When you are actively addicted to drugs or alcohol, part of your problem is that relying on substances became a habit. A habit is a behavior that is done regularly, usually without thinking much about it. Most habits are pretty hard to break. By abusing alcohol or drugs, you have been in the habit of running away from reality and avoiding feelings that are unpleasant. These are habits that need to be replaced with healthier choices.
Good habits are developed by reminding yourself to repeat a certain behavior until it becomes something you do daily without thinking about it. Most likely you have already developed some healthy habits such as brushing your teeth or participating in physical exercise or meditation. The actions that it takes to lead a sober life can also become something that you don’t have to think about.
Adderall is now finding its way into the hands of non-ADHD-suffering workers, who are using the ADHD drug as a “productivity-enhancer” to help them get ahead in their careers. The drug was previously known to be abused as a “study drug” by college students, but it only takes so long for those students to graduate and bring their habits to the workplace, and the attention the “study drug” phenomenon attracted undoubtedly tipped off many adult employees to its potential “benefits.” The use of quotation marks for “benefits” is no accident, though, because whether it actually improves mental performance is far from clear, and the risks Adderall abuse brings markedly outweigh any potential boosts to productivity.
Suboxone, which combines the medications buprenorphine and naloxone, is a drug used in medication assisted treatment (MAT) for drug addiction to opiates (like heroin) or opioids (like prescription painkillers). Like suboxone, methadone helps diminish withdrawal symptoms and drug cravings and is used in MAT programs to treat opioid and opiate addiction. Suboxone is somewhat different from methadone due to its key added ingredient — naloxone.
Attachment style develops in the earliest months of infancy as a bond between babies and their caregivers. The way a baby experiences being cared for becomes the foundation for how they relate to family, friends and, ultimately, romantic partners.
So it’s no surprise that a recent study says an individual’s attachment style is also reflected on social media outlets like Facebook.
“Attachment style is the way of interacting that works for us in relationships,” says Kenneth England, LMFT, primary therapist at Promises drug and alcohol rehab. “Though social media is a newer way of interacting with others, it does make sense that our attachment styles can be expressed and revealed on those platforms.”
Try tearing your eyes and ears away from the Macklemore “Drug Dealer” music video. It’s challenging, even if hip hop and rap aren’t your thing. Macklemore’s unsettling yet riveting performance as a person in the throes of withdrawal from prescription drugs is powerful. His message? I am just one citizen among many in a nation of people addicted to prescription drugs, and the problem begins with the pharmaceutical companies and prescribing doctors.
According to a recent report in The Washington Post, the rate of heroin deaths in the United States has surpassed the rate of gun deaths. Referencing data gathered by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in 2015, The Post reports that deaths involving prescription painkillers and other opioids have been surpassed by heroin overdose deaths and those involving other powerful synthetic opiates, such as fentanyl.
Heroin and other opiate-related deaths rose significantly between 2014 and 2015 — by nearly 75%. Other data gathered from 2015 shows that gun homicides that year numbered 12,979, while heroin deaths that year numbered 12,989. This is a narrow margin, but a disturbing trend.
“Moderate, Heavy Drinkers More Likely to Reach Age 85 Without Dementia,” one headline proclaims.
“People Who Drink Alcohol Every Day Less Likely to Get Dementia,” reads another.
If only it were that simple.
The news reports come in the wake of a study out of UC San Diego that says older people who drink alcohol, particularly wine, have “greater chances of remaining cognitively healthy into older age,” senior author Linda McEvoy, PhD, associate professor at the UC San Diego School of Medicine, said in a news release.
Preventing job burnout is crucial to good physical and mental health. It is also critical to recovery. Long hours at work and a “workaholic” approach to your career are the quickest ways to derail a healthy lifestyle. If you have struggled with alcoholism or a drug use disorder, job burnout can also undermine the hard work you’ve invested in overcoming your addiction and living life in recovery. To protect your health and your sobriety, you need to find and maintain a good work-life balance.
By Frank Sanchez, PhD, LMFT, Clinical Director, Promises Young Adults Program
Rehab is just the start of the recovery process from a drug or alcohol problem. It’s important to have a plan in place that can help people navigate real life when residential treatment is completed.
Recovery for the young adult population is very different than recovery for adults or adolescents.
By Christa S. Nuber
Did you know that each one of us has the potential for addiction? This doesn’t mean all of us will become addicts, but neuroscience reveals that all of us are wired for it, to some degree. All it takes is a certain environment or an unfortunate set of circumstances, and perhaps a chemical imbalance in our brains and bodies, to tip us in that direction.
This may be a hard pill to swallow for people who believe that addiction is simply the result of moral weakness, poor choices or a debauched lifestyle. The truth is a bit more complicated.
An important thing to remember about addiction is that no one chooses to become an addict. Poor choices may lead a person to first try a drink or use a drug, or even engage in a compulsive behavior. The aim is usually to find some measure of relief from pain, anxiety, fear, agitation, sorrow … any number of feelings that bring discomfort. Addiction is not the goal for anyone.
Addiction education and awareness can go a long way to improving our understanding, reducing stigma and engendering more compassion for people who struggle with alcohol and substance use disorders. Let’s take a closer look at the disease of addiction.
By Frank Sanchez, PhD, LMFT, Clinical Director, Promises Young Adults Program
Maggie knew she needed help with her drug problem and advocated to be in rehab, but she was having extreme difficulty with her family members.
There was a toxic relationship with her older sister. Her mother had severe mental health issues. Her father tried to support the family the best he could, and had to travel a great deal for work, but he also had issues with avoidance.
Since it was difficult to have a cohesive family therapy experience with all members, much of Maggie’s focus in recovery was doing the work of healing on her own.
And she did well.
She succeeded through all phases of residential treatment, and she had a hopeful attitude backed up with skills she had learned. At 21, she was eager to get back to school. She felt ready when it came to the point of returning home to her parents’ house, which was in the same town as the university she attended.
If you’ve been skipping down the primrose path of life, unscathed by anxiety, depression or any other mental health issue, a new study finds you’re the unusual one.
The vast majority of people will experience a mental health struggle at least once over their lifespan, according to a study published in the Journal of Abnormal Psychology. The research suggests that those of us who have good mental health throughout our lives are the exception. The scientists hope the findings will help combat the stigma that having a mental illness is a weird thing, a sign of weakness, even shameful, as well as increase treatment and prevention efforts.
The research followed nearly 1,000 people in Dunedin, New Zealand, from age 11 to 38. The participants were assessed every few years over the nearly three decades for common mental disorders. At the study’s conclusion, only 17% of the participants had managed to reach middle age without experiencing a bout of mental illness. To provide a “check” on their findings, the scientists also interviewed “informants” (family members, best friends and partners identified by the participants) to find out whether they saw any outward signs of mental illness in the study subjects, such as, “Feels depressed, miserable, sad or unhappy,” “Has unreasonable worries or fears,” “Has alcohol problems, marijuana or other drug problems,” or “Talks about suicide.”
Moving toward sobriety is a time of harsh realizations and unavoidable lessons. To the inexperienced, quitting drinking can seem like nothing other than avoiding picking up a bottle, but in reality it requires self-searching on a level that most people would prefer to avoid. To really tackle our demons, we have to be willing to face up to some home-truths, and Fix writer Aaron Kuchta shares the lessons he learned from his experience to help others going through similar issues in a recent article. Outside of traditional treatment modalities, he identifies the essential lessons that helped him get back in control of his drinking.
What psychology is at play in the eating disorder anorexia nervosa?
A new movie called “To the Bone” starring Lily Collins seems to support the theory, somewhat tangentially, that anorexia involves a psychology of wanting to feel in control and accepted. As the anorexic starves herself, she overcomes temptation and achieves rigid control over her food intake. An anorexic who demonstrates an extreme degree of thinness is essentially initiated into a special club of other anorexics where they feel like they belong. This pro-anorexia, or “pro-ana” community is thriving online, where anorexics visit “thinspo” websites and get “thinspiration” from each other to continue their dysfunctional starvation diets.
The cost of this starvation or disordered eating in order to feel a sense of belonging or to gain a sense of control can be deadly. Let’s take a closer look at why anorexics might embark on a journey of starvation, and why helping an anorexic recover is possible, but challenging.
“I feel like I’m always making new friends or falling in love with a new guy, but then something goes really wrong in the relationship and they push me away. The people in my life are always either getting mad at me, breaking up with me or letting me down and I don’t know what is going on, or what I’m doing wrong.”
These experiences can be common among people who have an underlying personality disorder. If you have sudden mood swings and experience lots of conflict in your personal relationships, with intense ups and downs that make your life seem unmanageable, these can be hallmark signs of borderline personality disorder, or BPD.
A complex and often misunderstood mental health disorder, BPD affects roughly 1.6% of people in the United States. Even the name “borderline personality disorder” is confusing and somewhat misleading, though experts have not yet agreed upon a more appropriate term for this personality disorder.
As with many mental health disorders, BPD occurs on a spectrum where there are “low-functioning” and “high-functioning” individuals. A diagnosis can be tricky because the signs and symptoms of BPD can overlap with other disorders. It is important to consult a licensed mental health professional to help determine if you have borderline personality disorder or another condition that presents with similar symptoms.
As a preliminary measure to seeking professional help, you can take a quick borderline personality quiz and also review this checklist of signs and symptoms that can indicate BPD.