Monday, December 24, 2012

The Healing Process – Love After Addiction

Healing a relationship following addiction is no easy task. Difficulties will vary from couple to couple, alongside developed issues and the residual pain caused by them. Being involved in a relationship affected by addiction can be difficult to bounce back from, especially when maintaining a recovery. In this entry, we will offer tips to help you regain the trust lost.

1 – Communicate with your partner. Though it may seem cliché and redundant advice, it does not change its importance. Communication is key to ANY relationship – addiction or no. Expressing yourself alongside fears and troubles lets your partner know that you are being honest with them. As an addict, you likely know how the small things can snowball into something much bigger… Put a stop to them before they can escalate.

2 – Be honest. Keep in mind that your relationship is still fragile, and that any lie – no matter how “white” – holds the potential for irreparable damage. When attempting to heal a wounded relationship, it’s crucial that you take ownership for your infractions quickly. If your partner feels the need to check up on your whereabouts of behaviors, provide her with the ability to do so. Understand that your partner will likely require more than your word in order to trust you again.

3 – Listen! Providing your partner with an open forum to express their emotions without fear of anger or judgment will go a long way in aiding the repair process. Understand that your actions have had an affect on those who care about you most. Let them vent, scream and cry, while comforting them without argument or excuse. Nit picking can wait. If someone is willing to stand by throughout your recovery, they are owed the same attention and love they provide.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Do You Know the Dangers Of Salvia?

Salvia Divinorum, or Salvia - as it is more commonly know - is a natural herbaceous perennial plant producing white colored flowers during peak summer months. In recent years, experimental drug users and teens have utilized the leaves of the Salvia plant to achieve an altered mental state. Because the drug is still legal in the U.S. and most countries around the world, these leaves are often grown and sold in local health food stores without restriction. In this entry, we will take a closer look at this plant to help our readers gain a broader perspective of its effects and dangers.

What Does It Do?

Though commonly smoked, salvia users can chew the plant to achieve the same effect. The drug affects users differently according to body weight, body chemistry, and whether or not additional substances are involved. The effects of salvia are instant in most users, affecting the brain’s parietal lobe, limbic system and overall vestibular function.

Physical Effects

Salvinorin-A – a substance found in salvia – is known to cause psychoactive side effects. Some users may faint, pass out, or lose their ability to function until the drug has worn off. Some users report bright lights of visions; others a loss in basic motor skills.

Psychiatric Dangers

Those who have suffered or currently suffer from various forms of mental illness may experience relapse following salvia intake. The drug has been shown to trigger episodes of schizophrenia, panic attacks and borderline personality traits. Though most of these symptoms tend to subside as the drug wears off, some users place themselves at risk for more prolonged episodes.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Don’t have a stroke, K?

Is drug and alcohol abuse to blame for early life strokes? A recent study suggests so!

A stroke is a condition where an individual’s brain cells expire due to lack of oxygen. Direct causes may include artery rupture or a blood flow obstruction. Those who experience strokes may lose their ability to speak, encounter memory issues or partial paralysis.

Though many often associate strokes with the elderly, new research suggests a direct correlation between heightened stroke risk in younger people and the abuse of drugs and/or alcohol.

“Substance abuse is common in young adults experiencing a stroke,” wrote researcher Brett Kissela. With this point in mind, it is recommended that stroke sufferers aged 55 and younger be screened and potentially counseled for substance abuse issues.

Certain substances, such as methamphetamine's and cocaine have been found to heighten the risks associated of a more immediate stroke. “We know that even with vascular risk factors that are prevalent – smoking, high blood pressure… most people still don’t have a stroke until they’re older”, stated University of California neurologist Andrew Josephson. “When a young person has a stroke, it is probably much more likely that the cause of their stroke is something other than traditional risk factors.”

Though an array of factors can be attributed to heightened stroke risks, perhaps drug and alcohol abuse should be considered the most avoidable. In the grand scheme of things, there are plenty more ways to celebrate, indulgences to consume, and sensations to experience in the days, weeks, months and years to come.

Choose your vices wisely.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

When Is An Alcohol Intervention Necessary?

When it comes to addiction, it can be difficult to determine the best route when considering potential recovery options. In some cases, it may be necessary to confront the addict by way of intervention.

Interventions are orchestrated attempts by close friends and family members to get a loved one the help they require to properly address an addiction to negative and destructive behaviors. If you are considering the possibility of an intervention for a friend or relative, the guide below will provide you with some tips to help determine the best course of action.

1 – Verify the exact ailment your loved one is suffering from. Before you can properly address an issue, you must first be able to determine the exact problem. With alcoholism, you should look for the following behaviors: Daily drinking, irritability, mood swings, missed work, and strained relationships are all common points to look for.

2 – Determine whether the individual is willing to seek help on their own. An intervention should be used only as a last resort. If your loved one recognizes the issue before them and is willing to accept help, then there will be no need for an intervention. If your loved one is interested in getting help, provide them with all the support you can muster.

3 – Discuss your concerns with close friends and family members of the individual to see whether anyone else shares your viewpoint. If you find a number of other people to validate these concerns, it may be time to seriously consider an intervention.

4 – Get in touch with a professional interventionist. Intervention specialists can aid throughout the planning, organization, and implementation of an intervention. Communicate your concerns and worries to the specialist while listening to what they have to say regarding a potential coarse of action. If your specialist deems an intervention necessary, then it’s time to move forward with an intervention plan.  

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Intervention Tips & Strategies

If you have a loved one suffering from an addiction, finding them consistently under the influence can be painful. Though the idea of an intervention may seem a bit extreme to some; it is a positive way to help your loved on understand the extent of their issues while working towards a positive outcome for all involved.
Friends and Family
Make sure to include close friends and family members of the addict. Though it can be difficult to get everyone on the same page, the potential for a positive outcome will be heightened with a unified group. Participants should be supportive, loving, and compassionate throughout the process, with an end goal of getting the subject the help they require.
Professional Help
Intervention services are always a huge help to friends and family members throughout this process. A trained interventionist will be able to help organize, plan, and moderate the intervention, while serving as authoritarian, educator and mediator.
Some addicts may not realize that they even have a problem. These individuals have fallen into the routine of addiction, where their perception of normality has become skewed. This denial must be broken if the addict is to alter their behaviors and seek help. In order to break through this barrier, intervention participants must offer real life examples of how the addiction has negatively affected their lives, and the life of the addict.
Blame – Anger – Shame
Blame, anger and shame should each be avoided throughout the intervention process. Participants are encouraged to disregard these emotions and feelings during the intervention while embracing empathy, compassion, and love. The more positive friends and family members are towards the situation, the better chance there will be for a happy result.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Staging An Intervention – A How-To Guide

Planning an intervention is a wonderful means of offering help to someone who is struggling with addiction issues. When uncertainty comes into play, seeking the aid of a trained interventionist may provide you with the support and guidance you need to ensure a happy outcome. Intervention services are able to offer experience and organizational skills, while helping participants understand what to expect throughout the process.

1 – Get in touch with treatment facilities that offer services that cater to the type of help the individual requires. Different programs will often specialize in different areas As such, it’s important to locate a facility that understands and is able to provide the type of treatment needed.

2 – Communication is key. Prior to the intervention, be sure to meet with all participants, including the interventionist to discuss exactly how the event will be handled. It is important for each participant to be on the same page; acting as a unified force, rather than individually.

3 – Select a location, date and time that works for the majority of your participants. Though it can be difficult to accommodate everybody’s schedules, it’s important to understand that this process has little to do with convenience; this is life or death.

4 – Invite only those who are respected and loved by the individual struggling. This should include individuals who understand the severity of the issue at hand, and who are interested in working towards a positive outcome.

5 – Stay focused. Stay Positive. A dark, accusatory, and dreary atmosphere will do little to alter your addict’s behaviors. Going into the intervention with a helping of love, compassion, and understanding will work to break down the addict’s defenses, while working to better than chances of a positive response. Leave your blame, anger, and other baggage at the door. Understand that regardless of the addict’s decision following the intervention, that a positive and healthy change is underway for you, and everyone else involved. 

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

How To Write An Intervention Letter

An intervention letter is something written by a loved one to a person struggling with substance abuse or some other self-destructive behavior. During a drug intervention, the subject is invited to a specific and neutral location, where family and friends have come together for the express purpose of communicating their concern and love for the individual. Each participant writes out and reads aloud a letter of their own, with a request that the subject seek help.

1 – Begin your letter with an affirmation of affection or love for the individual. Write out a few line recalling happy times, specific events, and special instances that were shared in a positive manner between you and the recipient.

2 – Cite specific incidents that involve negative behaviors as exhibited by the individual when under the influence. Detail your anger, hurt, and embarrassment. If the intervention subject happens to be your spouse, you may want to include details pertaining to how these behaviors have negatively impacted the relationship and children. Avoid exaggerations, and stick to the facts, leaving little room for argument.

3 – Request that the individual accept the help being offered. Outline consequences that will take place if help is not sought. Be specific and firm: “If you don’t seek treatment today, this marriage is over.” Provide them only with consequences that you are actually able to enforce. Close your letter with a statement of affection and love, while making a final appeal for the subject to seek help.

4 – Perhaps the most important aspect of any intervention letter is honesty. Avoid accusatory language that may drive the individual inward. So long has each incident can be described in detail, there is no reason to sugar-coat the reality of the situation. 

Family Intervention – A How-To Guide

Each and every family keeps its own unique dynamic; the specifics of which are largely dependent upon the personalities of the members within. When a single member is struggling with a particularly difficult obstacle, it is crucial to rally around that person to help ensure a positive and successful outcome. In this entry, we will discuss how to properly plan and implement a family requested intervention with a healthy dose of love, care and forethought.


1 – Plan ahead. Get in touch with the individual’s close friends and family members well in advance to ensure they are able to attend the intervention. This will work to ensure that a strong and determined support system is in attendance once the intervention is unveiled.

2 – Contact a professional interventionist to organize and moderate the event. These individuals can help direct you throughout the planning process, while serving as an authoritarian figure during the actual intervention. Dealing with an intervention can be stressful enough without the burden of catering to everybody else’s concerns and questions. An interventionist will be able to ease these stresses, while asserting a dominant role outside of the family dynamic.

3 – Make certain that the individual in question will be at the designated meeting spot at the specified time. When requesting their attendance, you may be forced to be a little vague… but know that this serves only the greater good. Long story short, do not tell your loved one about the upcoming intervention!

4 – Hold the intervention. Provide each participant the opportunity to communicate their concerns with love, respect, and confidence. Avoid any blame, negativity or personal character attacks. Remember that the point of the intervention is to help, not hurt.

5 – Do your best to reach a positive outcome. Whether the individual agrees to treatment, rehab, or another serious lifestyle change, the goal should always be to leave the intervention in a better position than prior to it. 

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Addictions to Beat

Below is a list compiled of the hardest drugs to get quit:

7. Cocaine. Cocaine is an episodic-use drug. It is one moreover associated with certain lifestyles - at one time (if not now) people in the financial industry and entertainment fields - and more often younger people. Studying long-term users of cocaine, Ronald Siegel found most moderated, controlled, or quit their use over time. Patricia Erickson and Bruce Alexander surveyed the research and found that fewer than 10 percent of cocaine addicts continued their addictions for substantial periods. After cocaine use peaked in the 1980s, most middle-class users quit (although use in inner cities continued some time longer). Remarking on this phenomenon, David Musto concluded: "The question we must ask ourselves is not why people take drugs, but why do people stop." He surmised that people with fewer resources had less to counterbalance their addictions.

6. Alcohol. Alcohol is the addiction most written about, both in scientific literature and as recounted in personal memoirs. Alcoholics Anonymous members swear AA is the only way to recover; treatment experts claim alcoholism is inescapable without treatment. But epidemiological research does not find this is true. The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism in 2005 published the results of its National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions. NESARC conducted 43,000 face-to-face interviews with a sample of Americans about their lifetime alcohol and drug use. Among these, 4,422 were classifiable at some point in their lives as alcohol dependent (or alcoholic). Somewhat more than a quarter had received any kind of treatment (including in an emergency room, attending AA, etc.). Among the large majority who went untreated, fewer than a quarter drank alcoholically at the time of the interview. Most (about two-thirds) of this group continued drinking non-alcoholically.

5. Valium. In general, drugs used for pacifying purposes (which are usually depressants), taken regularly over long periods of time, are hard to quit. This holds for sedatives, sleeping pills, barbiturates, and tranquilizers. Several best-sellers have been written about the difficulty in quitting Valium (benzodiazepine tranquilizers): Barbara Gordon's I'm Dancing as Fast as I Can and Betty Ford's The Times of My Life. A prominent New York City newscaster, Jim Jensen, recounted in Peoplehow he readily quit cocaine but couldn't get off Valium: "Valium withdrawal soon plunged him into a massive depression that left him unable to eat or sleep. It took two more months in two hospitals for him to regain his mental and physical health." Ah, but Americans love these drugs, need them to survive - although in good part they have been supplanted by antidepressants.

4. Heroin. Powerful analgesics, taken regularly, are difficult for many (but not most) people to quit. After all, most of us have had intravenous supplies of narcotics in the hospital, followed by prescriptions for powerful analgesics when we went home. What is remarkable is not so much that heroin can produce serious withdrawal for some, but how variable this syndrome is and how comparable it is to other depressant and painkiller drugs and analgesics (like Vicodin and OxyContin), which are the fastest growing drugs of abuse and today are taken by the majority of illicit narcotics users and overdose victims. So much has been written about heroin withdrawal, it is mainly worth noting that when people quit the drug with little difficulty (as the major league ballplayer Ron LeFlore did when he entered prison and took up baseball) it is simply considered impermissible to describe or portray this aspect of their stories.

3. Cigarettes. In ratings by cocaine and alcohol addicts, smoking is regularly cited as the more difficult drug to quit, generally on par with or more difficult than heroin. Nonetheless, more than 40 million living Americans have quit smoking. While impressive, this still only represents about half of all of those ever addicted to cigarettes - although a higher percentage of those in higher socioeconomic groups have quit. When I speak to recovering people at addiction conferences I ask, "What is the toughest drug to quit?" By acclimation, the audience shouts out, "cigarettes" or "smoking." I then ask, "How many people in this room have been addicted to cigarettes but are now off them?" Half to two-thirds - often hundreds of people - in the room raise their hands. "Wow," I enthuse. "And how many have used any kind of therapy - medical or a support group - to quit?" Never have more than a small handful done so.

2. Potato chips. I use potato chips, of course, to stand for all kinds of alluring but fattening foods. These comfort foods, which deprive more Americans of life years than any other substance, are inextricably integrated with our own lives, and with the lives of all Americans. Although overweight is disapproved and regularly lectured against, it still doesn't have the stigma of drugs, alcohol, and cigarettes, so that hidden (and not so hidden) food addictions are more readily tolerated. That gastric bypass surgery is growing so rapidly shows that this is the substance addiction people find hardest to quit, even those for whom it causes serious, life-threatening health conditions. In fact, we will never resolve our massive food addictions in the United States, but we hope to come up with medical cures to prevent their negative effects, as if we would succeed by simply deciding to let smokers continue to smoke noncancerous cigarettes.

1. Love. Ah, love is the hardest addiction to quit. It certainly causes more murders and suicides than any other addiction. And if you think people miss smoking, consider what people are like when they break up with long-time lovers or get divorced - even when they hate their spouses! (See the response to this post, "My divorce has left me . . .") On the other hand, we read frequently about people who totally sacrificed their lives to a lover who betrayed them or otherwise destroyed their psyches, yet who still didn't quit the relationship - what is the answer, after all, when an abuse victim is asked why they simply don't leave an abusive spouse? "Because I love him, and can't live without him." I regularly counsel spouses of substance abusers about this.
Don't despair, however, no matter what your addiction is. The large majority of addicts give up every kind of addiction. So can you. That most people do it, one way or another, tells you that it lies within your power.

 To read more on this article please follow this link to psychology today

Monday, May 14, 2012

Piloting the Change

What is an intervention specialist? What part does a certified interventionist play in the process of intervening? Is a certified interventionist 100% necessary when staging an intervention?
                A certified interventionist is a medical professional who plays the lead-role during an initial intervention of a person addicted to drugs or alcohol. While an intervention can be staged without the presence of an interventionist, an interventionist’s duty is to lead the conversation and to ensure that the intervention is a successful occurrence.
                When an addicted individual is initially confronted with the possibility that his/her addiction is ruling their life, it is a dangerous time for that person. If done correctly, the intervention can become a moment of truth that saves the addict from further self-destruction; if done incorrectly, the experience could force one to spiral deeper into the problematic substance-abuse that originally sparked the intervention. Therefore, having a certified professional at the controls is the best option.
                Offering both medical and psychological benefits to the situation, an interventionist’s main duty is to let the intervention play-out between the addicted one and his/her family and friends; yet, act as counselor for problems that may arise during the process.
                The process of an intervention is an imperfect one, and a myriad of problems may surface during the course of an intervention. With the presence of an interventionist, the problems are greatly reduced, and/or dealt with safely.
                Emergencies within the process aren’t the only reason for employing an interventionist within a formal intervention; by hiring a certified professional, that individual can direct the emotions of family and friends in a positive way. Anger, hatred, loathing, regret, and sadness are emotions that may be present within the situation. When these emotions are resurrected, a volatile situation may occur. Interventionists are trained to deal with these occurrences and to safely return the intervention back to a cordial environment.
                Required to act as a referee, a doctor, a psychologist, a friend, and a leader; an interventionist is the integral pilot of the process of addict intervention.

Monday, May 7, 2012

People You Probably Didn't Know Were Addicts

1) Daniel Radcliffe | "There were a few years there when I was just so enamored with the idea of living some sort of famous person's lifestyle that really isn't suited to me," the now-22-year-old actor told GQ.

2) Alec Baldwin | "I went, 'I don't see any body else in their car with a plastic take out container filled with ice and wine. They're drinking coffee; they're drinking Diet Coke. They're not drinking wine,'" he wrote in the book, Moments of Clarity.

3) Oprah Winfrey | When the world's most powerful woman was in her 20s she had a relationship with a man who introduced her to crack cocaine. "I can't think of anything I wouldn't have done for that man," Oprah said as she spontaneously admitted her prior drug use during a 1995 episode of her show.

4) Benjamin Franklin | Benjamin Franklin battled health-issues for much of his life. When he needed relief from pain he turned to laudanum, a mixture of alcohol and opium that was used to treat just about every ailment there was in the late 18th century.

5) Pope Leo XIII | Leo, a Roman native, was a devoted drinker of the powerful Vin Mariani, a Bordeaux treated with copious coca leaves

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Take the exit as a new opportunity!

Always remember there are options, and choice in life. And with the proper support system, and motivation you will find the exit!

Monday, April 16, 2012

You Will Be Okay

Simple words that mean soo much more -
 and sometimes we just need someone to tell us we will be okay