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Drug Addiction and Drug Treatment: You Are Not Alone

One of the most common emotions expressed by our clients and their loved ones is the feeling of isolation and loneliness. These people come to The Hills drug rehabilitation center believing that their situation is not only unique, it is desperate. The truth is that drug addiction and alcoholism are serious problems in the U.S. and elsewhere. This is both good news and bad news to those affected by an addiction. On the one hand, it may provide some relief that others are experiencing the same problems. On the other hand, society pays a very high price for these addictions. The statistics are startling. In a typical year, over 2 million emergency room visits are reported that relate to the misuse or abuse of drugs. Put another way, it is over 5,000 visits per day or approximately 200 per hour. Note that this does not include alcohol-related incidents. There is no trend toward a particular type of drug that causes these visits, but recent statistics have shown a spike in the use of heroin. Some visits are the result of multiple drug uses such as mixing heroin and meth or alcohol and a prescription or illegal drug. Surprisingly, the single largest category of drug-related visits to the ER involves prescription drugs alone, that is, there is no concurrent use of alcohol or another drug. These are the reported statistics in just one area. Consider now the millions of cases that are not reported to any government agency or treatment facility. What cannot be reported are the emotional scars caused by an addiction to drugs or alcohol. Though the addiction...

Letting Go of the Past and Staying in the Present

Letting go of the past won’t happen over-night but it is possible. It is a gradual process that can be achieved through communication and honesty with yourself and others. Remember there is a difference between letting go of the past and repressing the past memories that haunt us. Repression is highly damaging to oneself as everything bottled up keeps building until one erupts both emotionally and physically. Letting go of the past can be simply processing everything you had done when drinking or using. Uncovering the reasons why you had done them and how you can move on from it and not allow it damage your future. Staying in the present is essential in recovery. We cannot progress until we leave the past behind us. Being mindful of the future is important but don’t get stuck in the future either. Future ‘tripping’ is almost as harmful and being stuck in the past. As AA says; ‘one day at a time.’ Of course it is important to make plans for the immediate future and big changes to keep us occupied each day. We shouldn’t completely ignore the future. However when our concern for the future creates unreasonable levels of anxiety and catastrophe takes place this is when it can become harmful to recovery. Assuming the worst is not uncommon but it can eventually control you and divert your attention away from sobriety and sometimes lead to a relapse. The best method of all is just to stay concerned with each day as it comes, be aware of feeling in the present as that is what is important. True it is...

People, Places, Things- How Much do We Have to Change?

Being sober doesn’t mean that we have to abandon every relationship we have, nor does it mean we have to change all the things we like to do. It may be helpful to take a look at some of the people in our lives, the places we hang out and the activities were participating in. This doesn’t mean that we become shut ins. Recovery opens up a new world of possibilities and allows us to get back into life. If we’re honest with ourselves and serious about staying sober, we will be able to see the areas of our life which need changing. You may be going to the bar with some old friends, and while you’re not drinking, what are your motives? Do you have a justifiable reason to be there or are you just trying to catch some of that euphoria from our drinking days. Many of us do go out dancing at bars and clubs in sobriety, but if you’re there every night that may be something worth taking a look at. We don’t have to get rid of all the people in our life up until our sobriety, however, it’s probably not a good idea to hang out with someone who is a drug dealer. We have to ask ourselves if this is the type of person we want to be spending time with today? Is my sobriety at risk? In trying to form new habits and behaviors and there are often acquaintances from our past that may stifle our recovery. The “things” category can seem a little vague. This can be characterized by a...

The Family’s Role in Treating Addiction

Often addiction is talked about as a family disease; it affects not only the addicted individual, but also the people who have relationships with the addict. It becomes important for the family to recognize their role in the addiction so that they can make positive changes, offer guidance and support, and begin to heal as a family unit. Frequently healing is done through family therapy, al anon participation, and most of all, education about addiction. Based on the family dynamic there are a variety of different roles that family members assume in addictive households. In Claudia Black’s book It Will Never Happen to Me: Adult Children of Alcoholic Parents she defines in great detail the role’s that different family members take on. Although her book refers specifically to a family dynamic where the parent is the addict the roles are the same in any family struggling with addiction. There generally is the placater, the responsible one, and the one who acts out. The placater is the peacemaker who wants to keep everyone happy at the cost of his or her own happiness. The responsible one is the person who gets everything done. They may be very organized, controlling, and even productive, however, they can become unaware of their own feelings and rigid. By taking care of everyone else, they don’t learn how to care for their own emotional well-being. The acting out role is one where the person desires attention and usually gets it negatively. This person noticeably struggles as a result of the addiction. All these roles share the suffering and denial associated with having a loved one...

Solidifying Your Sobriety with Sober Living

Many of us alcoholics and addicts do not know how to function normally with or without our substances in everyday life. The process of changing our destructive lifestyles to healthy and productive ones is not easy. To come out of institutions and go back to where we came from and stay sober can be extremely difficult and sometimes impossible without support. Fortunately Sober Living is an option for those of us who are not ready to go back into the world without a support group to help us. Sober living is like a bubble that shields us from the outside world while integrating us at the same time. We get to live with people who have the same problems as we do and understand our struggle. If you’ve ever had a fish tank, you know you cannot just put a new fish directly into the tank. You have to keep the fish in its bag inside the tank while it adjusts to the temperature before you release it. Sober Living does the same thing. It gives you the support in a safe environment while helping you adjust to being sober and developing the skills and tools you need to go out into the world. In sober living you are surrounded by alcoholics and addicts like yourself who will support and help you through this process. One of the most important things of sober living is the sense of community, and knowing you are not fighting this disease alone. These people may become your friends or people who will hold you accountable for your actions. You are much less likely...