Why YOU’RE the problem

Posted on September 4, 2014 By

Why YOU’RE the problem

As harsh as the title may sound, this isn’t so much about blaming (self) as it is about being accountable. Far too often, we turn to blaming other people or circumstances for our mistakes, problems, and failures. However, when you think about it, the one common denominator in every single of your experiences is…you. There’s a saying in the rooms, “Everywhere I go, there I am.”

So, whether it comes to your relationships, the job, or just the everyday grind, rather than seeing problems as challenges as some sort of punishment, it’s time to start looking at the role you play in each of these situations. Stop being the victim by perceiving everything as happening to you and you will realize that you are the one who can make things happen, you are the author of your own story.

After all, that’s what the 10th step is all about, amirite? Being willing – and able – to see our part in things and then taking action to make the situation ‘right,’ or desirable, as it were.

Again, this doesn’t mean to start blaming yourself. That’s still a very victim-y stance to take. By not taking everything personally and taking responsibility, accountability for your life, you are actually empowering yourself.

Let’s use an example. You’re in an intimate relationship and things are going so well. It’s really easy – and quite common – to look to your partner and see what they need to change in order to improve the dynamics of the relationship. However, by accepting that you have 100% of the power necessary to change your relationship, which requires you to take a closer look at yourself, you can make your own personal development a priority, and take specific actions to change your part in the aspects of the relationship that you don’t like.

Lisa Firestone, Ph.D.  says, “It is all too easy for people to identify issues in their partners and increasingly difficult for them to pinpoint problems in themselves. Relationships are not easy, and it is natural to worry when the initial sparks die out. As you begin to notice changes in the quality of relating, it is easy to focus blame on negative traits in the other person. But the focus needs to shift away from how to “fix” your partner towards a broader view of how to repair the relationship. The only way to change another person in relation to you is by changing yourself as well.”

Now, this is a change of pace for those of us in recovery. In fact, it’s a HUGE change. So, it’ll take time and practice. Addiction is a selfish disease that hinders us from seeing how we are hurting others and, in our active addiction, we tended to think everyone else was the problem. We were often immature, blaming others, and not willing to see our part in things.

Here’s why YOU’RE the problem and 5 steps to go about changing that.

#1. Break the patterns

Dynamics and patterns can lock firmly in place early on in all relationships, not just sexual, intimate ones. While some patterns are more obviously destructive than others, all routine patterns of interacting and relating to one another can create unpleasant feelings. Being aware and recognizing the dynamics of the relationship allows you to change them by simply not playing the other half—after all, it takes two to tango.

#2. Set Goals

One effective way to start developing healthy relationships with others and with your job/career and so on is by setting goals for how you want it to be and look. It’s important to think about the personal changes you would need to make to reach your goals—and to begin making those changes immediately.

#3. Don’t Simply React

Be aware of your knee-jerk reactions and stop yourself from having them. Work on not being reactive and lashing out – even when you’re provoked. This doesn’t mean you stop having opinions or have to agree with everything your partner, family members, boss says but, that you choose a calm, cool, and collected approach to problems.

#4. Take a Deeper Look

As much as we may love our partners, we are conditioned to project our negative self-image and unresolved pain onto them. The reason we all find relationships painful and difficult at times is because they are the perfect avenue for living out negative feelings and beliefs that we’ve carried with us since childhood. Our defenses, developed to deal with childhood pain and trauma, are not just a factor in how our relationships play out; they also influence our choices in other areas of life.

#5. Break the bond

When we become entrenched in a relationship or a job, or get bogged down with our daily routines, it’s common feel enmeshed with others and situations, finding it difficult to separate ourselves. Basically, we forget to notice where we end and someone else begins. So, with relationships again as an example, the result is a deteriorating quality of the dynamics and how we relate with one another. One problem with seeing our partners as extensions of ourselves is that it makes it much easier to be hypercritical of them in the same way we are hypercritical of ourselves.

Are your relationships suffering as a result of your substance abuse or addiction? Are you on thin ice with your boss or co-workers? It can be difficult to see just how chemicals affect our thoughts and behaviors. Addiction is a family disease that affects more than just the individual who abuses drugs. Help is available to you and your family in the form of treatment that offers a family program. Call us toll-free at 1-800-777-9588 to learn about our approach and how we can help both you and your loved ones.


How to Go to Detox without Insurance

Posted on September 3, 2014 By

How to Go to Detox without Insurance

One major aspect of medical treatment and attending a drug detox facility that holds addicts and alcoholics back from ever getting the help they need is concerns about the cost of treatment. Most insurance companies today have some level or insurance coverage for alcohol or drug detox and addiction treatment to curb that concern, but many addicts and alcoholics suffering do not have health insurance at all. Even if you don’t have health insurance, you can still get access to affordable alcohol and drug detox programs. Many detox facilities will work with you financially, and there are other kinds of programs and forms of funding out there that will assist you with getting into an alcohol and drug detox, even without insurance.

Private funding

One strategy in regards to finding a way into drug detox without insurance you might want to consider is paying for the drug detox program in cash. This can be done either in advance or over the course of the detox program period on a per-session basis, depending on what works best for you and the facility. Paying as you go offers the security of knowing that there will be no prolonged billing cycle once the drug detox process has been completed.  However, if money is an issue you may also want to consider obtaining some form of private financing in order to pay for the stay at a drug detox. This way the recovering addict will not be forced to suspend treatment before it has been completed.

Private financing

Sometimes obtaining a loan from your financial institution can be the best alternative that can help you to cover the costs of drug detox when your insurance will not cover the treatment.  Taking on an additional monthly payment is a small price to pay when compared to the benefits of a clean and sober life-style, especially when measured against the costs of using drugs on a regular basis, so drug detox is definitely the ideal way to invest in your future.

Apply for government grants

Depending upon where you live and the age of the addict or alcoholic looking for an affordable detox program, you may be eligible to apply for federal funding and grants to help pay for a drug and alcohol detox program.  Smaller communities may offer similar programs, as well as offerings on the state level. And the best part is that a grant is not the same thing as a loan so, you don’t have to pay it back.

Yard Sale

Like my mom used to say, when all else fails- throw a yard sale. If you own a camper or boat, consider placing it on the market at a fair price to offset the cost of a drug detox program. If this seems a little intense, remember that the increased ability to work and make positive career advancements can always put you in a better position to where you can buy a new boat, camper, or even car if that’s what you have to sell.

Most important during this difficult time is to find a way to pay for drug detox because your health and your ability to defeat your addiction, with the help of trained professionals and medical staff, is the most important element. Many individuals possess something of value, even if they do not realize it. By searching your jewelry box for a few pieces of old gold or hand-me-down jewels, you may find that you have enough to pay for drug and alcohol detox, or at least begin the recovery process for you or a family member.

In some cases, selling one antique might raise enough funds to pay for an entire treatment program.  Parting with an object of sentimental value can be difficult, but if you consider the positive effects that might come about from the sacrifice, the trade could be well worth it.  Is your diamond ring more important than your life or the life of your child?  When it comes to the life of a family member, no sacrifice is too great. And you have to wonder, if the addiction persists, how long before you sell that item anyway to get what you need? From the perspective of a recovering addict, no material object is worth the life that is possible in sobriety.

Drug and alcohol detox is an essential part of the path to an effective and lasting recovery, and even though most insurance providers cover drug and alcohol treatment, some addicts may not have insurance, and may think they cannot get the help they need. There are always alternatives to getting access to safe and empowering treatment if you are willing to look and take the necessary action to save your life. If you or someone you love is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, please call toll-free 1-800-777-9588 


What is Harm Reduction and Does it Work?

Posted on September 2, 2014 By

What is Harm Reduction and Does it Work?

What is Harm Reduction?

Harm reduction is both a set of general principles used to change and enforce political policies concerning the way that societies respond to drug problems and, a belief system that encompasses the specific types of intervention, such as needle and syringe programs and methadone treatment, in order to reduce risks to drug users.

Harm Reduction Principles

Harm reduction is a wide range of strategies, such as safer use, to managed use (moderation), to abstinence in order to meet drug users “where they’re at,” that address conditions of drug use as well as the use, itself. And, because harm reduction calls for specific interventions and policies to be designed to serve drug users, specific individual, and community needs, there is no universal formula for implementing harm reduction practices.

Although there is no universal set of Harm Reduction tactics, the Harm Reduction Coalition (HRC) considers the following principles central to harm reduction practice:

  • Accepts that legal and illicit drug use is part of our world and chooses to work to minimize its harmful effects rather than simply ignore or condemn them.
  • Understands that drug use is a complex, multi-faceted phenomenon that encompasses a spectrum of behaviors from severe abuse to total abstinence, and acknowledges that some ways of using drugs are clearly safer than others.
  • Establishes quality of individual and community life and well-being–not necessarily cessation of all drug use–as the criteria for successful interventions and policies.
  • Calls for the non-judgmental, non-coercive provision of services and resources to people who use drugs and the communities in which they live in order to assist them in reducing attendant harm.
  • Ensures that drug users and those with a history of drug use routinely have a real voice in the creation of programs and policies designed to serve them.
  • Affirms drugs users themselves as the primary agents of reducing the harms of their drug use, and seeks to empower users to share information and support each other in strategies which meet their actual conditions of use.
  • Recognizes that the realities of poverty, class, racism, social isolation, past trauma, sex-based discrimination and other social inequalities affect both people’s vulnerability to and capacity for effectively dealing with drug-related harm.
  • Does not attempt to minimize or ignore the real and tragic harm and danger associated with licit and illicit drug use.

What is Harm Reduction and Does it Work?

Proponents of harm reduction argue that it is a much better and more effective approach to drug use than the war on drugs has been.

As far as whether harm reduction strategies work, it depends on what you mean by ‘work.’ When it comes to reducing the spread of diseases such as HIV, then yes, harm reduction works. Having clean needle exchanges, for one, ensures that IV drug users have access to clean needles and are therefore less likely to share needles with others.

When it comes to dependence and addiction rates, harm reduction isn’t the best approach. One of the main concerns regarding this approach is that it may enable drug use and keep people ‘stuck’ in a pattern of addiction, rather than give them the tools to learn abstinence and recovery techniques – or even be aware that this is a viable option. Those who oppose harm reduction strategies argue that it can prevent addicts from reaching that level of desperation – ‘hitting a rock bottom’ – that would otherwise motivate them to get help. One of the strongest examples is the methadone clinic.

Another possible negative consequence is that harm reduction might actually encourage drug use. The rationale behind this argument is that harm reduction ‘sends the wrong message’ and undermines drug prevention efforts. By helping drug users to stay healthier than they otherwise would, avoid problems and stay alive, people who do not use drugs will think are safe and decide to start using drugs themselves.

If you are struggling with substance abuse or drug dependence or addiction, there is a viable alternative to trying to use in moderation. Recovery from addiction is possible and we can help. Call toll-free 1-800-777-9588 to speak with an Addiction Specialist directly. We are available around the clock to answer your questions.


Adderall Addiction Treatment in Seabrook Island, SC

Posted on August 29, 2014 By

Adderall Addiction Treatment in Seabrook Island, SC

Adderall is a medication created by a combination of amphetamine and dextroamphetamine. Adderall is typically used to treat the symptoms of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Adderall is also a dangerous drug that is classified as a central nervous system stimulant. This medication is frequently prescribed by a physician who will normally start a patient on a low dose, gradually increasing it if necessary.

Adderall Addiction Treatment in Seabrook Island, SC: Symptoms and Side-Effects Adderall abuse occurs when people take Adderall for reasons other than out of a medical necessity. Some people may take Adderall to help them stay up longer, for instance, or be more active and energized. With Adderall abuse, there is addiction and dependence. Adderall abuse also leads to a great deal of health issues, but there is treatment available in Seabrook Island, SC. Some of the symptoms or side effects of Adderall abuse include:

  • Nervousness
  • Restlessness
  • Paranoia
  • Hallucinations
  • Aggression
  • Shortness of breath
  • Seizures
  • Uncontrollable shaking
  • Headache
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Changes in sex drive
  • Nausea
  • Stomach pain
  • Heart Problems
  • Loss of appetite
  • Weight loss
  • Death

Adderall Addiction Treatment in Seabrook Island, SC: Teen Adderall Addiction Teen Adderall abuse is common because of stress and time management issues throughout school, especially young people in college who seek to abuse Adderall as a means to maintain study patterns. Education on the dangers of Adderall abuse and better ways to manage time, activities, homework and other school-related items, is so important because it will promote healthy methods of studying and avoid the devastating damage done to the mind and body by using the drug to ward off sleep. Adderall Addiction Treatment in Seabrook Island, SC: Getting Help If you’ve tried to quit Adderall, you know how difficult it can be. You know that the effects from it are short-lived, but the withdrawal symptoms are unbearable. It may seem like stopping Adderall is hopeless and that you’ll be imprisoned by it for the rest of your life. Adderall Addiction Treatment in Seabrook Island, SC: Withdrawal from Adderall Abuse Since you’re getting a higher potency of the drug when you snort it, you are more likely to experience stronger withdrawal effects. These effects can make it difficult to stop taking the drug, which is why many addicts find it difficult to enter into recovery. The following are some of the withdrawal effects someone who is snorting Adderall experiences.

  • Cravings
  • Agitation
  • Depression
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Psychosis
  • Anxiety
  • Restlessness

Adderall Addiction Treatment in Seabrook Island, SC: Treatment Options Adderall addiction treatment in Seabrook Island, SC knows the issue once detox is complete is not so much in getting the individual clean from Adderall addiction, but teaching them to stay clean after Adderall Addiction Treatment in Seabrook Island, SC. It is more simple to complete a detox program and get clean initially than it is to maintain that sobriety. This is why Adderall Addiction Treatment in Seabrook Island, SC focuses not so much on how not to use drugs, but actually on how to lead a more fulfilling and happy life without drugs. Adderall addiction treatment in Seabrook Island, SC can help an individual struggling with their dependence on Adderall begin the recovery process through a great multitude of therapies. For instance, Adderall addiction treatment in Seabrook Island, SC will typically offer several variations of treatment methods such as:

  • Group Therapy
  • Family Programs
  • Individual Therapy
  • Hypnotherapy
  • Post-traumatic Stress Disorder Therapy

Adderall addiction treatment in Seabrook Island, SC may also offer the added benefit of a Holistic therapy programs. Specified holistic therapies include aspects of healing that address mind, body, and spirit such as:

  • Massage Therapy
  • Vitamin Therapy
  • Acupuncture
  • Yoga
  • Exercise
  • Healthy Meds
  • Spa Days

Whatever style of treatment offered, it is important that the individual understands that using Adderall as a means to stay awake and stay active is not a sustainable source of empowerment, and that there are so many other ways to be effective, productive, and inspired that have nothing to do with dependence on a drug. Adderall addiction treatment in Seabrook Island, SC is there to teach the addict new ways to seek out that inspiration.  Adderall addiction treatment in Seabrook Island, SC is one of many options available to those who battle with this dangerous and progressive disease that can help to change the tide for an individual who sees no way out. Prescription medication abuse is far more common now than people realize, and even more deadly than most would guess. If you or someone you love is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, please call toll-free 1-800-777-9588 and get the help to make a change. 


The Downfalls of Long Term Suboxone Treatment

Posted on August 28, 2014 By

The Downfalls of Long Term Suboxone Treatment

Many people who are in recovery will admit that long term Suboxone treatment, also called Suboxone maintenance, is a hot-button issue – dividing people into two main camps: those who are for it and those who are against it. There is, however, one thing both sides agree on: Suboxone is an excellent detox aid.

Until Suboxone, whose generic drug name is buprenorphine, was developed eight years ago, most people who wanted to kick an opiate addiction to heroin or prescription painkillers had just one option: methadone, which is administered in liquid form and dispensed methadone clinics: crowded and dismal clinics, usually located in the worst parts of town (and far away) because it is a Schedule II drug.

But Suboxone, which is a Schedule II drug, was touted as the first in a new generation of addiction treatments that would change the face of recovery by removing patients from detox and rehab centers, and into doctor’s offices where they could be prescribed the drug, in pill form and thus control where and when they took it.

As someone who tried both methadone maintenance and Suboxone maintenance before finally going to treatment and seeking what I consider to be real recovery, I will share with you what I see as the downfalls of long term Suboxone treatment:

#1. Feeling blech

I needed to take daily naps, felt sick to my stomach, and had frequent headaches while on Suboxone. If I didn’t take my next dose on time, I would begin to feel withdrawal symptoms (see #3).

#2. Financially bleeds you

Suboxone is not typically covered by insurance; it’s an out-of-pocket cash business. Therefore, doctors will encourage you to stay on it, for their own benefit, rather than educate you on alternative ways to recover.

#3. Still dependent on a substance

Suboxone is part-opiate and many people will argue that being on it is not truly being in recovery from mood and mind-altering substances. And, because it contains an opiate, you will experience withdrawal if you try to quit cold turkey. Also, it has a longer half-life, making detox from it a lot longer and more difficult than kicking heroin. In fact, I went to treatment seeking help to detox from Suboxone.

#4. Not yourself

Again, being that Suboxone is part-opiate, you are still behind that hazy veil, or in a drug stupor. Also, my experiences with it were that I was moody, irritable, and impatient.

#5. Not allowing yourself to actually heal from addiction

Switching from one opiate, such as heroin, methadone, or prescription painkillers, to another, in this case Suboxone doesn’t “heal” the neurological aspect of addiction, which is characterized in part by the phenomenon of tolerance: as long as opioids are being taken, the body decreases its production of endorphins and increases the number of receptors, which in turn, creates cravings.

#6. Surviving, not thriving

Perhaps the worst repercussion of them all, when you’re on a long term Suboxone treatment – from my personal experience and from I’ve seen and heard from others who have done it or are currently doing it – you are merely getting by. In other words, surviving.

I don’t know about you but, when I was seeking recovery, if I knew I was just going to “get by” because Suboxone would give me *some* quality of life, to be honest, I’d probably still be out there using, if not dead. That simply wouldn’t be worth it to me to get clean. Today, I work a program of recovery, which means that I’m thriving in life. I have my dream job, loving and supportive friends, good relationships with my family members, and most of all, I’m not living with that horrible empty feeling that I had become so used to. Today, I’m thriving because I have a sense of inner peace and happiness.

If you are on a Suboxone maintenance or methadone maintenance and are seeking help with detox and/or rehabilitation, help is available. There are other ways to recover that won’t leave you dependent on medication. Call us toll-free 1-800-777-9588 to speak directly with an Addiction Specialist. We are available 24/7.