Treatment Excuses: Common Types

If you have a loved one that’s dealing with an addiction, you’ll want to encourage them to seek some help. However, when you bring this up to them, they may give you some common treatment excuses. These excuses are meant to be a way for them to get out of going and getting the help they really need…

Treatment Excuses: What To Expect

“I can quit whenever I want”

Perhaps the most common of the treatment excuses is when someone says they’re not really addicted. Instead, they claim that they can stop whenever they feel like. For some, it’s pretty obvious that they’re lying. Others, though, seem to be able to still live functional lives, which can make you second-guess yourself.

What’s important is that you can’t let yourself be fooled. An addiction is a serious thing, no matter how successful they appear to be. Rather, they’re in denial about the situation they’re in. When they go to treatment, they’ll realize the reality of what’s going on.

“It won’t work”

Other treatment excuses will try and discredit the successfulness of treatment programs. For instance, the person you’re trying to help may say that they knew someone who relapsed after they got treatment. As a result, they believe that it isn’t effective, and will instead be a waste of time.

However, situations like these don’t mean treatment is useless. Instead, they show just how hard it is to kick an addiction. In fact, many experts believe that a relapse isn’t a failure, but just a part of the recovery process. Those who return to treatment after a relapse are much more likely to keep sober than those who don’t try in the first place.

“What about my friends?”

One of the toughest treatment excuses to deal with is when someone says they’ll lose their friends or social life. Odds are, many of their friends are dealing with addictions just like they are. While this does encourage their unhealthy behavior, these friends also understand how tough it is living with an addiction.

In this case, make sure you remind them that those in the treatment center also know what that’s like. Therefore, they’ll be able to have a familiar support system even when in treatment. Knowing this can encourage them to give it a try, and in the process, make new friends who will support them getting sober.

Self-Medicating: Why It’s Dangerous

There’s a lot of reasons as to why someone may use drugs or alcohol. Perhaps one of the most common reasons is when people are self-medicating.  While they may think that they’re helping themselves, they could be doing more damage in the long run…

Self-Medicating: Potential Risks

Why self-medicate?

When someone is self-medicating, it means they’re trying to use alcohol or another drug to offset a problem they’re having. These issues can be both physical and psychological. For instance, someone could try and self-medicate to handle an injury they have. Or, they may do so in an effort to feel better when they feel depressed on anxious.

This process also tends to be “easier” for them than seeking professional help. Instead of going to a doctor or specialist, they can just buy their drink or drug of choice. For them, the faster “relief” they get makes it more advantageous in their eyes.

Possible dangers

Of course, self-medicating is certainly not a safe choice. For starters, there’s a very high risk of accidentally taking a dangerous dosage. Many people who self-medicate end up taking high amounts in order to try and “amplify” the relief. In turn, they can easily overdose and develop an addiction.

Plus, it could be that these efforts are actually making things worse. Long-term substance abuse can lead to a wide variety of health issues. Withdrawal symptoms in particular can really be hard to deal with when you can’t satisfy your cravings. Dealing with those symptoms and your previous ones at the same time can be a very hard thing to manage.

Getting help

If you worry that you’re self-medicating, there’s a few things you should reflect on. First, consider what sort of substances you’re taking, why you’re using them, and how much you’re taking. Should you realize that your usage may be an issue, then you can start to make some good changes.

In particular, you’ll want to seek some professional help. Discussing things with your doctor can help you realize what exactly is going on. They can also provide you with resources to help you get the right kind of treatment that you need.

Beauty Benefits: Sobriety and Your Appearance

Did you know there are beauty benefits associated with sobriety? You will start to notice them once you stop drinking. Alcohol can really take a toll on your skin and your appearance.

Beauty Benefits: What are the Effects?

Inflammation

Alcohol can cause skin to be inflamed. One of the beauty benefits of sobriety is a reduction of inflammation. When you are sober, you will look less puffy and bloated. Alcohol brings the blood up to the tissue, which can start to cause damage. This can result in redness, blotchiness and inflammation.

Weight

Another one for the beauty benefits of sobriety is weight loss. Alcohol is packed with calories. For example, a large glass of white wine (250ml) has approximately 190 calories. A doughnut has just about the same number of calories.  Therefore, a bottle of wine would be equal to 3 doughnuts. Likewise, a pint of beer would be one doughnut. Would you ever be willing to sit down and have 3 doughnuts at one time?

Cutting out alcohol will really cut out calories. This will help keep you from packing on unwanted pounds. This is just another benefit of getting sober.

Toxic Byproducts

First, the body metabolizes the alcohol from an enzyme in the liver. The liver releases a byproduct that is toxic to body tissues. Then, this causes the body tissues and skin to become dehydrated. This can result in premature aging of the skin, such as wrinkles. The dry skin that resulted from toxins can also lead to acne breakouts.

The way that the body processes alcohol can cause cosmetic nightmares. Ridding your body of toxic byproducts and their side-effects is yet another one of the beauty benefits that come from sobriety.

Beauty Rest

Alcohol negatively impacts your sleep. After drinking, you do not get a restful or deep sleep. Sleep is important for cellular turnover and repairing your skin. This can lead to you looking tired, with red eyes and dark circles. Your skin won’t look as refreshed or radiant either. You get a lot of beauty benefits from a good night of sleep.

Cutting back or stopping your alcohol intake will significantly impact your appearance. You will look more refreshed and radiant. You also won’t have to worry about unnecessary calories or alcohol-induced inflammation.

Recovery Apps: Useful Tools

Modern smartphones have become a part of everyday life for many people. With so many apps available, it isn’t surprising that there are some recovery apps you can use as well. These apps tend to be the most popular among those who are in the process of recovering and trying to stay sober…

Recovery Apps: Popular Picks

SoberTool

SoberTool is one of the recovery apps which aims to help people struggling to keep sober. In those early days and months, the chances of a relapse are at their highest. SoberTool aims to help people stick to their plans by keeping track of the total days you’ve been sober, as well as things like how much money you’ve saved in the process.

The app also offers support for those times of crisis where you feel you may relapse. For example, if you select an option that you’re worried about relapsing, the app will pull up helpful info and advice. Plus, the community feature makes it easy to meet people who are in the same situation as you and can offer assistance.

Sober Grid

Social media is a bit tricky when you’re in recovery. On the one hand, it lets you get in touch with people all over at nearly any time. This can be handy if you’re trying to connect with support networks. At the same time, it may also create unreasonable recovery expectations. That’s why it isn’t too surprising that some recovery apps are trying to work around this.

One of these apps is Sober Grid. This app presents itself as a “sober social media platform” for those who are recovering from addiction. The app heavily focuses on encourages people to reach out, make connections, and build a healthy support network without the risks of regular social media.

AA Big Book App

Other recovery apps look to provide you helpful info whenever you need it. This is what the AA Big Book App attempts to do. While not an official Alcoholics Anonymous app, it effectively takes the content of their Big Book and puts it all in one location on your phone.

This makes the app great for those who are beginning recovery or have been doing it for some time. It also comes with extra features like personal stories and podcasts. There’s even a built-in meeting finder, so you can find a group that’s close to your location!

Drinking Games: Not All Fun and Games

While drinking games can be fun, many people do not realize the hidden dangers they pose. It’s not uncommon for drinking games to be played at parties, especially in college. These activities may seem innocent and harmless. However, beer pong and flip cup aren’t always fun and games.

Drinking Games: The Hidden Dangers

Lack of Control

You don’t always have control of who is making your drinks while playing drinking games. In a brewery or a bar, you can see how much is poured. When others are making your drinks during a game, you likely won’t be paying attention to what is going in it. You may have no control of how much alcohol is in your drink and be unaware of how much you’re drinking. In the same way, you may know what other things someone could be dropping into your drink.

High Consumption Rates

You may not realize how much you end up drinking during a drinking game. Even if you are controlling how much alcohol is poured into your cup during the game, the competitive nature of drinking games may increase the rate or frequency of you drinking them. Before you know it, you may have finished far more alcohol than you typically would have in the same amount of time.

Behavior Changes

When drinking, your behaviour can change. Drinking games can bring out a highly competitive side of people. This could lead to others around you, or even you, acting out. By drinking responsibly, you can help reduce the chances of getting into a fight, verbal or physical, with someone around you.

Alcohol Poisoning

One risk of drinking games is alcohol poisoning. This can happen if you drink too much in too short of time. Since drinking games can increase the amount and speed of your alcohol consumption, the chances for alcohol poisoning are increased. Know your limits, watch out for your friends and have them watch out for you.

Signs and symptoms of alcohol poisoning can include vomiting, passing out, low body temperature and irregular breathing. Keep in mind that these are not the only signs that can occur, and even a coma and death can result.

The next time you’re at a party and someone suggests drinking games, play carefully and don’t go overboard. You can also be a spectator to avoid the risks of participating. If you are watching others play, make sure to keep an eye out for your friends so that they don’t end up in trouble either.

PAWS: Extended Withdrawals

When you’re getting sober, one of the toughest things to deal with are withdrawal symptoms. Still, usually these symptoms are only temporary. However, if they last longer than they should, you may be dealing with PAWS. This syndrome can make a real dent in your sober plans…

PAWS: What To Know

The basics

PAWS stands for post-acute withdrawal syndrome. The term refers to when someone is still experiencing withdrawal symptoms, despite being months or even years since they quit. In general, these symptoms tend to be more related to a person’s mood and emotions. They may also experience physical ones, like fatigue or nausea. Many people who have experienced the syndrome describe it as a “rollercoaster” of symptoms. One day they may feel fine, and then the next they feel downright awful. This will end up continuing for months and years, which quickly takes a toll on the person. Those dealing with this syndrome tend to have high rates of relapses, as they look for a way to stop it.

How it happens

What makes PAWS even more strange is that doctors still don’t know exactly what causes it. Currently, it seems that any sort of addictive substance could cause it to develop. However, there are a few types it does appear more commonly with than others. For instance, those quitting alcohol tend to have high rates of the syndrome. Some doctors think it may be due to the impact heavy drinking has on a person’s brain. It’s also does occur a lot in those who are quitting opioids, for similar reasons. Overall, though, there’s still much more research to be done.

What you can do

Due to PAWS symptoms being more emotional and psychological, most treatment involved meeting with a therapist. Having this ongoing support is key for keeping sober despite the constant struggles. A therapist will help you understand what may be going on and how to best respond. Also, they can give you some much-needed support. Your friends and family may not fully understand what you’re dealing with. Meanwhile, your therapist will be better equipped to help you and encourage you to keep going and stay sober.

Designated Driver: The Benefits

You may not know the benefits of being a designated driver, but there are many reasons why you should consider it. Since you ensure that others get home safely, being a designated driver (DD) is a very important role. Not only does it help others, you actually are helping yourself by being a DD as well….

Designated Driver: Helping Others Get Home Safely

No Hangover

If you’re not drinking, you won’t have to worry about feeling hungover the next morning. One of the benefits of being a designated driver is won’t wake up to a nagging headache or having to promise yourself “I’ll never drink again” as the nausea kicks in.  Plus, you’ll be much more ready to get up and go the next morning. No one enjoys a hangover, and that’s something that DD’s get to avoid.

Saving Money

It’s no secret that buying drinks while out at a bar can really add up. There are certainly some financial benefits to being a designated driver since you won’t have to purchase drinks. You’ll also avoid taxi or ride-share costs since you’ll be able to drive yourself home.

Help Your Friends Get Home Safe

Another one of the benefits of being a designated driver is that you help ensure that your friends get home safely. Since you’ll be driving them home sober, you’ll reduce the chance that they would get behind the wheel while drunk. You could be saving the lives of your friends or other people on the road.

You could also be keeping your friends out of trouble with the law. There are many serious consequences they could face if they were to get caught driving drunk.

No Regrets the Next Day

Have you ever woken up after a night out and realized you sent that text that you shouldn’t have? Or had to have a friend help you piece together your night? Or even checked your credit card statement to realize you made some unwise decisions due to alcohol? Oftentimes, people do things they regret while drinking, leaving them with many questions and regrets the next morning.

Waking up knowing what you did the night before is certainly one of the benefits of being a designated driver. You won’t have to worry about crazy photos of yourself floating around out there. You won’t have to worry how you acted, things you said, or who you contacted.

As the designated driver, you’ll still be able to have a fun night out with friends without the negative consequences that come along with drinking. You’ll also be able to save money plus contribute towards the safety and well-being of your friends. These are just some of the many benefits of being a designated driver.

Staying Safe at a Bar During Covid-19

With so many things changing, you may be wondering about staying safe at a bar during Covid-19. While the new coronavirus (COVID-19) is very present, the need for social interaction with your close friends is growing as well. As human beings and social creatures, it’s understandable to fill that need of seeing people. If you do decide to go out with friends, here are some suggestions to consider that may decrease the chance of catching or spreading the virus…

Staying Safe at a Bar During Covid-19: Precautions

Inside or Outside?

First, a big way of staying safe at a bar during Covid-19 is to sit outside. Enjoy the beautiful weather you may have and sit outside. Airflow seems to play a role in decreasing the spread of the virus, so being outside instead of an air-conditioned room is a less risky situation.

Masks are a Must

If you are not drinking or eating, wear a mask. Research suggests that wearing a mask can reduce the chance of you passing the virus to someone else. In the same way, it can also reduce your chance of catching it. Think of a mask as a way to add another accessory to your wardrobe! By wearing a mask, you can help keep yourself and others safe at a bar during Covid-19.

Social Distancing

Lately, we’ve all been told to stay socially distant from others. While it may not be easy to do at a table, try to keep your distance from your friends while you can. A key step in staying safe at a bar during Covid-19 is to avoid hugs or handshakes. It’s better to have the chance to see someone in person at a distance than not at all. These small sacrifices now can play a big role in getting life back to normal in the future.

Don’t Go Out if You Are Sick

If you are sick, stay home. Even if you are not showing symptoms, please stay home and wait two weeks before going out. If you at a bar sick, you’re not helping others stay safe at the bar during Covid-19. Part of being a great neighbor is caring for others. Staying home while sick is the best thing you can do for your community. Instead, you could watch some Netflix or read a book. Also, you should rest up so that when you are healthy, you can get back to the ‘new normal’ way of life. While the coronavirus has changed many things about how we live, there are things you can still do if you plan properly. By taking these precautions, you can increase the chances of staying safe at a bar during Covid-19. Be not only a responsible drinker, but a responsible citizen. Keep in mind that every state or county may have different laws about bars in your area.

Substance Abuse Misconceptions

Like with many things, there’s a lot of substance abuse misconceptions out there. Unfortunately, these misunderstandings can make it harder to understand substance abuse and its treatment. Therefore, it’s key to know what the realities are…

Substance Abuse Misconceptions: What’s The Facts?

Rates of abuse

People are more aware of how dangerous things such as opioids are now more than ever. Still, they may not fully grasp the extent of this ongoing crisis. That’s why one of the most common substance abuse misconceptions is related to just how many people struggle with this kind of addiction.

In the U.S., nearly 21 million people over the age of 12 have a substance abuse disorder. That’s nearly the same as the amount of people who have diabetes in the country! This number doesn’t even include those who struggle with binge or heavy drinking, which researchers estimate to include over 30% of those over the age of 12.

Misuse vs. abuse

Other substance abuse misconceptions are related to the supposed difference between misuse and abuse. A lot of people believe that they might mean different things. However, they actually both refer to the same kind of general addiction and improper use of drugs and alcohol.

However, according to the Surgeon General, only 10% of Americans who need treatment for their abuse actually get it each year. A large part of this is because of the stigma behind “abusing” a drug. Misuse is not as “harsh” as abuse, which is why you’ll see many places use the former instead of the latter.

Uptick in overdoses

In a lot of the news out there, it seems that rates of overdoses have been increasing. This in turn has given rise to new substance abuse misconceptions. In reality, the truth is a bit more complex than just more people overdosing on their own.

Instead, what’s been seen is that these overdoses are a side-effect of efforts to crack down on the illicit sale of prescription pills. Back in the 1990’s, doctors prescribed these pills at high rates, making them easily available. Now, authorities have been cracking down on these doctors, along with makers of “imitation” pills. While this has led to less pills being available, it’s also caused many to turn to heroin in an effort to get their high, which then leads to these overdoses.