Once a graduate always a graduate

Many times when a person graduates from rehabilitation they think that is the end of the road, that they will be clean for the rest of their life without having to put any effort in.

In fact, this type of thinking couldn’t be further from the truth; from a study conducted, it was found that around 40 percent of people that complete a rehabilitation program and achieve sobriety end up relapsing shortly after. This stat shows that there is a high chance that someone who graduated is still very susceptible to the lure of the substances they were previously using.

Why does relapse happen?

There are endless possibilities as to a particular individual’s situation and why a relapse would occur.

Firstly, a specific event could have triggered a relapse. This could range from something negative happening, experiencing something traumatic or even just a general change of circumstance. Any of these scenarios could lead someone to relapse as they feel that drugs is a way for them to get through this pain and these issues.

Even though they currently are not using the drugs, they have had an intimate history with substance abuse and therefore can easily fall back into that trap. Subconsciously they know they relied on drugs before to help them through situations, thus if something comes up again it can spark them wanting to use again in order to feel comfortable again.

Another reason relapse could happen is simply the addictiveness of the substances involved. For example, socially drinking alcohol sometimes is considered fine. However, if someone with a previous binge drinking disorder started to socially drink it could initiate the process of them relapsing.

Even though alcohol is seen as socially acceptable and it is a legal drug, it is still a drug nonetheless. Therefore, when someone wants to drink minimally, sometimes their bodies will just not allow it. They can become completely addicted again and before they know it they are back into their old habits they know all too well.

This same idea can be applied to drug users who went through a rehabilitation program, once becoming clean if they were to go back to hanging out with the same peer group then this could eventually lead to a quick relapse.  People always want to try and fit in and not be the odd one out, so if their peers are still heavily into using drugs then there is a good chance they would go back to using pretty quickly to not feel left out.

All these reasons and ways for a relapse to happen is why it is so important for drug rehabilitation graduates to be as positive as they can and keep their mind and body feeling healthy. It is and can be a continuous battle, and does not end when the program ends, the more they realize that the easier it can become for them to fend off a relapse.

Activities that can keep a relapse at bay

Staying sober after detox is the next main goal for people who have overcome a large hurdle in their life and ended their addiction for a period of time. Once they have moved on from the addiction recovery center and re-enter normal life, there are many activities that someone could enjoy to keep their mind on the positives and to keep their body healthy.

One of the main activities that a recent graduate could get involved in is exercise. There is a multitude of exercise classes that someone new to fitness exercise could get involved in. These range from spinning classes, martial arts, general body pump and boot camp classes and yoga. A lot of studies have been conducted on the benefits of excessive and the positive effects it can have on your body. It can keep your mind young and active and especially important for recent graduates is that it releases certain chemicals throughout your body that can produce feelings of happiness and positivity. These chemicals can hopefully replace the ones given to them previously by the drugs and alcohol.

One other benefit of these classes is it can bring a calmness to your mind and refocus you. This is especially true for yoga and there are so many positives that come from doing yoga.

Benefits of yoga for men range from relaxation, strengthening of the body and mind, a positive way to use time that could be used doing something else, and finally the social aspect of meeting new people.

This is also another opportunity for the ex-addict to find new social circles; hopefully, these new friends will help them become further removed from drugs.

What to do if relapse occurs

If, for any reason, a relapse is maybe in the process of occurring or it is on the horizon, do not be afraid to reach out to family and friends for help and guidance, and to also seek medical help again. There is nothing wrong if that happened, it can happen and do not feel embarrassed to have the problem revisited. 

These situations can be life or death, so saving your own life or a loved one’s life is nothing to be embarrassed about.

 

How can partying lead to heart problems?

Attending parties and binge drinking in college is a very regular occurrence for young adults these days. Across the country, campuses have had more students who are experiencing alcohol problems and alcohol related injuries than ever before. This is due to the fact that alcohol is so readily available wherever you go. It can be obtained in liquor stores, grocery stores, superstores and even the local shop on the corner of your street. This is especially true on college campuses, where students may not be mature or responsible enough to handle the effects that come with drinking. From weekly drink specials at the bars, to Greek life parties, a college campus can be an easy place to acquire and develop a drinking problem.

There was a recent national survey taken that found almost sixty percent of college students drank alcohol in the past month alone, and around two thirds of these students engaged in binge drinking during that period. It is very easy to be peer pressured into drinking; it can seem like a lot of fun at the time and new students wanting to fit in can sometimes feel obliged to do so. As there is drinking occurring almost every night on a college campus it can be hard to find yourself out of place if you start to develop a drinking habit. There will always typically be people you know going out and partying, and therefore if other people are doing it then why can’t you? No one ever thinks anything bad will happen to them, thus they drink without concern and can sometimes find themselves in a very dangerous position. Before you attend your next party, think about some of the serious short term and long term effects alcohol can have on your body.

Short-term effects on the body

When you drink alcohol, especially if you are binge drinking, there is always going to be a risk factor involved, whether it feels like it or not. After drinking a large amount of alcohol from mixed drinks or straight shots, people can experience a variety of debilitating symptoms. These include but are not limited to intense drowsiness, slurred speech, delayed motor actions, very painful headaches, vomiting, blacking out, vastly impaired hearing, vision, and judgement that can lead them to make bad decisions. Making bad decisions can heavily increase your chances of engaging in hazardous activities, such as getting behind the wheel to do drunk driving, falling victim to sexual or physical assaults, or experience any other alcohol related injuries. However that is not the only thing alcohol can do to your body. Put enough in your system and you may find yourself dealing with some serious long term health issues.

Long-term effects on the body

It’s definitely not something to take lightly when someone tells you alcohol abuse can lead to serious long term effects on a person’s mind and body. Besides severe withdrawal symptoms, they may also develop memory loss and lose concentration on tasks throughout the day. However the most dangerous effects are when it starts to increase the risk of you developing cancer in the colon, liver, throat, breast, etc., high blood pressure, and a damaged digestive system. A study about alcohol’s long term consequences also showed a link to an increased risk of heart disease and stroke, where the heart can’t effectively pump blood through the circulatory system and arteries. Drinking alcohol will make you three times more susceptible to developing heart failure, having a heart attack, or a condition of irregular heartbeat called atrial fibrillation than the average human. Definitely becomes a no brainer to drink responsibly and heed the warning of people around you.

Getting help

If you think you may have alcohol issues then it’s not too late to get your life back on the right path. Trying to lessen your consumption little by little is key when trying to stop an addiction. If you try to stop altogether, the withdrawals effects may be too great to handle. It can be helpful to see a doctor who can create an action plan for your addiction. If you or someone you know has a habit of abuse, a great place for them check out or be referred to is an alcohol and rehab center. Elevate Rehab is a rehabilitation center based in California that has professionals on hand and working around the clock giving you the time you need to cure your addiction.

How anxiety and drugs can go hand in hand

Anxiety can affect many college students, especially considering the rising pressure to find a job right after graduation. In addition, college tuition is more expensive than ever and debt can start piling up if you can’t afford to pay it off quickly. On top of this, the stress of exams and good grades can be too much for a lot of students.

Having to deal with these pressures can cause a lot of anxiety issues which young adults are not used to handling. Being away from home, having to fend for yourself and dealing with external factors such as acceptance from your peer groups can become overwhelming.

Having to deal with anxiety issues can be a tough task and some college students may turn to substance abuse to ease the stress. Alcohol or drugs may temporarily relieve the distress of a panic disorder, but ultimately these substances only intensify the symptoms of anxiety.

The different types of anxiety disorders

Anxiety can rear its head in many different forms, and it can affect the individual psychologically as well as physically. Anxiety is a diagnosable medical condition, but when doctors are trying to make such an evaluation, they try to pinpoint a certain type of anxiety disorder. In order to meet the criteria for being diagnosed with an anxiety disorder, a person must display symptoms of the condition at least most days of the week or continuously for six months or more.

The different types of anxiety disorders are:

  • Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD): This is having a sense of fear at all times no matter the situation.
  • Panic disorder: These are panic attacks that can last up to 10 minutes long. The person experiencing these attacks could feel them so intensely to the point where they may have a heart attack.
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD): This is characterized by having flashbacks or thoughts about an event that occurred in the past. These thoughts or feelings cannot be subsided even when the individual tries to subdue them
  • Social anxiety disorder (SAD): This is where a person has a fear of being in large crowds of people or even interacting with people.

If you have been diagnosed with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) it was once considered an anxiety disorder. However, it is now regarded as its own unique condition.

If you think a loved one or somebody you know has turned to substance abuse as a result of self-medicating their anxiety, you will want to be proactive in looking for a solution. Maryland Recovery helps people struggling with these disorders by devising specific treatment plans tailored to each individual.

An anxiety disorder can be tough to diagnose, especially if the person has a pre-existing history of drug or alcohol abuse. Substance abuse can mask these types of disorders, which is why a licensed professional can help correctly diagnose your friend or loved one.

The importance of treating an anxiety disorder early

Someone with an anxiety disorder is at a higher risk to turn to substance abuse in order to solve their problems. Some people may be embarrassed by their fears or even confused about them and just want numb them. Substances such as drugs and alcohol can help them escape these feelings of distress for a short period.

However, in the long term, these addictive behaviors and habits are much worse for them. There are many dangers of mixing a drug and alcohol addiction with an anxiety disorder.

If you know someone with this problem, please start looking for ways to treat it right away! It can be a fatal combination and no one wants that outcome.

The growing importance to monitor mental health in teens

From an early age, some kids are used to being rescued by their parents whenever they need help. This can leave many children reliant on their parents to solve issues for them even when they grow up.

However, as these children start to mature into young adults, mental health problems can start to appear in their lives. There are a few reasons why teens may get depressed. If this happens, a parent’s job is to transition into more of a supporting role, and this can be difficult. Sometimes, being overbearing and rushing them to get better can worsen their depression as they resist help.

On the flip side, treating it too lightheartedly and not as a case of depression can also make them feel worse about themselves. It is important that friends and family know what is going on and are well-informed on how to help in these types of situations.

How and why teens become depressed

There are a few reasons as to why a teen can become depressed. One way it can happen is developing feelings of worthlessness and inadequacy over their grades. Maybe their peers are performing better at school and this can be hard for some teens to handle.

Another reason is their social status with peers is not where they would like it to be; for example, if they feel left out of social activities it can become frustrating for many young adults.

A big reason for depression is sometimes sexual orientation and feelings of confusion. If a teen feels they are different from others or are scared to truly be themselves, it can lead to difficult and depressed emotions.

Finally, family life can definitely have major effects on how a teen feels. Sometimes this depression may result from environmental stress. There are of course other reasons, but these are some of the most common reasons that can cause depression in teens.

If you think depression is affecting someone you know, reaching out for help is always a good idea. Having a good support system in place is one of the main reasons teens can recover. Without this, it becomes a lot tougher.

Signs that they are depressed

There are some tell-tale signs that a loved one or someone you know is suffering from depression. Some signs are:

  • sad or irritable for an extended period of time.
  • losing interest in things that they used to really enjoy.
  • eating and sleeping in an unusual pattern.
  • fatigued for most of the day and showing little motivation for many activities.
  • feeling worthless and hopeless about her future, or guilty about things that aren’t their fault.

Depression is a very difficult problem to diagnose, and even tougher if you are someone close to the situation. It’s sometimes hard to view things neutrally in this case and that is why an outside professional opinion can make a big difference.

If you are struggling to diagnose their situation, then blood tests are available to see if depression is present. This can speed up the diagnosis process and get the individual suffering from depression into treatment sooner. Wasting time in these sorts of situations is the worst thing you can do as the depression just becomes deeper rooted in their lives.

Final thoughts on teen depression

Maintaining a strong support system is vital for a teen in this situation, especially if they are currently suffering from depression. As soon as you undermine their situation or the way they are feeling, it can make things a lot worse. Encouraging them and trying to push them in the right direction is the best thing you can do. Make sure to always listen to how they feel and trust the recovery process, things will get better!

Why we should steal a few minutes a day for ourselves

I have noticed that many of us in life feel like we have a set course, a purpose which needs to be fulfilled, and will only be achieved with the relentless pursuit of this goal. This is definitely a great way to achieve success in life (whatever that means to each individual).

However, sometimes this can leave you running around from one task to the next without ever getting a second to stop and fully absorb what is going on around us. Over time, this can lead to high stress and anxiety levels, which is an uncomfortable way to go through life. It can leave us on edge and always worried about what’s happening next.

If this is happening to you, it’s very hard to take a step back and see the bigger picture. For this reason, I want to give you some relaxation techniques and other options you can use to wind down after a long day, and take that time in your day to really be mindful and aware of the present and what is going on around us.

What is mindfulness?

Mindfulness can simply be described as the quality or state of being conscious or aware of something. This means that you are more in touch with your body and soul than your physical thoughts for a period of time. This can be achieved by a finding a certain mental state; to do so, you must focus one’s awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one’s feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations. This means you feel your senses strongly, smells, touches, visions and let thoughts pass through you.

There are many techniques you can use to achieve this state which we will discuss throughout this article.

How to completely relax

Whether it be after a long day at work, a tough loss for your favorite recreation team or after chaperoning the kids to an event while they bounce off the walls, we all need to take a break and have time to ourselves to reconnect with our senses and be in touch with our bodies and what they are asking for.

There are many ways we can relax; understanding your personality and discovering what you enjoy will determine which methods you should choose to incorporate into your daily routines.

One method is awareness meditation; many people really do not fully understand the benefits of ‘switching off’ a few minutes a day. It can refuel you mentally and give you an extra boost for the rest of day. It is about being conscious of all your senses and letting thoughts pass out of your head as you please, no resistance, no judgment. This can allow stress to freely pass through your body, allowing you to accept it, dismiss it and move on with your day.

Another great relaxation technique is visualization. In this mindfulness-based exercise, you will go through the details of a specific event and imagine the desired outcome. Seeing these types of visions can relax the mind and bring a positive energy to your life.

Other types of techniques could be an activity such as yoga or even listening to soothing music and just relaxing in your own way. Whatever it is, you should find something you enjoy that allows you step out of your busy day and see the bigger picture.

Activity and relaxation

It seems to be a conflicting idea that you achieve a state of mental tranquility while doing exercise. For example, playing your favorite sport can bring your mind to a state of focus which you cannot reach when doing other activities. You are in your relaxed and happy place, and even though your body is doing intense activity your mind is free and allowed to be totally in touch with your body and what it is doing. This is another reason why many choose to do yoga as a relaxation activity. It brings your body to a relaxed state with its flowing movements and ‘body opening’ poses.

Activity-based meditation is a great choice if you feel it could work for you, not only does it keep your body active but it can also build healthy relationships with others who have the same interests.

Alternative methods for mindfulness

If you have tried a few mindfulness practices but none of them are working for you, maybe you need a nudge in the right direction. There is never anything wrong with reaching out for help when it comes to achieving peacefulness in life. The modern world is so fast paced it can be very tough to slow it down and come to terms with the idea of being totally present.