National Drug Facts Week: January 26 - February 1, 2015Addiction Treatment Drug Facts

National Drug Facts Week℠ (NDFW) is an annual health observance week for teens to shatter the myths about drugs and drug abuse. NDFW centers on community events for teens, NIDA’s Drug Facts Chat Day, and partnerships.

There are great resources available at the National Institute on Drug Abuse.  For example here are interesting Quizzes about Specific Drugs:

Methamphetamines

Opiates

Hallucinogens

Marijuana

Stimulants

Did you know that drug overdose kills more Americans than car accidents?

Can you help spread the FACTS?

Written By: New Hope Recovery Center

 

attachment theory and addictionThere are many theories to explain the etiology of addiction.  Historically, various models have been developed, become widely accepted and then rejected or modified as new theories emerged and our understanding of addiction grew.  One model that has been gaining popularity is the concept of addiction as an attachment disorder.

Attachment theory comes from the work of John Bowlby and Mary Ainsworth.  Much of their research was done in the mid-1900's and sought to prove that human infants instinctually become distressed and agitated when separated from primary caregivers.  Additionally, when tired, stressed or fearful, an infant will purposefully seek out physical proximity and contact with the caregiver.

Much more recently, many researchers have recognized and sought to better understand the connection between maladaptive attachment patterns and the development of addiction (http://www.substanceabusepolicy.com/content/1/1/32, http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S030646030600270X, http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0306460305001553).  From the disease model of addiction, we know that there is both a genetic and an environmental component to addiction and that both can change brain chemistry and structure.  One such change is the neurological consequences of poor or inhibited early attachment experiences.  Much of attachment theory is based on 2 variables described by Bowlby: dependability of an attachment figure, and judgement about worth of self as reflected back by the attachment figure.  Both of these factors heavily influence later behavioral and personality consistency as well as one's emotional regulation.  We now have a better understanding of the way that childhood relationships affect adult attachment styles (i.e an individual raised in an addictive environment will tend to display a more insecure attachment style throughout adulthood).

Early attachment deficits have been shown to be correlated with many addictions, and it is thought that those with poorer emotional regulation use substances or addictive behaviors to help regulate themselves. (http://www.naadac.org/attachmentandtrauma, Addiction as an Attachment Disorder, by Philip J. Flores)  Additionally, secure attachment is necessary for optimal functioning within relationships (having the capacity for both intimacy and independence).  When attachment style is insecure and one develops an addiction, a vicious cycle begins:  increasing addiction leads to more and more isolation from others, and therefore perpetuating the insecure attachment style.

Research has shown that 12-Step programs are a highly effective solution for addiction recovery when viewed through the lens of attachment theory because these programs focus on social support, connection with others and unconditional positive regard for self and others (Smith and Toniga, 2009).

Although attachment styles are formed in early childhood and do carry over into our adult lives, those with insecure attachment styles can learn healthier, more adaptive ways of interacting with others and can improve their capacity for intimacy within relationships.  In terms of addiction treatment, this can be a crucial concept for counselors and therapists to understand in their efforts to tailor the treatment in this manner as well as helping the recovering individual decrease shame that is so often attached to addiction.

New Hope Recovery Center is located in Chicago and offers individualized alcohol and drug addiction treatment in a loving supportive environment.  Contact New Hope Recovery Center at 888-707- 4673 (HOPE).

Written By: New Hope Recovery Center

The term “functional alcoholic” is a phrase most often used to describe a person who drinks frequently and heavily but has found a way to rationalize that they are not an “alcoholic”.  The functional alcoholic often believes they are a step up from an “alcoholic” because they have not experienced the same consequences or setbacks.  The reality is that an individual who is a “high-functioning alcoholic” is engrossed in a denial system that protects their addiction and drinking.

The consequences of an addiction can take many different forms.  People often use these consequences as barometers for where they are and how serious their addiction is (if they admit to having one at all).  The individual who drinks heavily everyday but is able to hold a job, pay bills, and provide for loved ones may be hard pressed to see they have a problem.  They will often compare themselves to their view of an alcoholic: an individual who has lost his or her job, has a broken family unit, has no housing, has several DUI’s, or has other severe consequences.

Functional Alcoholics Often Emphasize Work

Frequently functional alcoholics seek an inordinate amount of personal validation through work.  They believe if they can keep up with their jobs then the other areas of their life can be deflected from the spotlight.  Therefore, while one part of their life might seem to be holding up adequately, it often conceals the fact that their interpersonal relationships or emotional wellbeing may be crumbling.

Physical Consequences from Drinking

On the surface it may appear that a functional alcoholic has avoided the overt consequences of drinking, but they are not immune to the physical consequences.  Alcohol is one of the most toxic substances people willingly put in their bodies.  Ongoing and heavy alcohol use will impact physical health and increases the risks of liver disease, cancer, pancreatitis, high blood pressure, brain damage, and memory loss.  Many times in the addiction field it is the physical consequences which motivates functioning alcoholics to seek help.

Impact on Loved Ones

Those usually considered as functional alcoholics generally do not hide their drinking.  If you suspect your loved one is drinking more than they claim, read here about warning signs of secret drinking.  The main theme of the functional alcoholic is they don’t see that they have a problem. This is not usually the case for their loved ones.  Loved ones experience the impact of drinking firsthand whether the alcoholic identifies their behavior as problematic or not.  The loved ones often bear the burden of the heavy drinking and they pick up responsibilities that are not handled or are missed by the alcoholic.  Loved ones are often put between a rock and hard place on how to get the alcoholic in denial to see that they need help.  Generally there are few things the loved one can do because ultimately lasting change has to occur from within.

Steps Loved Ones Can Take

Loved ones can always change their own behavior.  This is the place to start.  It is important to look at any enabling they may be doing, to consider attending Al-anon, to set healthy boundaries, and to practice self-care.  Here is a list of what to do and not do when a loved one is addicted.   A word of caution, if you feel inclined to confront someone who’s drinking has affected your life, do not do so while they are under the influence.  Also, be careful not to attack them as this will most likely only escalate into argument and hostility.  Rather, it is most beneficial to speak from your experience and explain how the drinking has affected you and your relationship with that person.  If the entire family system is on board for making a change and is willing to set strong boundaries, a professional intervention is also an option.

Change is Possible

A functioning alcoholic is most likely going to continue “functioning” on their terms until they experience consequences they see as serious enough to prompt change.  There are ways these circumstances can be altered by loved ones.  So if you are feeling stuck with an alcoholic in denial change is still possible, but must start with you.  Your changes may lead to their own changes and to long term sobriety.

 

For more information reach out to New Hope Recovery Center (773)-883-3916.

Written By: New Hope Recovery Center

The start of another year prompts many people to hastily come up with a list of resolutions.  But by the end of January, most feel discouraged and that they failed.  Don’t let that happen to you this year.new year resolution success

There is a better and easier way to make new year’s resolutions that create lasting changes in your life.

Step 1 – Don’t Make Your Resolutions on January 1!

January 1 is not the best time to make major changes.  The stress of the holidays is still present.  The beginning of the year is usually hectic.  We have barely had time to close out the past year.  Let’s give last year its proper send off and spend a week or so marveling at how far we have come in the past year.  What were our successes?  Were there any disappointments or losses?  Acknowledging all the year contained allows us to really bring closure to the old year.  With a feeling of completion for the previous year, we can really turn our attention to creating something new or different or changing ourselves in some way.

After giving last year a proper goodbye (one night is hardly adequate), spend January exploring what areas of your life you may want to change.  Spend several weeks looking into what steps may be needed to make these changes.

Let’s look at the most common resolution: losing weight.  Instead of deciding your resolution is to lose 20 pounds by April 1, look into what you will do to make weight loss possible: exercising, healthy eating, stress reduction, etc.  Then take it a step further: where will you exercise, how often, what time of day?  What is healthy eating to you?  How will you make that happen?  (Peek at #3 for ideas on how to think about your goal.)

Step 2 – Keep It Short.

It is common for people to create a massive 20-30 item wish list of New Year’s resolutions.  It is not realistic to expect anyone to tackle that many changes!  Generally no more than three changes at a time are possible.  So look at what things are really important to you.  What do you want your life to be like by the end of the year?  This is where to start your resolution planning.  One area of focus may be best for you.  That is great.  But no more than 3.

Step 3 – Realize You Are Creating a Habit.

Making lasting changes is a process, not a one time thing. The habit is what will get you to your goal and keep you at your goal. So what processes will it take for you to reach your goal?  Use a week as the time frame for your habit.  What weekly habits do you need to create to work toward your goal?  Anything longer than a week is too distant to be meaningful.  Focusing on less than a week will likely lead to disappointment.  Minor or major disruptions can happen on a daily or hourly basis and throw off your process/habit if you have a daily time frame.  For example, expecting yourself to always do something every day may be unrealistic, particularly at first.  Any given day something unexpected can happen.  However, planning your habit on a weekly basis allows for a few disruptions to happen and yet your overall habit can stay on track.

Step 4 – Honestly Assess How Ready You Are To Change.

Are you ready to do what it takes to make the changes?  If not, choose goals and habits that you are more motivated to achieve.  Also, don’t fall into the trap that many do: one slip or miss and they have failed.  That just isn’t realistic.  Instead, plan for setbacks or slip-ups.  How will you respond to these?  How will you get yourself back on track? Have a plan for your habit and a plan for getting back to your habit.  Maybe it is a day or two off and then back.  Maybe you decide that a week off your habit will work fine.  Whatever you decide, make sure you know that one slip doesn't mean you failed.  Just get back to your habit.

Step 5 – Letting Go.

Is there any thing or activity you can let go of?  In order to create a new process in your life, you may need more time or space.  Decide what things or activities no longer serve you.  Be willing to let those go and use the freed time and space to help your new habit fit better into your life.  It may be that you have to let go of some things that you still like, but you know they don't serve your goal and habit.  Realize that letting them go is best for you overall.

Use these 5 steps to create lasting changes in your life.

Happy New Year!

Written By: New Hope Recovery Center

New Hope Recovery Center 888-808-4673 (HOPE)

Best Addiction Articles 2014To start the New Year, we wanted to highlight our most-read articles from 2014. A few themes showed up in this year's Top 15:  Heroin, Sex Addiction and Marijuana all had more than one article in the top 15. Articles around Treatment and Recovery were quite popular as well.

 

Here are our 15 most popular articles from 2014:

Heroin Related Articles:

Celebrities Who Have Used Heroin - This was our most popular article from 2014.  We discuss 12 celebrities who have used or were addicted to heroin, but are now in recovery.  Their stories have been inspiring for many of our clients.

Chicago Heroin Addiction Facts 

Marijuana and Teens:

38 Marijuana Warning Signs: Is Your Teen Smoking Weed?

Marijuana Use Affects Teen Brain Development

Recovery and Treatment Articles:

Why Spirituality Is Important In Addiction Recovery - This article was our most popular on LinkedIn in 2014.  Many therapists and counselors found it to be a helpful way to discuss spirituality with their clients, particularly younger clients.

Drug Rehab & Alcohol Rehab: 6 Differences Between Men and Women - This was our 2nd most popular article for 2014.

What You Should Know About Vivitrol and Addiction Treatment

6 Tips for a Sober Thanksgiving - Although published quite recently, this article made it into the top 15.  It contains great advice for handling the holidays and family while in recovery.

Addiction Counseling: Abstinence Versus Harm Reduction - Harm reduction versus abstinence continues to be a hot button topic for many.  In this article we try to show how the hardline distinction between the two approaches has be softening recently.

Sex and Love Addiction were popular during 2014:

3 Levels of Sex Addiction

19 Warning Signs of Sex Addiction

10 Signs of Sex, Love and Relationship Addiction

Articles About Specific Addictions:

Xanax Addiction

Why Crystal Meth is So Addictive

19 Symptoms of Alcoholism; Being an Alcoholic

 Written By: New Hope Recovery Center

New Hope Recovery Center is a premier treatment facility located in Chicago, Illinois.  We can be reached at 888-707-4673 (HOPE).