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Tag Archives: addiction

Three Tips to Overcoming Addiction in the Midst of Depression

Alcoholic 1Alcohol is often used to mask deeper emotions such as depression that people don’t wish to confront. For the person living with depression, avoiding alcohol can be particularly difficult because of the underlying emotional turmoil that fuels addiction. Entering into a joyous occasion such as a birthday celebration or holiday party can exacerbate feelings of depression and even serve as a catalyst for drinking as the affected individual struggles to understand why he or she can’t relate to others who always seem so happy.

Men and women diagnosed with depression may wonder if recovery from substance abuse disorders is even possible. The fact is there are treatments designed for those who are working through both issues. Medications can also help to regulate moods and minimize cravings.

Here are three tips for those living with both depression and dependency to ensure a successful recovery:

  • Keep away from people or situations that serve as triggers for drinking or depressive symptoms. This doesn’t mean that it’s necessary to take a rain check for every celebratory event. For these occasions, it’s important to take along an accountability partner and have a plan for the night’s agenda. For example, maybe the plan is only to stay for an hour, say hello, then exit before any drinks are served. If it’s early in the recovery process, such events may need to be avoided altogether until the person has regained some footing.
  • Reach out and build a strong support network. It’s critical to have people to talk to when feeling low or when reinforcement is needed. It helps to include other relatable individuals in this group who are also working through the same issues of depression and addiction.
  • Take ownership of the recovery process. Ultimately, no one is going to make a person get sober other than themselves. It’s important to realize that temptations will always exist, so it’s critical to learn the skill of self-control and know when to say no.

Family Guidance Center works with over 1,600 people every year to aid in their recovery. The symptoms of substance abuse and depression are manageable and treatable. The truth is, each year mental health affects about 25 percent of the adult population. Call Family Guidance Center today learn more about programs in your area.

Women: When Does Alcohol Consumption Become Problematic?

While most experts agree that having an occasional drink is nothing to worry about, some wonder how much is too much.  The answer to that question really depends on a number of factors. For most women, one drink a day isn’t considered harmful, with one drink defined by experts as no more than one 12 ounce can of beer or a five ounce tumbler of wine. Of course, some people metabolize alcohol better than others, so drinking up to two beverages a day doesn’t necessarily constitute the definition of an alcoholic.

According to addiction specialist, Nancy Jarrell of Arizona psychiatric hospital, Sierra Tucson, problematic drinking is more defined in terms of three factors – compulsion, control, and consequences. A woman whose regular routine often involves alcohol, who frequently drinks more than intended and who experiences negative outcomes from her drinking should seek professional help.

Regardless of how often a woman drinks, other signs of a problem include risky behaviors related to alcohol such as promiscuity and dangerous driving, constantly saying things that are inappropriate, passing out, or frequently waking up with a hangover. The litmus test for alcohol is really about the harmful consequences it bears on the individual’s life.

Some woman may be more predisposed to problematic drinking than others. While external factors such as a stressful work environment may come into play, favorable family attitudes toward drinking, a history of mental disorders, and being around friends who drink all can elevate a person’s risk.

Daily alcohol consumption has also been linked with an increased risk for breast cancer. Anyone from neighbors, friends, parents, and coworkers can be affected by substance abuse. Each year Family Guidance helps 1,600 members of the community with counseling and programs that are integral for lasting recovery. If you suspect someone you know is living with addiction, urge him or her to contact Family Guidance Center for an overall approach to wellness that works.

What Every Parent Should Know About Molly

12718905_sMolly – the name sounds innocent enough, almost as if it were a childhood friend. But the drug MDMA, also referred to as Ecstasy, is anything but. Targeted at young adults, Molly’s pushers take advantage of the vulnerability of young people and their desire to have fun and be free.

The problem is, nobody talks about the dark side of Molly. In fact, listening to music on the radio could easily sway someone to believe that Molly is just good, harmless fun. The likes of former childhood star, Miley Cyrus, along with Rihanna, Wiz Khalifa, and Lil’ Wayne all have songs playing in your children’s headphones about partying with Molly.

One Northwest Missouri State University student, Jay Graham, says that talk of MDMA is gaining popularity across Maryville and St. Joseph. Graham advises that clubs with their lively music and young crowds are the perfect spots to encounter Molly.

Jonathan Phillips, a former user of drugs who now works as an abuse counselor for teens says he wishes he would have known more about the drug when he was younger. According to Phillips, parents need to educate their children regarding the dangers of Molly, adding that “One out of every 100 tabs actually kills the user.”

The way Molly works is that it overloads a person’s brain with dopamine, serotonin, and norepinephrine, creating a euphoric high and sudden rush of energy. According to information from the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Molly interferes with the hypothalamus’s ability to correctly regulate body temperature, leading to excessive sweating or chills. One concern is dehydration, but another is flooding the brain with too much serotonin, which can be deadly.

If you or someone you know is living with substance abuse, Family Guidance Center can be a good source of support. With both inpatient and outpatient programs, its staff provides expert group and individual counseling to more than 1,600 individuals every year. Learn positive methods to managing substance abuse triggers, contact Family Guidance Center.


New Study Shows First Three Months are Critical in Drug Recovery

14429202_sFor the person living with addiction, there are many factors that can complicate the success of recovery. Addiction can lead to risky decision making and impulsivity that might not occur otherwise. A person living with addiction may engage in precarious sexual encounters, overspending or compulsive gambling, compulsive overeating or other behaviors that can create feelings of hopelessness or lead to depression.

Abstinence from an addictive substance is often challenged by underlying mental, emotional, and social elements. Guibin Wang of China’s National Institute on Drug Dependence located at Peking University sought to get a better understanding of the process that occurs during abstinence in the hopes of developing more effective drug treatment plans and minimizing the occurrence of relapse.

Wang studied 183 individuals receiving treatment at a particular recovery facility. He evaluated drug cravings and symptoms of depression, anxiety, and impulsivity. Participants had been sober anywhere from about a week to more than a year.

The findings indicated that the longer participants were drug-free, the lower their level of impulsivity and the better their decision making skills became. Wang also found that longer periods of abstinence were associated with fewer instances of depression and anxiety.

And though general cravings diminished over time, Wang found that the first three months were critical to the recovery process as individuals actually experienced increased cue-based cravings during this period. The implication for clinicians is to be particularly vigilant during the initial phase of recovery and take additional steps to help minimize stress and regulate emotions during those first critical months of sobriety.

For over 100 years, Family Guidance Center has been aiding individuals and their families in breaking the cycle of addiction. Family Guidance Center also has programs for adults who are working through depression and other common types of chronic mental illness. Treatment is offered on both an inpatient and outpatient basis and focuses on learning positive ways to manage substance abuse triggers. Recovery can, and does, happen. Contact Family Guidance Center for more information.


The Enduring Nature of Dependency

17642228_sWhen the news broke of Cory Monteith’s recent death, it took many people by surprise.  The Glee actor seemed to have the world in his hands – good looks, a budding career, love, and a fresh start after a stint in rehab this past April. But shortly thereafter, Monteith, just 31 was found dead in his Vancouver hotel room after consuming a toxic mix of alcohol and heroin.

Monteith’s death is a wakeup call regarding the serious nature of addiction. Addiction isn’t something that a person simply outgrows – it persists for life.

While there are ways to manage that addiction through individual and group support and treatment, without assistance the symptoms may only worsen over time. There are warning signs indicative of dependency. Red flags include 1) Flipping a switch – when a person suddenly just “isn’t themselves”, 2) struggling to hold down a job, or 3) being untruthful.

A common misconception when it comes to addiction is that affected individuals engage in substance abuse on a daily basis. This isn’t necessarily true; they may “binge” on the substance or seem to be separated from it for a brief period of time, only to return to it again.

In the event a loved one is suspected of having an issue with substance abuse, mental health experts advise confronting the individual directly and providing specific examples of concerns. Setting boundaries for what’s acceptable and what’s not are also important.

Family support and involvement are an integral part of the treatment process. When family members know their loved one’s triggers they can better help them on their road to recovery. While recovery is possible, it takes a lot of commitment, desire, and a willingness to get help. Sometimes the hardest part of recovery is coming to terms with the idea that the addiction is out of the person’s realm of control.

Family Guidance Center offers support for those living with addiction and their families through a professional and experienced Addiction Treatment Services program. While it may be easier to turn a blind eye, the best way to deal with addiction is to confront it head-on. Like other chronic illness, issues of mental health such as substance abuse or addiction can be treated and managed with ongoing professional treatment. Call today to learn more.