiction

Overcoming addiction requires a comprehensive treatment plan that addresses the underlying causes of addiction, as well as the addict's individual needs. Treatment should be tailored to each person and may include detoxification, therapy, and relapse prevention.

There is no one-size-fits-all approach to treating addiction, as each person’s experience is unique. However, certain principles are essential for all successful treatment programs. These principles include:

If you or someone you love is struggling with addiction, don't give up hope. Help is available, and there is light at the end of the tunnel. With treatment and support, it is possible to recover and lead healthy, drug-free lives.

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The Challenges of Going Back to School for Recovering Addicts

In recent years, drug use among high school and college students has become a growing problem. According to the 2021 Monitoring the Future survey by the National Institute on Drug Use, about 50% of high school seniors have tried an illegal drug at least once.

The availability of drugs and relentless peer pressure can make it difficult for young people to resist trying them. And while most young people who use drugs don't go on to develop a substance use disorder, for those who do, the consequences can be devastating. They may end up with physical and mental health issues and even death due to overdose.

A SAMHSA report showed a strong correlation between drug abuse and dropout rates. Students abusing drugs are more likely to drop out of school than those who don't. But luckily, those who go through addiction treatment can regain control of their lives and get back on track. For some, this means going back to school.

However, going back to school after addiction treatment can present its own unique set of challenges, including:

Juggling a Busy School Schedule and Managing Addiction Recovery

Managing triggers and avoiding relapse is a full-time job for anyone in addiction recovery. But the challenge is even greater for those who are also juggling a busy school schedule. Between classes, homework, extracurricular activities, and social obligations, there is little time for self-care. And when addiction recovery is not given the attention, it needs, the risk of relapse increases.

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The key to managing both a busy school schedule and addiction recovery is to create a support system. This might include finding a trusted mentor or sober friend, attending regular meetings, or working with a therapist. By enlisting the help of others, those in recovery can increase their chances of success in both areas of their life.

Making New Friends and Building Relationships with People Who Are Not Addicts

This can be difficult because the recovering addict may feel like they have to explain their past or justify their choices to the non-addicts. The addict may also feel like they are not worthy of friendship or love from non-addicts.

However, it is important to remember that everyone has a past and that everyone is worthy of friendship and love. If you are a recovering addict, try to be open and honest with new people you meet, and give them a chance to get to know you. You may be surprised at how accepting and understanding they can be.

Staying Sober in a Party-Filled Campus Environment

Returning to school as a recovering addict can be challenging, especially if the campus environment is party-filled. Staying sober in an environment where others are binge drinking, smoking marijuana, or even taking prescription drugs can be difficult, but it is possible.

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Overcoming Self-Doubt and Believing in Oneself Again

It can be challenging for a recovering addict to overcome self-doubt and believe in oneself again. This is especially true when going back to school. The addict may have been out of school for many years and may feel that they are not up to the task of completing a degree. They may also have battled with drug or alcohol addiction for many years and feel that they're not capable of achieving success in sobriety.

However, the addict should remember that they can achieve anything they set their mind to. If the addict is willing to work hard and stay focused, there is no reason why they cannot succeed in school and recovery.

College Programs Designed to Help People Recover

Addiction is a serious disease that can have devastating consequences. Thankfully, there are college programs designed to help people in recovery succeed at finishing their high school diploma or college degree, including:

These programs provide support and resources that can make all the difference in someone's journey to recovery. With the right support, people in recovery can achieve their educational goals and go on to lead happy and healthy lives.

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Benefits of Completing your Education 

For many people in drug addiction recovery, going back to school can be an important step on the road to a successful future. Returning to education can help boost self-esteem and confidence and provide a sense of structure and purpose. It can also lead to improved employment prospects, increased earnings potential, and better relationships with friends and family members.

Moreover, research has shown that people who have continued education are less likely to relapse into drug use than those who drop out. Therefore, returning to school can be an extremely beneficial step for those recovering from drug addiction.

Quitting Drugs and Alcohol Can Make Life Better

Addiction can ruin health, relationships, and finances. If you're struggling with addiction, getting help from a professional drug rehab can be vital to turning your life around. In addition to getting professional help, you can also do a few things on your own to increase your chances of success.

Deciding to quit drugs and alcohol can be daunting, but it's also one of the best decisions you can make for your health, relationships, and future. With the right support, you can overcome addiction and go on to lead a happy and successful life. Call us today to begin your pathway to addiction recovery!

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Do Harm Reduction Efforts Actually Lower Addiction Rates?

In recent years, there has been a growing movement in the United States to adopt harm reduction strategies when it comes to drug addiction and overdose. Harm reduction is a public health approach that focuses on reducing the negative consequences of risky behaviors rather than on eliminating the behaviors themselves. Proponents of harm reduction argue that this approach is more realistic and effective than traditional approaches that focus on abstinence.

There is some evidence to support this claim. For example, a study of needle exchange programs in the United States found that these programs were associated with lower rates of HIV/HSV infections among injection drug users. Another study by SAMHSA notes that these programs save lives by being accessible and available in a way that underlines the need for compassion and humility toward people who use drugs. 

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SAMHSA adds that harm reduction programs provide access to treatment, social services, and health care. They reduce chronic diseases such as HIV/HCV, overdose deaths, and acute life-threatening infections related to unsterile drug injection.

However, it is important to note that harm reduction efforts alone are not enough to address the underlying causes of addiction; they must be part of a comprehensive strategy that includes prevention, treatment, and recovery services. Nevertheless, harm reduction programs can play an important role in saving lives and reducing the harms associated with drug use.

What is Harm Reduction, and what are its Goals?

Harm reduction is a public health approach that seeks to minimize the harms associated with harmful behaviors. It is rooted in the belief that people have the right to make their own choices about their health and well-being and that everyone has the potential to reduce the harms they experience.

Harm reduction approaches provide a non-judgmental way to connect people with services and support. By focusing on reducing harm rather than on eliminating risk, harm reduction provides a more realistic and achievable goal for many people. As a result, it has the potential to improve individual and population health outcomes. The principles of harm reduction include:

·       Respect for autonomy: People should be free to choose their health and well-being without coercion or judgment.

·       Meeting people where they are: Services and support should be tailored to meet the needs of each individual, based on their unique circumstances.

·       Harm reduction is not abstinence: The focus is on reducing harm, not eliminating all risk.

·       Harm reduction is pragmatic: It recognizes that people will engage in risky behaviors and seeks to minimize the associated harm.

·       Harm reduction is evidence-based: It is based on the best available evidence rather than ideology. Harm Reduction Programs and Services A variety of harm reduction strategies can be employed to achieve the goals.

Some common harm reduction strategies include:

Needle Exchange Programs

Needle exchange programs provide clean needles and syringes to people who inject drugs to reduce the risk of HIV, AIDS and other blood-borne diseases. These programs also provide other services such as counseling, referrals to addiction treatment and recovery services, and access to naloxone, a medication that can reverse an opioid overdose.

Nearly three-decade of research has shown that these programs were associated with lower rates of HIV, hepatitis, and other infections. The research also found that SSP users are 5x more likely to enter drug treatment and about 3x more likely to stop using drugs than those who don't use the programs.

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The Use of Federal Funding to Purchase Fentanyl Strips

Fentanyl strips test for the presence of fentanyl in drugs. Fentanyl is a powerful synthetic opioid that is up to 100 times more potent than heroin. It is often mixed with other drugs without the user's knowledge, which can lead to accidental overdoses.

Drug checking with fentanyl strips can reduce this. The US government has funded states and localities to purchase fentanyl strips as a harm reduction measure. The strips can be used to test drugs for the presence of fentanyl, which can help users make informed decisions about whether or not to use them.

Providing Safer Consumption Spaces

Safer consumption spaces are places where people can consume drugs under the supervision of trained staff. These spaces can provide various services, including access to clean needles and syringes, naloxone, counseling, and referrals to addiction treatment and recovery services. They also educate individuals on how to reduce substance use and drug-related harm and curb the spread of infectious diseases. Today, over 66 safe consumption spaces are operating with the approval of law enforcement worldwide, including in Europe, Canada, and Australia. 

Increasing Access to Opioid Overdose Reversal Treatments

Opioid overdose reversal treatments, such as Narcan® or naloxone, can save lives by reversing the effects of an opioid overdose. Naloxone is a medication that can be administered by injection or nasal spray, and it is available without a prescription in many states. Many states have implemented standing orders programs, which allow health care providers to prescribe naloxone to people who may be at risk of overdosing. The drugs can also be issued to friends and family members of people who use opioids.

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Naloxone used to block the effects of opioids medication Oxycodone Morphine to save life in emergency case

Know Your Source

Know Your Source is a harm reduction program in Vancouver, Canada, that provides information about the purity and potency of drugs to users. The program also encourages users to inject slowly, use in the presence of a sober friend and be aware of the early signs of overdose and how to use naloxone. 

Medication Assisted Treatment

Medication-assisted treatment (MAT) is a harm reduction approach that combines behavioral therapy with medications to treat substance use disorders. MAT is used to treat opioid addiction and effectively reduces the risk of overdose and death.

These are just a few examples of harm reduction programs and services that can be employed to reduce the risks associated with substance use. Many other harm reduction strategies can be used, and the best approach will vary depending on the community's needs. If you or someone you know is struggling with substance use, resources are available to help. Treatment and recovery services can provide the support you need to overcome addiction and build a healthier, happier life.

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What Happens During A Full Medical Detox From Drugs?

The first and most important treatment step for those struggling with addiction is a medical detox. During detox, the body is cleansed of all traces of the addictive substance, and any withdrawal symptoms are monitored and managed by medical professionals.

Detox helps to break the physical dependence on a substance and provides a safe and supportive environment for those in early recovery. Detox can also help to identify any underlying medical conditions that may be contributing to the addiction.

After detox, patients can begin to focus on the psychological, social, and behavioral health issues surrounding addiction and develop healthy coping mechanisms. Without detox, it would be much harder for those struggling with addiction to get the help they need.

What is a Medical Detox?

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Medical detox is a process in which the body is cleansed of drugs or alcohol under the supervision of medical professionals. Medical detox aims to make the withdrawal process as comfortable and safe as possible. This is typically done through medication, close monitoring, and support from counselors and other professionals.

Medical detox can be an important first step in recovery, as it reduces the likelihood of immediate relapse and makes it easier for patients to focus on their recovery effort. However, it is not a substitute for comprehensive substance abuse treatment, rather it should be considered an important first step to recovery. Patients who undergo medically-managed detox programs should be transitioned to a rehab program or another form of treatment as soon as possible.

Why is Medical Detox Important?

Substance abuse changes the brain in many ways, altering its chemistry and making it increasingly difficult to control impulses. Continued use can cause addiction as the body craves those substances and starts to function more normally in the presence of the drug than without it.

At this point, any attempt to stop using can leave one feeling sick (also known as withdrawal symptoms). These symptoms can be severe or even life-threatening for some substances like alcohol or benzodiazepines. For example, alcohol withdrawal symptoms can cause delirium tremens (DTs), a deadly syndrome that, if left untreated, can cause impaired consciousness, hallucinations, profound confusion, high blood pressure, elevated heart rate, etc.

For other substances, the symptoms may be uncomfortable enough to cause relapse. Opioids, for example, trigger flu-like symptoms that are so severe and can push one back to using to feel better. 

Therefore, cold turkey is not the best option, and slowly tapering off the substance with the help of a medical professional is a better path. Drug detox provides a supervised setting where patients can safely detoxify from substances while receiving important medical care. It can also help manage the effects of withdrawal and make the process as safe and comfortable as possible.

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Withdrawal Symptoms

Withdrawal symptoms can range from mild to severe and usually begin within 6-12 hours after your last drink. Common symptoms include:

More severe symptoms can include seizures, racing heart, hallucinations, and delusions. If you experience any of these side effects, it's important to seek medical help right away. Withdrawal symptoms can be uncomfortable and even dangerous, but with professional help you can safely detox from alcohol and begin your road to recovery.

What medications are provided?

Medications are often used during detox to help manage withdrawal symptoms and cravings. The most common types of medications used include:

Medications can be an important part of detox, but they should be used under the supervision of a medical professional. Withdrawal and cravings can be difficult to manage on your own, but with the help of medication, you can safely detox from drugs or alcohol.

When is Medical Detox Necessary?

When it comes to substance abuse, there is no one-size-fits-all answer to the question of when detoxification is necessary. The decision should be made based on some factors, including:

If you have experienced withdrawal symptoms in the past or if you are currently experiencing any physical health problems, detoxification may be necessary to stop drinking safely. In general, however, detoxification is not always necessary when discontinuing alcohol use. Speak with a healthcare professional to determine whether detox is right for you.

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What Happens After a Medical Detox?

Medical detox is just the first step in overcoming addiction. To achieve long-term sobriety, patients must receive treatment at a rehab facility or any other treatment program. Patients who undergo medical detox should transition to a rehab program, which can include inpatient or outpatient treatment.

Inpatient rehab requires patients to live at the facility while receiving around-the-clock care, while outpatient treatment allows them to continue living at home while attending regular therapy sessions. Both these treatments use an evidence-based approach to addiction that addresses specific aspects of drug addiction and its impacts on the individual, family, and society.

By receiving continuous care at a detox center, patients will likely stay sober in the long run. Rehab facilities also provide additional resources, such as support groups and 12-step programs, to help patients maintain their sobriety after leaving the facility.

Professional Medical Detox Program

A full medical detox from drugs can be an intense and scary process, but with the help of a professional detox program, it doesn't have to be. If you or someone you love is struggling with addiction, don't hesitate to seek help. MoreThanRehab offers comprehensive detox programs that will provide you or your loved one with the support and care needed to make a successful recovery. Don't wait any longer - call us today!

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Healthy Foods to Help With Drug Cravings

Proper nutrition is essential for everyone, but it plays an especially important role in recovering from alcohol and drug addiction. The physical and mental stress of addiction can take a toll on the body, depleting nutrients and damaging cells. The resulting deficiencies can contribute to mental illness and issues like fatigue, anxiety, and depression. This is where healthy foods come in.

Eating a nutritious diet helps replenish the lost nutrients during addiction and provides the energy needed to participate in treatment and rebuild a sober life. It can also help to restore the body's natural rhythms, improve mood, and reduce cravings. As a result, an individualized nutrition plan is an essential part of comprehensive treatment programs.

The specific nutrients that a patient needs will vary depending on the type of addiction, the severity, and the individual's unique physiology. However, the foods that help with addiction and substance use disorders have one thing in common: they focus on whole, unprocessed foods. They often include plenty of fruits and vegetables, lean protein, healthy fats, and whole grains. A detox diet can speed up the detoxification process and promote healing from the damaging effects of substance abuse.

Why Diet Matters During and After a Drug Detox

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Substance use disorders often promote poor eating choices. Besides, many drugs limit the uptake of nutrients from foods. This is why detox with diet is critical to full recovery. However, detoxing from drugs or alcohol can be difficult and dangerous, especially when considering issues like drug or alcohol withdrawal.

You'll need a combination of diet and medication-assisted detox programs to overcome addiction and gain long-term sobriety. These programs provide medical supervision and support throughout the detox process, helping to ensure that you're safe and comfortable.

Inpatient detox programs can also be very helpful for those who have tried to quit cold turkey but have been unsuccessful. It can also help manage withdrawal symptoms. By providing a structured and supportive environment, these programs can increase the chances of success for those seeking to overcome addiction.

Unhealthy Eating Trap after Addiction Treatment

When people think about addiction, they often imagine someone hooked on drugs or alcohol. However, it's important to remember that addiction can take many different forms. The unhealthy eating trap after addiction treatment can be just as difficult to overcome for some people.

It's not uncommon for people to switch their dependence from drugs or alcohol to food after treatment. This is because the same areas of the brain affected by substance abuse are also involved in regulating eating habits. As a result, people who are struggling with addiction may turn to food to cope with their feelings of anxiety and stress.

Unfortunately, this can quickly lead to unhealthy eating habits and even full-blown food addiction. But the good news is there are healthy foods that can help prevent cravings and potential eating disorders.

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Nutrition to Help Your With Drug Cravings

Cravings for foods can be just as intense as drugs or alcohol. Some foods can help you combat cravings that could lead to addiction on your journey to recovery. Here are some examples to get you started:

Eat Plenty of Fresh Fruits and Vegetables

Fresh fruits and vegetables are a good place to start. These foods are nutritious and can also help regulate blood sugar levels. Stabilizing blood sugar can help reduce cravings, mood swings, and irritability, which are often triggers for relapse. In addition, fruits and vegetables are packed with fiber, which helps to keep you feeling full and satisfied.

By including these fruits and vegetables in your diet, you will be helping your body to heal and recover from addiction.

Eat Healthy Foods to Help your Body Feel Good

Addiction recovery can be a challenging time. It is important to eat foods that will support your body and help you feel your best during this period. Foods like tofu, fish, poultry, and yogurt are all excellent sources of protein and nutrients, which can help to boost energy levels and promote healing.

In addition, all of these foods are low in sugar and unhealthy fats, making them a good choice for people trying to avoid addiction triggers. By including these healthy foods in your diet, you can help to set yourself up for success in recovery.

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Drink Plenty of Water

Drinking lots of water can help to flush impurities from the body and reduce inflammation. As a result, it keeps you healthy and hydrated, which can help reduce cravings. Water also helps curb appetite and can be used as a distraction from cravings.

Avoid processed foods and sugary drinks

Part of recovering from addiction is learning to make healthy choices regarding food. Eating processed foods and sugary drinks can contribute to cravings and trigger a relapse, so it's important to avoid them when healing from addiction.

Instead, focus on eating whole, unprocessed foods rich in nutrients. Fresh fruits and vegetables, lean protein, and whole grains are good options. In addition, staying hydrated is important for recovery, so make sure to drink plenty of water throughout the day.

Once you've completed substance abuse treatment, it's important to do everything you can to prevent relapse. Most rehab centers offer ongoing support, but you might benefit more by joining support groups.

Let More Than Rehab Help You Deal With Drug Cravings

If you're struggling to overcome addiction, it may be helpful to consider making some changes to your diet and getting regular exercise. Eating healthy foods can help reduce cravings for drugs and other unhealthy substances.

There are plenty of resources to help you get started on a healthy diet, so don't hesitate to reach out for support. We are available 24/7. With time and effort, you can overcome addiction and create healthier habits that will benefit you physically and mentally.

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Why Do I Keep Relapsing On Drugs?

If you wonder why you or your loved one keeps relapsing on drugs, you are not alone. Relapse is common among people seeking recovery. Statistics show that approximately 85% of recovering addicts relapse within a year following treatment. For this reason, there is a need for a long-term drug relapse prevention plan.

Although society deems recovering addicts who relapse as not having enough willpower, you mustn’t lose hope. The National Institute on Drug Abuse acknowledges that addiction treatment involves altering deeply rooted behaviors. Therefore, relapse on drugs or alcohol does not mean that the treatment failed. 

The first thing you should do after relapse is to forgive yourself or your loved one. This way, you will have a more positive attitude that will, in turn, help you in your addiction recovery journey. The next step would be to get treatment for the substance abuse. After that, start a drug relapse prevention program. 

Most treatment programs offer relapse prevention programs to address the issue of relapse by teaching you techniques to prevent and manage its reoccurrence. This way, you can successfully achieve long-term sobriety.

Common Reasons Why Addicts Relapse

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Addiction recovery differs from individual to individual. When you’re addicted to illegal drugs, they take control of your life. Consequently, you may not make healthy and logical choices.

Addiction treatment requires time and effort. Being in a treatment program doesn’t mean you will no longer crave drugs. However, you will actively find ways to avoid substance use and address underlying issues. You will also receive treatment for health problems you acquire when addicted to drugs.

Although the causes of relapse differ from person to person, there are a few commonalities. Here are some common reasons why addicts relapse:

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Signs That You Are On The Verge of Relapse

Below are signs that you are on the verge of experiencing a relapse:

  1. You stop making an effort to maintain sobriety. Recovery is an ongoing journey. For this reason, you need to go out of your way to ensure you stay sober. If you no longer do, you are likely to relapse.
  2. You romanticize your addiction days. If you think of your substance abuse days as good days, you may relapse soon.
  3. You try to reconnect with friends from your addiction days. Reconnecting with friends from your substance abuse days will likely lead to relapse.
  4. You now consider drugs or alcohol harmless. This is a dangerous sign of relapse.
  5. You become selfish and moody. Behavior changes are a substantial danger sign of relapse.
  6. You embrace an unhealthy self-righteous attitude.

Dangers of Relapse

Most recovering addicts assume they can quickly achieve abstinence after relapse. Unfortunately, this is not the case. The more you relapse, the harder it will become for you to get sober.

Often, your relapse lasts longer than your recovery. Relapse may also become permanent.

Relapse is dangerous for several reasons. Here are a few of them:

 

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What To Do During Recovery To Prevent Relapse

To prevent relapse during recovery, you should:

 

Get Help Today

If you feel yourself slipping into a relapse, you should seek professional help. Relapse shouldn’t make you give up on your journey to recovery.

If you feel close to relapsing on drugs or need someone to talk to, contact More Than Rehab for help. We have highly qualified experts that will do all it takes to get you back on track and in control of your life.

You can live a happy, healthy, drug-free life with the proper support and treatment.

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How To Be Grateful Even When Times Are Tough

Gratitude is an essential tool for those in the recovery process. It is known to significantly reduce relapse rates, especially during the holidays.

If you feel grateful to be on the road to recovery, the chances are that you won’t relapse. A thankful attitude allows you to face any challenges that come your way and focus on your recovery goal.

Grateful people generally have a positive outlook on life. This outlook influences their behavior and promotes a sustainable recovery-oriented life.

Most people who abuse drugs or alcohol tend to be self-centered, caring only about themselves. If you are in recovery, expressing gratitude makes you less selfish and more aware of the needs of others. Additionally, you will be more in control of your life, more optimistic, and less stressed.

Practicing gratitude influences the behaviors and thoughts of those recovering from addiction and co-occurring disorders. It also helps them appreciate the present and improve interactions with other people.

This article will discuss how to be grateful, even when things are tough. Additionally, we will talk about Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), its symptoms, and how to fight it.

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Gratitude

Here are a few tips on being grateful during the holidays to avert experiencing a relapse.

1.     Have a gratitude journal.

Have a journal where you list at least three things you are grateful for every day. Journaling daily will change your mindset and make you a grateful person overall.

2.    Focus on the essential things.

It would be best to focus on important things, including your relationships with your friends and family, instead of worrying about the unknown. You will realize just how lucky you are to have the people you have in your life at the moment. Interact with your friends and family often. Remember, isolation can lead to addiction.

3.    Change your perspective.

If you’re having a hard time coming up with things you are grateful for, take a moment to think about other people whose misfortunes are more than yours. Changing your perspective will make you realize just how much you should be grateful for.

4.    Savor the good experiences/moments.

During your day-to-day, pay attention to the moments you genuinely feel happy and savor them. Pay attention to how your body feels, and try to relive the moments when you don’t feel grateful.

5.    Appreciate yourself for the small milestones you make.

Most people tend to overlook what they do for themselves, mainly when they cultivate healthy habits during their recovery journey. Remember to always appreciate yourself for the small milestones you make.

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Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)

Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is a type of depression that arises due to change in seasons. It is a co-occurring disorder that starts during fall, worsens during winter, and ends during spring. On rare occasions, people get a rare SAD type called summer depression.

SAD is a severe condition that harms your day-to-day life, including how you think and feel. It may cause major depression.

The mild version of Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is commonly referred to as the winter blues. Unlike SAD, winter blues simply make you feel down since you are mostly stuck indoors.

Who is likely to get SAD?

SAD tends to affect women  and young people more. Additionally, people with mood disorders, e.g., bipolar disorder and mental health conditions, are more likely to get SAD. People who live further north of the equator in high latitudes or cloudy regions are also more likely to get SAD.

People suffering from SAD may suffer from other mental health conditions, including but not limited to eating disorders, anxiety disorders, and panic disorders.

Symptoms of SAD

Here are a few symptoms of SAD patients are likely to experience:

Those who suffer from summer SAD are likely to experience:

How to fight SAD

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Here are a few tips on fighting seasonal depression.

  1. Work out.

Most times, people’s physical activity decreases during the colder months. Working out is a great way to combat seasonal depression since you fight your body’s urge to be sluggish.

2.    Consider light therapy.

Research has shown that light therapy is a first-line treatment for SAD since it keeps the patient’s circadian rhythm on track.

3.    Participate in social activities.

Most people tend to avoid participating in social activities during the colder months. As discussed above, isolating yourself is a risk factor for SAD. Try as much as possible to participate in social activities and interact with your family and friends.

4.    Have a schedule and stick to it. 

People with SAD often either sleep a lot or have trouble sleeping. Try maintaining a regular schedule to improve your sleeping patterns. This will help reduce the symptoms of seasonal depression.

5.    Ensure you get enough vitamin D.

The  National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH) states that insufficient vitamin D may cause depressive symptoms, including SAD.

It is unclear whether taking vitamin D supplements may relieve SAD symptoms, but experts say getting enough vitamin D from sunlight and your diet could go a long way in preventing SAD.

6.   Go on vacation.

If you get SAD during the colder months, you can take a winter vacation to countries with warm climates at the time. Being in a warm place can relieve SAD symptoms.

7.    Be grateful.

As discussed above, gratitude is an essential part of recovery. Purpose to stay grateful and appreciate what and who is in your life.

Conclusion

Being grateful goes a long way in promoting sobriety. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, most addicts relapse when they can no longer deal with the pressure of their day-to-day lives.

Most addicts can avert a relapse on drugs by cultivating gratitude during recovery, especially during the fall and winter months, when SAD tends to kick in.

Check out our blog for more information on relapse prevention and drug rehabilitation. At More Than Rehab, we offer quality service to everyone struggling with addiction. Contact us today to start your recovery journey.

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Things You Can Do When You Beat Addiction & Get Sober

When you beat addiction and get sober, you may wonder what’s next? In sobriety, you have lots of time and what seems like a long journey ahead.

Most people assume that when you get sober, your social life, or life in general is ruined and that you would never have fun again. However, this is not the case. Your life will not be one big adrenaline rush, but you can still have fun and be productive when sober.

If you are at a loss on what to do when you beat addiction and get sober, this article is for you. Here are a few things you should consider doing after you get sober. 

Travel

Traveling when sober can keep you busy and entertained. However, you need to ensure that you stay sober throughout your travel. To do this, you first have to set your intentions for your journey. Research the place you are traveling to and note down all the fun things you intend to do during the trip. Then, focus on the fun activities instead of worrying about how you will stay sober. It would help if you had a list of fun activities and commit to doing them even before you travel. Then, use your vacation to relax, recharge, and spoil yourself.

Note that when traveling, you might have triggering experiences. This ranges from the mini nips of alcohol on the plane to party invitations you’ll get at the resort you will stay at. Therefore, it is important that you be over-prepared to deal with these potential relapse triggers

It would be best if you also stayed in touch with your support system, the people who ensure you stay on track.

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Go back to school

If you had to drop out of school to beat addiction, you might want to go back to school when you get sober.

The first thing you need to do is overcome the fear of going back to school. As a recovering addict, you need to realize that this is a fresh start, and nothing has to be the way it was when you were an addict. You can talk to people in your support network who have gone back to school after getting sober and learn from their achievements and mistakes. This way, you can easily avoid temptation and develop healthy study habits.

Once you overcome the fear and go back to school, take things slowly. Don’t put too much pressure on yourself, especially when it comes to how long you will take to finish school. Instead, be involved in school activities and keep yourself busy.

Find new friends

In sobriety, most people tend to focus on themselves and their recovery rather than those around them. Friends are important, but finding new like-minded friends can prove difficult, especially when following a strict routine. 

If you’re looking for new friends, consider attending non-alcoholic events, joining a networking group, volunteering at organizations, joining a book club, going to sober bars, or even joining social media groups of sober people that can relate to your lifestyle. You can also make new friends when you start a new hobby to pass the time, e.g., painting or hiking.

Find love

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Finding love in recovery is something you may want to consider, especially if you took a sabbatical to deal with your addiction. However, you first need to feel confident in your relationship with yourself before venturing into the dating world to find love.

You can try online dating, but consider using dating sites that are tailor-made for sober people. Note that most people on regular dating sites take alcohol regularly and would even suggest meeting up for drinks on your first date.

If you meet someone you like, choose a neutral venue for your first date. A park, coffee shop, or restaurant would be ideal.

Be self-sufficient

Once you get sober, you need to practice self-care. It may be scary at first, but you will eventually get used to it. Loving and taking care of yourself plays a significant role in ensuring you stay sober.

Setting healthy boundaries with people who previously encouraged your addiction also requires you to be self-sufficient. For example, you may have to buy a new car to get around easily on your own. If you lived with a roommate who encouraged your addiction, you also have to move out to have a fresh start.

Go to church

If you are a Christian in addiction recovery, you should consider going to church. When you go to church, you can find strength in your faith and connect with God. In addition, most churches have a community of support. People from different backgrounds and walks of life are united by their faith in God. Recovery tends to be difficult for most addicts, so you will need all the support you need.

Other than church, you can keep yourself busy by getting involved in church activities. The various sober activities will help you overcome your drug cravings.

Research has shown that going to church regularly improves one’s mental health. Since drug addiction tends to affect your mental health, going to church during recovery may improve your mental health.

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Become a drug counselor

If you want to help others struggling with drug addiction, you should consider studying to become a drug counselor. Helping others will motivate you to stay sober and make you more accountable to yourself and others. It can also help you feel accomplished.

As a drug counselor, you will be the support system for those recovering from drug addiction. Additionally, you can help them manage their recovery.

Find a new career

To stay sober, you may decide to transition to living in a sober community for a new start. One requirement that you have to meet is finding a job. Although most people prefer going back to their old careers, this may be your chance to find a new career altogether. Choose a career that will not put your sobriety at risk. Additionally, you should do something you love so that your new job does not stress you out. Maybe even try to start a hobby that makes money!

TV Shows About Drug Addiction (And What They Show Us)

Society views addiction as a choice or weakness. So, when someone gets caught up in an addiction, they tend to see themselves as falling short of the standard. They feel guilty of their perceived shortcomings and end up with a negative mindset. The public stigma around the “failings” of those with addiction doesn’t encourage anyone to seek addiction treatment. It also makes it hard for those struggling with addiction to speak about their habits and get immediate help. Luckily, some TV shows about drug addiction are helping to fight the negative stigma.

And since addiction is a chronic disease, it can be challenging for individuals to pull themselves out of it without help. Some try but slip back as soon as the withdrawal symptoms set in. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, a person’s ability to not indulge in addictive behavior becomes compromised. Unless they get quick access to medically reviewed treatment, addictions, whether to substance use disorder or behavior, can lead to death.

All these may seem like “usual” words until you experience the struggles of addicts and the damage that addiction does. With that in mind, here are some TV shows about drug addiction to give you a glimpse into how it works and its effects.

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Intervention on A&E

Intervention is an American series that profiles one or two people who struggle with addiction. The addicts in this Emmy-winning series believe they’re being filmed for a documentary until their family and friends stage a dramatic intervention. Launched in 2005 on A&E, Intervention is among the first series that highlights the lifestyle of those who suffer from substance or behavioral addictions. It also captures what these addictions can do to families and teaches the various reasons behind the addiction.

Tackling everything from the opioid crisis to alcoholism to eating disorders, Intervention follows addicts whose loved ones have submitted a request for help in getting them into treatment. The series has some disturbing images that depict the realism of addiction that may make you afraid, but that’s the point. Intervention partners with different addiction treatment centers in the US and provides resources for each individual profiled in the show.

As its name suggests, the series sheds light on addiction and its ugly effects on addicts and their loved ones and takes action to improve the situation. According to Screenrant, 70-75% of addicts who appeared on the show are still sober.

Mom on CBS

Set in Napa, California, Mom follows a dysfunctional mother-daughter duo. The two - Bonnie and Christy Plunkett - had been estranged for years due to addiction. Christy, a single mother of two, Violet and Roscoe, encounters a series of challenges.

Her young daughter, Violet, gets pregnant and decides to put her baby up for adoption. She later gets engaged to an older guy and moves out. Roscoe opts to stay with his dad, even though he’s a drug dealer and deadbeat. Despite all that, Christy strives to maintain her newfound sobriety. She moves to Napa, and works as a waitress, and also attends Alcoholic Anonymous meetings.

But her wayward mother, Bonnie, reenters the picture and criticizes her life. Bonnie is also a recovering alcohol and drug addict attending AA meetings. The CBS series has been applauded for addressing themes of real-life issues like substance abuse disorders, gambling, teen pregnancy, cancer, domestic violence, homelessness, rape, palsy, overdose, stroke, ADHD, etc. It has been praised for striking a perfect balance between the humorous and dark aspects of these issues.

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This Is Us on NBC

This Is Us is an emotional and heartwarming story about a unique set of triplets, struggles, and caring parents. While not the central theme, this NBC series shines a light on different types of addiction, including addiction to food, alcohol, and pain pills. Kevin, the first-born Pearson, got hooked on alcohol and painkillers. He struggles with depression and finds it hard to understand that Jack, his dad, had an addiction. Rebecca, his mother, never mentioned it because of shame and fear of stigma.

Sophie, Kevin’s sister, is a nurse but can’t connect his erratic behavior to addiction. That’s to be expected since loved ones usually have no reason to suspect substance abuse disorder. Earlier on, Jack confesses to Rebecca that he didn’t quit drinking when he said he had. But after another attempt to quit, he was successful.

He attends AA meetings and leads a clean life. Kate, Kevin’s sister, also can’t get over binge eating. She attends an eating support group where she meets Madison, who struggles with not eating enough. 

This Is Us shows us that genetics is one of the risk factors for addiction and that sometimes, loved ones won’t realize there’s a problem. It also uncovers the aspect of shame about addiction and that skinny people struggle with eating problems too. Lastly, it shows us that relapse can be a part of recovery.

Addicted on TLC

Addicted is another one of the American reality TV shows about drug addiction that follows the lives of addicts through intervention, detox, and rehab and behavioral therapies. Kristina Wandzilak, a recovered alcoholic, prostitute, and drug user turned family interventionist, guides the addicts and their loved ones through the process as a sponsor and advocate. It’s incredibly raw and shows those struggling with addiction getting drunk and high in close-up detail. Due to its graphic nature, warnings pop up at every commercial break to prepare you for what is coming.

In the show, you see people consuming large amounts of alcohol, injecting drugs into arms, and getting high. You also see the tricks they use to acquire substances. Kristina intervenes and gets them to rehab; some refuse, some get themselves kicked out of rehab, and some successfully go through it. The show also depicts the pain that addiction inflicts on family. You’ll see the anger, anxiety, and other emotions that families experience dealing with a loved one who struggles with addiction.

Celerity Rehab on VH1

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Celerity Rehab revolves around a group of famous individuals as they undergo substance abuse treatment with Dr. Drew Pinsky and his team at the Pasadena Recovery Center in California. The reality TV show premiered in 2008 on the cable network VH1 and was later renamed Rehab with Dr. Drew, which focused on non-celebrities.

It shines a spotlight on celebrity and their substance abuse or behavioral addiction problems and their journey through rehab. Pinsky, a board-certified physician and addiction expert, adds an air of credibility and makes the show more educational.

If you’d like to see more on celebrity addiction, you can stream Too Young to Die on Pluto TV or Prime Video. It bases its stories on celebrities whose lives were cut short due to addiction and overdose. The episodes of Too Young to Die cover American stars like John Belushi, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Kurt Cobain, who died from drug abuse. The documentary series shows how serious the drug addiction problem is and how it can be too late to help someone.

Reference to a diagnostic and statistical manual can produce more insight into this problem. As well, various treatment approaches exist to help those struggling with short- and long-term addiction. So, if someone close to you is struggling with any form of addiction, it can be a good idea to help them get treatment immediately.

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Why Do I Keep Using Meth? Ways to Stay Clean

You’ve gone through recovery, and things are starting to fall back into place. But for one reason or the other, you slip and end up using meth. So, you start over again, only to find yourself in what feels like square one – using meth, yet again.

So, now, you can’t help but wonder why this is happening. Why you keep using meth despite your desire and effort to quit. Well, if it’s any consolation, you are not alone.

Many people who struggle with meth addiction end up relapsing even after rehabilitation. According to the National Institute of Drug Use, 40 to 60% of people in recovery end up relapsing.

After a relapse, you may experience feelings of regret or shame. You may also feel like throwing in the towel and giving into your addiction instead of fighting the desire to use. Depending on how long you’ve been using, you may suffer from meth mouth and this can also worsen your feelings of shame.

While it’s devastating, you should know that relapse doesn’t mean you are a failure. It doesn’t mean the rehab you underwent was unsuccessful or negate your previous efforts to stay clean. But it also doesn’t mean you should take advantage of the situation and continue using.

Why does relapse happen?

Your relapse has to do with neural pathways. A pathway forms when you do something right. A pathway also forms when you do something wrong, like use crystal meth.

Human beings build habits this way, both good and bad. So, the reason you keep using meth is that you’re likely going to slip back into existing neural pathways. Let’s break this down further.

Causes of relapse

Studies show that the initial target of highly addictive drugs like meth is the brain’s reward circuit. The reward circuit registers essential experiences and events and their adaptive value. Then it provides incentives for actions.

This reward process triggers the release of the neurotransmitter dopamine, a feel-good hormone that tells the brain to do it again. When used habitually, meth depletes the supply of dopamine and interferes with the feedback between different brain parts that coordinate desires with expectations and priorities.

But these changes are not necessarily the problem. Quitting meth use temporarily can be easy. You can go for days, weeks, months, or even years without meth. What makes permanent recovery challenging is a drug-induced change that creates lasting memories.

Your brain already knows the rewarding experience that comes from drug use. After a period of use, your environment becomes marked with cues or reminders of the reward. This learning is referred to as behavioral conditioning. And since methamphetamine addiction weakens your self-control and ability to make the right decision, you’re likely to keep using even when you know that a reward isn’t coming.

As you’ve learned from support groups like Narcotics Anonymous and Alcoholic Anonymous, it’s the first drink that gets you drunk. So, a small dose of crystal meth serves as an effective cue. But places, things, and people, too, can be cues associated with meth.

An animal struggling with substance abuse will slip back to using when it goes back to the cage where it first developed the addiction. For people, triggers could be environment, the sight of paraphernalia, mental health issues, peers and so on.

Withdrawal symptoms are also a common reason many methamphetamine users relapse. Symptoms like anxiety, fatigue, sleepiness, depression, psychosis, meth cravings, etc., may linger on for weeks or months, causing relapse.

Getting back on the road to recovery

Irrespective of how committed you are to lifelong sobriety or how diligently you pursue recovery, there’s a chance of relapse. The National Institutes of Health study notes that about 40-60% relapse within a month or more of treatment. Another 70 -90% will relapse at least once.

But the good news is that the risk diminishes with time. Extended abstinence does predict long-term recovery, according to an eight-year study on nearly 1200 addicts. In fact, if you can make it to five years of sobriety, then your chance of relapse is less than 15%.

Ways to stay clean

Get help from a reputable addiction treatment center

Recovery for meth addiction needs a holistic meth treatment plan that consists of detox, therapy, and counseling. Depending on the circumstances recovery may also include medical advice. Meth is one of the hardest drugs to overcome. But treatment facilities in central Texas exist to help people like you regain control over their lives.

Such facilities will also address underlying issues that cause the relapse. For instance, they may offer family therapy that helps your family members to understand that relapse is not a sign of weakness or lack of morals. They will also offer mental health services to address psychological issues that may cause relapse.

Know the triggers of relapse and avoid them

Understanding the triggers of relapse and having a plan for those triggers are the first steps toward prevention. Triggers include things like:

 

Create new habits

Old habits will most certainly lead you back to addiction. So, you want to come up with new ones that will help you grow into the person you want to become. You can try out a new hobby, take up a new class, exercise, etc. Trying a new activity gives you something to look forward to. It also reduces the cravings and withdrawal symptoms that may lead to relapse.

Like other chronic diseases such as asthma and heart disease, treatment for drug addiction isn’t a cure. It only allows you to counteract the disruptive effects of addiction on your brain and behavior and regain control of your life. But with these tips, you should be able to manage your addiction and relapse problems successfully.