Archive for category Drug Rehabilitation

What To Do When People Around You Are Using Drugs

It could really be a difficult challenge for people to accept that the people they love are using drugs. It does not matter whether it is your child, your spouse, a sibling, or a very close friend of yours—once you find out that they are into drugs, this will probably make you feel that you were not able to do your job to give them adequate support and guidance.

Self-blaming does not result to a positive outcome. What you need to do is try your very best to help them put their attention to new things.

Here is a rundown of the things that you can do in case a person you care about is apparently into drugs:

Address the problem

parent intervention teens

In any kind of problem, you need to confront the issue and accept that it happened. When you do not put in the effort to talk things out with the person using drugs, you are allowing the person to stay in the dark moment of his or her life.

However, it is also expected that this step will be very difficult because there is no single approach that can be effective for all. As a result, you really have to think about the right approach that you will use so that the intervention will be easier or more comfortable for both parties.

Establish communication

phone-communication

It is also important to remember that communication is a two-way street, so make sure that you give them your full attention when they start speaking. Listen attentively and just let them talk about the things they wish to share.

It may also be probably helpful to ask about their future plans and offer your time and assistance. This way, they will have hope that they can achieve their plans, especially if there are ways for them to get over their addiction.

A very large percentage of drug addicts rely on illegal drugs because they are depressed, or because they are suffering from other mental illnesses. In this case, you may ask the person concerned if it is alright for them to visit a specialist who can help him/her in the process. Assure him/her that they are not alone in this.

Be someone’s companion in the process

support

Some addicts resort to drug abuse because they feel that nobody cares for them. Some addicts consider the temporary happiness that drugs can give them as an escape from the painful past or the troubled present.

One strategy that may work to help recovering addicts forget about their dark moments is through hobbies and new activities. If the person concerned is a family member, you may want to ask for the person’s close friend to help you in determining what possible activities may work best.

Once you have confronted and talked to the person, you may now exert your best effort to become the best companion there is. You have the power to distract the person from bad habits, by being that person who opens doors for new adventures for them to engage in.

You may ask the person if any of these sound exciting for him/her: traveling, art lessons, foreign language classes, or sports. Any new activity or a forgotten hobby may probably sound exciting, especially if he/she does it with your company.

The main idea is that you have to make the person feel that you are available. Time is the key.

Encourage the person to ‘sweat out’ the addiction

exercise-mountain-biking

While cooking and baking may sound like a good choice to deflect a person’s attention from doing drugs, sweating out the urge of using drugs is also a very reliable strategy.

Breaking sweat triggers the body to produce higher levels of happy hormones such as serotonin, oxytocin, and dopamine. These hormones make someone feel happier and contented, and therefore prevent a person from thinking negative thoughts. Music therapy, when partnered with regular exercise, is a good way to deal with almost any type of addiction.

Once a person you love has acknowledge that he/she needs therapy before any type of intervention from experts, it may probably be a good idea to go put exercise as part of the daily routine.

Getting support from family members

family recovery

There is no greater rock to rely on than family. Problems and struggles are easier when you go through them with family.

Once you find out that a family member of yours is doing drugs, it would be best to privately discuss the problem with the person first. Afterwards, the both of you may consult other family members on what possible solutions can be done. You have to assure the person that he/she is loved no matter what, and that the family is not going to judge the bad decisions he/she made.

Dealing with a close friend’s drug addiction is another story. If you are the first one to find out, you have to respect the person’s decision if he/she wants to discuss it with his/her family. Although it is a given that the family should know, all you can do from here is to advice your friend to ask from his/her family’s help whenever he/she is ready.

Once your friend agrees, try your best to offer your full support in the next steps he/she plans to take. After all, you are essentially your friend’s family too!

Getting support from self-help groups

counselling

Some recovering drug addicts attend self-help groups to make them understand their situation better through varying perspectives. You probably have an idea how the drill works in self-help groups: people who share similar circumstance are brought together to discuss how they successfully went through the challenges.

Encouraging a loved one of yours who is into drugs to attend self-help groups will probably help the person in the long run. Perspectives from members of these groups will give the person a better understanding of his/her situation using other lenses.

Discuss treatment options with the person

If the person acknowledges that he/she cannot get over drug addiction without the help of a specialist, you need to be ready to offer other treatment options.

However, make sure that the decision is an outcome of the person’s thorough self-assessment so that the process will be easier. The treatment will be more worth it for the person because it is his/her own decision, and he/she is aware that it is a need to make his/her life better.

Help the person set attainable and meaningful goals

A vital part of the process of helping someone going through drug addiction is making him/her feel that the plans he/she sets are important. While these goals are personally set by the recovering addict, you need to make the person feel that he/she is not alone in the scheme of things.

If, for instance, the person sets a timeline of his/her plans after getting treatment or therapy, you have to ask help from others on how you can all put in efforts to make the treatment plans work.

The abovementioned strategies may be helpful for people to get away from their drug addiction. However, there is also a need to know the root causes why people use drugs in the first place. Knowing the reasons behind drug addiction can also make things easier for people to accept their loved one’s drug addiction. As said earlier, self-blaming is never part of the solution.

Read on the following common reasons why people resort to using drugs:

1. Stress reliever

The body has a natural response to stress, but the way we go through different sources of stress will always vary for every person.

We need to be aware that people have different outlets to relieve stress: some sleep for longer hours, some eat in huge amounts, some go spend large amount of money for shopping, and others do strenuous activities such as sports. However, some people use illegal drugs to relieve their stress, claiming that using drugs is the only thing that gives them a different kind of high.

More often than not, they consider the bad habit as their stress reliever because they become less sensitive of the daily pressures of life caused by work, family conflicts, and failed relationships.

Because of the temporary high that drugs provide, users will rely on them believing that the feeling kills the stress they are going through, even just for a while.

2. Peer pressure

Some drug addiction cases are results of peer pressure and the longing to fit and feel wanted in a group. If the person is in close contact with those who are also into drugs, there is a big chance that the person will be invited and forced to use drugs too.

Peer pressure does not only happen at a young age. In fact, it knows no age, although teenagers are most vulnerable to it.

If a family member of yours is doing drugs as a result of apparent peer pressure, then it would be best to advice the person to limit interactions with these bad influences. If you are a parent of a teenager doing drugs with his/her friends, it may be best to talk to your child and make him/her feel that you understand what peer pressure does to a person. It is a wake-up call for you to spend more time with your family, especially your child who’s undergoing identity crisis.

3. Boredom

Boredom is a scary and tricky state that brings about a lot of possibilities. Sadly, one possibility is doing drugs. People using drugs out of boredom have probably very few options on where to dedicate their spare time.

Having said that, it is very important to offer your time to deflect attention by sharing hobbies and interests with people recovering from drug addiction. It does not have to be a grand activity. You may simply download movies and watch it with them, go to the park and have a small picnic with family and common friends, or visit museums that offer free admission.

Most Commonly Abused Substances

One of the reasons why people use drugs is because they find it too available and that it can be easily and readily accessed anytime. Here is a list of commonly used drugs that are considered popular compared to others:

  • Cocaine
  • Cannabis / marijuana
  • Heroin
  • Ecstasy
  • Amphetamines
  • LSD (Lysergic Acid Diethylamide)
  • Opium
  • Psychedelic Mushrooms
  • Solvents

Conclusion

Early intervention is key to addressing drug addiction, and it’s important that you give your time and attention to your loved one who may be addicted to drugs. On a final note, your mindset to help them should not be disciplinary in nature. Rather, it must come from love and concern for the recovering addict.

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Mobile Apps To Help In Drug Addiction Recovery

Recovery from addiction can be a difficult process. It would need a lot of support, encouragement and even technology to help the recovering individual become successful with drug addiction recovery. In this article, we will look at some mobile apps that help in drug addiction recovery.

Over the years, there has been an increase in the number of health-related apps. Nowadays, you can find apps for breaking habits, for tracking goals, and drug addiction recovery. Technology has given recovering addicts convenient and practical tools to help them walk away from addiction. From tracking sober time, managing triggers and emotions, and finding and sharing meetings, apps for addiction recovery are aplenty whether you are using an iPhone or an Android.

mobile apps for drug addiction recovery

Today’s youth just cannot live by without their smartphones. They post and check their Facebook timelines, play games, catch up on the latest news, and send messages to friends using their smartphones. For this reason, an app that can help them recover from drug addiction can make sense.

Here are some smartphone apps that can help with addiction recovery:

Sober Grid

SoberGrid uses geo-location features to help users connect with other people who are close by. The aim of the app is to help recovering addicts strengthen their recovery networks. It also serves as a platform for users to get support when they have a feeling that they might relapse.

SoberGrid also allows users to post their pictures on their Facebook newsfeed as well as block someone from using the app. Android phone users can download the app here.

iHeal

For people who have just left a rehabilitation or recovery center, a relapse is still possible. They would need a tool that can help tell if such relapse is likely. To address this, software developers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) have created an app for achieving such goal.

iHeal comes with a device that is worn on the user’s arm. This gadget is designed to monitor bodily indicators such as body movement, skin temperature, and heart rate. The device also warns users if they are in the “danger zone” and adjusts itself accordingly depending on the situation.

Twelve Steps – The Companion

There are many 12-step based apps to choose from but Twelve Steps – The Companion is unlike the rest. It is both comprehensive and fun to use. It is also one of the first recovery apps that became available and has undergone several updates already.

The app’s home screen provides the user with their sobriety stats which are displayed in years, months, and years. It also has a “one day at a time” world that counts down the days of recovery until 1,000, which makes the recovery process fun and uplifting.

The app also includes the entire “Big Book” of Alcoholics Anonymous. This feature comes in handy for traveling alcoholics who cannot carry the book all the time wherever they go. The app can be downloaded in the Apple Store as well as in Google Play.

For Android users, you can download here.

Field Guide To Life Pro

Field Guide to Life Pro is an award winning app from Betty Ford Foundation. It comes with a year’s worth of addiction recovery support. Among its main features include daily guidance, reminders and inspirations. It also includes a sober counter, a personal progress monitor, community support, and relapse prevention tools.

The app provides access to several video clips of recovery experts and people saying positive and encouraging messages to the recovering addict. App developer Hazelden was the recipient of The White House Behavioral Health Patient Empowerment Challenge Award for offering crucial first year support to recovering addicts.

For Android users, download the Field Guide to Life app here.

A-Chess

A-Chess is an acronym for Addiction – Comprehensive Health Enhancement Support system. The app comes with inputs from treatment providers, clients, family members, primary care providers, and technology experts. It comes with a bevy of features for predicting, detecting, and preventing relapse. With the app, users can connect with other members for support. It also provides the recovering addict with a platform to engage in discussion groups, and have video chat sessions with counselors.

The GPS technology that comes with the app alerts the user when they are near a high-risk location such as a liquor store. One of its most outstanding features is the panic button, which sends a text message to support prompting a response for assistance. While waiting for a response, the app will send helpful features such as relaxation guides, discussion boards, and even a recording of their own motivational recovery story. When they are in a high-risk location, the app will cause the phone to ring, and several recommended coping strategies will be displayed.

A-Chess works on smartphones running on Google Android 2.3 or higher. You can download the app here.

Friend of Bill

A simple sobriety counter can already do wonders to any recovering addict, but this easy-to-use app presents the duration of staying sober from years to as detailed as minutes. You have the option to change how this app displays the time of your sobriety. In addition, each significant statistic related to sobriety comes with a slogan to motivate you to go on.

Friend of Bill is available in iOS.

One Day At A Time

Carry the famous Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous on your mobile device. One Day At A Time contains everything that you will enjoy from the book. It contains built-in features such as keyword search, access to Daily Meditations, integration of sobriety dates of your fellow recovering addicts, and easy connection to emergency contacts.

Download this app for iOS and Android.

Ascent

One effective method of avoiding relapse is by connecting with peer-recovery experts who can guide people towards full recovery. This is where the Ascent app can provide assistance, by giving users round-the-clock access to coaches who can help them get back on track in case of a potential relapse.

Unlike other downloadable apps, Ascent comes with a package that includes a connection to a coach and a support team. Users of the app can add notes for personal motivation, play videos about recovery, and track progress. It also provides opportunities to learn more about addiction recovery through the community messaging system.

Check this download page for Ascent.


 

No Replacement For Actual Intervention

It is worth noting that these apps can never replace face-to-face interaction or counseling. According to Nancy Bartnett, an Associate Professor at the Brown University Center for Alcohol and Addiction Studies, one of the drawbacks of these technological developments is if they could really treat a serious alcoholic. “It’s not the same as going into treatment or meeting with a counselor or getting medication,” Barnett said in a news release.

Meanwhile, Mary Andres, Associate Professor of Clinical Education at the USC Rossier School of Education, explained that these apps can never replace the real thing. “You can’t replace the value of face-to-face identification and the phenomena that happens in group.” Andres said.

Nevertheless, Bartnett believes that mobile apps can serve as bridges or as an adjunctive kind of help. “They can help people to get to treatment, help people to stay in treatment, and get them thinking about treatment,” Barnett explained.

Whether you are already in recovery or thinking about walking away from your addiction, these mobile apps may help you get to the right path and become successful with your goal of becoming finally free from drugs.

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Suspecting Drug Use By Your Kids? Follow These Five Tips

Drug abuse has always been a lingering issue in the global scene, and especially in children and teenagers. It’s important for parents and guardians to always be on the lookout for the potential of their kids to engage in drug use.

drug abuse teen depressionIf you suspect your teen children to be using (or abusing) drugs, here are five steps to help you address the issue:

1. Check signs of drug use

You may not be a licensed psychologist or drug abuse expert, but you may have observed some tell-tale signs that your child may be using drugs. Some of these include missing prescription drugs in the home cabinet, frequent and excessive use of perfume (to remove smoke odor), decline in academic standing, or less frequent socialization.

2. Search their things

Although it may appear as an invasion of privacy, searching your child’s things could give you hints on their potential drug abuse. Try to do a search discretely over your kids’ room, particularly in desks and drawers, under the bed, behind the closet, or any possible space that’s good for hiding stuff.

3. Intervene immediately

A prompt intervention is a good way to start handling a drug problem, but try to make it less painful and direct. Create an atmosphere of a welcoming discussion for your children. If you feel like your emotions will get the best of you, postpone the discussion to another time. Eventually, if you feel like your child is using illegal drugs, consult a professional who can handle the situation better.

4. Implement preventive actions proactively

Restrict access to things that can potentially induce substance abuse at home. Examples include locking the liquor cabinet, making a regular inventory of the medicine cabinet contents, or verifying his performance in school.

5. Be understanding

Drug abuse may be a sensitive and alarming problem, but don’t let your child think that you’re going to police and punish them for what they did. Instead, be a parent by caring for your kid’s welfare and eventual healing. Be as understanding as possible while being firm on saying no to illegal drug use.

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Juvenile Correctional Facilities Expose Teenage Offenders To High Doses of Psychiatric Drugs

Kids sent to correctional facilities may be at a high risk of excessive use of psychiatric drugs, according to a recent news report.

teen fight juvenile offender psychiatric drugsA review by investigative news organization PublicSource revealed that juvenile offenders are given psychiatric medication — antipsychotic drugs, to be more specific — at alarmingly high doses. The review said that the amount of antipsychotic drugs ordered by youth correctional facilities was enough to treat about a third of the kids confined in their respective centers over a span of seven years. In contrast, antipsychotic prescription in kids across the U.S. only amount to 1-2 percent of the child population.

The most probable reason behind this high psychiatric drug use in correctional institutions is the instant calming effect of the drugs on potentially troublesome kids. “Most of antipsychotic use is likely for sedation and behavioral control,” according to Dr. Mark Olfson, who led the PublicSource review. Olfson works at the Columbia University Medical Center.

Some juvenile law experts believe that this highlights the need for a radical change in the way correctional institutions think about treating kids. “The great concern among children’s advocates is that … too often the medications are used to the benefit of the institution to control behavior in ways that are not appropriate,” said Juvenile Law Center co-founder Robert Schwartz. Olfson agrees, saying that “the new findings will hopefully spur much-needed institutional reforms.”

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Celebrate National Recovery Month This September

If you or someone close to you is currently recovering from drug and alcohol addiction, this is the perfect time to make your voices heard and make the public aware of the struggles of recovery.

national recovery month september SAMHSASeptember is celebrated all around the U.S. as the National Recovery Month, which provides an opportune time to highlight the importance of early intervention and preventive measures to rescue people from their addictions. This year marks the 25th time that the campaign is being held, with the advocacy stretching to the awareness of mental disorders as well.

The theme for this year is “Join the Voices for Recovery: Speak Up, Reach Out,” which gives recovering addicts the chance to have their voices heard and express their struggles in recovering from drug and alcohol abuse. The campaign hopes to put a positive spin on the issue by emphasizing the significance of a person’s behavior to overall well-being, as well as the benefits of prevention and immediate treatment.

Several organizations are putting their full support on the campaign, including the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, Inc. (NCADD), the Partnership for Drug-Free Kids, and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).

If you want to support the campaign through a monetary donation, you may send them through this page at drugfree.org. You may also find more information about National Recovery Month from the SAMHSA website.

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Treatment Center Offers Free Substance Abuse Rehabilitation to Military Veterans

Substance abuse can drain a family’s financial resources. Hence, some drug addicts are unable to seek extensive addiction treatment or complete a rehabilitation program. Military veterans with drug and alcohol problems are particularly at odds of getting their lives back on track because many of them do not have the means to fund appropriate treatment.

substance abuse among military veteransSuch dilemma prompted the Online Substance Abuse Treatment to offer free self-directed treatment program and affordable online counseling program to former service members who are dependent on illicit substances. OSAT believes that military vets have given so much for the country, and helping them with their addiction struggles will mean so much to them as well as to their families.

According to a press release, military war veterans will be given access to a 30-session self-directed treatment program without paying a single dollar. The program involves interactive therapeutic processes and exercises that would engage participants and spark their personal insights. It will also provide step-by-step guidance to help a veteran free himself from the cycle of addictive behaviors.

OSAT is also offering substantially discounted 10-week online counseling program. Thirty 1-hour group sessions cost $400 while thirty 3-hour sessions would cost $600. The live online counseling program will be conducted under the guidance of an experienced counselor to help a veteran overcome his dependencies on drugs and alcohol.

Participants who complete the online treatment programs are issued completion certificates. Judges and employers often look upon such documentation as demonstration of the individual’s efforts and self-initiative to actively work toward addiction treatment.

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