Addiction Studies

Understanding Addiction

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Implicit And Insidious Signs That You’re Giving Into Prescription Drug Addiction

 

You don’t know what hit you before you’re too far gone.

 

Prescription drugs abuse and misuse are defined as the unintentional or intentional use of medication without a doctor’s prescription for wanting the feeling or experience it generates. According to data posted by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), there has been a significant rise in prescription drugs abuse, which leads to the increasing number of emergency cases mainly caused by drug overdose.

 

Furthermore, one in every five Americans has abused or misused prescription medicine at least once in their lives, but only one out of three will recognize the manifestations of the seething problem, which is extremely dangerous. Know more about the implicit and insidious signs to know if you have a pill problem.

 

 

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Intolerable Mood Changes

 

Experiencing irritability and depression due to controlled access to medications are some of the signs you have to watch out for. Depending on the substance being abused, you may begin to notice marked hyperactivity or extreme happiness followed by a “crash” where the mood becomes just the opposite,” says Donna M. White, LMHC, CACP. In the midst of struggling for more drugs, you are finding yourself not just yearning for the sake of physical relief but acquiring emotional stability as well. Your reasoning is now attuned to the idea that you are getting more than relief from pain, thereby significantly altering the way you perceive pain medications.

 

At this stage, you become so eager and excited for the next dose, finding yourself anticipating and counting down the minutes and hours until you take your pill. Your mind starts to fantasize about the euphoric feeling once you take your meds.

 

Aggressive Denial

 

The trouble with people is that we can easily see what’s wrong with others but are quick to turn down observations given to us. According to John M. Grohol, Psy.D., Denial is the refusal to accept reality or fact, acting as if a painful event, thought or feeling did not exist.” When people are oblivious to medication abuse, it becomes a breeding ground for addiction. The National Institute of Health has reported that Americans who are 12 years and older have abused prescription drugs which accounts for approximately 54 million of the entire population. However, not everyone seems to efficiently identify the manifestations of getting sucked into medication addiction even if the signs are quite distinct. Therefore, denial plays a massive role in the constant misuse of drugs. After all, how else are you supposed to accept something that you think does not exist?

 

Increased Tolerance Level

 

A person who still suffers from pain regardless of taking the maximum, medically-acceptable dose, is said to have reached his or her peak tolerance level; thus, causing the rise to a certain degree of obsession. One of the primary signs that a person is extending its dangerous tolerance level is when he or she has already depleted the pills even before the expected time of refill. Once you’ve peaked, you will feel giddy and anxious whether you will still be given more pills and are enraged by your doctor’s unwillingness to prescribe more than the acceptable dosage.

 

It is especially advised that teens be put under observation because they easily can gain access to leftover pills of their parents or grandparents and will go to great lengths just to suffice their addiction needs.

 

Doctor-Hopping

 

Because your physician refused to increase the number of pills or rejected your request to get an early refill, considering you’ve stretched to the maximum dosage, you will resort to “doctor-hopping.” Doctor-hopping or hospital-hopping involves visiting other doctors or emergency room hospitals with different make-believe complaints involving pain to obtain a sufficient amount of pills that your body demands just to feel satiated.

 

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Addiction can happen to anyone – whether you’re someone with a history of mental disorder or have gone through severe physical injury leading to chronic pain.  According to Steve Bressert, Ph.D., Abuse of alcohol or a substance (such as cocaine, nicotine, marijuana, etc.) is generally characterized by a maladaptive pattern of alcohol or substance use leading to significant impairment or distress.” Check yourself before you wreck yourself. If you notice that you have one or more signs stated above, it is best to talk to someone about your medication abuse before things get out of hand.

 



Recognizable Cautionary Signs That You’re Becoming An Alcoholic

 

 

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When everybody else is pointing out that there’s a brewing problem concerning your alcohol consumption, it’s high time to assess yourself with classic signs that can determine if you’re becoming addicted to the booze. Johnna Medina, Ph.D. said “According to the DSM-5, a “substance use disorder describes a problematic pattern of using alcohol or another substance that results in impairment in daily life or noticeable distress.”

 

Asking The Right Questions

 

  1. “Am I Becoming An Alcoholic?”

 

Probably the first question that would pop out from your head is if you’re getting hooked on the sultry, endearing taste of liquor. If somehow you’ve asked yourself countless times if you are an alcoholic, chances are, the answer is, “Yes.” People who bask in the company of one beer every night would ponder about it, similar to those who have “occasional drinks” but would end up crawling out the door or becoming a total mess.

 

The thing is, being an alcoholic has nothing to do with the amount of liquor that was consumed. Instead, it’s more on how a person’s affair is with drinking. When talking about alcohol abuse, there’s a continuum involved, and it’s not black and white. According to Mark Jacob, M.D. , You should know that while alcohol often causes a “good mood” at first, it is a central nervous system depressant. Its depressant effects can carry over into one’s mind, being a contributing factor to a person’s continuing depression.”

 

  1. “Can I Imagine My Life Without Drinking?”

 

If it has become difficult for you to answer a resounding, “Yes!” then you’re in big trouble. If you’ve considered alcohol to be part of your life and is something that cannot be omitted during special events or even during gatherings with family or friends, this is a statement that you have a drinking problem.

 

  1. “What Is The Ideal Amount?”

 

According to the dietary guideline set out by the US Department of Health and Human Services, moderate drinking for men is two drinks a day, and for women, it’s one drink a day. On the other hand, low-risk drinking can be defined with women not consuming more than three drinks on any given day and not more than seven a week. With men, low-risk drinking is not consuming four drinks on any given day and not more than 14 a week. Therefore, binge-drinking is anything more than four to five drinks within two hours and can last for months.

 

 

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The Signs

 

Whether you’re taking in too much or too little alcohol, if people start calling your attention about your alcohol intake or if you’re experiencing any of the following classic signs, this should serve as a warning to immediately get diagnosed and get treated.

 

You Can’t Stop Thinking About It

 

You obsess about the smell and taste of alcohol to the point that you always look forward to indulging yourself with a glass or two just to satisfy your yearning. When you’re thinking about when the next drink is going to happen while you’re working or spending quality family time, then you’re becoming a viable candidate. People who have established a healthy and normal connection with alcohol do not fantasize about alcoholic beverages in such a manner.

 

You Transform Into Someone You Barely Know

 

“You’ve changed,” is one of the most common observations that people around you would say. Addiction has a way to deviate people from their ethics and morals and can instantly transform them into thoughtless, reckless individuals who have no regard for other people’s feelings. Not acting as you used to when you weren’t in too deep with your relationship with alcohol is a red flag that you should not ignore.

 

You Want More, And You Can’t Seem To Stop

 

Think way back when you started drinking and compare it to your present level of consumption. Did it significantly change? How often are you drinking? The moment you find out that your drinking has gone up in six months or more, and if you’re finding it quite difficult to discontinue the habit, you’re entering a harmful level of alcohol addiction. The repeated broken promises of limiting alcohol intake are just one of the classic signs that you’re far down the rabbit hole.

 

 

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Seek Help

 

It’s never too late to seek professional guidance. But first, you must agree with the people around you while admitting to yourself that you indeed have an alcohol problem and you have to get treated so things won’t get worse. Even if you still have doubts that you have become a full-fledged alcohol addict, there are a lot of options that you can take into consideration to be in control of your brewing problem.

 

Still, if you wanted to assess your alcohol abuse personally, you can take a 30-day off from drinking any alcoholic beverage. If the abstinence becomes a struggle and you find yourself in a rut, is agitated, and is desperate to get just one drink, then it’s best to seek help. “Most addiction treatment is focused on helping a person overcome the addiction through psychotherapy,” quoted John M. Grohol, Psy.D.

 



Tips In Helping A Friend With Addiction

Having a friend who is suffering from addiction can be challenging. There are many things that you need to remember, especially when their personality starts to change. Most of the time, you will have better days together. However, there are also days when you would find it hard to deal with them. As such, you need to equip or give yourself with lots of patience and understanding. Aside from this, it is also crucial on your part to make an effort in establishing a more stable relationship with them. As much as possible, make an ultimate promise to yourself that you will never give up on them.

Build a solid, social-sober support network, and try to include people who also suffer from depressive disorders and are in recovery,” suggested  Richard Zwolinski, LMHC, CASAC, SAP, ADS and C.R. Zwolinski

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The Hidden Truth Behind The Reality Of Addiction

 

Counselors reveal secrets that they desperately want to share to those who are suffering from addiction or those who know one. Whether it’s alcohol, substance, or gambling addiction, consider the following crucial information as useful advice to take your life back.

 

 

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Addiction Happens Due To An Underlying Problem

 

When a person becomes an addict, it’s not because of the drugs or the booze but because of issues that are shoved underneath a rug. Although somehow psychological and biological elements are involved, focusing on healing or resolving the underlying problem that caused the obsession in the first place is more efficient. As what Darlene Lancer, JD, MFT  said, Alcoholics drink to ease their emotional pain and emptiness. Some try to control their drinking and may be able to stop for a while, but once alcohol dependency takes hold, most find it impossible to drink like nonalcoholics.”

 

Usually, drug and alcohol dependence are just by-products of a specific personal dilemma. To investigate what these issues are and address them once and for all, seeking the help of counselors is recommended.

 

 

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Telling Yourself That You’re Willing To Be Rehabilitated

 

Initially, the most crucial step towards rehabilitation is proclaiming that you are ready to come clean. After accepting the problematic reality that you are about to go into rigorous recovery, the next thing to do is to let those who love you and care about you know that you’ll be needing help to conquer the journey to self-healing.

 

Furthermore, by acknowledging your fate, you are required to get ready regarding your finances, insurance, and treatment centers. Of course, your counselor will provide suggestions on where you should admit yourself, but the decision is mainly up to you.

 

You’re Not Having A Regular Spa Day

 

For those who think that getting help and being admitted to treatment centers are similar to having weeks’ long relaxation at a luxurious spa, prepare to get disappointed. Getting well does not resemble a spa day. Although yoga, beach walks, and massage therapy are included in most treatments, the overall experience of being managed for addiction is one of the toughest challenges that one has to face.

 

Probably one of the hardest phases of the therapeutic process is when the addicts are asked to explore traumatic experiences in the past. This process will feel uncomfortable, unpleasant, and painful but it’s a process that one has to face. Treatment will only work to its fullest potential if the person is determined to work the path of adversity.

 

Relapses Are Normal

 

As previously stated, the process of getting better is not a walk in the park or for this case, a day at a spa. Just because you’ve decided to get treated doesn’t mean that you won’t be relapsing. A lot of addicts have relapsed not only once but twice or thrice. Don’t worry. Relapses are part of the healing process. There is no shame in accepting that you are gradually falling again and again and again to your addiction. And even if you’ve fallen dozens of times, it does not mean that you lost the battle. Get up, dust yourself, sleep on it, and in the morning, you try again. Stop wasting your time and energy crucifying yourself and instead be even more determined the next time.

 

You Are Only Lying To Yourself

 

Addiction is a pronounced condition that can quickly be pointed out by people around you even before you acknowledge that you do have a problem. Therefore, lying to your loved ones’ faces and denying that you are becoming a drug or substance enthusiast will not help your circumstance at all. The only person you’re fooling is yourself. By being honest that something’s wrong and acknowledging that you have been using prohibited drugs or finishing up bottles and bottles of alcohol because you want to repress what you feel is another vital step in efficient and assertive recovery.

 

You Won’t Be Transformed Into Someone New

 

You will still be the same old person but with better and healthier life choices. The moment you go into therapy and strictly follow the treatment plan, you are tapping into a part of yourself that is more nourishing, vigorous, and lively. Recovering from addiction will reinforce the testing of a person’s spirituality, but instead of emerging as somebody new, you will be more connected to that part of you that insists on becoming healthier. This just means that there is this part of you that has been concealed for a very long time that, yearning for peace and happiness. Engaging in some type of regular volunteer activity on at least a monthly basis, or just spending more time doing loving, kind things for the people in your life, helps get you out of your own head, creates well-being for others, and makes you feel good about yourself,” shares Jennice Vilhauer Ph.D.

 

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The Healing Process Is All On You

 

Remember, addiction is something that you’ve done to yourself and blaming someone else for the problem is never beneficial. Although there are instances that it’s really somebody else’s fault, leaning towards alcohol, drugs, or gambling was your choice.With that in mind, the focus of the treatment must only be on you because you cannot change other people but you can definitely do something about yourself. According to John M. Grohol, Psy.D., “Recovery from addiction is more than possible, but requires a person’s strong commitment to change.”

 

It’s not what people do but how you react to what they do. The truth is, people who suffer from addiction usually have a disconnect between one’s self. When people are detached from themselves, they should first find themselves before being saved from addiction.



What You Need To Say To Someone With Addiction

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Do you have someone close to your heart who is suffering from addiction? Are you looking for practical ways to help this individual? Are you willing to do whatever it takes to make this someone feel better about himself? Of you answered yes to all these, be sure that you will know how to communicate well with the said person. Keep in mind that one wrong word coming out from your mouth can have a big impact on your friend or loved one who is suffering from addiction. For family and friends of drug- or alcohol-addicted individuals, addressing the addiction is one of the most difficult aspects of helping the addicted person seek treatment,” says Steven Gifford, LICDC, LPC.

 

Before anything else, we want to encourage you that the secret to dealing with a person with an addiction is to start communicating effectively. If possible, learn how to think twice before you utter a sentence. Train your mind to keep on thinking about it until you can say it out loud to several people. Take note that addiction is something that is beyond the control of the person affected by it. As such, you must make it a top priority to be careful of the way you communicate with him. Here is a list of the things that you can let the other person know:

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“I Understand What You Are Going Through”

 

Nothing is more relieving than hearing someone say these sweet words. When your friend or loved one hears this line, he will start to realize that you have stayed with him through ups and downs. At the same time, he will also be reminded of the fact that there is someone in his life that he can open up or talk to anytime he wants. Aside from this, he can also feel a sense of comfort, knowing that you understand his issues and concerns in life. The best thing to do is to let the other person become who he wants to be and to allow him to continue to offer an explanation as to the kind of life he chose to live.

 

“I Can Help You See A Therapist”

 

If you believe that your friend’s condition has become worsened, the next thing that you need to do is to find a way to encourage him to see a therapist. Let him know about the benefits and advantages of seeking professional help. Take note that there are signs and symptoms for addiction that you need to give attention to immediately. Otherwise, these will end up getting more severe than ever. If you want to prevent your friend or loved one from suffering a lot because of addiction, be sure to find a way to convince him to see a therapist or counselor. The therapist must encourage the family to help the alcoholic end the dance by realizing they cannot control and enable the drinking and that only when they reach out for help outside the family system may they be led into the stage of transition,” says Steve Greenman, MA, LPC, NCC.

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“I Am Always Here”

 

Another way of giving assurance to the other person is telling him or her that you are going to stay by his side no matter what happens. This includes doing everything you can to avoid judging him for his choices and attitude. Keep in mind that his personality may have been changed because of the effects that his addiction has contributed in his day-to-day life. If you want to help him become better truly, you need to make him see that you are always going to in his life regardless of the situation. As what Darlene Lancer, JD, MFT shared, There is hope, and there is help for the addict and for codependent family members.”



How To Deal With Addiction

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There are many stuff that you need to instill in your mind when it comes to dealing with addiction. First of all, take note that you must only listen to your physician for discussions regarding the signs and symptoms of your addiction. Moreover, you also need to ask about the possible solution to your problems. Avoid getting information from unreliable resources from the Internet or useless comments coming from other people surrounding you. The best or ideal thing that you can do is to understand your problem by starting to see your medical doctor.

 

In this article, we are going to provide you with some effective ideas on how you can handle addiction in the best way possible. Here are some of the tips and tricks to remember:

 

Understand Your Addiction

 

Getting a better understanding of what your addiction is all about should be your number one consideration as tall times. As much as possible, educate yourself more about the signs and symptoms so that you can be prepared for whatever will come your way. At the same time, you must also find a way to discover the leading cause of why you have remained a victim of addiction for a long period. An easy way to achieve or accomplish this is to set up an appointment with your doctor. Ask all the essential questions about your condition to the said doctor.

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Get The Help You Need

 

The second step is to accept the reality that you are no longer a normal individual. You have to start getting the help you need because that is the only way to get better in this life. Because of the risk of suicide, if you are (or someone you care about is) suffering from major depression and abusing alcohol it is critical that you seek prompt medical attention”, suggests psychiatrist Mark Jacob, M.D. Do not be embarrassed to see a therapist or counselor. Instead, be proud of yourself because you are brave enough to face your battles. Tap yourself at the back and take pride in confronting your demons.

 

Invest Your Time To New Passion

 

The third step is to convince yourself to try something new. Do not be afraid to do an activity that is new or foreign to you. Be passionate about a new interest. Give more of your time in trying out new things. When you do this, there is a high probability that your mind can start to focus. If this continues to happen, you will soon better and begin to let go of your addiction. Look for a new environment and be happy with it.

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Talk To A Friend 

 

The fourth step is to consider conversing with a friend who will always love you for who you are. Remind yourself that there are tons of people around you who will be more than willing to assist you in handling your addiction. Sometimes, all you need is to have a meaningful conversation with any one of them, and you can begin to feel better. As much as possible, be an expert in choosing a friend to trust. Make sure to establish a connection only to those people who have not yet judged you for your mistakes. Start with friends from your support groups and then go from there,” suggests experts Richard Zwolinski, LMHC, CASAC, SAP, ADS and C.R. Zwolinski.

 

Handling the highs and lows of addiction can be challenging, but you can get through it because you are a fantastic individual. Recovery requires us to accept life on its own terms, to accept our powerlessness and our limitations and to accept those of others,” shares Darlene Lancer, JD, MFT.

 

 



Why You Need Quit Smoking

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According to Psychiatrist Andrew Tapper, “Smoking is highly prevalent in people with other substance-use disorders, suggesting a potential interaction between nicotine and other drugs of abuse.” When was the last time you smoke and felt terrible about it? Are you tired of suffering from the adverse effects of your smoking addiction? Have you realized that the amount of money you spend on cigarettes is too big already? If you answered yes to all these, then there is a necessity on your part to consider quit smoking today. Keep in mind that the decision to let go of a negative habit is not going to be easy. You will find it hard to focus, especially if you have to the idea of where to begin or how to do it the right way.

 

Above anything else, the first thing that you must focus on is the need to determine the top reasons why you need to stop smoking. In this article, we are going to share with you some of the reasons that can convince you to let go of your smoking addiction. The process is not going to be easy, but every single step that you take is going to be worth it. Make sure to familiarize yourself with these reasons:

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It Can Be Bad For Your Health

 

One of the most prominent reasons for getting rid of cigarettes is because of the adverse effects that it can give to your physical health. When you keep on smoking, it is as if you are providing poison to your body. The harmful chemical found in cigars, called nicotine, can cause illnesses on your part. Unfortunately, this toxic substance can also lead to severe complications to one’s overall wellness.

 

It Can Be A Costly Vice

 

Keep in mind that the national government has already imposed a large amount of taxes to certain items or products such as cigarettes. The primary reason for increasing the said amount is to encourage consumers from buying these harmful goods. As such, when you spend your money on cigars, you will realize that you are paying more than what you are getting. As a result, you will end up paying or squandering your hard-earned money on something that does not offer any value at all.

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It Can Cause Harm To Others

 

Another thing that you must never forget about smoking is that it can be dangerous not only to your health but to everyone around you. A recent study shows that second-hand smoke can be more harmful compared to first-hand smoke. As a result, you are more likely to cause severe harm or troubles to the people you love when you keep on smoking. For example, if you puff a cigarette at home, there is a tendency that you can affect your loved one. That’s why psychologists need to take an active role in helping smokers quit,” says Timothy Baker, PhD.

 

Conclusion

 

“You’ve tried to kick the habit before. But that just means you’re in a stronger position to try again,” says psychologist David Coleman, who charts his own battle with nicotine addiction. Always think of yourself so that you will become more motivated in deciding to let smoking go for good. At the same time, you must also think of your loved ones. As already mentioned above, they can also suffer from the adverse consequences of the second-hand smoke. Keep in mind that you can quit smoking. What is crucial is that you are dedicated to making it happen.

 



Top Reasons Why Teenagers Experiment With Alcohol And Drugs

The adolescent years are known to be the experimentation and self-exploration phase. Because of this, parents find themselves confused about how they can fulfill their role properly.  Parenting at this stage might be a little tricky since this is the part where teens pick up vices, such as taking drugs and drinking. Therapists say that the first step into protecting your child is to understand why they involve themselves with these things. According to Marie Hartwell-Walker, Ed.D. ,Many parents don’t talk to their kids about alcohol because they are unaware of how serious the problem is.”

Written here are some of the top reasons why teenagers experiment with alcohol and drugs. It is essential for the family, especially parents, to understand all of these reasons to remedy the dangers of these vices. 

Effect Of Popular Media

The digital age has contributed various advancements in the modern world today. However, we cannot remove the fact that it has also its disadvantages. For one, popular media has opened the eyes of the teenagers regarding the presence of such vices. There are also instances that these situations are presented to the audience as if it is a healthy and acceptable thing to do. 

 

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According to a study by therapists in 2012, 45 percent of teenagers agree with the statement, “TV shows and movies send a message that doing drugs and alcohol is an ok thing to do.” This experiment clearly shows the power of popular media. 

Peer Pressure

According to University of Maryland developmental psychologist Dr. Melanie Killen, “Peer group pressure begins in elementary schools, as early as age nine. It’s what kids actually encounter there on any given day.”

Some peers influence their friends to drink alcohol and take drugs because they want companionship. Most teenagers cave into this pressure because the emotional high from doing activities which are forbidden and thrilling can be at its peak. This level of excitement and happiness can increase even further if they are in a group of people. 

 

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Lastly, some teenagers want to feel accepted. It is hard for them to say no to these kinds of things because of the fear of being outcasted. The best way to deal and counter this problem is to establish to the kids the importance of having friends who are good influences and who will keep them on the right track. 

Boredom

Yes, you read it right. Some teenagers involve themselves with these vices because they are bored. Those who are having trouble keeping themselves occupied or who cannot tolerate being alone are usually the primary candidates for substance abuse. They feel that marijuana, drugs, and alcohol can serve as their companion, will keep their mind occupied, or help fill the void and sadness that they are feeling. 

Curiosity And Ignorance

The National Council Against Drug Abuse’s Perception Survey found out that one-third of the youth do not fully understand the dangers of taking drugs and alcohol. This statistics is a red flag for parents. Do not assume that children in their adolescent years are aware of the health hazards that these substances carry. It is the role of both the parents and the school to serve as informants and layout these precautionary measures. 

Rebellion

Studies revealed that rebellious teens use substances based on their personalities and emotions. 

  • Alcohol – Alcohol is the choice of teenagers who are angry with the world. These drinks enable him or her to behave aggressively and release all of their inner emotions. 
  • Meth – Meth is for those who want to pour their disgust over something. This substance can also bring out their violent behavior, which is far worse than the dangers of alcohol. 
  • Marijuana – Marijuana is something that people try to be playful and show that they don’t care about the world. 
  • LSD and Hallucinogens – These are for people who feel misunderstood, out of place, and those who are longing to escape this cruel world. 
  • Smoking – Smoking is for teenagers who want to flaunt their independence to their parents.

Trying To Be An “Adult”

Some teenagers correlate drugs and alcohol to adulthood. They feel that once these substances are tried out, they will look cool and feel grown up. Perhaps these individuals see this kind of acceptability from his favorite movie stars and close friends. At the same time, they might also be just copying their parents if they frequently see them smoke or drink. 

Lack Of Confidence

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Many teenagers believe that alcohol and drugs are the shortcuts for building up confidence. For example, if you are tasked to dance but you’re a terrible dancer, or you have to sing a solo on a play, but you have stage fright, these substances can loosen your inhibitions.

There is no single reason why teenagers engage themselves with these substances. It can be a combination of two or more of the statements above. If you are a parent reading this, however, you have to study and specify which core issues are your child exhibiting. Pinpointing the correct one will enable you to craft the perfect strategies to steer your teenager away from these harmful things. Ultimately, only you can walk the path of recovery, but the support groups and people you have around you are a wonderful and incredibly essential tool in helping you help yourself,” said Cindy Nichols, an intervention specialist and treatment advisor.



Addicted To Extreme Dieting? Psychology Experts Say That’s Bad For You

Psychology experts are not the type of professionals that people should go to when they have fitness questions, but they cannot help but get involved in the diet of some patients. The reason is that a few mental health illnesses affect or are somehow related to the eating habits of troubled individuals. When you are depressed, for instance, you may allow days to pass without consuming foods as you may be too deep in your head to even entertain hunger. If you have anger management issues, the emotion may cause you to lose your appetite often. Of course, when there is an eating disorder, your relationship with food may be too strained. “The food you eat can have a direct effect on your energy level, physical health, and mood. A “healthy diet” is one that has enough of each essential nutrient, contains many foods from all of the basic food groups, provides the right amount of calories to maintain a healthy weight, and does not have too much fat, sugar, salt, or alcohol,” as stated by Carol A. Gooch,M.S., LPC, LCDC, LMFT.

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One problem that people do not always talk about, though, is an addiction to extreme dieting. It is not as prevalent as substance abuse; you may not even hear folks mention it a lot. However, there may be times when you meet a friend after months of not seeing him or her, and you notice an excessive drop in his or her weight. Every time you see this friend and invites him or her lunch, though, he or she often uses fasting as an excuse for not wanting to eat. Then, you may start to wonder, “Isn’t this person dieting too much?”

The Truth About Extreme Diets

Extreme dieting is a form of diet that is most popular among individuals who are looking for a shortcut to achieve their weight-loss goals. It entails that someone does everything within their power to avoid consuming too many calories every day. This person tends to engage in high-intensity training programs as well or stay in the gym for hours while practically fasting or depriving himself or herself of nutritious foods.

The upside of following an extreme diet is that the weight reduction takes place at an incredible rate. If you keep on working out and only eat a banana, after all, it is inevitable for you to lose weight fast. Despite that, the primary disadvantage of doing extreme dieting is that you are forcing your body to do challenging tasks without topping up its energy reserves. The more you do it, therefore, the more you’ll exhaust your system, to the extent that you may deal with fainting spells one day.

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Telltale Signs That You May Be Addicted To Extreme Dieting

Like I’ve said earlier, addiction to extreme dieting is not commonly talked about among families or circles of friends. One person may take note if the other seems to avoid overeating, but people seldom associate the issue with the condition that is as real as addiction.

Considering you are worried that you or a loved one is addicted to extreme dieting, here are some of its telltale signs.

1. Showing Inflexibility When It Comes To Food Choices

The first indication that you may be experiencing addiction towards this form of diet is that you only want to eat the same foods for a while. Say, you think that you can lose weight faster than ever if you consume grilled chicken, carrot sticks, and cup noodles throughout an entire month. Even when someone coaxes you to dine out or offers to cover your share, you decline their invitation and stick to the same options.

Showing such inflexibility is exceptionally unhealthy. For one, the said food choices can only provide certain nutrients, and more varieties can provide more vitamins and minerals. You may develop an addiction to junk foods as well because of the cup noodles, which is junk food.

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Source: flickr.com

2. Doing Detox Too Much

Juice cleanses, and water therapy have become popular recently as the liquid diet allows the body to get rid of toxins naturally. The thing is, such methods are merely recommended to be done for several days because they cannot provide all the nutrition that your system needs to function well. In case a month has already passed, and you are still drinking instead of eating your food, you should re-evaluate your choices.

3. Punishing Slipups With Overexercising

When a non-addicted woman who is supposed to be on a low-carb diet ends up finishing half of a big cheesecake, she may say, “Oh, that’s okay. I’m human; I can eat whatever I want once in a while.” She won’t berate herself over or try to get the food out of her system in any way possible.

If someone who is addicted to extreme dieting eats more than what she has set for herself, though, she may feel angry at herself. Instead of purging, this person tends to add an hour or two to her regular gym time to burn off the calories that she has consumed. It may not matter whether her arms and legs are about to give off; what’s important is that she sweats off the extra pounds that the slipup has brought. As what Joe Koelzer stated, “Don’t let over-exercise or any other behavioral addiction keep you off the path of living your purpose. Yes, you have a fire inside of you … so use it to shine.”

Final Thoughts

Dieting can result in positive things if you do it correctly. According to psychologists Lawrence Robinson, Jeanne Segal Ph.D., and Robert Segal, M.A., “Eating a healthy diet is not about strict limitations, staying unrealistically thin, or depriving yourself of the foods you love. Rather, it’s about feeling great, having more energy, improving your health, and boosting your mood.” Not only will it allow you to lose weight, but you can also feel your confidence level go up every time you shed a pound. However, if you commit to extreme dieting and get addicted to it, you may start having problems physically and mentally. So, try to look for other ways to lose weight now. Good luck!



Help For Kids With Drug-Addicted Parents

 

Source: pixabay.com

No matter how old we are, as children, we are greatly influenced by those who raise us. They don’t only include genetics through our biological parents but the habits, mannerisms, values, and behaviors that we see and learn from adults around us as well. This pattern also applies to how we consume alcohol and drugs. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, there is an estimated 25% of American children that grow up in homes where substance abuse and the accompanying depression and anxiety symptoms are prevalent. In households where there are two or more adults that abuse drugs and alcohol, kids have two times the likelihood of being addicts themselves.

These kids are more likely to show:

  • Behavioral and emotional problems
  • Poor academic performance
  • Decreased self-esteem
  • Increased risk of sexual, verbal, and physical abuse
  • Increase risk of having anxiety and depression
  • More likelihood of developing addictive behaviors once they use alcohol or drugs

On the contrary, kids can have a tremendous impact on addicted adults especially if they are given access to appropriate resources and support. When kids learn about these support systems and the way to use them to help their parents, for instance, their future can shift positively at the same time help their parents go through the recovery process.

 

Children Helping Their Addicted Parents 

In a typical parent-child relationship, it is the parent’s responsibility to care for his/her child. He provides shelter and financial and emotional support for the growing child. When the parent is addicted, however, the roles become reversed, forcing the child to assume the role of the parent, sometimes not even aware that they have already taken the role. Some obligations that children may do include helping his drunk father clean the living room after drinking and partying with his friends and getting a job to pay for some of the bills or buying groceries.

There are also responsibilities that may hinder the child from allowing him to grow like a normal individual. This include:

  • Not going to school activities because he needs to stay home and take care of his father who is feeling insecure and isolated.
  • Listening to his mom telling stories about how she was bad when she was high
  • Sleeping beside a drunk dad or mom who is currently having anxiety, phobia, or depression
  • Going into drugs or alcohol with an older guardian to be able to reach out and bond

Source: huffingtonpost.ca

In all the scenes mentioned, the child is obliged to step up to a more mature level that is too high for him normally. Addicted parents frequently disregard their children’s emotional boundaries, and this turns the child into a seasoned caregiver with insufficient social skills and no sense of identity. The Partnership for Drug-Free Kids stated that mental and emotional stress afflicts children who have to care for their parents and them as well, harming their brain development in the long term. Additionally, these children will have to find ways to fend for themselves, as their addicted parents are mentally and physically absent. They also don’t like to bring their friends to their home because they are embarrassed that their friends might see their addicted parents. Consequently, their social and personal lives are so restricted that they don’t have strong relationships with friends and significant others. When individuals experience their world as particularly threatening and unsafe, their risk of emotional distress and mental illness escalates,” says Lyn Yonack, MA, MSW, BCD-P.

 

Help Outside The Home

Kids of addicted parents or caregivers feel discouraged and hopeless, and they are hesitant to talk about their worries and concerns with other adults. Perhaps it is because they know that their parents get furious or abusive to them if they know that their child is telling someone about them. These addicted parents are also afraid that if their addiction is exposed, they might lose custody of their children.

For those more assertive children and those who have more support system, they are encouraged to seek help through these suggestions.

 

  • Tell And Adult. Think of one adult that you can trust and confide in and respect. It could be your teacher, an uncle or aunt, or a neighbor. Tell them about how you feel – whether you’re afraid, angry, frustrated – and ask help from them. Healing requires patience, understanding, safety, and validation,” according to Sharie Stines, Psy.D.

 

  • Don’t Avoid Your Friends. You may be embarrassed or scared of what might happen at home, but keep in mind that you must communicate and stay connected to your friends. Don’t get rid of them because you’ll need them in your toughest times. Keep your closest people updated with your situation.

 

  • Write Your Experiences In A Journal. It’s been proven time and time again that writing how you feel is a great way to alleviate your negative emotions and help you work through your frustrations and fears. Keeping a journal is also a means for you to remember things that happened in your life, which led you to decide to seek help. According to Steven Stosny, Ph.D. , “Journaling can have a positive effect on your behavior and well being if it makes you step back and evaluate your thoughts, emotions, and behavior.”

 

  • Remember That You’re Not To Blame. Don’t feel guilty about your addicted parent’s drug or alcohol abuse. You are not the cause of the addiction. You don’t have control over your parent or adult caregiver. You can help them by reaching out to others for help, but you alone cannot cure them.

 

Source: projectavary.org

You might be feeling overwhelmed and embarrassed and afraid, but stop yourself. Instead, think of your rights as a child or a teenager and say them to yourself: I have the right to seek help. I have the right to voice out. I have the right to want to be safe. I have the right to be loved.

 

 




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