Resiliency: You Are Strong, Not Broken

Resiliency

Resiliency

 

When you’re a woman battling addiction, you may feel broken, weak, or burdened by shame. None of those things are the reality, and reframing your perspective about yourself and your strength is ultimately what will fuel your recovery.

We encourage women in our program to see everything they’ve gone through and survived to the point of getting treatment as strength, not weakness. Even admitting that you have a problem with drugs or alcohol is a show of strength and not a failing. 

When you participate in our rehab program, you learn to recognize that everything you’re doing indicates your resilience, not the sum of your failures.

 

Female Addiction and Trauma

If you feel broken rather than strong and resilient, understand that female addiction links to trauma. Over the past few decades, we’re increasingly learning that women who abuse drugs or alcohol are often victims of distressing events.

The impact of trauma lingers long after the event itself.

  • The scientific and research communities are just starting to grasp how much traumatic experiences contribute to women’s mental and physical health issues. 
  • Research shows us that most women with addictions have gone through abuse or trauma at some point in their lives—at much higher rates than men. 
  • For example, 74% of addicted women report sexual abuse experiences. 
  • Women with traumatic childhoods are five times more likely to use drugs. 
  • They’re twice as likely to abuse alcohol compared to women who didn’t experience trauma.

Women experiencing trauma tend to develop deep, destructive wounds that become part of who they are.

If those things sound familiar to you, realize that you’ve gone through these things, and yet you’ve made it to this point. You are already showing resiliency, despite your struggles with drugs and alcohol. Recognizing your trauma can help you begin to heal.

 

Shame and Addiction

Shame, trauma, and addiction are often tightly interwoven with one another. Shame is a natural experience everyone sometimes has, but shame may be one of the main things you regularly feel in addiction. When you feel shame, you lose touch with who you are and the people who love and care about you.

  • Feeling like you aren’t worthy of love, happiness or respect feeds addiction and worsens mental health problems like depression.
  • Eliminating your feelings of shame is critical to getting help for your addiction and taking yourself out of the cycle. 
  • Shame and addiction imprison you, but in a safe environment where you’re comfortable being vulnerable, you can begin to work through these.
  • In an addiction treatment program, you learn to identify your shame, and in doing so, you’re better able to stop feeding it. 
  • You learn acceptance for yourself and understand that no one is perfect, but you can put your energy toward being the best version of yourself.

Treatment is also a way to begin redefining your self-worth.

 

What is Resilience?

Resilience is a term referring to your ability to recover from difficult or traumatic events in your life. You can stand strong in the face of adversity, no matter the adverse circumstances occurring in life.

  • If you’re in active addiction, but you’ve decided to take the step to get help, that is in and of itself resilience.
  • Resilience isn’t a straight line. There will be bumps along the way and setbacks, but eventually, when you realize that resilience is part of who you are, you’ll get to the peak of where you want to go and be able to look back at how far you came in your journey.
  • Being resilient doesn’t mean you’re always mentally tough, nor does it mean you don’t feel stressed, upset, or suffering. Instead, resilience means you’re able to work through the pain and suffering you experience.
  • Resilience isn’t an inherent or fixed trait either. It’s something you work to develop.

 

Developing Resilience

To develop resilience requires a combination of internal factors that are personal to you and outside resources. In the context of addiction, you’ve already shown resilience, making it through the parts of your life that have been challenging. Then, once you begin treatment, you further develop your strength with what you learn there.

For example, you can learn coping mechanisms to help you go forward outside of substances. You can tap into outside resources such as therapists or participation in support groups. You can learn how to avoid triggers when they occur.

Protective factors that can help you in your journey to build resilience include:

  • Social support—we need to learn to rely on our support network in times of trauma or difficulty. Our support network can be whatever works for us. It can be your 12-step group, your friends, your family, or organizations.
  • Planning—at our treatment center, we focus a lot on this element of building resiliency. Planning means that you set goals for yourself, visualize how to meet them, and then do it. When planning for resilience, you always want to think about different scenarios proactively and create strategies for dealing with them ahead of time.
  • Self-esteem—Unfortunately, there’s often a deep sense of shame for women with addictions to drugs or alcohol. By building resilience, you can start to tear away at this shame and rebuild with confidence and a positive view of yourself.
  • Coping skills—In active addiction, you turn to drugs or alcohol rather than relying on healthy coping mechanisms. On your resilience journey, you can begin to learn the healthy coping skills that work for you. The more you practice these skills, the more they become wired into your brain and replace the old, unhealthy habits.
  • Communication—This is part of resilience because you need to share with others what you feel so that you can seek support, gain access to resources and ultimately take action when you need to.
  • Regulating emotions—When you’re experiencing overwhelming emotions, achieving resilience means that you can work through them positively.

When you lack resilience, you’re more likely to move back into those unhealthy coping strategies or feel helpless and overwhelmed.

 

 

Taking the First Step

It sounds cliché, but honestly, taking the first step by coming to terms with your addiction and seeking help is the most powerful thing you can do. In doing so, you’re already showcasing your resilience and strength. You’re also committing to continue cultivating that resilience. You’ve come this far, and we encourage you to contact us about rehab to learn how much more you can achieve and accomplish.

The goal at Anchored Tides Recovery isn’t just to get you to the point of sobriety. It’s to help you achieve your full potential in every way, so you’re prepared for anything as you rebuild your life and meet your goals in all areas. Call 866-600-7709 to learn more about our women-only outpatient program today!

Narcotics Anonymous 12 Steps

Narcotics Anonymous 12 Steps

Narcotics Anonymous 12 Steps

 

If you’re a woman struggling with a substance use disorder, different options are available for getting help. The most important thing is to find what works for you. For many women, what works is a 12-Step program. If you’re addicted to drugs, the Narcotics Anonymous 12 Steps might be something you consider participating in.

Often when you attend a drug treatment center, you’ll start working on the 12 Steps of Narcotics Anonymous or Alcoholics Anonymous while you’re there. Then, when you return home from treatment, you can continue that work you started. So how do Narcotics Anonymous 12 Steps work, and how might it improve your quality of life if you struggle with the disease of addiction?

 

What is Narcotics Anonymous?

Narcotics Anonymous is also called NA, and it’s the second-largest 12-Step organization. Someone named Jimmy Kinnon or Jimmy K. founded the program. NA began after Alcoholics Anonymous. Alcoholics Anonymous started in the 1930s, while NA was founded officially in 1953 in Los Angeles. Now, the program is available in thousands of cities around the world. Narcotics Anonymous follows the same model as AA, but it’s for people addicted to drugs rather than alcohol.

When you participate in an Addicts Anonymous group, there’s no distinction between the type of drug you use. You can also join in NA if you also have a co-occurring alcohol abuse problem. There are some drug-specific programs, too, like Cocaine Anonymous, but NA isn’t specific. These programs recognize polysubstance addiction and dependence, meaning you abuse more than one substance, whether it’s drugs or alcohol addiction. If you want to recover from substance abuse, you’re welcome to participate. That’s the only requirement for membership. 

The goal of participation in this 12 Step program is to help in your recovery from drug addiction so you can reclaim your life or find a new way of life free of addictive behaviors or destructive behavior. NA is a nonprofit community fellowship of men and women, and you can find single-gender meetings if that’s what you prefer. You meet with other recovering addicts, all of whom share the goal of staying clean and sober. When you participate in a 12-Step program, you are abstinent from all substances.

There’s no affiliation with any other organization, no dues or initiation fees, and you don’t have to sign anything or make any promises. There’s no particular religious affiliation, nor is this support group politically associated. You can join a 12-Step program like Narcotics Anonymous regardless of your race, age, sexual identity, religion, or lack of faith.

The program is spiritual, even though it’s not religious. You don’t have to believe in God to attend initially, and the model of the program is that addiction is a disease, and you can treat that disease by staying abstinent from all substances and working the program.

Fundamental principles of NA and Twelve-Step groups include:

  • You’re committed, one day at a time, to not using drugs or alcohol as part of twelve-Step programs. 
  • Programs often follow a set format, including a serenity prayer or acceptance prayer. 
  • Regularly attending meetings is essential. Meetings typically last for an hour and are held around the world. Meeting schedules vary, and some are closed meetings, but most are open to anyone. 
  • When you participate in a 12-Step program, you might get a sponsor. A sponsor is someone who can help you stay on the path of sobriety, again, one day at a time. They work you through the 12 Steps.
  • You apply the principles you learn in your everyday life and personal recovery. 
  • 12-Step attendance is a chance to fellowship with other addicts in recovery and create a support system of sober people.
  • 12-Step fellowship groups tend to be a lifelong commitment rather than something you do for a brief period. 

 

 

What Narcotics Anonymous Isn’t

We wanted to clarify that participation in a 12-Step recovery program isn’t the same as going to detox or participating in rehab. No licensed addiction specialists are running the programs. Many members of these programs are licensed counselors or therapists, but this isn’t their role in meetings. While they’re in meetings, they’re just sharing their own experiences and sense of hope. You’re not receiving treatment for your actual addiction or symptoms of addiction like you do in a treatment center in a 12-Step NA Recovery Program. 

For someone who requires detox and addiction treatment, you should go to a formal program first. Then when you’re ready, you can find a 12-Step program in your community to continue the work you do while in treatment.

 

What Are the Narcotics Anonymous 12 Steps?

The 12-Steps Narcotics Anonymous follows include:

  • Step One: Admitting that you’re powerless over your addiction and that your life isn’t manageable is the first of the 12-Step concepts. 
  • Step Two: A belief in a Higher Power that can restore you to sanity.
  • Step Three: Deciding to turn your life and will over to God as you understand Him.
  • Step Four: Search and make a fearless moral inventory of yourself.
  • Step Five: Admitting to God, yourself, and others the nature of your wrongs.
  • Step Six: Being ready to have God remove your defects of character. 
  • Step Seven: Humbly asking God to remove your shortcomings.
  • Step Eight: Making a list of people you’ve harmed and been willing to make amends to them.
  • Step Nine: Making direct amends to people when you can as part of your recovery from addiction. 
  • Step Ten: Taking a continued personal inventory and, when you’re wrong, admitting it promptly.
  • Step Eleven: You seek through meditation and prayer to make conscious contact with God as you understand Him and pray for the knowledge of God’s will.
  • Step Twelve: Having a spiritual awakening as a result of the previous Steps, and then carrying your message to other addicts while also continuing to live the above principles in your everyday life, including complete abstinence from drugs and alcohol. 

 

Who Does Narcotics Anonymous Aim to Help?

Even though the 12 Steps of Narcotics Anonymous tend to focus on God, they also specify that it’s as you understand Him. You don’t have to be religious or even believe in God to participate in NA. If you have a substance addiction, you can participate. There are a few things to keep in mind with NA and 12-Step meetings. While it’s helped millions of people to participate in this nonprofit fellowship, it isn’t for everyone.

Some of the possible drawbacks of participating in a 12-Step program include:

  • There’s no attention to the physical elements of substance dependence or drug abuse in 12-Step fellowship programs. You need to go to a detox program for this.
  • You do have to be involved socially with the group, and some people don’t prefer that. There are virtual options if you want to socially distance.
  • Not everyone believes an abstinence program is the best path forward.
  • You have to identify as an addict fully, and that can become an ingrained part of how you see yourself. For some people, that’s a positive of a 12-Step program, but it’s not for everyone.
  • You must adhere to the belief that you are powerless over your addiction as part of the 12-Step program elements. There are alternative programs that position you as being empowered and able to overcome your drug use and signs of addiction through your own will, which some people prefer.
  • It’s time-consuming to participate in 12-Step groups regularly. Weekly meetings are usually around an hour long but can be as long as two hours each.

Overall, there are many benefits to the 12-Step model. Before you can get to the point where you’re participating in regular meetings, you need to undergo substance abuse treatment for active addictionOnce you’ve received treatment for your addiction and underlying mental health disorders, participation in a support group can help you remain sober, following a 12-Step philosophy. 

If you’d like to learn more about detox and addiction treatment centers and what programs we have available for women struggling with drug addiction, please contact Anchored Tides Recovery by calling 866-600-7709

Exercise and Addiction: The Good and the Bad

Exercise addiction

Exercise addiction

 

When you’re struggling with a mental health disorder or in addiction recovery, exercise therapy can be one of the most valuable tools in your arsenal to achieve a good quality of life, good physical health, and overall well-being. With that being said, there is a genuine risk of exercise addiction that you need to consider.

Below, we go into what you should know about the role of exercise in mental health and recovery from addiction, but also to spot potential warning signs that you could be moving toward an exercise addiction or compulsive behavior. 

 

General Benefits of Being Physically Active

The importance of being physically active is so critical for all of us. Regardless of your situation, being active will help you feel more energized, reduce your risk of developing chronic diseases like heart disease and cancer, and make it easier for you to function in your daily life.

We know that there are gradual, long-term benefits that come from exercise and nearly immediate benefits. For example, right after you engage in activity that’s at least moderate, you may notice improvements in thinking and cognition and reduced feelings of anxiety. Just 30 minutes of exercise a day can have a massive impact on your life. When you’re active, it can help keep your memory and learning skills sharp. Physical activity reduces your risk of depression and increases your sleep quality.

 

Exercise and Mental Health

Research tells us that exercising can be an effective treatment for adverse effects of conditions, including anxiety and depression.

Key things to know about the effects of exercise therapy on mental health include:

  • Exercise helps reduce the symptoms of depression like tension, fatigue, and anger
  • If you have a panic disorder or PTSD, exercise can help reduce fear, worry, and tension.
  • When you exercise, if you suffer from panic attacks, it can reduce the frequency and intensity.
  • Aerobic exercise decreases your body’s sensitivity in how it reacts to anxiety.
  • Having a high enough activity level or participating in a regular program can help with co-occurring symptoms associated with mental health disorders, such as IBS and gastrointestinal symptoms.
  • When you exercise, it helps promote neuron growth in your brain. Researchers believe this can help reduce psychiatric symptoms.

Exercise can also improve your general well-being, outside of improving specific mental disorders. For example:

  • Getting adequate amounts of even moderate exercise can reduce stress hormones such as cortisol. Exercising increases endorphins, which boost your mood and improve mental health symptoms. 
  • Being physically active reduces your focus on negative emotions and thoughts, basically redirecting your mental energy to more positive things.
  • You may notice that you feel more confident when you exercise.
  • There’s a sense of social support from group exercise situations or recreational exercise, like playing on an organized team.
  • You can improve your immune system when you exercise, which means you spend less time feeling sick or being impacted by minor illnesses, enhancing your quality of life.

 

The Role of Exercise In Addiction Treatment and Recovery

Exercise therapy is often part of addiction treatment and recovery programs because of all the above benefits. Some of the proven benefits of exercise in recovery from substance addiction specifically can include:

  • Reduced stress: Stress is a significant contributing factor to an increased risk of relapse. When you find healthy ways to cope with stress, it’s going to increase your chances of long-term recovery.
  • Better sleep: One of the things that almost everyone in the early stages of treatment and recovery struggles with is rest. You may sleep too much or not enough. Exercising helps stabilize your sleep patterns, and you can get more high-quality sleep.
  • Improved mood: It’s difficult when you’re going through treatment and beginning recovery, which can make you feel down, discouraged, or have a low mood overall. Exercise naturally boosts brain chemicals that make you feel good and happy, like endorphins.
  • Reduced relapse risk: Beyond the specific benefits of exercise that can help lower the risk of relapse, studies have generally found that the abstinence rate associated with regular exercise is around 95%.

 

 

What About Exercise Addiction?

While exercise is one of the most fundamental things you can do to take care of yourself during your addiction treatment and throughout your recovery, too much of a good thing can occur. Addiction or developing an unhealthy obsession is a risk, albeit a low one.

One of the ways to distinguish healthy exercise from compulsive exercise or excessive exercise is whether or not your exercise routine is causing negative consequences in your life. For example, if you’re over-exercising, it can lead to injuries, negatively affect your health, and it can mean that you aren’t focusing as much as you should be on other areas of your life. If you exercise too much, you aren’t giving your body the chance to recover. You need rest just as much as you need physical activity.

Someone with an exercise addiction might engage in physical activity for hours every day, and if they aren’t able to do that, they could become emotionally uncomfortable, frustrated, or anxious. As is true with other behavioral addictions like gambling, being addicted to exercise sessions is somewhat controversial. For example, some experts believe that addiction has to involve a psychoactive substance. Others argue that substance addictions share many similarities to behavioral addictions and should be characterized as such.

When you exercise, your brain’s reward system is part of the equation. That’s the case with substance addictions too. For example, too much exercise can affect the parts of your brain that involve dopamine.

 

Symptoms of Exercise Addiction

Potential signs of an obsession with exercise include:

  • Obsessing over exercise
  • Engaging in continued exercise even though it’s causing you physical harm like stress fractures
  • You keep doing the harmful behavior even if you want to stop
  • Trying to keep the exercise a secret
  • Feeling a high after you exercise
  • Going through withdrawal symptoms if you have to go extended periods without doing it
  • Reducing your other activities to exercise
  • Doing increasingly intense exercise to fulfill your growing exercise dependence

Some people who are most at risk of developing this type of addictive behavior include those who have another addiction, whether it’s behavioral or to a substance. For example, researchers at the University of Southern California found that 15% of exercise addicts are addicted to illicit drugs, alcohol, or cigarettes. Around 25% may have other behavioral addictions, such as sex addiction.

If you previously struggled with drugs or alcohol, you could be at risk of exercise obsession. Also, people with eating disorders like anorexia nervosa or a body image disorder are more at risk of engaging in excessive exercise patterns.

 

Such Thing as TOO Healthy

You shouldn’t let a fear of addiction to exercise get in your way of adding a healthy habit to your life. Having routines that are good for your physical and mental health is great if you’re struggling with addiction or you’re in recovery.

At the same time, it’s just good to be mindful of any potentially harmful patterns you notice when exercising to alleviate a problem before it grows into something more. Behavioral therapy is an excellent way to tackle symptoms of compulsive exercise you might see in yourself. 

If you’re noticing any compulsions in yourself or someone you care about, Anchored Tides Recovery can help. Call 866-600-7709 today to learn more about our program. 

Breaking Down the 12 Step Program

12 step program

12 step program

 

You may frequently hear about the 12 Step program from Alcoholics Anonymous, as it relates to drug and alcohol addiction. The 12 Step program is a plan to overcome drug addiction and other defects of character through a spiritual awakening as a result of these steps. The idea of the model is that people can support one another to help each other work through substance abuse, but surrendering to a higher power is also critical.  

The program began in the 1930s with Bill Wilson’s decision to turn his experience with alcoholism into a message to alcoholics and to practice these principles in addition to prayer and meditation to improve lives. His message was an attempt to give other addicts the ability to remove all these defects and give the power to carry this message to others who are ready to have God. He talked in his writings about how positive it could be when people dealing with an addiction to alcohol shared their stories. Wilson went on to write his program in what eventually became known as the Big Book. The original form of the steps focused on spirituality and came from a Christian philosophy of ultimate authority. Since it was written, the Big Book has become a key tenant of many treatment programs and self-help groups.

 

Breaking Down The 12 Steps of AA

The original Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) group has also led to Narcotics Anonymous (NA), Gamblers Anonymous (GA), and Heroin Anonymous (HA), among others. A few principles of the 12 Step program include:

  • People can help each other maintain abstinence from behaviors or substances they’re addicted to.
  • Requiring complete abstinence from substances.
  • You can use the model to develop new patterns as you move forward in your life.
  • You’re letting go of the ego through a spiritual process as you surrender to a higher power.
  • Meetings are considered a mutual support group that is the fellowship component of the program.
  • While there is a spiritual foundation of the twelve-step program, many participants find that they can interpret the concept of God in their own way and according to their own beliefs.

With that in mind, below, we begin breaking down the 12 step program of AA and what each entails.

 

Step One: Honesty

“We admitted we were powerless over alcohol—that our lives had become unmanageable.”

In this step, you admit that you are powerless over alcohol or your addiction. During this time, you also admit to yourself and others that your life is no longer manageable. Addiction is often defined by denial, and one of the most important steps in your personal recovery process, at least when you’re breaking down the 12 step program of AA, is that you’re no longer in denial. This may be a time that you not only admit you have an addiction, but perhaps your friends and family stop being in denial about it as well.

 

Step Two: Faith

“Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.”

Step two is when you work to believe that there is a Higher Power that is greater than you who can bring you back to a thriving life. The idea here is that before a higher power can help you heal, you have to have a belief that’s possible.

 

Step Three: Surrender

“Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.”

In step three of the program, you decide that you’re going to give your will and your life to the care of God as you understand him. You recognize your ability to change your self-destructive decisions, but also that you can’t do it on your own. You have to rely on help from your Higher Power to make this change.

 

Step Four: Soul-Searching

“Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.”

In this step of the 12 step program, when breaking down the 12 steps of Alcoholics Anonymous, you’re starting to take a moral inventory of yourself. This requires an honest assessment and identification of your problems. This is also a time where you begin to take inventory of how your behaviors have affected not just you but the people around you.

 

Step Five: Flaws 

“Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.”

Once you’ve done step four, and you’ve taken a moral inventory of yourself, you can admit not only to God but to yourself and to others the specific nature of your wrongs. During Step 5, you can begin to grow as a person.

 

Step Six: Acceptance

“Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.”

During this phase, you accept your character flaws and yourself as you are, and then you let it go and ask God to remove them.

 

 

Step Seven: Humility

“Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.”

During this part of the process, you should submit to the fact that there are things you can’t do on your own, and you need to ask a Higher Power to help you. You’re asking your Higher Power to remove your failings or shortcomings.

 

Step Eight: Willingness

“Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.”

This is where you begin to work toward healing broken relationships. During this step, you should create a list of everyone you caused harm to before your recovery. The willingness part of this step means that you are willing to make amends to the people you identified as having harmed in any way.

 

Step Nine: Amends

“Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.”

After you’ve inventoried those you may have hurt, the next step requires directly making amends to them. This can be challenging, but it’s an important part of healing broken relationships. That tends to be a big struggle for people in recovery, and the fact that it’s included as part of the steps is often helpful.

 

Step Ten: Maintenance

“Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.”

Step ten focuses on continuing to take a personal inventory, and then if you find that you’ve been wrong in something, you admit it as hard as it can be. By continuing to take inventory of yourself and your actions, the idea is that you can grow spiritually and make progress in your recovery.

 

Step Eleven: Making Contact

“Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God, as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out.”

During Step 11, you want to discover more about the plan your Higher Power has for your life.

 

Step Twelve: Service

“Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these Steps, we tried to carry this message to alcoholics, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.”

Finally, the last step focuses on service to others. When you’re in recovery, it’s beneficial for your journey if you help others to learn more about the program. You should also aim to keep the program as part of your everyday life.

 

Why Does the 12 Step Approach Work?

There’s a reason that so many people rely on the 12 Steps for their recovery from addiction. It does tend to work because the idea is that you’re looking deep within yourself in a critical way that we often don’t. You’re then deconstructing your ego so that you can rebuild it, piece by piece or step-by-step. You’re learning how to make positive changes in your life through honesty and humility, as well as forgiveness and self-discipline.

 

Alternatives to the 12 Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous

Of course, the 12 Steps don’t work for everyone, and that’s okay too. There are alternatives, such as SMART Recovery. SMART Recovery helps you change your behavior, but it doesn’t have the spiritual element of a 12-Step program. SMART Recovery stands for self-management and recovery training. This program emphasizes building self-confidence and developing the tools you need to overcome addiction. There are facets of cognitive-behavioral therapy that are central to SMART Recovery.

That’s just one example of a 12-Step alternative, but there are others, many of which are secular. Most of the other options focus on self-reliance, empowerment, and control rather than submitting to a Higher Power.

 

Taking the First Step

The first step is usually the hardest because this requires a person to admit they have a problem and accept help. If you, or someone you love, are ready to take that first step, we invite you to come to take it with us at Anchored Tides Recovery. 

Our gender-specific female facility is a place where women can heal together. Many of our clients are successful in their recovery using the 12 step program, and we’re happy to help you be one of our following successful clients. Call us today and speak with one of our care coordinators about taking back control and starting your program. 

Addiction and Employment: Get Help, Don’t Get Fired

addiction and employment

It’s common to feel that addiction and employment do not mix very well and is a severe problem. The American Addiction Centers estimates that there are 14.8 million Americans who use illegal drugs, including thousands of working professionals. It’s good to know that when it comes to addiction and employment, there are resources that can help you overcome your struggles without having to sacrifice your career. Read on to find out more about some of these programs. 

Getting into a rehab program during employment is possibly the world’s most pervasive and damaging vice. The treatment programs address the substance abuse problem and manage any co-occurring disorders among the addicts.

 

How does Addiction Affect your Employment? 

The answer lies in the effect that addiction has on one’s job security. One significant impact is that those struggling with addiction are more likely to be fired from their jobs, often because they struggle with attendance and job performance. Addiction harms not only the individual employee but also the family and employers of the individual as well.

There are two types of workplace problems common to people struggling with an addiction: substance abuse and absenteeism. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA; funding comes from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services) classifies substance abuse into functioning categories, including no or low impairment, moderate impairment, and high impairment. A person with a dependent or abusive problem is considered to have a high level of impairment if he or she has lost or been dismissed from a job where s/he used to be productive.

girl with her hands on her face

 

How to Handle an Alcoholic Employee?

An alcoholic employee is someone who abuses alcohol to the point it affects their work. This can take place at any time of day and not just during work hours. Despite the prevalence of drug use in the U.S., both before and during the current recession, many employers are uninformed about how to handle a worker who struggles with an addiction problem.

It’s essential to know the signs that an employee may be drinking as an alcoholic to handle the situation appropriately.

 

Analyze the effect of employee’s addiction problem at the workplace

Each case is unique, so have a clear sense of the threat your employee’s drug or alcohol use poses to your company. Is your employee creating a direct physical danger in the workplace? 

According to the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (NCADD), one-fifth of workers and managers report that a coworker’s alcohol problems have jeopardized their safety and productivity. The action of someone who is intoxicated in the workplace can place other employees and property at risk. If an employee’s substance abuse has caused injury to you, your coworkers, or your employer’s property, that’s grounds for termination.

 

Consult the company’s Human Resources policy

If an employee shows up drunk and disorderly at the office, what is the proper reaction? Having an HR (Human Resource) policy with clear guidelines in place will help you act swiftly and appropriately. While the specifics of each policy may vary across businesses and industries, all procedures should have a zero-tolerance approach to drugs or alcohol in the workplace. 

Distribute a company manual to everyone hired at a new location. The manual should outline company policies, procedures, and practices, including any drug or alcohol policy that may legally prohibit the possession or consumption of an illegal substance by employees. 

 

Evaluate how substance abuse is affecting the employee’s job performance

If you suspect that one or more of your employees are using drugs, it’s essential to investigate, and possibly perform a drug test. Before you take disciplinary action against an employee, it is good to evaluate the reason for their job performance. Ask yourself if their job performance is due to substance abuse; what can you do about it? 

If drug abuse affects the individual’s job performance, it is in your best interest to terminate employment. Reducing turnover and absenteeism and increasing productivity can add up to considerable long-term savings for you.

 

Assess employee’s level of substance abuse problem ownership and motivation to change

If your employee uses drugs or alcohol on the job, you can help them without violating their rights or exposing yourself to legal risk. The Employee Motivation to Address Substance Abuse Questionnaire (EMASAQ), in conjunction with the Personal Inventory Questionnaire (PIQ), offers an effective way for you to measure your employee’s ownership of their alcohol abuse problem. By assessing their level of ownership and motivation to change, you can craft an action plan that will have the greatest chance of success.

 

Job Protections Under Federal Law for employees during drug addiction treatment

If you are dealing with the disease of addiction to drugs or alcohol, or if you have a family member or friend who is, you should know that job protections under federal law are available if you’re considering different treatment options. 

girl drinking beer

The Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Family Medical Leave Act protect an employee’s rights to maintain their job while overcoming a drug or alcohol addiction. These laws outline what protections you are guaranteed, how to speak with your employer regarding your situation, and how the law may act in your favor if you are being discriminated against due to your drug use.

Additionally, in 2003, the Board of Nursing created RAMP (Recovery and Monitoring Program) as an alternative to the Discipline program. RAMP offers confidential, voluntary support to health care nurses recovering from alcohol or drug dependency. Nurses work with employers and close colleagues while at treatment facilities; here they can receive the appropriate treatment for their recovery and rapid reinstatement.

Addiction affects every aspect of your major life activities negatively, but it doesn’t have to end your employment dream. Contact us at Anchored Tides Recovery Center. A gender-specific rehab center and a place for women to heal will help you fulfill the emptiness and free yourself from the addiction that has hurt you and those around you. Understanding the illness and having a strategy are keys to staying employed while battling addiction. 

Getting into a drug addiction treatment center program during employment can be challenging, and we want to make sure that you get the help you need. Get informed on addiction and employment issues today, and call us to learn more about our therapy sessions and support groups to achieve sobriety.

 

Weight Loss Pills and the Risk of Addiction

weight loss pills

Most weight loss pills contain amphetamine-like medications and are on the controlled substances schedule. Abuse of these medicines can lead to dependence and addiction. Weight loss pills are a way to treat overweight or obese people when diet and exercise do not cause significant weight loss. Prescription weight-loss drugs are chemically similar to amphetamines, which have a well-established history of abuse. Understandably, some people wonder if these drugs carry a risk of abuse and dependence. 

U.S. FDA-Approved Weight Loss Pills

The United States FDA has approved the following drugs to help to lose weight in overweight and obese people. 

For long-term use

  • Orlistat (Xenical). It works by blocking the enzymes that your body uses to break down ingested fat. It is available both with and without a doctor’s prescription (OTC). OTC orlistat (Alli) contains a lower dose of the medication. 
  • Phentermine-topiramate (Qsymia). This combination product works by increasing energy expenditure and decreasing appetite. You need a doctor’s prescription to buy this product. 
  • Naltrexone-bupropion (Contrave). The medicines in Contrave work in the part of the brain that regulates your appetite and energy expenditure. It is available only with a doctor’s prescription. 
  • Liraglutide (Saxenda). Available by injection only, it works in your gut and brain. Liraglutide slows down the passage of food from the stomach to the small intestine. 

For short-term use 

All the weight loss pills used for short-term weight management are similar to amphetamines. 

  • Phentermine (Lomaira)
  • Benzphetamine (Didrex)
  • Diethylpropion (Tenuate) 
  • Phendimetrazine (Adipost, Anorex-SR)

Can Weight Loss Pills Lead to Addiction?

Abuse of weight loss pills is widespread. Most notably, abuse is more common among young women and those with a history of mental illness or drug abuse. Likewise, eating disorders, such as anorexia nervosa and bulimia, also increase abuse risk. 

weight loss pill and measuring tape

Some people may develop tolerance to weight loss medication, which means they need a higher amount of the drug to feel the effects. Long-term use/abuse may also lead to dependence. When this occurs, users may experience uncomfortable symptoms – such as high blood sugar levels, stomach pain, or other common withdrawal symptoms – upon stopping the drug. 

Does this Mean Weight Loss Pills are Addictive?

Abuse, dependence, and addiction are different things. One may have drug dependence but not an addiction. Addiction is a chronic mental disease that occurs when a person continues drug use despite the known health and other hazards. You should also understand that physical dependence, unlike psychological dependence, is a stronger predictor of addiction. 

Interestingly, this does not mean that addiction is unlikely. There have been several reports of addiction associated with the use of weight loss pills. Medicines in these pills are usually Central Nervous System stimulants; they increase energy levels, lift mood, help drop bodyweight, and cause euphoria, creating a perfect recipe for dependence. 

People also tend to mix weight loss pills with other drugs, or while drinking alcohol. The side effects of the medication sometimes will mitigate the less desired symptoms of drug abuse, like fatigue. 

The addiction risk of weight loss pills is lower than that of amphetamines. Nonetheless, this should not be an excuse for you to abuse them. Abuse may lead to overdose, which can be fatal. 

Does the DEA control weight Loss Pills?

The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has categorized weight loss pills into either Schedule III or Schedule IV. 

Schedule III weight loss pills

Moderate to low risk for physical and psychological dependence.

  • Benzphetamine (Didrex)
  • Phendimetrazine (Adipost, Anorex-SR)

Schedule IV weight loss pills

Low risk of abuse and dependence. 

  • Phentermine-topiramate (Qsymia)
  • Diethylpropion (Tenuate) 

Effects of Weight Loss Pill Abuse

In low doses, you may experience:

  • Euphoria
  • Intense Feelings of Wellbeing
  • Rapid Heart Rate 
  • Elevated Blood Pressure
  • Increased Alertness
  • Talkativeness
  • Decreased Appetite

Higher doses may cause:

  • Anxiety
  • Tension
  • Increased Body Temperature
  • Nausea
  • Shaking
  • Seizures
  • Coma
  • Death

Signs and Symptoms of Withdrawal 

The following withdrawal symptoms can persist for one to three weeks. Relapse usually occurs within 4 to 12 weeks of discontinuing amphetamine or similar drugs. 

  • Irritability
  • Aches and Pains
  • Depression
  • Impaired Social Functioning

Treatment of Weight Loss Pill Dependence

A combination of medicine and counseling is the cornerstone of stimulant dependence treatment. Medicines can include drugs to improve mood and control anxiety and seizures. Counseling is an integral part of addiction/dependence treatment. The most commonly used forms of psychotherapy are cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), Dialectal Behavioral Therapy (DBT), and contingency management (CM). 

girl with two types of pills on front of her

FAQs

Are herbal weight loss pills safe?

The U.S. FDA does not regulate these products. Hence, their safety is unknown. It is best to avoid these miracle drugs that promise dramatic weight loss in no time.

Does metformin help with weight loss?

With a healthy diet and exercise, metformin works to help you lose a few pounds. However, side effects are common. Some metformin side effects include diarrhea, bloating, muscle pain, and low blood sugar. If you have questions about starting or how to stop taking metformin, talk to your doctor

Key Takeaways

  • Most prescription weight loss pills contain amphetamine-like substances. 
  • Many users have reported dependence and withdrawal. 
  • These medicines are in either Schedule III or Schedule IV of the Controlled Substances Act (CSA). 
  • Though these pills are less likely than amphetamine to cause addiction, addiction may lead to potentially fatal overdoses. 

Addiction to these pills is common, along with eating disorders. If you or someone you know is struggling, the staff at Anchored Tides Recovery are very experienced in both areas and have helped hundreds of women find a safe place to heal in Orange County, CA. 

How The Covid 19 Lockdown Changed Addiction and Treatment

covid 19 lockdown

covid 19 lockdown

 

The long-term side effects of COVID-19 have become more apparent as the pandemic has continued for over a year. That doesn’t just mean the long-term health effects of the virus itself, but also the societal consequences. Children have missed the social interaction of school and activities. There’s been isolation and loneliness, and routines interrupted. People had to cancel milestones in their life, and while some could work from home, others lost their jobs altogether.

This “perfect storm” of factors has been wreaking havoc on mental health and addiction. The consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic are likely to affect the addiction crisis for a long time in America. The world refers to the situation as both “the COVID-19 epidemic” and “the addiction epidemic”; the impacts on mental health and addiction and addiction treatment could be long-term side effects of COVID-19 that we feel for years or even decades.

 

Covid-19 and Substance Abuse

Many addiction specialists were warning that there could be severe repercussions for those with substance use disorders from the early days of the pandemic. Nearly every element of the COVID-19 pandemic is a relapse and addiction risk factor.

  • With the covid 19 lockdown and social distancing came isolation. Many people no longer had in-person access to those social support networks that were a lifeline for them in their addiction recovery.
  • When you can’t see your loved ones and friends in person, it takes a tremendous toll on you mentally, even if you don’t have a substance use disorder.

pills in divider

  • There wasn’t just social damage—there’s also been staggering economic damage. Businesses had to close their doors entirely, meaning that people were left unemployed. The government offers unemployment benefit enhancements, but not everyone qualifies, and this doesn’t do much to alleviate the uncertainty of losing your job.
  • For business owners, there has been stress as well. They feel the pressure of not serving customers and the personal financial impacts that it has, and its results on their employees who depend on them.
  •  Along with the stay-at-home order and economic instability, many people have experienced tremendous worries about their health and the health of their loved ones. The news has created a constant barrage of negative imagery reflecting the severity of the COVID 19 lockdown in the U.S. and worldwide. This imagery is likely to continue to haunt many people and create more long-term side effects of COVID-19 that affect their mental health.
  • More than half a million people have died in the U.S. alone. The grim nature of the situation we are in makes everything feel like more of a struggle.

 

Vulnerable Populations

The pandemic impacts on addiction in the United States have been even more profound on vulnerable populations, such as the homeless. They haven’t had access to many of the resources they depended on before the pandemic. Communities have struggled with providing these needed resources for vulnerable populations but have faced challenges in doing so.

Other vulnerable populations that the effects of COVID-19 have most impacted include those who live in multi-family homes, individuals with limited health care access, and disenfranchised communities.

 

Overdose Deaths

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 81,000 drug overdose deaths occurred in the U.S. in the 12-month period that ended in May 2020.

That was the highest number of overdose deaths recorded in one year ever.

The number of overdose deaths was already increasing in 2019, but those accelerated when COVID-`19 struck. The former CDC director, Robert Redfield, spoke out and said that as we were fighting the pandemic, it was important not to overlook the unintended consequences of the pandemic and how those were affecting people with substance use disorders.

 

Effects on Young People

One demographic most affected by the long-term side effects of COVID 19 lockdown are likely to be younger people. Research shows us that social interaction and involving yourself in community activities are protective factors for substance use among youth.

Unfortunately, for more than a year, many young people haven’t been able to attend in-person school, see their friends, or do their everyday activities. Parents have to be mindful that these effects might not just be short-term. Mental health facilities and experts are linking trauma in childhood to future substance abuse issues.close up of woman in a mask

 

Mental Illness During COVID-19

It isn’t just people with substance use disorders who will likely impact the long-term side effects of COVID-19.

Research conducted has found a significantly higher level of anxiety, stress, irritability, and depression among the general population during the pandemic. Studies have shown that people are increasingly relying on negative coping strategies during this time, including alcohol, tobacco, cannabis, junk food, and excessive sleep. People have been getting less physical activity and consuming more news and social media content. Much like a natural disaster, it’s possible that the pandemic, a public health crisis, will have a lasting effect on people. In general, mental health care treatment facilities link traumatic experiences to higher levels of depression, PTSD, and substance use. Now, more than ever, mental health services are high in demand.

 

Lack of Access to Care

When people needed it most, the pandemic halted the lifelines of people with substance use disorders and mental health disorders. Mental health treatment was difficult to find, and the state governments weren’t doing much to help. You may be able to find a physically distanced peer-led support group while wearing masks occasionally, but that came with the anxiety of testing positive after.

There wasn’t really a good substitute for the mental health services that care facilities offer. For example, many treatment centers couldn’t provide traditional services because of social distancing guidelines. Health care centers were pushing off other types of treatment to ensure they had the space and resources for COVID-19 patients. The facilities didn’t provide non-essential care at all. Many addiction resources, such as 12-step meetings, couldn’t happen in person either.

Medication-assisted treatment (MAT) programs often require that someone visit a clinic daily to receive their treatment. Again, facilities may have limited access to those programs if they were available at all. All of this compounds the effects on mental health during COVID 19 lockdown and the long-term side effect of COVID-19.

 

The Positive Effects of COVID on Addiction Treatment

While the sad reality is that many of the effects on mental health during the COVID 19 lockdown and the long-term side effects of COVID-19 are devastating, some positive things may come from this situation. Beyond that, addiction treatment centers and providers have taken great strides in reaching their patients and how they help people. The pandemic forced the world of telemedicine and virtual care to grow at a rapid rate during the pandemic. People became comfortable communicating in new ways. For example, Zoom meetings became a daily occurrence in the work world and for 12-step meetings. Therapists and health care providers are now offering more remote services, and addiction treatment specialists can check in with their patients in new ways.

That doesn’t mean that the in-person interactions that are so valuable in addiction treatment and recovery will end, but what it instead means is that more options and opportunities might be available. These changes could reduce some treatment barriers and accessibility issues that have been a long-standing issue in addiction treatment. There is no doubt that the world will feel the long-term side effects of COVID-19 well into the future, and some of those adverse effects could take years even to become apparent. With that in mind, it’s so crucial for people to recognize red flags in themselves and their loved ones and reach out for support when they need it.

 

Help is out there

Anchored Tides Recovery Center is here for you as we navigate our way through the pandemic and find our way back to life as we knew it. Work with us and we will help you be a better person by the time this is over. Call us today to talk more about your situation.

Creating Your Success Story: Opting for Alcohol or Drug Treatment

drug treatment

drug treatment

 

Opting for Drug Treatment

What is a success story, and how is it even created? Do you make one for yourself, or is your story written for you? A good story always involves a protagonist overcoming a struggle and persevering over the antagonist. Does the antagonist have to be a person, though? Some of the best stories involve the struggle being drug treatment and the antagonist is addiction. 

This blog will help you take control of your narrative and create your own success story.

 

Baby Steps

So, how do you even make your success story?

The answer is always baby steps. Losing hope and giving up is easy. Taking baby steps and setting short yet attainable goals will help prevent you from losing hope, and keep up your motivation to keep moving forward. Dreaming big and setting long-term goals is good, but long-term goals take time, and a lot can happen in that time. We live in a time where everyone is used to instant gratification, and if you don’t have short-term goals to bridge the gap between now and your long-term goals, it could easily lead to disappointment. Patience is a virtue. 

Trial and Error

Recovery is a process, and as with any process, failure is a possibility. In your process, you will try many different options, some that work for you and some that don’t. Do not be discouraged by failure, because failure provides an opportunity to grow. Having the strength to not give up is something to be proud of. A success story is only a success story because of the resilience and patience it took to create that story.

 

Accept Help: Seeking Alcohol or Drug Addiction Treatment

Addiction is a disease, Substance Use Disorder (SUD) and Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD) both describe not being in control of how much or how often you use these drugs. Everybody’s brain is wired differently, and as such the level of control we have over our own actions is not the same. Some people require much more willpower to be in control, and for those people, there is no shame in seeking outside help. 

drug treatment

 

 

There are many drug addiction treatment centers that take insurance coverage and offer specific treatment options that are scientifically proven to help with overcoming addiction. Sometimes the options you have can feel overwhelming, but stick with your baby steps and you will keep with the progression of your story. Sometimes making progress is as easy as googling “rehab near me.” 

 

Alcohol Addiction Treatment

Alcohol is a dangerous drug, and if you suddenly stop drinking and try to quit cold turkey you could be making a fatal mistake. Alcohol is a drug that creates a physical dependence, and when your body is physically dependent on a substance the consequences are life-threatening if you don’t approach quitting properly. 

The first step to getting treatment for alcohol addiction is to do a medically assisted detoxification. Medical detox is a form of health care that uses calculated doses of antidotes to mitigate the discomfort of withdrawal symptoms. A rehab program that specializes in treating alcohol addiction will often offer residential inpatient services as well, this is where you live at the facility for an extended period, to minimize the opportunity for relapse while attending counseling sessions regularly. 

People getting treatment for AUD may also find it helpful to utilize aftercare support groups, such as Alcoholics Anonymous (AA). 

 

Drug Addiction Treatment

Drug treatment programs at an addiction center are designed to provide addicts with the mental tools needed to continue in sobriety. Treatment is a long-term procedure for many and requires dropping down through many different levels of care. Many people consider addiction to be a lifetime sentence and believe they will never overcome it, even if they haven’t used drugs in years. 

Drug treatment may include behavioral therapy or a combination of medications. Depending on the patient’s specific needs and the types of drugs they are addicted to, the actual treatment methods can differ.

Many recovery services use both individual and group therapy.  Support groups can help develop communication skills, friendships, and an empowered mindset. Behavioral therapies can help with maintaining sobriety, provide methods to cope with drug cravings, and prevent relapse.

Behavioral therapies offer psychological strengthening and help to enforce behavioral contingencies that facilitate abstinence and a lifestyle that is not drug-using. Some of the more advanced therapies, such as contingency management and cognitive-behavioral therapy, are now being modified for community environments to work on different aspects of addiction. 

drug treatment

Even though a first-time rehab experience can be intimidating, it is ultimately the best choice towards putting your life back on track while easing the tension and the unknowing fear of what’s going to happen. It always helps to read and research the rehab facility you are interested in and its offers.

Are you Someone who is looking to help your daughter, mother, sister, or friend? 

Are you looking for excellent inpatient rehab, especially for women? 

Join Anchored Tides Recovery. Please contact us today at 1-866-524-6014 and get on the road to recovery.

COVID-19 Risks and Relapse on Opioids

relapse on opioids

relapse on opioids

 

Covid-19 presented many challenges for people across the world. Anxiety, grief, joblessness, depression, financial worries, and other mental health issues all skyrocketed, which may have contributed to the worsening of the national opioid crisis. In 2020 over 40 states in the US reported increases in opioid-related deaths and an increasing concern for relapse on opioids. Covid-19 took away so much from so many people, but out of all the things the pandemic took away, access to drugs is not one of them. 

One other contributing factor to the ongoing opioid crisis is the rising popularity of the highly dangerous drug Fentanyl. Fentanyl is not a new drug, it’s been prescribed for paid since the 1960s, however, people are becoming aware of it more and more in the past few years (seemingly gaining traction upon the musician Prince’s fentanyl overdose.) Fentanyl is 50x stronger than heroin and 100x stronger than morphine. This synthetic drug has undoubtedly been a factor in drug relapse on opioids and overdoses since the pandemic began. 

 

Increased Risk

It is essential to know that during these uncertain times of a global pandemic, people who are in recovery are particularly vulnerable and may be easily triggered to relapse on drugs or alcohol due to the unusual amount of stress from social isolation and other COVID-19 related life changes. 

For people with addiction that have co-occurring diseases like depression, anxiety, and other mental health issues during the COVID-19 pandemic, the constant flow of stressful news has led many people to increased feelings of worry, doubt, anxiety, and stress. 

Indulging in alcohol and abusing drugs to cope may temporarily help an addicted person feel better. Still, with each extra dose of the drug taken and with alcohol in your system, you step farther away from sobriety and healthy living, and your conditions only worsen with time. 

Do your part and educate yourself on the warning signs and triggers of addiction relapse

 

Healthy Coping

Relapse prevention involves seeking out healthy activities and professional help. While the world does not look or feel how it used to, there are still activities that are good for your mental and physical health. Taking an extended break from depressing news and social media will alleviate stress, anxiety, and depression. 

Here are some healthy activities to cope with the stress of the pandemic:

By refocusing your energy and thinking to a more positive mindset you will be reducing the risk of relapse, which only complicates the pandemic even further. Additionally, throughout these difficult times, mental health and addiction services are considered essential and still accessible. 

                 

Covid-19 and Drug Addiction

It is reported and observed that alcohol and drug abuse can put drug addicts at a high risk of contracting COVID-19 or experiencing more severe consequences than people who do not abuse drugs.

Opioid use disorder and withdrawal puts an enormous strain on someone’s body. 

 

Withdrawal symptoms from legal and illegal opioids might include:

  • Excess sweating
  • Increased blood pressure
  • Body aches
  • Fever
  • Diarrhea
  • Hallucinations
  • Nausea

These symptoms may compromise your immune system and reduce a person’s ability to combat infections (like Covid-19) Unfortunately, knowing the risks involved is not convincing enough for most addicts to avoid these risky situations.

relapse on opioids

During the pandemic, the situations people put themselves in for accessing drugs became even more dangerous. For example, when picking up drugs from a dealer they are putting themselves at risk to become infected by interacting with people who have been interacting with others. 

Smoking is used by a significant number of drug users as a primary means of getting high. An individual who smokes is at even higher risk for the virus’s most deadly side effect, respiratory illness. 

COVID-19 targets its attack at the lungs of the infected person in many of its fatal cases. The infamous dry cough is one of its most classic symptoms. While there are other symptoms, such as fever, exhaustion, muscle aches, and body aches, pneumonia is the most dangerous part.

 

Steps to Prevent the Spread of Covid-19:

  1. Wash your hands often
  2. Do not share any type of pipe, joint, or other intravenous devices with other people.
  3. Continue addiction and mental health treatments virtually
  4. Avoid in-person contact.
  5. Wear a Mask
  6. Get vaccinated

Is the pressure of the pandemic challenging your sobriety? Help is available. Our treatment facility offers women access to support groups, health care guidance, counseling, and tools to guide them to long-term sobriety. Join the only women at Anchored Tides Recovery. Call us today at 1-866-524-6014 and get your loved one on the road to recovery.

A Guide to Success: Planning an Intervention

common-mistakes-that-families-make
common-mistakes-that-families-make
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, “over 23 million adults in the United States struggle with drug addiction at some point in their lives” That’s more than 10% of American adults! Of the people who struggle with addiction, 75% report never receiving any drug addiction treatment. It’s hard to admit when you need help. While you’re using drugs, you may not even realize the pain and damage you’re causing to your family and friends. For a person struggling with drug addiction, life in recovery often beings with planning an Intervention.    Anchored Tides Recovery has 20+ years of combined experience helping women take steps towards a life in recovery. In our experience, we know that many times the road begins with a formal intervention. This blog will go over some tips and common mistakes made when it comes to interventions for substance abuse. An intervention is a helpful and sometimes necessary step in the healing process, but there can be negative consequences if you do not approach the situation properly.   If you’re wondering how to stage an intervention, an excellent place to start is by understanding the process of a successful intervention, and clearly defining the primary goal.  

What is an Intervention?

A typical intervention for an addict is an orchestrated attempt by a support group – usually close friends or family members – to convince someone to seek professional help for drug or alcohol dependence. Loved ones have a chance to share their emotions and address personal experiences regarding how the addicted person’s drug use has affected them. Once their side of the story is shared, they have the opportunity to show encouragement and support for their loved one to seek help. common-mistakes-that-families-make The adverse consequences of substance abuse are well-known, yet a person trapped in the vicious cycle of addiction does not realize it until it’s too late. Drug dependence affects the quality of your life, induces mental health issues, causes withdrawal symptoms, and even suicidal behavior. Under the influence of drugs, a person loses the will to reconstruct their lives. At this stage, you may need to step in for crisis intervention and save your loved ones from a handicapped life of substance abuse.   There has been an increase of interventions occurring in recent years due to shows like Dr. Phil or Intervention on A&E. The reason these segments are so popular on television is that an intervention is usually a dramatic and emotional experience. Despite Hollywood’s attention, walking in on an intervention for substance use disorder might be a drug user’s worst nightmare. Interventions are often met with resistance and hostility, bringing us to #1 on our list to approach interventions properly and have a clear plan of action.  

Get Help From a Professional Interventionist

Trying to hold an intervention without first seeking professional help is a common mistake. There are many rehabilitation programs offered at various treatment centers that employ intervention specialists to aid you in the process. They act as a host to the event and make sure that everything is done correctly. When appropriately handled, an intervention should remain constructive towards the ultimate goal of supporting the addict’s health and recovery from substance abuse. There is a cost involved in hiring professional treatment providers. Still, this cost is worth it because this step is often the difference between your loved one storming out or your loved one accepting help.  Substance abuse behavior brings various health issues, and sometimes people involved in the intervention have held on to a lot of frustration and anger. A moderator with no emotional attachment can make sure that these emotions get appropriately expressed. If they aren’t, then you may trigger an altercation, resistance, or even violence. A professional moderator has enough experience to control the situation before it escalates into something destructive. The sensitive nature of the emotions involved in the treatment process leads us to our next tip for success on the road to recovery.  

Choose The Intervention Team Carefully

An intervention is a group effort. If you are organizing an intervention for an addict, you will have to determine the form of treatment and the right people to invite to join. You want to avoid involving too many people because you run the risk of intimidating or overwhelming the person. A small intervention team of 4 to 8 people who are closest to the person and have been affected the most is best.  The ideal attendee is someone whose opinions matter the most to the addict, someone they love and respect, who has also personally been affected by their addictive behaviors.  You may know an attendee who seems ideal in some cases, but they are harboring resentment in a negative or unhealthy way. If you think this person will have too difficult a time expressing their emotions constructively and calmly, it may be best not to include them. Tell them there will be an intervention but let them know you think it would be best for them not to be involved in the process just yet. Once you have the right group of people for participation in treatment for substance abuse, you’re ready for the next step.  

Rehearse

There may only be one opportunity to do the intervention the right way. Since it is fragile and volatile by nature, your best chance for success comes from being fully prepared. People under the effects of drugs are often reluctant to the idea of a treatment program because they don’t want to appear vulnerable and weak.  common-mistakes-that-families-make Here are a few aspects of going over in your rehearsal:
  • Understand their patterns of behavior
  • The structure and type of intervention
  • Decide who will speak and when
  • Take turns practicing what you will say.
  • Discuss a plan of how you will get your addicted loved one to the intervention
  • Pick a day and time for the actual intervention. 
  • What is the goal after the intervention?
  Once you’ve rehearsed how the intervention should ideally go, there is one last important piece of the puzzle before you move forward.  

Have a Plan of Action

Change is necessary to keep the intervention on track. You can’t simply go back to life as usual in the end. Experience shows that the more time that passes after an intervention, the less effective the intervention will be—so having a plan and being ready to take steps toward life in recovery immediately after the intervention is the last critical step. Planning out what comes immediately after the intervention is another aspect in which hiring intervention specialists may show added value. A professional interventionist may utilize connections in the industry to help move forward as quickly and efficiently as possible to treat substance abuse and underlying mental health disorders. Having a bag packed with the essential items and a bed at a residential inpatient facility, or medically assisted detox program are extremely helpful ways to follow up with the intervention.    Enough is Enough Getting through to a loved one who is battling drug and alcohol addiction can be frustrating. If you feel like you’ve tried everything, but nothing is working, an intervention may guide your loved one to accept help. Intervention for substance abuse is a very emotional and delicate process. It may be difficult initially, but it could be the best thing for them in the long term. Drug and alcohol abuse have devoured the lives of so many brilliant people. Anchored Tides Recovery believes that the right environment for substance abuse treatment is one crucial factor of the recovery process. We believe in the concept of “Treatment for women, by women.” so we’ve created a gender-specific environment for women to be able to thrive. If your loved one decides after their intervention that they think they’d be comfortable taking the path to recovery in a female-only environment. We provide formal treatment and encourage positive action in a community setting to feel alienated.    Contact Us, and one of our medical professionals will talk to you about various treatment plans and intervention options. Our rehabilitation center provides a range of treatment options that treat substance abuse and ensure your abstinence from alcohol and drugs. Healing starts here.