Author Archives: Summit Estate

Is My Loved One Addicted To Prescription Drugs?

It is estimated that more than 12 million people currently abuse prescription drugs in the United States. This is more than the combined number who abuse cocaine, heroin, inhalants and hallucinogens. Nearly three-quarters of these individuals abuse opioid pain relievers such as Vicodin and Oxycodone. The statistics are both alarming and important to know if you are concerned about a loved one who may be abusing prescription drugs.

Is My Loved One Addicted To Prescription Drugs-SummitEstateCounseling

The reality is that prescription drug abuse is a common problem that affects people from all walks of life. The problem often starts innocently through efforts to control pain or anxiety and escalates unintentionally through misguided prescribing practices of doctors. While these medications can be safe when used as prescribed for specific health issues, they can be dangerous at higher dosages or when taken for reasons other than intended.

Identifying The Signs And Symptoms Of Prescription Drug Addiction

If you believe that a loved one is suffering from prescription drug addiction, it’s important to learn the signs and symptoms of abuse. For opioid painkillers, the physical symptoms can include:

  • Confusion
  • Constipation
  • Depression
  • Low blood pressure
  • Poor coordination
  • Profuse sweating

Of course, these symptoms may sometimes be difficult to identify. Other signals that often appear more obvious are these behavioral signs:

  • Stealing or forging prescriptions
  • Mood swings
  • Hostility
  • Taking higher doses of a medication than prescribed
  • Changing sleep patterns
  • Frequently “losing” prescriptions or changing doctors to obtain prescriptions from more than one doctor

If you are noticing these symptoms or other unusual behaviors, your loved one may be addicted to prescription drugs and in immediate need of help. Prescription medications are highly addictive, and they have the ability to change brain function over time. Withdrawal symptoms can be serious. Thus, simply asking them to go “cold turkey” could be dangerous.

Don’t Wait – Get Help Now!

An addiction to prescription medications will not go away on its own. If left unaddressed, the problem will become more serious and can eventually be fatal. Identifying prescription drug addiction as soon as possible is vital. If there is a problem, the best solution is professional addiction treatment to enable your loved one to get the in-depth help they need to detox and embrace long-term recovery.

We encourage you to call us to learn more about customized addiction treatment programs at Summit Estate Recovery Center.

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3 Myths About Drug Abuse And Addiction

There is much we now know about drug abuse and addiction. Yet, there are many things we are still finding out from ongoing research. Fortunately, as more is learned, we are able to debunk common myths that are often generated by those with limited knowledge of the challenges facing individuals suffering from addiction.

Myths About Drug Abuse And Addiction

The following are three such myths that have been proven to be wholeheartedly false.

Myth #1: Drug Addiction Is A Choice

Although taking drugs may be a choice at first, it eventually becomes a compulsion propelled by chemical changes in the brain caused by the drug. Addiction is a side effect of drug abuse and not simply a lifestyle choice.

Because of this side effect, a holistic drug abuse treatment program is necessary to address both the physical and emotional aspects of addiction.

Myth #2 – Drug Abuse Is A Character Flaw

3 Myths About Drug Abuse & Addiction-SummitEstate.comThis is a common myth generated by those who believe that people who abuse drugs simply need to have stronger will power to overcome it. The reality is that drug addiction is a brain disease. Each type of drug changes brain function in its own unique way. These changes occur at a molecular and cellular level and can affect mood, memory, cognitive ability and even motor skills.

Over time, these changes become the single most powerful motivator in a substance abuser’s life. They will literally do anything for the drug. In other words, it’s not a choice or character flaw, but rather an uncontrollable compulsion.

Myth #3 – Those Suffering From Addiction Have To Want Treatment For It To Be Effective

It is a rare individual who wants to undergo addiction treatment, as many are afraid of withdrawals, and life without their substance. The two most common reasons people seek addiction treatment are because loved ones have urged them or because they were court ordered to do so. Research has actually shown that individuals who enter heroin addiction treatment or other drug treatment programs with pressure to address their addiction do comparatively better in treatment than those who enter solely on their own volition. This could be because they know they have support behind them and don’t want to let down or be without their loved ones.

Help For Drug Abuse And Drug Addiction

It is a fact that the cycle of addiction requires effective drug abuse treatment. The problem will not go away on its own and will only get worse over time. Don’t delay in getting the help you or someone you care about needs. Our individualized treatment programs can help get you or a loved one on the road to recovery and long-term sobriety.

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What Are The Benefits Of Outpatient Group Therapy?

Whether you are seeking ongoing support after inpatient treatment or you’re currently in an outpatient treatment program, there are many benefits to participating in outpatient group therapy. But before we delve into the benefits, you must understand what group therapy is.

What Is Group Therapy?

Benefits Of Outpatient Group Therapy-www.SummitEstate.comOutpatient group therapy is a treatment option in a comprehensive holistic addiction treatment program that is designed to provide support and to help heal emotional and psychological struggles caused by addiction and co-occurring disorders.

A therapy group consists of individuals with a shared disorder who have committed themselves to regular sessions along with a therapist who is trained in group dynamics and process. The therapist encourages trust, respect and honesty among participants while addressing painful experiences as they are discussed.

While one-on-one therapy and family counseling are also beneficial for sustaining long-term recovery, outpatient group therapy can be particularly beneficial for a number of reasons.

Benefits Of Outpatient Group Therapy

It Provides A Valuable Connection To Others

One of the biggest benefits of outpatient group therapy is that it can help you feel that you are not alone. There are others who understand your challenges. By attending sessions, you gain validation for your feelings while also providing purpose in others’ lives.

It Offers New Ways To Look At Things And Deal With Problems

Because group participants share common emotional and psychological struggles, they can support each other, as well as offer suggestions for new ways for dealing with issues.

It Can Help You In Your Relationships Outside The Group

Over time, participants become more comfortable sharing their thoughts, feelings and challenges. Trust, respect and honesty grow among participants which helps strengthen skills that can benefit relationships with those within and outside of the group.

What To Expect In Outpatient Group Therapy

At a group therapy outpatient center, small groups of patients meet on a regular basis to discuss problems and feelings to offer mutual support. The therapist acts as a moderator and may suggest a theme or topic for a discussion.

During group therapy sessions, members can work on changing old ways of thinking and behaving in favor of more productive ways. Interaction and discussion is often lively, and the sessions can be very beneficial when used in conjunction with other tools for embracing recovery.

Summit Estate Recovery Center offers group therapy as part of our personalized outpatient addiction treatment in Saratoga, California. To learn more about outpatient group therapy and addiction treatment, call us now!

Could Your Loved One Benefit From An Intervention?

When you’re dealing with a loved one’s addiction to drugs, it can be an incredibly frustrating daily situation. You have probably already encouraged them to seek treatment and didn’t get the response you wanted. The reality is that most addicts do not willingly enter treatment by themselves. Intervention is often necessary.

It’s a common myth that individuals must be willing to get help themselves for it to be effective. In most cases, addicts start on the path to recovery because friends or family recognized the problem and took proactive steps to get them into drug intervention programs.

The First Step In Helping Your Addicted Loved One

The first step in getting a friend or family member help is to educate yourself. This can be accomplished by attending local Al-Anon meetings or other support groups. Members can offer guidance for finding addiction treatment resources and will share their own experiences. Once you have the knowledge and resources to help a loved one, an intervention is often the next step.

What Is An Intervention?

Could Your Loved One Benefit From An Intervention-SummitEstateAn intervention is a meeting for family members and friends to communicate to the addict the severity of their problem. This can include details of how their life is being affected, as well as how the problem is impacting others. An intervention does not mean physically forcing someone into rehab, but it is supposed to serve as a serious wake-up call.

An intervention should never be conducted casually without a plan of action in place. A well-thought-out intervention requires inviting family and friends to participate and a plan for transporting the individual to the drug rehab facility.

You will also want to determine in advance how you will handle the situation if your loved one refuses help. Will there be repercussions such as stopping all financial support or other enabling behaviors? It’s vital to avoid the desire to have an intervention before you get all of the details of your plan in place.

You may want to consider getting assistance from a professional interventionist who can help you prepare participants to keep the conversation on track with your loved one and inspire positive change.

Don’t Make Idle Threats

The decision to enter treatment is ultimately up to your loved one. If he or she chooses not to accept help, the consequences for their actions need to begin right away. This form of “tough love” can be difficult for all involved, but it is the only way to communicate that you’re serious about getting them into a recovery program. Don’t back down or give in. Not maintaining your resolve will only communicate that you’re not serious about getting them help.

Support Their Treatment

Once in treatment, it’s essential to follow the advice of the treatment center’s team of specialists. Do not override their advice. Instead, provide encouragement and support to enable your loved one to solely focus on their recovery.

Seeking treatment for a loved one who is addicted to drugs or alcohol is never easy. However, it is a battle that is well worth the effort. Start by calling us now for a confidential consultation with one of our admissions representatives.

We Will Guide You & Your Loved One Toward Healing & Freedom From Addiction!

Why Consider Holistic Treatment Options?

Why Does Holistic Treatment Help?

Treating mind, spirit and body, as well the physical addiction means that addicts can experience faster, longer-lasting, and more effective recovery. Addiction isn’t something that you “catch,” get treatment for, and then it goes away. Addiction is a complicated illness tied closely to the psychological and emotional parts of us. Treating the whole individual and not just the addiction makes a big difference.  Let’s look at some holistic approaches and how they assist in your recovery process.

Yoga

YogaYoga is perfect for strengthening mind, body, and spirit. The physical practice improves flexibility, strength, and body control. The mental practice improves focus and relieves stress and tension. The spiritual practice involves getting in tune with yourself, quieting your mind, and truly concentrating on your inner being. By quieting and centering, you can block out the distractions of the world.
[image via Flickr]

While yoga is ideal because it allows one to strengthen the mind, body, and spirit, any kind of exercise is great throughout lifelong recovery. Exercise boosts mood,  makes you feel better about yourself, and keeps your life on a healthy forward-moving track. around you. By building both physical and mental strength, you can be more confident when life throws you a challenge. All of this helps you prepare for dealing with the issues that used to trigger addictive behaviors.

Healthy Eating

Healthy EatingMany addicts suffer from chemical imbalances in the brain, and the proper diet and supplements can help to restore this balance. Addiction often causes the addict to neglect their physical health, creating a whole host of physical problems that only fuel the addiction. Proper nutrition and diet can help the body heal and recover, just as the mind and spirit must recover. Addiction is a disease, and just as proper nutrition and healthy eating is important in healing the body from any other kind of illness, it’s important for addiction recovery too. [image via Flickr]

Journaling

Journaling is another way to beef up mentally and spiritually. Journaling can help you get in touch with the real you, the deep-down-inside you. It can assist in pinpointing patterns of behavior, in rooting out triggers, and in charting your progress. Studies have shown that those who journal their way through recovery are more likely to have fewer setbacks and gain better insight into their personal struggles than those who don’t. Listing things that you are grateful for, tracking your ups and downs, and listing your successes, no matter how small or large, can keep you on the track to recovery when life threatens to derail you. You’ve got your abilities and your victories down in black and white, to remind you anytime you forget and are tempted to fall. Plus, journaling is one of the best ways to release and communicate feelings that you need to process. A journal is like a best friend who always has an open ear.

Incorporating a holistic approach to treating addiction works, plain and simple. A healthy recovery includes all of you, and you are way more than a body. You are more than your addiction, and we know that at Summit Estate. That’s why treating mind, body and spirit is important to us, and we encourage our patients to embrace a holistic approach to recovery—and that means for life.

How Do You Pay for Rehab?

Addiction recovery programs can be expensive, but that doesn’t mean that if you need it, you have to be wealthy to get it. No one should let financial situations stop them from getting the help they need. There are many ways to gain the money necessary to pay for your recovery program. Let’s explore some of your options.

Insurance

Depending on the type of health insurance you have, insurance may pay for all or part of your rehab program. It’s not uncommon for insurance to place conditions or parameters on the type of treatment an individual can receive and remain under their coverage. These often include outpatient rather than inpatient programs, a limited number of treatment sessions over a certain period of time, or coverage for a certain dollar amount. You may also be required to pay co-pay at each session. All in all, insurance can be a limiting way to pay for recovery treatment, as the parameters can limit the addict to less-than-effective types of treatment or to limited treatment overall. Still, never assume that your insurance won’t be able to help. Thoroughly investigate your insurance policy. Take notes, write down your questions, and make the right calls to see just what options your insurance provides

Sliding Scale Fees

Many believe that only the rich and famous can afford the best in addiction recovery programs, when in truth many of the nation’s top programs offer a sliding-scale fee option. This means that you only pay as much as you can afford. Your income is evaluated and your fees are determined based on how much you earn. Sliding scale fee systems allow those who need treatment to receive it, since no addict can afford to go without treatment.

Savings and Retirement Fund

While no one wants to dip into precious savings accounts, if you have a substantial savings built up or a retirement fund you can borrow against, this is an option to carefully consider.

Private financing

Many treatment centers are now offering their own financing options to patients. This allows you to pay a monthly fee, even long after you’ve completed your treatment, so that you can begin your treatment now. Those who qualify may decide that this is the better route to take, as you are dealing directly with your treatment center and don’t have to involve any outside parties.

Private fundraising

You can raise your own funds for addiction recovery treatment a couple of different ways. If you have anything of great value, you can sell it. That extra car, boat, or investment property will serve you better by contributing to your recovery than it is just sitting there. Those stocks may not bring in the windfall they might have, but they can help get you the help you need. Another option brought on by the digital age is crowdfunding. Several online sites exist for the express purpose of helping the average person raise money for whatever they choose. You can receive donations from around the world for your recovery program. You can often raise funds quickly and easily using these crowdfunding sources. A lack of financial resources should never stop you from pursuing the addiction recovery you need. You can’t afford not to explore your financing options. There is always a way for those who truly try to find it.

Is Your Loved One Coming Home From Rehab?

Five Helpful Tips for Supporting a Loved One’s Ongoing Journey Toward Recovery

If you have a loved one suffering from a drug or alcohol addiction, then you know the unexplainable pain of watching that substance take hold of their life. On the other hand, you may also know the tear-jerking happiness that comes with witnessing your loved one seek help and go to rehab. While rehab is an effective and courageous first step toward a life of sobriety, it is up to friends and family to help those who are recovering stay on track once they return home.

The percentage of individuals who relapse after recovery from a drug addiction is 40-60%, based on a report from The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA). Taking effective measures to protect oneself against the various stages of relapse is absolutely essential.

Take a look at the following 5 suggestions for supporting a loved one after their stay in rehab, and play an active part in helping lower the relapse rate. These suggestions are broad. Helping a loved one differs depending on if they are your child, spouse, parent, sibling, or friend—so you will need to give some careful consideration about how to apply them to your own unique situation.

1. Make Adjustments

Rehab is very effective in helping the individual identify the cause of their substance abuse. Your loved one will return home knowing what their triggers are, and it is up to you to help them make life adjustments to avoid those triggers. Relapse triggers are toxic situations, environments, or relationships. This includes unhealthy friendships with other users, a dysfunctional home life, or a stressful job. But triggers also come from within, through negative thoughts, anxiety, and depression. At the core, all relapse triggers are psychological.

Your loved one will likely come out of rehab with a plan from their counselor. Work with your loved one and their counselor to help support that plan even if it means supporting them financially, helping them find a new job, or even relocating with them to another area. Your sacrifice could make a huge impact!

2. Create Boundaries

Coming out of rehab, your loved one likely has a new sense of independence and responsibility. It may be time for you to examine your relationship with your loved one and adjust the way you interact with them to support that independence. Create attainable expectations in regards to:

  • Household duties
  • School or work
  • Family time
  • Curfew
  • Attending meetings
  • Finances

Note: The plans you make should be in accordance with the counselor’s suggestions.

3. Help Inspire

Be an inspiration to your loved one by helping them get involved with healthy, sober hobbies and activities. You do not necessarily have to have the same hobby as them, but show them that you are making a change as well to give them a buddy through this process. Check out these healthy hobby ideas:

  • Exercise
  • Reading
  • Writing
  • Sports
  • Painting
  • Meditating

Help your loved one find a hobby that fulfills their spirit, lifts them up, and makes them feel good. Help them to personally know the difference between this kind of satisfaction and the short-term rush that comes with using substances.

4. Walk Alongside Them

Saying that you support your loved one is one thing, but joining them in their efforts to stay clean is another. Show your support with these selfless suggestions:

  • Practice sobriety around your loved one
  • Remove all substances from the home
  • Stay away from social situations with alcohol
  • Tag along to meetings and appointments
  • Assist financially while they work toward self-sufficiency

5. Endlessly Encourage

Encourage your loved one’s continued recovery by being intentional about your attitude and actions towards them.

    • Attitude:
      • Be positive about their change.
      • Show hope for their improvement.
      • Act confident about their recovery success.
    • Actions:
      • Take active interest in their new hobbies.
      • Listen to their struggles, accomplishments, questions, etc.
      • Encourage the entire family (if a positive influence) to be involved.
      • Give them time to adjust to being home.

Know Your Limits

Remember how influential your role is in your loved one’s sobriety success, but also remember that it is ultimately up to them to stay sober. Keep these suggestions in mind and do your best to create a safe and stable place for your loved one to continue to recover. Additionally, be informed about red flags to look out for and contact your loved one’s counselor if you are afraid they might relapse.

Why Choose a Luxury Rehab Facility?

Making the decision to overcome addiction by going to rehab is a courageous and powerful one. It can be overwhelming, as choosing a rehab facility is difficult when there are so many options available. Not all rehabilitation centers are created equally, and finding the one that’s right for you or your family member takes a good deal of research.

Let’s look at a few differences between luxury and standard rehab centers, and explore what those differences mean for their patients.

Privacy

All rehab facilities are required to maintain the privacy of their patients. While any rehab center is committed to keeping your information private, most standard rehab facilities require all patients to share rooms and other accommodations. There isn’t necessarily anything wrong or bad about this, but this lack of physical privacy can be a major hurdle to some patients getting the most out of their treatment. Ask yourself: if you truly value your privacy during the journey to recovery, do you want to spend it with someone you haven’t met before you walked through the center’s doors? Luxury rehab facilities can offer private rooms and accommodations so that you are afforded the same privacy you would have in your own home.

Treatment Options

Inpatient rehab offers some of the most intensive treatments available. However, not all forms of treatment are equal, and not all have the same lasting effects. In other words, while a standard rehab facility may offer an evidence-based, proven treatment plan, it may only offer this one treatment option.

On the other hand, luxury rehab centers offer a variety of treatments and personalized therapy options, and you are able to find the path that works best for you. Luxury rehab facilities have the staff, resources, and time to get to the real root cause of your problem, while many standard facilities are strapped for these resources. They can only offer their patients much the same care across the board—cleaning, group therapy, and early wake up calls. Standard rehab facilities also typically only treat one or two aspects of your addiction. Luxury rehab centers go for a whole-person recovery, involving all mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual facets. You are a person, after all, and not just an addiction or disorder. And you’ll be one of a handful of patients being treated. This allows for more personal, more focused, and more private treatment.

Amenities

Some of the amenities you can expect at a standard rehab facility include a day room, a game area, some outdoor space, and a commercial cafeteria to serve your meals. Luxury rehab facilities often combine amenities with their treatments, so they may not at first appear as one or the other. It is not uncommon, for example, for a luxury rehab center to have one or more gourmet chefs in their kitchen. While this may seem like a great way to satisfy the more discerning tastes of their patients, it can also lend a hand to a focus on nutrition as part of your treatment. Yoga sessions are great for relaxation and reflection, but also wonderful as a part of your emotional, physical, and mental recovery. The typically lush, peaceful grounds of a luxury rehab center are also a part of your recovery, as you can find tranquility, peace of mind, and a buffer against the stresses of the world amongst the flower beds and walking paths. The entire facility, its staff, and its amenities are there for one purpose—to get you on the path to wellness and recovery.

The Difference

Treating all of you is a healthier, more effective way of treating your addiction or disorder. Treating all of you is a better way to ensure that you do not suffer a relapse. This holistic approach to healing and rehabilitation is embraced by most luxury rehab centers. These establishments are run by people who realize that their patients are individuals, and while the symptoms of their addiction or disorder are alike in many ways, they are not. Individual attention and individualized treatments are integral to rehabilitation and long-term success. And that is what luxury rehab centers provide each and every one of their patients.

Note: If you are suffering from an addiction and can’t afford the price of a luxury rehab center, we truly recommend that you seek treatment from a rehab center, standard or not, that fits into your personal budget. Standard rehab is certainly better than no rehab at all.

How to Avoid a Relapse in 2015

You’re clean and sober. You’re headed in the right direction. And the most important thing now is to stay that way, heading up the road to recovery and a life without addiction.

DrugsWhile everyone in recovery wants to stay in recovery, relapse can happen to anyone. In truth, recovery is a day-by-day, minute-by-minute journey away from dysfunction. Relapse is only a heartbeat away.

But you can keep it there if you know the signs of impending relapse, and ways to avoid falling into its traps.

Post-Acute Withdrawal (PAW) There are some things you should understand—really, truly grasp with head and heart—if you are to beat the relapse monster into shape. These include post-acute withdrawal and the stages of relapse. Let’s look at each one in turn so you can arm yourself with valuable knowledge and empower your road to recovery.

Post-acute withdrawal lasts for roughly the first two years or so of your recovery. That’s a long time on one hand, and a short blip on the other. Why? Because when you are in the midst of an episode, it can feel like forever. However, when the first couple of years are over, it’s a thing of the past. Post-acute withdrawal is caused by the brain and body coming back into a normal state of being. Addiction and dysfunctional behaviors like eating disorders truly do a number on your body chemistry. It can take a long while to get back to status quo. In the meantime, you can expect to unexpectedly find yourself experiencing:

  • Mood swings
  • Anxiety
  • Irritability
  • Problems sleeping
  • Problems concentrating
  • Energy highs and lows
  • Feeling “blah” or tired

These will start off changing by the hour, and then gradually subside until they disappear for weeks, or even months at a time. They will usually last for a few days. If you can accept the challenge and hang on to your recovery for a few days, things will even out again and you’ll be fine. It’s like surfing—the wave isn’t going to last forever. Just ride it out. If you can hang on for the two or so years it takes for post-acute withdrawal to disappear altogether, you’ll have a much better chance at real, long-term recovery.

The best way to deal with post-acute withdrawal is to be patient. Be patient and realize that you’ve had a lot more good days in your recovery than bad. Be patient and take care of yourself. If you’re having an episode, don’t try to do too much or to carry on as if nothing is happening. Be patient and know that after a couple of years, you won’t have to go through these acute episodes anymore. Be patient with yourself and with your symptoms. Accept that it is a part of recovery, and that there’s nothing you can do to make it go away, just as there was nothing you did to make it come back. Be patient.

The Stages of Relapse

We discussed post-acute withdrawal before getting to relapse itself because it is a huge factor in many relapses. There are three stages of relapse, and post-acute withdrawal can be a trigger for the first, which is emotional relapse.

1. Emotional Relapse

SadIn emotional relapse, you aren’t really thinking about returning to your old ways, but your behaviors and emotional state are setting you up for it. You’ll find yourself:

  • Stressed
  • Irritable
  • Defensive
  • Anxious
  • Isolating yourself
  • Not seeking help
  • Not going to meetings
  • Not sleeping or eating well
  • Intolerant
  • Suffering mood swings

Sounds a lot like post-acute withdrawal doesn’t it? That’s because, in a way, it is. That’s why knowing and recognizing the symptoms is vital to avoiding relapse. And the earlier you can pull back from relapse, the better and easier it is. So, practice self-care. Be patient and go with the flow, but don’t go it alone. Seek help. Get out and amongst friends and supportive folks. Get over the hump of a few days of post-acute withdrawal and get back to the business of happy, healthy living.

2. Mental Relapse

The second stage of relapse is mental relapse. This is when you start thinking about falling back into your old ways. Part of you wants to, but part of still wants to stay clean. You’ll find yourself doing the following:

  • Associating with your old “habit” buddies
  • Lying
  • Thinking about relapsing
  • Fantasizing about  your old behavior
  • Glamorizing your old behavior
  • Planning your relapse around someone else’s schedule
  • Thinking about the people, places, and things associated with your old behavior

The best thing you can do to avoid relapse at this stage is to play that fantasy through—and don’t cut out the unglamorous parts of it. Play that mental tape all the way to the credits, and remind yourself of just how ugly your past behavior really was. Then, find some support. Call a friend, a sponsor, or a therapist. Talk to someone. Distract yourself with something other than thinking about your past. Also, make sure that relaxation and patience are part of your daily routine. Remember, recovery is a day-by-day, minute-by-minute thing. Be patient and those thoughts will go. Relax and those stressors might not come around at all.

3. Physical relapse

Physical relapse occurs when you actually physically make the choice to partake in the addictive substance again. Catch yourself before it’s too late. Stop the train before it plunges off the broken bridge. Recognize that you are the only one who can, but not the only one who can help. Be patient. Love yourself. You can get through any early relapse. You can pull back from any mental relapse, too. And if you do succumb to physical relapse, it doesn’t mean it’s over. It just means you start again. You only fail if you stop trying. But you don’t have to let it get this far.

If you are an addict who is currently experiencing emotional, mental, or physical relapse, there is hope. Reach out for help and give yourself the same compassion and support you would give to someone else in need—someone you love.

Although the waves are rough, ride them out and you’ll be guided safely to shore…
 
Contact Us Now for Help – There’s Not A Reason Big Enough To Wait

Signs a Loved One May Have an Addiction

It can be a very troubling experience to suspect or discover that your loved one has an addiction. You might feel shocked, worried, angry, betrayed, or upset. You might take it personally or feel that it’s your responsibility.

frustrationKnow that when you have a loved one who has an addiction, there are ways you can help, and keeping a calm, even mind is one way to start. While you can’t necessarily decide if someone has an addiction, there are warning signs and symptoms to be on the lookout for. For advice about talking to your loved one about this sensitive topic, read this helpful article.

Physical Signs and Symptoms

Drug and alcohol abuse is often, but not always, evident in physical form through a person’s actions, appearance, and ability to perform certain actions.

  • Bloodshot eyes
  • Dilated pupils
  • Changes in appetite or sudden weight loss or gain
  • Changes in sleep patterns—too much or too little, wrong time of day
  • Unusual smells on their breath, body, or clothing
  • Shaking hands
  • Slurred speech
  • Impaired coordination—difficulty with walking, standing, fine motor skills, etc.

Behavioral Signs and Symptoms

Drug and alcohol abuse can cause changes in a person’s behaviors and attitudes.

  • Drop in attendance at work or school—missed days, late arrivals
  • Drop in performance at work or school—poor grades, missed deadlines, mistakes on tasks
  • Unexplained need for money—stealing, borrowing, selling possessions, financial difficulties
  • Acting suspiciously or secretively
  • Sudden change in friends, activities, favorite places, hobbies, or interests
  • Trouble with others or the law—fighting, accidents, illegal activity

Psychological Signs and Symptoms

While you may not be able to see all of the psychological effects of drug or alcohol abuse, some of them are more apparent than others.

  • Unexplained changes in personality
  • Drastic negative changes in attitude
  • Sudden mood swings
  • Frequent bouts of irritability, angry outbursts, or sullenness
  • Periods of hyperactivity, agitation, or giddiness
  • Lack of motivation—spacing out, lethargy, sleepiness
  • Unreasonable fear, anxiety, or paranoia

While your loved one may not display all or even any of these signs and symptoms, noticing a pattern of behavior may be a good indicator that they have developed an addiction problem.

The best thing you can do is to talk to them and let them know you are aware and there to support them, not condemn them. Encourage them to seek help, but don’t force, bribe, or punish them for not doing so.

Remember, you can’t change a person or their behavior. They have to want to change, and only they can do that. Be there and support them, but do not enable, argue, or allow them to harm you.

Reach out for professional advice if you aren’t sure what step to take next.