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Monthly Archives: May 2014

Celebrating Recovery is an Important Part of Addiction Recovery

Overcoming addiction takes courage to face your problems and decide you will learn to handle them in a different way. It usually means making changes within yourself and even in your surroundings. That is why important mile markers on the road to addiction recovery deserve to be celebrated.

You can start small. Celebrate one full day of recovery without drugs or alcohol. Your family or yourRecovery 1 friends may give you a balloon or take you out for ice cream sundaes to mark the day, but that first day is worth noting!

There are many recovery milestones worth celebrating – one week, one month, one year, the first day back at work or school… the list goes on. It is important to take the time to acknowledge the progress you are making with the people around you. If you are hesitant, it could be that you are afraid of letting people down (including yourself) but celebrating milestones actually makes it easier to succeed on the road ahead.

Here are some ways to reward yourself and others for all the progress you’ve made so far:

  1. If you are part of a support group, be sure to attend the recovery celebration events. Groups like Alcoholics Anonymous are good about acknowledging steps along the way. Take their cue and celebrate your milestones.
  2. Reward yourself with something good for you. It could be a shopping trip, a nice dinner out, a weekend getaway or a cooking class with a friend.
  3. Celebrate your sober anniversary. Make it a big event with the people closest to you. Have cake or whatever food makes it special. This is a good chance to tell the people around you thank you for the help they give you through the year.

If you are ready to start out on this journey of recovering from addiction, contact the professionals at Family Guidance. Before you know it, you could be celebrating your very own milestones of success.

Anger and Alcohol: What is the Connection?

Anger 1For a certain number of drinkers, anger problems are just a few sips away. Why is it that alcohol makes some people aggressive rather than passive?

There are several explanations offered by experts.

1. Narrowed Judgment
When a person drinks, their ability to sort through input from several directions becomes impaired. Without alcohol most people can take several factors into account when evaluating someone else’s words or actions. However, alcohol narrows a person’s field of view so that they are less able to process
several pieces of information at once. If someone makes a mistake, the person drinking is less apt to conceptualize several explanations for that person’s error and may instead jump to the conclusion that the other person’s behavior was intentionally malicious.

2. Unrestrained Impulses
Not only can a drinker not collate multiple pieces of information, neither can they check impulsive behaviors as they normally might. Sober, the individual might feel tempted to yell at or strike another person who has offended them, but the certainty of negative consequences to follow checks
their anger. After a few drinks, that ability to pause and weigh the outcome of actions is less active.

3. Social Expectations
Studies show that not only are people who drink more aggressive, but even people who mistakenly believe they’ve been drinking behave that way. People given placebo beverages they thought were
alcoholic demonstrated a similar increase in expressed anger to those actually consuming alcohol. Part of the reason for this could be that drinkers expect to be excused for their bad behavior since they would not normally behave poorly without alcohol. In other words, there is an assumption that drinkers get a
pass for aggressive behavior.

If you or someone you know has anger problems when they drink, encourage them to seek
help
. And if the person has trouble with anger before they drink, it’s likely alcohol only compounds the problem. The staff at Family Guidance understand the connection between alcohol and anger and they can help. Contact them today.

Helping Your Adolescent in Crisis

Some think that young people who give voice to ponderings about suicide are seeking attention and would never be the ones to carry out such a desperate act – but contemplating suicide could be part of the path to following through. On the other hand, if your adolescent verbalizes his musings to you, then you’ve been given the chance to intervene and change the direction of his thoughts.

If you sense that your child is in a place of emotional crisis there are things you can do to help him open up to you.

1. Come to Grips with Your Own Adolescence
If your own youth was particularly tough and you have never made peace with it, this could be a reason thatMental Health 13 talks about youth stresses aren’t happening. Think back over your own early years and become reconciled.

2. Listen Without Judging
It can be hard to hear just how much your adolescent is hurting, but they need you to hear it. And they need to feel that you are able to sit with them in it for a time before passing judgment. Listening is powerful. If your child feels you are not really hearing and trying to understand, they will feel further isolated and the crisis worsens.

3. Make a Plan Together
After you have really listened to your child, talk about options with him. Something as simple as increased exercise can help to dispel some feelings of depression, though it is hard for a depressed person to get up and get started. Another option could be reading a book on youth and depression together. Meeting with a counselor is also an important part of the plan. The key is developing a plan together.

If your adolescent is in crisis Family Guidance has trained counselors available. They understand how to listen and can help your child discover positive options for coping with the reality of adolescent stress.

Zac Efron and Addiction: A Common Tale

Recovery 1For those who first came to know Zac Efron through his early child star performances, seeing him struggle through his early adulthood may be a dose of harsh reality. The handsome young actor enjoyed a squeaky clean image after working on films like High School Musical, Hairspray and 17 Again. Now, he is turning in adult performances in movies like the soon to be released Neighbors. But getting from youth to adult hasn’t been a smooth journey.

Efron says that it was tough when his career hit a temporary pause. He also says that Hollywood young people face many of the same struggles as any other person their age. He says that problems with over-controlling parents and a bad crowd of friends contributed to his involvement with alcohol abuse, cocaine addiction and experimentation with the club drug Molly. Many young people in America deal with that same bad combination – though perhaps without the high-profile career component.

Efron who is now 26 years old spent time last year (2013) trying to break free from the addiction cycle he’d gotten into. Like so many before him, Mr. Efron said he felt an emptiness within that he couldn’t seem to fill. That inner void separated him from all his closest relations and eventually interfered with his ability to work.
When he wasn’t able to show up for scheduled shootings on Neighbors because of substance-induced stupors it was time to ask for help. The actor entered rehab for alcohol or cocaine addiction and returned to work only to relapse soon thereafter. Following a second bout of rehab the actor has made some necessary life adjustments to ensure future sobriety.

Efron has embraced fitness, both with diet and exercise. He has separated himself from party friends from the past. Reportedly, he is a regular attendee at Alcohol Anonymous support group meetings.

The young actor seems finally headed in a better direction free from substance abuse. His story reveals the common thread that runs through so many stories of addiction. His story also shares the elements common to recovery.

If you or a young person you love is struggling with substance misuse you don’t have to stand by and watch. Contact the professionals at Family Guidance. They know the story and how to write a happier ending.

Zohydro ER the New Addiction Threat

Nearly 50 percent of drug overdose fatalities in 2010 were linked to prescription painkillers. In 2010 that meant that almost 20,000 people died from misuse of a prescription medication intended to provide short-term pain relief. While some of those deaths were completely accidental, many were the result of prescription drug addiction.

Now, in 2014, fears about addiction to prescription painkillers have not gone away. If anything they’veAddiction 6 been rekindled. That’s because the FDA has just this year given the pharmaceutical company Zogenix permission to produce a new and more powerful painkiller. The new drug is called Zohydro ER and it represents the most potent form of hydrocodone ever available.

Hydrocodone is already the most often abused painkiller in the country. Until now hydrocodone was mixed with acetaminophen (active ingredient in Tylenol) and sold under popular brand names like Vicodin and Lortab. Zohydro ER will contain no acetaminophen – it is pure hydrocodone.

The other major difference between Zohydro ER and other forms of hydrocodone has to do with how long the drug’s effects last. Current forms of hydrocodone are fast-acting and doses must be repeated every several hours. But Zohydro ER is a longer-lasting, extended release tablet which means that one pill will deliver more painkilling power.

These differences also mean that Zohydro could well pose a greater risk for addiction. The new drug is more powerful and has no built-in protections against crushing which makes it an ideal target for abusers looking for a powerful pill they can pulverize and then snort or inject. Other prescription painkillers have been reformulated to protect against this kind of abuse. Not Zohydro.

Setting aside the medical arguments about whether or not opioids like hydrocodone are even effective in treating chronic pain, plenty of people are raising their eyebrows and their voices against the FDA’s decision to release Zohydro. The addiction threat is just too great.

Meanwhile, if you or someone close to you is already struggling with an addiction to prescription drugs or any kind of drug, contact the addiction specialists at Family Guidance.