Can You Overdose On Sleeping Pills?

Getting sufficient and consistent sleep is a significant aspect of staying healthy. Lack of sleep can negatively affect an individual’s life. In a study done by Statista, around 67 percent of U.S. adults rate their last sleep as excellent and 33 percent stated it was fair or poor. 

Many people struggle to sleep at night. Maybe it is due to stress or just age which can result in restless nights. These individuals turn to prescribed sleeping pills to help solve this issue. However, with these pills come many risks and some people are unaware of those risks. Those risks can result in an overdose and even lead to death. 

If you struggle to sleep as well and have abused sleeping pills, Sana Lake Behavioral Wellness Center in Missouri can help. 

What Are Sleeping Pills? 

Overdosed On Sleeping Pills

Sleeping pills are prescribed medication used to cure short-term sleeping issues by helping the individual stay asleep or putting them to sleep. It usually makes the individual feel drowsy and relaxed. But people often misuse the pills and begin to believe that they cannot sleep without them. 

When taken at high doses sleeping pills can become addictive and create a drowsy effect which can lead to addiction. Sometimes even the stress of work and obligations that a person has in their lives can cause them to turn to sleeping pills because they lack sleep but using it too much can lead them down a dark path. 

Side Effects of Sleeping Pills

The side effects of sleeping pills vary and must not be taken lightly. Some call most of these side effects the “hangover” effect where the individual experiences symptoms like drowsiness, difficulty with motor coordination, and impaired memory. These side effects include:

  • Burning or tingling sensation in the hands, arms, feet, or legs
  • Change in appetite
  • Constipation
  • Diarrhea
  • Dizziness
  • Drowsiness during the day 
  • Dry throat or mouth
  • Gas
  • Headache 
  • Heartburn
  • Nausea
  • Lack of focus 
  • Impaired balance 
  • Weakness

These side effects can become dangerous as they may lead to parasomnias, allergic reactions, and dependence or abuse of the substance. 

Are Sleeping Pills Addictive?

Sleeping pills can become addictive. After becoming dependent on the substance individuals can get to the point where they cannot survive without using the pills. And even though the individual may choose to quit on their own they may face challenges and experience anxiety and depression. Not everyone who partakes in substance abuse will become addicted. 

One of the reasons an individual may become easily addicted to sleeping pills would be related to genetics. Sometimes they have family members who are addicted to a substance or who have been addicted in the past. 

Why Do People Abuse Sleeping Pills?

Many do not realize that they have abused sleeping pills until they begin noticing withdrawal symptoms when they attempt to stop. After undergoing multiple sleepless nights 

 using sleeping pills was something an individual would use to help with their insomnia. Unfortunately, after a long period of time of using the substance the individual can become dependent on it. The individual may feel like they need the pill to fall asleep. Even after facing those withdrawal symptoms they continuously begin to crave it. 

Usually, when individuals begin to depend on the pill they do not think they can live without it. This is where they become addicted to the sleeping pill.  

Whether or not the individual had the intention to become addicted to the pill if they use it more than required then it is possible to become addicted. At first, they may take it for a good reason and it can help but if it is taken without the need for it then there becomes an issue. It starts as a choice but can later become something out of the individual’s control. 

Recognizing the Signs of Sleeping Pill Addiction

There are multiple signs that someone is addicted to sleeping pills. While the person may believe that they need sleeping pills to cure their insomnia, instead they have fallen into the hole of addiction and cannot live without using. Some of the signs that show someone is addicted are:

  • Taking the pills when they are not needed
  • Tolerating the prescription and increasing the dosage
  • High-functioning depression 
  • Experiencing withdrawal symptoms
  • Blowing off social and personal obligations
  • Cravings

Short-term Effects 

Short-term effects of sleeping pill addiction include:

  • Cravings
  • Moving from one doctor to another for prescriptions
  • Taking sleeping pills when unnecessary 
  • Memory loss 
  • Withdrawal symptoms 

 Long-term Effects

Some of the long-term effects of sleeping pill addiction include:

  • Overdose
  • Coma
  • Slow or shallow breathing
  • Decreased heart rate

A very dangerous long-term effect is called parasomnia. It is the act of performing behaviors like sleepwalking, driving, and cooking, all while being in an altered state of consciousness. Behaviors like these can potentially harm someone else or the individual. 

Can You Overdose on Sleeping Pills?

Sleeping Pills Addiction Therapy Missouri

It is possible to overdose on sleeping pills. The signs of overdose include:

  • Excessive daytime drowsiness – Sometimes the effects of the sleeping pill do not always wear off by morning. Therefore, it may be difficult to wake up during the day.
  • Memory loss – Some individuals may complete certain tasks or behave a certain way without even being conscious or aware of their actions. Examples of this include, sleepwalking or driving while asleep. 
  • Extreme Isolation – Many tend to isolate themselves from those they love or care about. They might even stop engaging in their favorite activities. 
  • Engaging in dangerous activities – Some people tend to use the stove or drive their cars. These actions can be detrimental to them and others. 

Sana Lake BWC Can Help You Or A Loved One Recover From Addiction 

If you or a loved one is suffering from a sleeping pill addiction Sana Lake Behavioral Wellness Center can help. With the right resources and professionals, we can help you recover, heal, and reconnect with your community. We have compassionate employees who dedicate themselves to making sure you are taken care of. Contact Us.

Can You Overdose On Sleeping Pills?

A stigma is a mark of disgrace that sets a person apart from others. It is an attribute that is deeply discrediting and it is almost always negative. To end the stigma of addiction, requires compassion, empathy, and action.

The Various Types of Stigmas

The different types of stigmas associated with addiction are:

  • Alcoholism stigma
  • Drug stigma
  • Mental health stigma
  • Societal stigma

Why Is There An Addiction Stigma?

There are many reasons why addiction stigma exists. One reason is that people with substance use disorders are often seen as responsible for their problems. This is because addiction is often seen as a choice rather than a disease.

People may also believe that addiction is a moral failing or character flaw. This stigma can make it difficult for people with addiction to get the help they need.

How Prevalent is Addiction Stigma?

Addiction stigma is very prevalent in our society. A stigma is a negative social label that leads to discrimination. Addiction stigma can be seen in the way that people with substance use disorders are treated differently than others. This can lead to them being treated with less respect and compassion.

How Do Addiction Stigmas Affect Men and Women Differently?

There are some specific ways that addiction stigma affects men and women differently. For example, men are more likely to be seen as “bad” or “weak” if they seek help for addiction. This can make it harder for them to admit that they have a problem and get the help they need. 

Women, on the other hand, maybe more likely to be seen as “crazy” or “unstable” if they seek help for addiction. This can make it harder for them to get the treatment they need and be taken seriously by healthcare providers.

It’s important to remember that addiction stigma affects everyone differently. What might be a minor annoyance for one person could be a major barrier for another. And what might be a major barrier for one person today could be a minor annoyance tomorrow. The important thing is to get the support you need when and where you need it.

How is Addiction Stigma Influenced by Race?

There is a long history in the United States of stigma surrounding addiction, and this stigma is often racialized. People of color have been disproportionately affected by stigma, prejudice, and discrimination when it comes to addiction and substance abuse. This is due in part to harmful stereotypes and racial biases that exist in our society.

  • Racial bias can play a role in how people perceive addiction and those who suffer from it.
  • People of color are more likely to be seen as criminals than as people suffering from a disease. This stigma can make it harder for people of color to get help for their addiction.
  • It can also lead to harsher punishments for people of color who do struggle with addiction.

How Is Addiction Stigma Influencing Mental Health?

The stigma of addiction can lead to negative mental health outcomes:

  • People who feel stigma may be more likely to suffer from depression and anxiety.
  • They may also be more likely to turn to substance abuse as a way to cope with these feelings.
  • The stigma of addiction can make it harder for people to seek help for their disease.
  • It can also lead to social isolation and other problems.

How Does Stigma Impact Those With Addiction?

The stigma of addiction can have several negative effects on those suffering from substance abuse disorders.

First, stigma creates barriers to treatment. People may be reluctant to seek help because they fear being judged or labeled.

Second, stigma leads to discrimination. People with addiction may be treated differently by family, friends, employers, and strangers. They may be discriminated against:

  • In housing
  • Education
  • Employment

What Causes the Stigma of Addiction?

The causes of the stigma of addiction are complex and multi-layered. Stigma can be caused by individual attitudes and beliefs, as well as by larger social attitudes and beliefs. Stigma can also be perpetrated by:

  • The media
  • Popular culture
  • Government policies

The Media

The media plays a significant role in shaping public attitudes and beliefs about addiction. The media often portrays addicts as criminals or as morally weak people. This portrayal can lead to stigma and discrimination against addicts.

Popular Culture

Popular culture also contributes to the stigma of addiction. TV shows, movies, and music often portray addicts as people who are out of control, dangerous, and not to be trusted. This portrayal can make it difficult for people with addiction to be seen as anything other than addicts.

Government Policies

Government policies can also contribute to the stigma of addiction. For example, many countries have laws that criminalize drug use. These laws send the message that drug users are criminals, which can contribute to stigma and discrimination against them.

How to End the Stigma of Addiction

There are many ways we can end the stigma of addiction. Here are some things you can do:

  1. Educate yourself and others about addiction.
  2. Show compassion and understanding towards those suffering from addiction.
  3. Support policies and programs that provide treatment and recovery services for those suffering from substance abuse disorders.
  4. Speak out against discrimination and judgment towards those with addiction.
  5. Help break the stigma of addiction, one conversation at a time.

What Are Some Language Tools to End the Stigma of Addiction?

The way we speak plays a big role in stigma. Language can help create stigma or stigma-related attitudes, and it can also help reduce stigma.

When talking about addiction and people who suffer from addiction, it is important to use person-first language. This means using phrases like “person with addiction” or “people who suffer from addiction” instead of saying “addicts” or “substance abusers.”

It is also important to avoid using judgmental language when talking about addiction and people who suffer from addiction. For example, instead of saying that someone is a “junkie,” you could say that they are “struggling with an addiction to drugs.”

The Stigma of Alcoholism

The stigma of alcoholism is often perpetuated by society’s negative attitudes and beliefs about alcoholics. These attitudes and beliefs can make it difficult for people suffering from alcoholism to seek help and treatment. Stigma, judgment, and discrimination can also lead to social isolation, which can make recovery from alcoholism more difficult.

Sana Lake BWC Offers Full Support to End the Stigma of Addiction

Sana Lake BWC is committed to providing stigma-free care. We offer a variety of services to help people with addiction, including:

If you or someone you know is struggling with addiction, we can help. Call us today to get started on the road to recovery.

Can You Overdose On Sleeping Pills?

The definition of a sober coach is a field in addiction where the individual provides one on one support to people newly in recovery. It is also referred to as any of the following terms even though they aren’t always the same:

  • Sober companion
  • Recovery coach
  • Sobriety coach

The terms are used interchangeably. One of the aspects to understand is that a sober coach, recovery coach, and sobriety coach aren’t plainly defined. The exact definitions tend to vary from one individual to the next. 

What Do Sober Coaches Do?

Sober coaches might be able to fill in the gaps of physicians for addiction and various other related issues. The need for individuals to receive support is steadily growing. Though several professionals can effectively identify, treat, and further support individuals, a sober coach can provide:

  • Support for attending addiction counseling sessions, 12-step groups, non-12-step groups, and outpatient treatment services
  • An initial treatment plan that includes treatment, sober homes, and aftercare plans
  • Transportation to support services after leaving addiction treatment
  • Acts as an advocate for the individual in recovery 
  • Be on-call or provide around-the-clock care
  • Assist in establishing new life routines
  • Works with loved ones and family 
  • Provide relapse support 

If you are wondering “What is a sober coach?” or “What is a sober companion?”, the main goal of both is to prevent relapse. All of the services and activities are based solely on that goal. Every person might have various needs when it comes to a sober coach. 

Overall, the goal of a sober coach should be to assist the individual in establishing a support system of sober and like-minded individuals, along with tools to avoid relapse. One of the most important things to remember is that a sober coach, sobriety coach, or sober companion should be certified, bonded, and insured. 

When searching for a sobriety coach, it’s ideal to research the different options to learn more in-depth about experience and training. Oftentimes, individuals who are in recovery become sober coaches themselves. Generally, this occurs because the individuals now have a better understanding of how other individuals are feeling and what can assist with learning and growth. 

How A Sober Coach Works

A sober coach works in an individual’s life by being there every step of the way to instill the learning and practice of new skills. As they guide each individual toward well-being and healing, the old outlook or perspective can change. Being able to navigate potentially demanding aspects of life such as the following can provide various benefits: 

  • Getting through the holidays while being surrounded by a family who celebrates with an abundant amount of alcohol
  • Offer the individuals encouragement, understanding, wisdom, and accountability

Generally, an individual will work with a sober coach after completing an alcohol and drug treatment program. The time that follows treatment can often be some of the most challenging times because an adjustment to a new life is brewing while learning how to manage temptation and triggers. 

A sober coach can bridge the gap between 12-step groups and a treatment program. After the time for the treatment program has ended, and sometimes the 12-step programs aren’t always available, your sobriety coach will be. If you are faced with nonstop and severe triggers, a sober coach can help you with the following steps:

  • Naturally maintaining sobriety: Discover the importance of exercising daily, getting plenty of adequate rest, maintaining a positive attitude, and eating a healthy diet. Self-care isn’t selfish, it’s necessary.
  • Set long-term and short-term goals: If it’s been a long time since you set goals, it’ll be a great idea to begin the process. Setting goals gives you something concrete to look forward to. In the end, there will be results to celebrate.
  • Recognize challenges: A sobriety coach will be able to assist you in recognizing any unique challenges. From there, the most effective way of dealing with a problem will be addressed. When problems are left unchecked, they can sabotage the recovery journey.
  • Develop problem-solving techniques: When a problem occurs in your life, how do you plan on solving them? “What is a sober coach and what do they do?” A sober coach will teach you how to apply effective and healthy ways to deal with your stress.
  • Build relationships: Finally, the last step will be centered around the sobriety companion choosing to take the time to build a solid relationship with you. “What is a sobriety companion and what do they do?” They form close connections with other individuals as a fundamental part of the healing process.

When Are Sober Companions the Most Helpful?

Sober companions are the most helpful when an individual is undergoing a high risk of relapse or for some reason isn’t able to attend a treatment facility. The transition of leaving a safe and structured environment back to their normal lives is one of the most difficult parts of recovery. Though the step is starting over and changing everything; much-needed change is necessary for growth. 

A recovery coach can help individuals by supporting them and holding them accountable. They will provide established ways, plans, and resources all geared towards ever-lasting recovery. There are a variety of different groups that can assist an individual’s recovery, and a recovery coach can attend these groups with you. 

Long-term sobriety will require continuous work, willingness, and dedication that one will have to master for self, and alongside a sober coach. Some sober coaches are willing to operate alongside a therapist or outpatient program. The main difference between a therapist and a sober coach is that a therapist will work on discovering the root of a person’s addiction. 

A recovery coach will work with an individual daily to handle everyday challenges and tasks. If you are seeking an advocate that will go to bat for healthy aspects of your life, a recovery coach is key. They will be there with an intervention plan in case of relapse, teaching on necessities, helping individuals learn how to acquire needed resources and more.

Sana Lake BWC Can Help You Maintain Sobriety 

If you are seeking a recovery coach that will encourage, teach, and help establish positive goals, they will be a great addition to your recovery.

They are a huge part of the aftercare program. Everything you could need for your sobriety journey is at Sana Lake BWC. Our members always come first. Let’s get started today.

Mixing Alcohol with Other Substances: Understanding the Dangers

It is known that alcoholism increases the possibility of developing co-occurring conditions alongside substance use disorder. The effects will be increased, but more importantly, dangerous interactions can be triggered, too. 

When an individual begins mixing drugs and alcohol, it is never a great idea because of the unpredictable side effects. Each drug will present a unique effect but there are main factors it depends on. 

  • How much of the drug was taken
  • What is actually in it
  • What the individual ate
  • Where the person is
  • What’s going on around them
  • How tired the individual is 
  • How the person is feeling

When individuals engage in alcohol, it is more likely that that same individual will engage in substances such as:

  • Prescription drugs
  • Illicit drugs such as:
    • Heroin 
    • Cocaine
    • Marijuana
    • Ecstasy 

When drugs and alcohol are mixed, serious complications can occur in the following categories:

  • Behavioral health
  • Physical health 

What Are Substance Use Disorders?

Substance use disorders involve an individual engaging in the chronic use of drugs and alcohol. When there is a prolonged consumption of alcohol and drugs, the individual’s tolerance is increased. By the individual’s tolerance being heightened, the substance will be more required for the person to reach desirable results. 

Alcohol and substance use starts as a light concern until it gradually becomes a more serious entity. For example, a person might begin by mixing small doses of alcohol with a drug. Their body will become dependent on the released chemicals by each substance over time and begin craving more. 

After this person builds up a tolerance to both substances, the person will in turn increase the amount consumed to avoid experiencing uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms. This is when the individual might begin engaging in even more harmful substances, which can result in a more intensified high such as:

  • Cocaine
  • Ecstasy 
  • Heroin 

How To Recognize a Drug or Alcohol Issue

There are many symptoms of drug and alcohol use that are noticeable, but some aren’t as recognizable. Family members must keep an eye out for warning signs, but these signs can go unnoticed when the individual hides the drug and drinking issues. There is a huge negative connotation and stigma associated with drug and alcohol use, so individuals might feel led to deny they have a problem. 

In circumstances similar to this, it’s much more difficult for close family members and friends to arrange an intervention for their loved ones to gain the help that they deserve. There are several questions a family member or friend can use to identify if their loved one needs help.

What Are Common Drugs That People Suffering From Substance Use Disorder Commonly Mix With Alcohol?

Although mixing alcohol and drugs can lead to unpredictable results, there are numerous common examples of what is to be expected:

Speed

The combination of mixing alcohol and speed is known to be fatal. When the two forces are taken together, the effect of the speed is exaggerated. Speed can put a strain on an individual’s heart so mixing it with alcohol can add even more pressure on it. 

Ecstasy

Ecstasy is a stimulant that can cause severe adverse reactions when paired with other substances such as alcohol. The powerful high that occurs when consuming ecstasy influences the person to drink large amounts in a short amount of time. 

This drug creates a buzz and provides that to the individual seeking the high. From the experience, a lot of energy is given to the person. Ecstasy presents a true danger of dehydration and overheating. 

When an individual engages in alcohol use, they can become dehydrated so combining the two can make matters a lot worse. The other side effects involved with this combination are:

  • Vomiting
  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea
  • Heatstroke
  • Excessive sweating

Cocaine

This combination is the most common because of the powerful high both substances produce. 

Cocaine is a stimulant that increases the following factors which helps alcohol reach the brain faster:

  • Alertness
  • Blood pressure
  • Heart rate

When an individual engages in cocaine use along with other drugs or alcohol, the risk of side effects is increased. The combination of cocaine and alcohol is extremely dangerous because the interaction in the body can produce a toxic chemical named cocaethylene. Cocaethylene produces intense feelings of pleasure. 

The three factors that are heightened when these two forces are combined are the following:

  • Heart attack
  • Overdose
  • Death

Marijuana

Both forces are depressants so combining the two can increase the likelihood of an overdose. The following side effects can occur with these two drugs being mixed:

  • Vomiting
  • High anxiety
  • Paranoia
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea

Since marijuana reduces nausea symptoms, it might prevent the individual’s body from throwing up alcohol. From that occurring, this could cause alcohol to remain in the system and lead potentially to alcohol poisoning

mixing drugs and alcohol

Painkillers

The main painkillers heavily prescribed to treat moderate to severe pain in the United States are:

  • Xanax
  • OxyContin
  • Vicodin

When painkillers are combined with alcohol, dangerous health conditions can be produced. Painkillers and alcohol taken separately can already possibly cause liver damage. However, when the substances are combined, the risk of developing liver problems and liver disease greatly increases. 

Antidepressants

Individuals who are diagnosed with a mental health condition are typically prescribed antidepressants such as Prozac or Zoloft. When an antidepressant is mixed with alcohol, the main side effect is a potentially dead combination. The main risk factors of this combination are:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Impaired judgment
  • Sleep irritability
  • Irritability 
  • Faintness
  • Confusion
  • Dizziness

There are numerous risks associated with sleeping pills by themselves. When it is combined with alcohol use, sleeping pills’ effects can be life-threatening. If the individual engages in a small amount of alcohol, the sedative effects can be increased. 

GHB

This drug creates a sedative effect. When that process occurs, inhibitions are dulled and sleepiness occurs. By itself, GHB can cause unconsciousness, death, or coma. So added with another force, it’s even more dangerous. 

Heroin 

Heroin and alcohol are both depressants that can cause similar side effects. One of the biggest risks of depressants is slowed breathing. When heroin is consumed with alcohol, the breathing issues can become even more life-threatening and serious. 

It’s important to remember that heroin is a highly addictive drug. Heroin is extremely difficult to quit. The two main factors combining these drugs are:

  • Overdose
  • Slow heart rate

If an individual mixes alcohol with heroin, there’s a much higher risk of overdosing. When a person consumes a moderate amount of alcohol, the level of heroin can be lowered. However, this entire process can still lead to a fatal overdose. 

What Are the Effects of Mixing Drugs and Alcohol?

Generally, when an individual mixes drugs and alcohol, the effects of mixing drugs and alcohol are normally exaggerated. The process can be extremely dangerous. For example, if a person combines a depressant drug with a sedative, the body can be at risk of shutting down completely. 

Commonly, individuals assume their safety based on a smooth experience occurring before. 

However, determining the specific reaction that will occur each time is an impossible act to master. Every individual will react differently and results can vary every time. It is a huge risk to take a drug and not be knowledgeable about what is in it. 

What Sort Of Side Effects Occur With Mixing Alcohol With Other Substances?

When an individual begins mixing drugs and alcohol, severe bodily injury and life-threatening side effects can occur. The combination can rapidly spiral out of control, leaving that individual at risk for potentially permanent health complications. When an individual begins to consume excessive amounts of drugs and alcohol for days, weeks, or years, there can be a toll on the person’s body. 

Some effects can be minor, lasting temporarily. Some effects can cause permanent damage. Generally, the type of drug and amount of alcohol consumed will affect the consequences of a person’s health. 

Short Term Effects

  • Muscle control difficulties
  • Short-term memory loss
  • Lack of concentration
  • Decreased or increased heart rate
  • Lowering inhibitions
  • Respiratory problems
  • Heightened emotions of anxiety, sadness, or fear

Long Term Effects

  • Bone and muscle breakdown
  • Lack of coordination skills
  • Coping problems in school or at work
  • Internal organ damage
  • Long-term memory impairment
  • Nasal perforation (in cocaine use)
  • Poor nutrition 

Drugs and drinking can destroy relationships with friends and family. While all hope might feel like it’s lost, we are here to help. Substance and alcohol use are treatable conditions that can be overcome with the assistance of our medical professionals. 

Get Help At Sana Lake BWC Today

If an individual is suffering from an alcohol or substance use disorder, it can not be self-treated. Sana Lake BWC has a compassionate staff eager to help addiction and recovery struggles. Contact us today to get started on life free from substances.

Natural Adderall: Do Adderall Alternatives Work?

Many substances can be looked at as natural Adderall, but do they work? Adderall is a prescription medication that stimulates the brain. It is primarily used to treat people with ADHD, also known as attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder.

Some natural supplements that are sometimes referred to as natural Adderall may help reduce symptoms of ADHD. These supplements can also help individuals without ADHD, as they provide improved focus and balanced stimulation.

Alternatives to Adderall

Before trying an Adderall substitute, such as a supplement, it is essential to first talk to your healthcare provider. Some natural alternatives to Adderall may interfere with other medications or may cause unexpected side effects. 

Citicoline

In the United States, citicoline is sold as a supplement. However, it is a pharmaceutical substance, and many countries require a prescription to acquire citicoline. Citicoline is identical to CDP-choline, a natural precursor to the phospholipid phosphatidylcholine, which is a major cell membrane. Phospholipids contain glycerol and fatty acids.

Studies have shown that phospholipids can help overall cognitive function and even help heal brain damage. Many countries use citicoline as a medication to help people recover from strokes. 

In 2014, a study noted that this supplement could help with disorders in the brain or nervous system such as dementia and glaucoma. The study also touched on citicoline helping reduce symptoms of ADHD.

This potential Adderall alternative does not have any apparent side effects, though it has not been studied at length. Overall, it is well tolerated but must undergo more research to call it a realistic form of natural Adderall.

Mineral Supplements

Many children with ADHD have lower-than-standard levels of specific mineral nutrients. A balanced diet typically supplies you with proper nutrients and minerals. Some children tend to be picky eaters, or a much smaller amount have medical conditions that don’t allow the child to absorb nutrients properly. In both of these cases, the child may be deficient in certain minerals.

Research shows that supplements can reduce symptoms of ADHD in some children. Researchers believe this is true since certain minerals are required for the brain to make neurotransmitters

Three of the supplements believed to reduce symptoms in ADHD include iron, magnesium, and zinc.

Methionine

Another potential Adderall alternative is methionine. Methionine is an amino acid that our bodies use to develop brain chemicals. The active form of methionine is called S-Adenosyl-L-Methionine (SAMe). This has been used as a form of natural Adderall to help treat symptoms of depression and ADHD. In 1990, a trial concluded that 75% of the trial participants with ADHD showed improved symptoms after being treated with SAMe.

Unfortunately, this potential Adderall substitute has side effects that are specifically bad for those with bipolar disorder. This supplement might increase manic episodes and anxiety, especially for those with bipolar disorder. 

Vitamin B-6 and Magnesium

Vitamin B-6 directly helps make a brain chemical called serotonin. Serotonin is a nerve chemical that is essential for mood balance and the basic feeling of calmness. It is believed that vitamin B-6 may work well in conjunction with magnesium to balance chemicals in the brain. 

One study found that children with diagnosed ADHD had fewer symptoms after eight weeks of taking vitamin B-6 and magnesium supplements. Researchers noted that hyperactivity, mental focus, and aggressiveness improved because of the Adderall alternative supplement. 

GABA

GABA, or gamma-aminobutyric acid, is a naturally occurring brain chemical that helps calm the nervous system. This is generally used to lower levels of hyperactivity and excitability. This supplement may also ease stress and anxiousness.

GABA supplements may help both adults and children with ADHD that display symptoms of aggressiveness, impulsivity, and hyperactivity. A study in 2016 expressed the role GABA supplements can play in reducing symptoms of ADHD in children and adults. 

Pycnogenol

Pycnogenol is an antioxidant registered under the trademark brand name of French maritime pine bark extract. The supplement is mainly used to help lower blood pressure and improve circulation. Because this supplement may lower inflammation and oxidative stress in the body, it has the potential to reduce ADHD symptoms. 

In recent years, researchers have continuously studied the role of inflammation and oxidative stress in relation to ADHD symptoms. Though there has not been complete, conclusive evidence that makes Pycnogenol a potential form of natural Adderall, several studies have had positive outcomes. 

One of the studies found that this supplement significantly helped reduce ADHD symptoms in children. The study details an improvement in hand-eye coordination, concentration, and attention over the four-week trial. 

Ginkgo Biloba

Ginkgo biloba is marketed to improve blood flow and overall memory in older adults. This herbal supplement has undergone limited testing and is on the list of potential alternatives for Adderall. Though some studies report improvements in each test participant’s overall quality of life, the supplement requires more research and dosage testing before becoming an Adderall substitute. 

Combination Supplements

Certain combinations of herbs and supplements are sold as alternatives to Adderall. Some of the herbs used in these supplements are:

  • Aesculus
  • Aconite
  • Oenanthe
  • Humulus
  • GABA
  • L-Tyrosine
  • Gelsemium

Most of the supplements are said to not affect appetite or sleep, which is a significant side effect of Adderall for some people. Studies show that these supplements may help keep you focused and calm without increasing irritability and anxiety.

Is There an Adderall Substitute for Focus?

natural adderall

You do not have to have diagnosed ADHD to have issues concentrating or focusing. Many people without ADHD can benefit from natural supplements that have similar but more mild effects than Adderall. Some easily obtainable supplements that can help improve memory and focus include:

  • Flaxseed: Flaxseed provides omega-3 fatty acids and other beneficial nutrients.
  • Fish oil: Fish oil helps with overall heart health, and it provides omega-3 fatty acids that help protect the brain.
  • Vitamin B-12: Vitamin B-12 adds nutrients that help maintain and protect nerves in the brain.
  • Ginkgo biloba: Ginkgo biloba increases blood flow to the brain, which provides several health benefits.
  • Mint: Mint and mint extract help improve memory.
  • Rosemary: Rosemary is known to improve alertness and memory.
  • Sesame seeds: Sesame seeds are an excellent source of zinc, magnesium, and vitamin B-6, which are beneficial for brain health. Sesame seeds are also rich in tyrosine, an essential amino acid.
  • Cocoa seed: Cocoa seed is a beneficial antioxidant.
  • Saffron: Saffron is believed to improve brain and overall cognitive function.

What is ADHD?

Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder is an evolving mental health disorder. Brain structure and function play a large role in the development and specific symptoms of ADHD. People with severe ADHD show differences in physical brain structure compared to those without the mental health disorder. 

For example, children with diagnosed severe ADHD have a smaller frontal lobe. This area of the brain is responsible for motor activity, concentration, impulse control, and inhibition. 

Some common symptoms of ADHD include standard behavioral issues, poor concentration, fidgeting, and overactivity. Other signs of ADHD include:

  • Interrupting conversations
  • Difficulty completing tasks and concentrating
  • Inability to sit still, especially in calm environments
  • Acting before thinking
  • Lack of sense of danger

How Does Adderall Help?

Adderall helps improve exam performance and concentration in students with ADHD. Studies show that Adderall reduces impulsivity which, in turn, enhances the individual’s attention and focus. Researchers believe that Adderall and other similar medications do not increase the individual’s risk of addiction to these drugs. Though, people with ADHD are more likely to have addictive tendencies in general. 

Side Effects of Adderall

Adderall has many side effects, including:

  • Restlessness
  • Excitability
  • Nervousness
  • Agitation
  • Irritability
  • Dizziness
  • Headache
  • Dear
  • Anxiety
  • Tremor
  • Agitation
  • Weakness
  • Sleep issues (insomnia)
  • Blurred vision
  • Dry mouth
  • Stomach pain
  • Constipation
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Nausea
  • Fever
  • Hair loss
  • Weight loss
  • Loss of appetite
  • Loss of sexual interest
  • Impotence
  • Heart palpitations
  • Increased blood pressure
  • Increased heart rate

ADHD and Addiction

ADHD and addiction are common co-occurring disorders. Co-occurring disorders, also referred to as dual diagnoses, are two or more mental health disorders occurring simultaneously. In many cases, co-occurring disorders play into each other to cause adverse outcomes if not treated properly. 

Studies show that individuals with moderate to severe ADHD are more likely to become dependent on substances than the general population. The following facts and statistics support the linkage between substance use and ADHD:

  • Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder is almost ten times more common in people with an alcohol use disorder.
  • A quarter of people in alcohol or drug treatment have ADHD.
  • Children and young adults diagnosed with ADHD are more likely to use substances in their teens.
  • Young adults with ADHD have a higher chance of using alcohol excessively compared to young adults without the disorder.
  • In general, people with ADHD have a higher chance of using substances at an earlier age, on average. 

Sana Lake BWC Can Help

Sana Lake BWC provides a recovery-oriented system of care. We take pride in creating personalized recovery plans for each and every one of our members. Whether you are dealing with mental health issues like ADHD or issues with substance use, we can help. At Sana Lake BWC, you are not just a member for a short time; you are a member for life. If you have any questions regarding our community or our services, please give us a call today.

ER and Medical Detox: What’s the Difference?

When an individual shows up to the emergency room, it’s because that person needs immediate assistance. The ER is for people who have medical emergencies. Alternatively, medical detox is where individuals rid their bodies of any traces or toxins left behind by substance misuse. 

At medical detox, members will typically work out what their detox treatment will look like ahead of time and then attend detox for a set period of time.  While it’s important to take immediate action to overcome addiction, it’s technically not an “emergency.” Thus, medical detox is different from the ER. Prospective medical detox members will communicate with admissions and see whether an inpatient or outpatient detox program is best suited for them. 

The emergency department of a hospital is just for inpatient treatment, which may occur for an indefinite period of time. Unlike with medical detox, there isn’t usually a discussion about insurance beforehand when receiving care at an emergency department because people in the ER are experiencing life-threatening emergencies that need immediate attention. 

Should You Go to the ER or Detox for Alcohol Poisoning?

Despite its legality, alcohol is a psychoactive substance. Hence, some might find themselves in the hospital if they drink too much. Alcohol poisoning is a common emergency room (ER) reason for admission as it is life-threatening and is a medical condition that comes upon someone suddenly. Individuals that want to detox from alcohol due to alcohol use issues or alcohol addiction though, should attend medical detox.

Alcohol often makes people feel relaxed and more friendly because of the way that it affects the brain. The substance increases the availability of certain chemicals in the brain, which affects the body’s systems as a whole. 

The respiratory system is one bodily system that is affected by alcohol use and abuse. The effects that alcohol has on the respiratory system and other systems in the body can be extremely harmful when a person suffers from alcohol poisoning though. 

While alcohol withdrawal symptoms can also be life-threatening and unbearable at times, people usually don’t feel these symptoms in a severe manner until they detox. Thus, a medical detox facility with doctors, medical staff, and substance use and detox specialists on standby is the best place to treat alcohol use issues and alcohol addiction. 

Should You Go to the ER or Detox for Drug Overdose? 

The emergency room is for serious situations which require speedy attention. When someone has a drug overdose, the emergency room can be the difference between life and death. This is especially true when an individual is mixing multiple substances. 

Yet, if someone is having trouble overcoming an addiction to substances, a medical detox facility would be a more appropriate place to receive treatment. There is some overlap between the symptoms of overdosing and extreme withdrawal symptoms. Medical detox will likely be able to control extreme withdrawal symptoms though through medications such as: 

  • Naltrexone 
  • Disulfiram
  • Methadone 
  • Buprenorphine 
  • Suboxone 

Medical detox can also help in the treatment of mental health disorders that co-occur with substance addictions. Medical staff at a detox center will be able to assess any co-occurring mental illnesses that a person with a substance addiction may be suffering from. Then doctors at a medical detox facility can prescribe individuals medications that can not only help treat any lingering substance withdrawal symptoms that the individuals are suffering from, but also any mental health disorder symptoms that they are still dealing with. 

Beware though that doctors will only prescribe individuals with mental health disorder medications during detox if the mental illness stems from withdrawal rather than the actual dual diagnosis

Individuals who suffer from more than one type of health disorder at the same time contain a dual diagnosis. A substance use disorder and a co-occurring mental health disorder would qualify as a dual diagnosis. 

How To Avoid an ER Visit Through Detox at Sana Lake 

The best way to avoid an ER visit altogether as a person that abuses substances or is addicted to substances is to receive a medical detox. Neglecting to do so will only make it more difficult to overcome a substance use disorder. This, in turn, makes it all the more likely for a person to develop a drug overdose. 

Instead of a costly ER visit, contact Sana Lake BWC to see how our medical detox services can help you or a loved one achieve recovery and live a healthier life today! 

The Importance of Hobbies in Recovery

Addiction recovery activities can offer multiple benefits that ease the process. Life after addiction can often be frustrating and temptations only need a single trigger. Activities and hobbies enable the opportunity to rediscover meaning through passion.

Why Is It Important to Have Hobbies During and After Recovery? 

It is important to develop hobbies during and after recovery to prevent relapse. Apathy is one of the main triggers for relapse and the individual needs to seek alternative options. Life after addiction can open up plenty of free time, which can be a trigger for those in recovery but it doesn’t have to be that way. The time that was dedicated to using must be replaced.

The person in recovery must adapt to a new lifestyle where they can’t suppress their emotions and develop healthy coping mechanisms that could last. By building a hobby or network, the person can branch out from the negative environments they used to inhabit. Leisure time hobbies should be a doorway to reconnect to the essence of humanity.

What are Some Addiction Recovery Activities?

The process of discovering a new hobby doesn’t have to be an obstacle. Life after addiction doesn’t have to be a mountain to climb, especially with so many options to choose from. Addiction recovery activities can manifest an entirely new passion and can be fruitful. Those within a support system can encourage addiction recovery activities. The person struggling with addiction is given a chance to form relationships with others who share the same passion. Preventing loneliness and depression is vital to the recovery process. 

Exercise and Life After Addiction

Exercise is one of the hallmarks of crafting a healthy experience for oneself. Exercise triggers endorphins that boost the overall health of the body. After exercising, expect to be in a better mood and reduce levels of stress. It’s better to shed that trauma through sweat than a hole in the wall. 

The key to maintaining consistent exercise is to schedule and find what works best with your body. Every person tackles exercise differently but it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t give it your best to find a solution tailored for you. Exercising in bursts (Ex. 30 minutes of walking or pilates) serves as a solid technique to keep the consistency. An organized sport like pickup basketball or biking isn’t a bad option either. Since humans are social animals, we should strive to reconnect when we can.

Yoga as a Sober Activity

Yoga is the practice of breath work alongside stretching, sometimes in a meditative state. This enables the practitioner to find a sense of relaxation and nowness to avoid emotional overload. Yoga has many proven benefits that shouldn’t be uncommon. By building a connection to the mind and body, the practitioner has a better ability to pinpoint the unique processes of the body.

Writing Can Be a Leisure Time Hobby

Writing could serve as a great outlet for the individual to chronicle their experiences and reflect on the growth they have made. Another benefit of writing is that it can be done anywhere and has no true rules. By expunging the feelings and thoughts of the recovery process, the writer has a chance to see their growth and apply the techniques used during treatment. Journaling has proven mental health benefits. Storytelling could be a skill developed that might transfer into a memoir.

Volunteering 

Giving back to the community is always a tremendous opportunity to learn about oneself and others around them for a common goal. Volunteering is one of the sober activities attributed with recovery to foster empathy through giving. Fulfillment through action recognizes the role we all play and to contrast the life before the illness took hold of the individual. Spending a few hours at a local animal shelter or community center could prove to be beneficial. 

Martial Arts

Martial arts would be a graceful outlet for the person in recovery. In addition to the exercise, martial arts offer the lifestyle of discipline necessary to perform at the highest level. The community is often supportive and with lifelong friendships in the making. Competitions are a totem for fulfillment and setting goals  — similar to the 12-Step Program. 

Art and Music with Life After Addiction

Music is another tool for expression that many find comforting. Music therapy is often used in treatment facilities and forgoes traditional services through rhythm. Art therapy is another resource used to aid the recovery process. By transcribing the emotional experience, this offers a rich window into the mind of the person in recovery.

Gardening

Gardening is one of those sober activities that springs to life a sense of discipline for another living being. The nutritional quality of gardening has many benefits; planting some of your fruits and vegetables to eat and share. Gardening is a perfect introduction for anyone with curiosity.

Continuing Education

Education through online classes or seminars proves to be another opportunity for growth. By seeking knowledge that might have been missing from your curriculum or developing life skills, the person is primed to use what they’ve learned. The local library or bookstore could serve as a resource, especially for potential job hunting. There are countless catalogs of free online content and courses to choose from. Online courses are flexible, however, in-person classes could be another option.

How Can Hobbies Help Reduce Stress and Reaction to Triggers? 

Elevated levels of stress have dire consequences on the body. Sweaty palms and beating hearts transform into headaches and digestion issues. Losing the sense of joy or pleasure in interests is best defined as anhedonia. Anedonia is one of the first signs of depression.

A person in recovery could be under varying degrees of stress, from learning to practice new coping skills and processing trauma. It’s critical to avoid replacing the former addiction with another, in the shape of love or gambling. Although a tempting distraction, comfort eating or romanticizing should also be avoided in favor of addiction recovery activities.

Leisure time hobbies trigger the reward system in the brain through the familiar chemical messenger; dopamine. Dopamine can motivate the person to continue the activity due to the association of pleasure. People struggling with addiction often suffer from other disorders and medical conditions that could lead to long term effects. Physical hobbies provide mental clarity and keep the bodies’ functions at a tighter level.

Productivity doesn’t have to be a component of defining your leisure time hobbies. People typically don’t factor in the time they spend and could focus on a few hours a week for a hobby. Setting S.M.A.R.T. Goals are an efficient marker for charting success. For example, if you’re looking to start painting, outline a plan to get materials and work on a piece per month. By taking the first step, the road to discipline is set for rewards and challenges. 

Why Are Hobbies Good For Mental and Physical Health? 

Research indicates that those who take up a hobby have a decreased likelihood of developing mental and physical health related issues from stress. Group activities such as sports, social clubs and counseling are a superb way to improve communication and relationships skills. The added benefit of hobbies are that they can be done alone or with a group. 

How Do Leisure Time Hobbies Relate to Addiction? 

Boredom can be a crutch for those struggling with recovery and it’s critical to understand these feelings. The quiet moments in between family and friends can be challenging for those struggling with addiction. Although relapse is common and expected, it doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t find pleasure in the recovery process. These feelings of exhaustion or weariness might have a negative effect on the person’s determination to recover. Life after addiction prompts for leisure activities to offset these experiences and to reignite a lust for life without anything else.

Focusing on new addiction recovery activities is a core principle in maintaining abstinence. Engaging in leisure time hobbies rewires the person’s brain for activity and expression. In order to combat the return to old coping mechanisms, the progress of sober activities must be organic but diligent.The sight of a loved once overcoming the darkest depths of addiction through an anchor can be rewarding.

Addiction poisons the body with symptoms of shame, guilt, and anxiety. Building self-esteem and confidence through sober activities has proven to be therapeutic for those in recovery. The internal love and support is allowed to flourish in the new life they have created, all by sheer willpower. The motivation from addiction recovery activities could also present work opportunities.

Find Care at Sana Lake Behavioral Wellness Center

The road to recovery has been built and we hope you’re in it for the ride.  If you or a loved one seek a lending hand towards healing, Sana Lake Behavioral Wellness Center wishes to support this process. We are determined to find a flexible treatment option that will fit your needs during these difficult times. The door is open for recovery for you and those who cherish health. Contact us today.

References:

https://www.headtohealth.gov.au/meaningful-life/purposeful-activity/hobbies

https://connecthealth.org.au/enews/pursuing-a-hobby-can-improve-your-mental-health/

https://www.psychreg.org/hobby-mental-health/

https://research.reading.ac.uk/research-blog/the-science-behind-why-hobbies-can-improve-our-mental-health/

How to Talk to Your Kids About Drugs and Addiction

Parents are obligated to protect their children from the dangers they will encounter in life. But what about drugs and alcohol? Parental guidance goes a long way when it comes to an individual’s perceptions about the truth about drugs and alcohol. 

Above all, make your child feel comfortable when discussing this topic with you. Make sure that your child understands that they can speak to you about anything. If not from you, your kids will find answers, whether right or wrong. If they do not feel comfortable speaking to their parents, they will find answers elsewhere – on the internet, from a classmate or through their own risky use experiments.  

How to Explain Drugs to a Child

1 – Start Sending Out the Message as Early as Possible

At an early age, around preschool, parents should start indirectly sending out the desired messages about drugs and alcohol. The younger a child is, the more receptive the child will be. When they get fever medicine or an antibiotic, for example, you could explain what the drugs do to the body. You could also take this opportunity to explain how medicines should be used only by people who need them. 

Also, when they eat candy or drink a soda, you should explain the effects of sugar. Allowing your child, at an early age, to recognize how substances can make the body feel different, will pave the way for a more thorough cognition of drug dependency.

Drugs and alcohol are addictive and can be fatal, but don’t forget to mention that some substances are very good. Smoking a cigarette will damage the body, but eating an apple or any nutritious food will strengthen the body. It is very important that children are not pushed into the world thinking that everything is unhealthy. With the knowledge that some things are good whereas others are bad, the child will be able to forge a desirable path through life. 

2 – Monkey See Monkey Do

A parent is the most influential person in a child’s life. When it comes to explaining the truth about drugs and alcohol to a child, this influence can be good and it could also be bad. A parent could give the most effective and powerful speech about the dangers of alcohol, but if every night, the child watches the parent get drunk, mixed messages will inevitably cloud the child’s mind.

The main message you need to convey when you talk to your kids about drugs is responsibility. Drinking in moderation reinforces this concept. But if your kid watches you drink in excess, lectures about responsibility might be in vain. Imagine listening to someone talking about the dangers of drugs and alcohol while they are drinking beer and chain smoking.

3 – Use Your Judgment When Talking About Your Past

Knowledge of your kid should guide your discussion. A parent could give the most effective speech about how to avoid drugs, but if they say something about their past or present that turns out not to be true, it could have major consequences. On the flipside, a parent could tell a little too much about past drug use, which might inspire curiosity in a child. 

When you talk to your kids about drugs and alcohol you may have the child asking questions about the parent’s usage. Did you ever try drugs? Why? And what was it like? Tell the truth about drugs and alcohol. Your child will respect you no matter what your past was like. In fact, someone who was once a user could become an authority on the subject. Such experience could be the most persuasive element of your speech. It all depends on your child. Some kids respect honesty. Whereas others may just want to talk.  

If you are not honest with your children when you talk to your kids about drugs, why would you expect them to be honest with you? By opening up and revealing your faults, your child will only respect you more. Because of your honesty, perhaps in the future, they will be honest with you, if they slip and try something.

4 – The Pitfalls of Peer Pressure

What if your child’s education consisted of sitting in an empty class room everyday, watching a teacher on a television screen? Such a scenario would certainly be lonely, but the advantage would be that this child would not be introduced to drugs. Kids experiment with drugs and alcohol because they want to fit in. 

Explain to your child that we are either leaders or followers. Don’t dance to the beat of someone else’s drum, but your own. What is more cool – to smoke a cigarette because everyone else is doing it, or to walk away, and not to succumb to peer pressure? 

Of course, this is easier said than done. Tell your child some of your own stories, where you prevailed against peer pressure, or maybe a story where you succumbed to the crowds, but describe the guilt you felt afterwards or sickness you might have endured.

How Not to Talk to Your Kids About Drugs

1 – One Chat is Certainly Not Enough

Teaching your kid the truth about drugs and alcohol will arguably be one of the most important lessons that they learn from you. Don’t think that this epic topic can be covered during a commercial break of a baseball game. When teaching a child about chemical dependency, one of the most important things is to talk to your kids about drugs often. In fact, the more often a parent discusses the truth about drugs and alcohol, the more likely that the topic will sink in.

Though these conversations are immensely important, do not think of them as such. While you are watching a movie with your kid, and a character starts smoking a cigarette or drinking a beer, seize the opportunity and remark about the hazards of those specific drugs. Your kid may reply or they may not. That doesn’t matter. Just try to continually reinforce these perceptions that drugs and alcohol are addictive and fatal.

2 – Ideally, Do More Listening Than Talking

When you try to talk to your kids about drugs, your kids may not react or they may be silent. The trick to the conversation though, is to make the kid start talking. Ask lots of questions about anything related to drugs and alcohol. 

If you are watching television with your child, and a character on-screen performs drug use, strike up a conversation. Ask your child if they know what that drug is. Ask if they know anyone at school who also does the drug. 

If you are at a restaurant, point to the bar and ask about alcohol. Because alcohol is legal, a child may dismiss the danger and addiction that alcohol poses. As a result, children may be more comfortable while talking about alcohol. Use this to your advantage. A parent needs to make their child feel comfortable while discussing drugs and alcohol.

3 – Don’t Use Long-Term Smoking or Drinking Effects to Deter Your Child

Parents should focus on immediate effects. Drinking and driving could be fatal, however a kid might consider getting their license taken away a far more ominous threat. Cigarette smoking causes bad breath, bad skin and a constant cough – not exactly the most attractive date to the prom. Likewise, drug use will affect an athlete’s performance. 

4 – Don’t Be a Buddy All the Time – Lay Down the Law

An effective drug and alcohol discourse between a parent and a child will only occur if the child trusts the parent. This can not be repeated enough. However, there comes a time when the parent must ditch the buddy persona and assume the role of the judge and the enforcer. Children must understand that there will be consequences if they abuse drugs or alcohol. 

Knowledge About Today’s Drugs Puts a Parent in a Good Position

When you talk to your kids about drugs and alcohol, try to know what you are talking about. Any parent that attempts this topic without the knowledge, will be ignored at best and mocked at worst. Remember, the purpose of these talks is to communicate – sharing the dangers of alcohol and drugs with your kid. A complete lack of knowledge about the drugs your kid is being tempted with, will just be more resistance to this trusting bond. 

How to Convey That Addiction Is a Disease

The first time someone drinks alcohol or uses drugs, they believe that they can control their usage. Remember, the young are invincible, this cigarette or this bottle of beer are no match. However, due to tolerance, after some time, the user will need to take more drugs or alcohol to achieve the initial intoxication. This is how chemicals react in our body. The more that the user consumes drugs, the more indestructible the tolerance becomes hence, more drugs need to be consumed. 

Show your child how the diseases of drug and alcohol dependency are treated. Sana Lake Behavioral Wellness Center is a leader in treatment for those suffering from addiction. Sit down with your child and examine the extensive list of effective treatments used at Sana Lake Behavioral Wellness Center, Outpatient Detox, Inpatient Treatment, Partial Hospitalization Program, Intensive Outpatient Program, Recovery Supportive Housing and so many more.

When your kid learns that drug and alcohol dependency is actually a disease, with an elaborate industry of facilities and technology aimed at treating it, they might begin to view the disorder differently.

What and When to Tell Your Kids About Drugs

Start discussing the truth about drugs and alcohol with your child as early as possible. Jennifer Carrano, an assistant professor of human development and family science with the University of Delaware, suggests preschool age as the ideal time to start the discourse. 

Preschool

At such a young age, say preschool to seven, there is no need for the parent to frighten their children with stories of overdoses and heroin addiction. Start with the basics of drugs. Like when a parent dispenses fever or pain medicine, they should include a brief summary of when and why they are used. If a character on television is smoking a cigarette or drinking a beer, be sure to explain how such substances are harmful to the body.

  • Teach the benefits of eating healthy and staying fit.
  • Award children for making their own decisions, by allowing them to choose what to eat for dinner or what movies to watch. As a result, a child will be confident in their decision making.

Eight to Twelve

When kids are a bit older, say eight to twelve, parents should expect their kids to know what drugs are. This is a good age for a parent to begin a dynamic conversation about drug and alcohol usage with their children. Parents should ask their children what they think about drugs. Open conversations on the subject at an early age will allow a child to feel more comfortable about the topic at a later age, when they may feel less inclined to talk about the topic with their parents. 

  • Lay down the laws. At this age parents should illustrate the harsh consequences of trying nicotine or other substances.
  • Puberty is at this age, and could cause insecurity in children. Be sure to shower them with praise, so they don’t feel a need to experiment with substances. 
  • Parents should get to know their children’s friends. Also, know the family of their friends. What goes on in their homes?

Teenagers

At this point in a kid’s life, they most likely know people who do drugs or have tried drugs themselves. This is a good time to explain the gritty aspects of drugs, like the legal consequences as well as addiction. If the child feels uncomfortable discussing the topic, the parent should explain that they are ready to talk about it whenever the child is. 

  • Explain what the laws are involving drugs and alcohol and vehicles. 
  • Continue to praise your child. High school could be a tough time. As long as children are confident with themselves, they should be able to avoid temptation.

Check Out a Treatment Center Website With Your Kid Today

The talk is something of a coming of age event. After all, your kid might see drug use on their favorite television programs and perhaps they discuss drug use with their friends, but for the first time, their parents are speaking to them about it. During this conversation, for the first time, the child’s two worlds – in the house and outside the house – collide. 

A very effective way to show your kid all the consequences that may come with substance use is to go to a treatment center website. Sana Lake Behavioral Wellness Center is an excellent site to illustrate the complete damage that drug and alcohol usage can cause.

Sana Lake Behavioral Wellness Center offers a complete variety of therapies such as holistic wellness, family therapy, medication-assisted treatment, and many more. By offering so many kinds of treatment, your child will learn that every journey towards recovery is different. 

References:

https://www.drugabuse.gov/drug-topics/related-topics/trends-statistics/infographics/monitoring-future-2020-survey-results

Forgiveness in Recovery: Learning How to Accept Your Faults and Continue

Many of us struggle with self-acceptance. We may even hold grudges against those we feel did us wrong. These feelings often lead to self-medicating with drugs or alcohol. But, learning forgiveness in recovery builds a positive and fulfilled future. 

What is Self-Acceptance?

Self-acceptance is the complete acceptance of yourself – the good, the bad, and the ugly. It is easy to accept your good qualities; however, our less-desirable qualities are harder to accept. 

Some people think self-acceptance means you are who you are and you shouldn’t change. But, that is not true. It simply means being aware of who we are, both positive and negative, without negative emotion or judgment. 

The Importance of Letting Go of Grudges

Resentment and bitterness over our past become an obstacle to finding true happiness in life. Although we may have been mistreated, learning to forgive those who hurt us is the only way to heal. Furthermore, when anger and bitterness take over, it affects our ability to see anything positive. 

Common Grudges Held By People Struggling with Substance Use Disorder

You don’t have to use drugs or alcohol to hold a grudge. But, people how misuse drugs or alcohol are full of resentment and anger. They typically have a list of grudges that justifies their behavior. 

It is easier to blame others for the reason they struggle with substance use disorder. To others, the reasons may be irrational, but to the person misusing drugs or alcohol, it makes perfect sense. Furthermore, some people take these grudges to their graves. 

Common grudges include:

  • People didn’t live up to your standards. While you have low expectations for yourself, you have high expectations of others. 
  • Angry that others are telling you what to do. Many who struggle with substance misuse are defiant against others telling them what to do.
  • I was traumatized by other people. Trauma such as abuse and rape can cause justified anger. However, using drugs and alcohol is an unhealthy coping mechanism.
  • Friends and family have lied and let you down.
  • I was a victim of manipulation.
  • I was wronged in a relationship. 

What is Forgiveness?

Forgiveness is a deliberate, conscious decision to release feelings of resentment and anger toward someone who has wronged you. It is a choice you make even when the person doesn’t deserve your forgiveness.

Many of our grudges stem from childhood. Maybe a parent struggled with substance use disorder and wasn’t there for you growing up. Or, perhaps you were bullied throughout school. Do you think the bullies let their actions affect them daily? 

We don’t forgive people so they can heal. We forgive people so that we may heal. While we are not responsible for what happened to us or how people hurt us, we control how we react, forgive, and move on. 

How Does Forgiveness Help With Self-Acceptance?

When you struggle with substance use disorder, you often say and do things out of character. As a result, you often feel shame and embarrassment. And, while you may be quick to forgive someone else’s behaviors, you may be harder on yourself. 

Here’s the thing. None of us are perfect. We all make mistakes and are sorry for the things we have done. But, when you have compassion for yourself and forgive yourself, you are practicing self-acceptance.

Why is Forgiveness in Recovery Crucial?

Without forgiveness, we remain angry and resentful towards those who have hurt us. This anger isn’t hurting others, but it is hurting us. In fact, anger is linked to high blood pressure, high cortisol levels, and increased heart attack risk. 

Without forgiveness in recovery, anger keeps you focusing on the negative feelings of the past. But, to maintain recovery, you must stay in the present, and that means forgiving those who hurt you. 

Moreover, anger continues to make you a victim. It gives the person who hurt you the power to keep hurting you. It also stops us from seeing our mistakes and how we have hurt others. But, with forgiveness in recovery, we learn to release the grudges and anger.

How Does Forgiveness in Recovery Break The Cycle of Substance Use Disorder?

Substance use disorder is commonly the result of pain, trauma, and anger. Whether the pain is self-inflicted or caused by someone else, the cycle will continue if you don’t find forgiveness in recovery. But, this is much easier said than done. 

Forgiveness in recovery and self-acceptance will take work. It takes looking inside yourself to understand, accept, and let go of the emotions holding you back. Ignoring these feelings and covering them by misusing substances allows them to fester and build. But with commitment, you can achieve self-acceptance, forgiveness, and Recovery for Life. 

Steps to Self-Acceptance and Forgiveness in Recovery

Self-acceptance and forgiveness are crucial to your mental health, well-being, and recovery. While forgiving yourself and others doesn’t mean you condone the behavior, it does mean you accept what happened and are moving on. 

While maintaining life in recovery is the goal of treatment, it all starts with ending substance misuse. A big hurdle in treatment is overcoming the feelings of guilt, shame, and regret. But, forgiveness in recovery is crucial to preventing a recurrence of use. 

But, forgiveness takes work. And without the proper tools and skills, you may fall back into the same patterns that led to substance misuse. There are 5 simple daily steps to forgiving yourself and building a healthy future. 

Journal Every Day

Recovery is full of ups and downs, and you will experience a range of emotions. Journaling can help you get these thoughts and feelings out. When negative thoughts and grudges pop up, write them down. This holds you accountable for these thoughts and feelings.

Your Past Does Not Define You

You struggled with substance use disorder. But, you learned from it and accepted it. It doesn’t define you, and neither does anything else that has happened to you.

Self-acceptance is a big part of forgiveness in recovery. The shame you feel because of things you did during your addiction will no longer have power over you after you forgive yourself.

Show Yourself Compassion

It can be easy to show compassion for someone else when they make a mistake. But, showing compassion for ourselves can be challenging. Once you do, it eases the negative thought patterns that lead to drug or alcohol misuse.

Look at where you were. Now, look at where you are. Be grateful for how far you have come. Fighting a substance use disorder is hard, and you are doing it!

Being grateful for your present life helps bury the negative thoughts that fuel substance use disorder. Holistic therapies such as yoga and meditation can help cultivate mindfulness, compassion, and gratitude. 

Make Amends

Making amends with those you have harmed is part of forgiveness in recovery. Making amends is crucial to healing the negative feelings about the past and overcoming substance use disorder. Reaching out to those you have hurt along your journey heals not only the guilt and shame but also builds a support system. 

A support system is a group of people who encourage your recovery and support you in your weak moments. Making amends and asking forgiveness from those you hurt shows your willingness to change. And, those who forgive you will likely also be your biggest supporters.

Be Patient

Substance use disorder is a chronic disease. So, recovery is a lifelong process. It won’t always be easy, and there will be good and bad times. But, without patience and self-acceptance, your recovery will be at risk. 

Just know the bad times don’t last. Even if the bad times include a recurrence of use, it is not the end of the world. It is a mistake, and when we learn from our mistakes, we avoid repeating them. Having a good support team is crucial during the bad times and can help prevent a return to drugs or alcohol.

Loving Kindness Meditation for Self-Acceptance and Forgiveness in Recovery

The Loving Kindness Meditation or LKM is a popular technique to reduce stress and boost well-being. Regular practice of LKM increases your ability to forgive, connect with others, and accept yourself. However, it takes practice to allow yourself to receive and send love to yourself.

While there are various ways to practice this meditation, they all use the same core operation – sending kind intentions and love to yourself and others.

Try the following simple loving kindness meditation technique. 

  1. Sit quietly and comfortably. Close your eyes, relax your muscles, and take deep breaths.
  2. Imagine you are experiencing physical and emotional wellness and inner peace. You have perfect love and gratitude for yourself. You are perfect just as you are. Focus on this inner peace – breath out tension and breath in love.
  3. Repeat 3 or 4 positive affirmations such as:
  • I am happy.
  • I am loved.
  • I am healthy and strong.
  • I will give and receive appreciation today.

You can either keep the focus on yourself or slowly move your focus to loved ones. Feel your love and gratitude for them, sending them positive affirmations. It can also be helpful for forgiveness in recovery to include those you feel harmed you. Sending them love can help you reach a higher level of forgiveness.

Healing Shame and Guilt at Sana Lake Behavioral Wellness Center

Are you or a loved one struggling with substance use disorder? Are the grudges you hold stopping you from lasting recovery? At Sana Lake Behavioral Wellness Center, you learn the importance of self-acceptance and forgiveness in recovery. Contact us to find out more.

15 Remedies to Stop Alcohol Cravings

We have all tried home remedies before going to the doctor. A steamy shower to clear congestion or the old chicken soup fixes everything remedy. People struggling with alcohol use disorder (AUD) may also try home remedies to stop drinking alcohol. 

In a perfect world, everyone struggling with breaking the alcohol habit would seek recovery treatment. But, the stigma still exists, and some people are too embarrassed and ashamed to seek help. 

However, alcohol use disorder is a complex and chronic disease. Furthermore, the medical community is still learning about it. While many people try home remedies to stop drinking alcohol, the best chance at recovery is often in a treatment program. 

Many people who go through alcohol withdrawals at home often go back to drinking because the cravings become too intense. Depending on the individual and their addiction, there are natural ways to stop alcohol cravings.

1. Self-Care Helps in Breaking Alcohol Habit

Alcohol use disorder takes over your life and steals your joy and your fun. And if you do join the family fun, most likely, you are drunk. However, being stuck in that cycle isn’t fun, and it destroys self-esteem. 

So, how do you break the alcohol habit? You focus on the most significant thing alcohol took away from you; you take care of yourself. Take a long walk and focus on the sun on your skin and the smell of fresh-cut grass. Vitamin D is good for your health and your soul. 

Learn something new. What is something you always wanted to learn? Cooking, photography, a new language, or maybe golf? Replacing alcohol with a healthy self-care ritual can ease alcohol cravings and help in breaking the alcohol habit.

2. Healthy Support Systems are Natural Ways to Stop Alcohol Cravings

Natural Ways to Stop Alcohol Cravings

While only you can control when you stop drinking alcohol, a healthy support system makes the recovery journey more manageable. A support system is a group of family, friends, and community organizations that you can rely on when the alcohol cravings become overpowering. 

But, not everyone you know has your best interest at heart. So, those in your support system should meet a few essential qualifications, including:

  • Caring about your future
  • Willing to hold you accountable
  • Being reliable and available
  • Being clean of drugs and alcohol

3. Managing Stress and Anxiety Aids in Breaking Alcohol Habit

If you used alcohol to cope with stress, you are not alone. For example, 20 percent of Americans with social anxiety also struggle with alcohol use disorder, according to the ADAA ( Anxiety and Depression Association of America. 

Natural ways to stop alcohol cravings and reduce stress and anxiety include:

  • Getting regular sleep – 6 to 8 hours every night
  • Limit caffeine which increases anxiety
  • Eat consistent meals
  • Focus on relaxation techniques
  • Listen to music or paint

4. Using Herbs in Home Remedies to Stop Drinking Alcohol

There are several herbs useful in home remedies to stop drinking alcohol. While the benefits of herbs in breaking the alcohol habit vary from person to person, they can be highly beneficial and natural ways to stop alcohol cravings. 

Besides fighting alcohol cravings and breaking the alcohol habit, herbs can help the body repair itself. The following herbs are just a few natural ways to stop alcohol cravings. 

Kudzu

An ancient Chinese herb, Kudzu is well known for controlling alcohol cravings and withdrawals. The roots of the plant can be eaten or used in an herbal tea to get its effects. The amount you have to consume to be effective varies from person to person. 

Milk Thistle

Another herb used in breaking the alcohol habit, milk thistle, has strong detoxification abilities. It also treats many physical discomforts from withdrawal and alcohol cravings. The active ingredient in milk thistle is silymarin. It heals the liver, which speeds up the natural detox of alcohol.

St. John’s Wort

St. John’s Wort is known for its antidepressant qualities. And because many people who drink struggle with depression, this herb can improve mood and stop alcohol cravings, and aid in breaking the alcohol habit. 

5. Breaking the Alcohol Habit with Lots of Water

We all know water is good for us and we should drink about eight glasses a day. If you are looking for natural ways to stop alcohol cravings, you found the number one way to stop drinking alcohol; Drink lots of water. 

When you’re breaking the alcohol habit, your body gets dehydrated, and you get nauseous. Drinking water not only hydrates you but also lessens the shakes and alcohol cravings by flushing toxins out of your body. While you can also add electrolyte-rich sports drinks, never drink more than 2 quarts of fluids every hour. 

6. Eating a Healthy Diet Eases Alcohol Cravings

Great natural ways to stop alcohol cravings is eating a healthy diet. A healthy diet will include lean proteins such as chicken, eggs, and fish. It also contains lots of fresh fruits and vegetables, potatoes, beans, and whole grains. 

Eating every three hours helps avoid hunger which can lead to alcohol cravings. And, once the shakes set in, the alcohol cravings become more intense. Avoiding sugary snacks can also help in easing alcohol cravings. 

7. Remind Yourself Why You Quit Drinking Alcohol

Alcohol Cravings

Are you thinking about picking up that drink because the alcohol cravings and withdrawals are too hard to handle? Don’t. Grab a pen and paper and start writing down all the reasons you are breaking the alcohol habit. 

Is your marriage at risk of breaking apart? Are you tired of breaking your mother’s heart? Has alcohol taken your self-worth and self-esteem? Write it all down. Look at pictures of your loved ones.

Keep the paper where you can see it. Every time you want to drink alcohol, read it. Remind yourself why alcohol was destroying your life and why you are breaking the alcohol habit. 

8. Think About the Consequences if You Drink Alcohol

After you remind yourself why you quit drinking alcohol, write down the consequences if you start drinking again. Of all the home remedies to stop drinking alcohol, pulling at your heartstrings can sometimes be all it takes not to drink. 

9. Don’t Fight the Alcohol Cravings, Ride Them Out

The term “urge-surfing” means riding out the urge or craving. If you think of alcohol cravings as ocean waves, they will soon crest, break, and dissipate. So, don’t fight the urge, and don’t judge yourself. But, do not ignore it either. When thought of in this way, cravings can pass quickly. 

10. Distract Yourself From the Alcohol Cravings

There is always something to be done around the house. Laundry, dishes, floors, pick on and distract yourself from the cravings to drink. Another excellent home remedy to stop drinking alcohol is to take a cold shower. Cold showers can clear your mind, ease the hot flashes of alcohol withdrawal, and refresh your body. 

11. Learning a New Hobby or Sport are Home Remedies to Stop Drinking Alcohol

Now that you have quit drinking alcohol, you have all this time on your hands. You may even be surprised at how much time alcohol took up in your day. Natural ways to stop alcohol cravings are taking up a new hobby, such as horseback riding or rock climbing. 

In fact, finding healthy adrenaline-inducing hobbies can make breaking the alcohol habit easier. However, picking up an old hobby can take you back to when life was simple. 

12. Volunteering is Great for Breaking the Alcohol Habit

Home remedies to stop drinking alcohol can also benefit your community. Volunteering is a great way to get your mind off what you are dealing with and think about others. Besides volunteering within your recovery community, you can also:

  • Help the homeless
  • Build homes for organizations such as Habitat for Humanity
  • Help a local animal shelter

13. Mindfulness and Meditation Can Ease Alcohol Cravings

Mindfulness is a form of non-judgmental observation. When you are mindful, you are focusing on the present moment. 

Meditation allows you to calm your mind and body and connect with yourself. Mindfulness and meditation can help avoid reacting to alcohol cravings and help in breaking the alcohol habit.

14. Acupuncture is A Natural Way to Stop Alcohol Cravings

A traditional Chinese medicine, acupuncture is a needle-based natural way to stop alcohol cravings. It is also effective in relieving withdrawal symptoms while easing anxiety and depression. Putting the needles in specific areas can relieve particular symptoms when you are breaking the alcohol habit. 

15. Knowing Your Triggers is Key to Breaking the Alcohol Habit

Alcohol cravings can be very intense, particularly up to 6 months after you stop drinking. So, if you want to make alcohol cravings easier to cope with, you should have a routine of natural ways to stop alcohol cravings. 

Practice saying no to alcohol in social situations. But, the best way to avoid alcohol cravings is to avoid the people, places, and things that remind you of alcohol. This dramatically increases your chance of achieving and maintaining recovery from alcohol use disorder. 

What is Alcohol Use Disorder?

stop alcohol cravings

Alcohol use disorder or alcoholism is a pattern of behaviors where a person drinks alcohol despite the consequences. People will drink even if they aren’t enjoying it and when it is destroying their relationships. 

Alcoholism is a chronic, relapsing disease and is diagnosed by meeting two of the following criteria:

  • Drinking more than and more prolonged than intended
  • Unable to stop or cut back despite the desire too
  • Spending most of your time obtaining, using, and recovering from alcohol’s effects
  • Experiencing cravings to use alcohol
  • Can’t fulfill obligations at home, work, or school because of alcohol
  • Continuing to use despite the consequences
  • Developing withdrawal symptoms without alcohol

What is a Recurrance of Use?

Recurrence of use or relapse is when a person in recovery returns to using drugs or alcohol. Addiction is a chronic disease, and those in recovery constantly deal with the risk of relapse. However, it is common for a person in recovery to relapse at least once, if not more. In fact, it is considered part of the recovery journey. 

How Does Recurrance of Use Happen?

An essential part of preventing relapse is understanding how it happens. This allows you to recognize the signs of relapse and get help before it happens. In short, a relapse begins with a high-risk situation which is followed by inadequate coping responses. For this reason, continuing relapse prevention therapy is your best chance at maintaining your recovery. 

Having the proper relapse prevention support in place can help you achieve Recovery for Life. Treatment programs teach members how to prevent relapse and empower them to remain in recovery. 

Support groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous and other community support groups should become part of your recovery life. The bonds and support you receive in these groups can be the difference between recovery and relapse. 

Stop Drinking at Sana Lake Behavioral Wellness Center

Are you or a loved one struggling with addiction? Have you tried to quit at home, but the cravings were too strong? Our detox programs and comprehensive treatment programs give you the skills and tools needed to achieve Recovery for Life. Contact us today and find out more. 

References:

https://adaa.org/understanding-anxiety/social-anxiety-disorder/social-anxiety-and-alcohol-abuse

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4106278/

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