Clothing To Bring To Rehab

A Guide Of Things To Bring To Rehab

Deciding to go commit to a drug or alcohol rehabilitation program is a life-changing commitment. Addiction treatment facilities such as Granite Mountain pride themselves in taking on difficult situations head-on and helping turn people’s lives around. Going to rehab can help get your life back on track, but it can also be an intimidating undertaking. Luckily, there are resources and help available to people who need access to it the most. 

Stepping into a situation away from the comfort of your home, your friends, and your family can be daunting for anyone. It is important to know what you can and cannot take with you into your rehabilitation experience so that you can be provided with the safest and best care and the most comfortable situation. 

This checklist is designed to remove the stress from the start of your rehabilitation experience. While it may vary slightly from facility to facility, this article is a good place to start to know what things you should bring to rehab and what you shouldn’t. 

All treatment centers will allow you to bring your necessities, but the specifics will vary by location. Make sure you double-check with your chosen facility before packing something questionable. Each facility will have a “packing list” that is full of suggested and prohibited items unique to them. Here is your guide on things to rehab. 

What Most Facilities Recommend You Bring

Here is your guide of things to rehabWhile there will be differences in specifics, most rehab facilities will share some commonly suggested items. Some of the most commonly suggested things to bring are found below. 

  • A list of names, contacts, addresses, and important phone numbers: You may not have your phone so a paper list of important contacts is necessary. This could include medication information, family and friends contact info, and phone numbers for sponsors, doctors’ offices, etc.
  • Jewelry: You will be discouraged from bringing gaudy jewelry or valuables, but it is perfectly fine to bring your wedding ring or other sentimental jewelry you may be used to wearing every day. 
  • An alarm clock: Again, you may not have your phone so if you are used to using that to help you wake up, it may be important to bring a dedicated alarm clock. 
  • Prescription medications: The prescription medication you bring with you to rehab must be in the original bottles with labeling intact. Depending on the substance you are seeking treatment for, you may or may not be allowed to bring these in. Liquid medication must be unopened. All medications will be subject to scrutiny before being allowed in, as it is important to maintain a drug-free setting.
  • Money (Cash, credit card, checks): While you will probably not be making any large purchases while in treatment, it is important to bring a small amount of cash for vending machines, coffee, or other small items that may be available without leaving the facility. 
  • Insurance card and information: In addition to cash, it is important to bring your insurance information and a debit or credit card to pay for medication or other things that pop up.
  • Identification: It’s important to always have proof of identification such as a driver’s license, passport, or social security card. 
  • Calling card: Can bring a calling card for long-distance calls.
  • Notebook or journal: Research shows that writing is often therapeutic, especially in addiction treatment. Bring a notebook or journal to help record thoughts and take notes. Stamps, envelopes, and stationery can also be useful if you are interested in writing letters. 
  • Pictures of your family, friends, home, etc: Pictures or other small sentimental items can be nice if you are living at the rehab facility to decorate your personal space, as allowed. This will help you feel comforted and not alone. 
  • Reading material: To help occupy your time in a productive way, whether spiritual or self-help-related, an engaging novel can help the days go faster. It is recommended to bring paperback books rather than hardcovers.

What Clothing To Bring To Rehab

guide of things to rehabWhat clothing you bring to treatment is based on a variety of factors. Packing clothing largely depends on the physical location you are going, time of year, and expected temperature. However, most treatment facilities will have a somewhat strict dress code and it is important to double-check on what to bring before packing. While it will vary based on the things mentioned above, most of the time the following items are a good bet to be acceptable.

    • Comfortable shoes for everyday wear: It is important to have at least one pair of closed-toe shoes and probably have one pair of sandals for the shower or casual wear. 
    • Shirts or blouses: Most will be acceptable, but make sure to check with your centers’ specific list before packing tank tops, crop tops, or the like. 
    • Comfortable pants and shorts: You may be spending time both indoors and outdoors, so plan accordingly. Depending on the season, you may need more protection from the elements than simple “gym” type shorts. 
    • One or two dressier outfits: In case of special occasions like birthday celebrations, family nights, etc.
  • Undergarments and socks, as needed. 
  • Bathing suit/ cover-up: Depending on the location and season, a bathing suit might be appropriate. Some facilities have indoor pools. One-piece suits for women and simple trunks for men are usually acceptable. 
  • Clothes to sleep or lounge in Pajamas or other comfortable sleepwear. 
  • Outerwear: A coat or jacket may be necessary, depending on location/season.

While some of these may vary by situation, this is a good general starting point for what clothing to bring to your treatment center. Make sure to check the suggested list for your treatment center of choice as well as the local weather before finalizing your packing list.

Personal Hygiene And Beauty Products To Pack

Substance abuse treatment is not a fashion show and your appearance will not be under scrutiny, but you need to be comfortable and feel at home in your new surroundings. Again, make sure to check with your chosen treatment center before finalizing your packing list-but this is a good place to start for finding what should be allowed. 

It is important to note that most treatment centers will require you to bring alcohol-free products, for obvious reasons. The amount of what is needed will vary by length of stay, but it is a general rule to pack enough of something for a 30-day stay. 

  • Deodorant and perfume/cologne
  • Soap, body wash, shampoo, conditioner
  • Hairstyling products as needed
  • Toothbrush and toothpaste
  • Feminine hygiene products
  • Sunscreen lotion
  • Lotion, facewash, or similar products
  • Makeup as needed

What Not To Bring To Rehab

things to bring to rehabThe list of what may or may not be acceptable may vary by the treatment center or by type of substance being treated, but in general, there are several things you should definitely not bring to treatment. 

  1. Drugs or alcohol of ANY type. Prescription medication is allowed but will be monitored by the treatment center staff.
  2. Weapons of any kind (guns, knives, needles, etc).
  3. Pornography or adult content
  4. Food or beverages (both are provided at your treatment center)
  5. Toiletries that contain alcohol
  6. E-cigarettes or vapes that can accept any substance
  7. Candles or incense
  8. Clothing that can be triggering (profanity, political slogans, violence, etc)
  9. Electronics such as DVD players, video games, or the like

Some of the items on this list may be surprising, but there is a purpose behind each one. It is important to enter into treatment with the fewest distractions possible to give yourself the best chance to succeed. 

Some Items That May Or May Not be Allowed

The things you can or cannot bring to rehab will vary by treatment center so it is always important to check before finalizing your list. Some items that we use all the time, like our cell phones, can be useful in treatment but also may cause unwanted distractions. See the list below for things you may want to ask your specific treatment center about. 

  1. Cell phones and laptop computers: Some treatment centers do allow these, but more than likely you will only have access to them at predetermined times.
  2. Cigarettes may be allowed, in limited amounts: Some treatment centers will have them available for purchase. 
  3. Vitamins and over-the-counter medications: What is allowed must be new and unopened.
  4. Gum-if allowed it must be unopened and sealed
  5. Razors, sharps, needles, belts, shoelaces, etc: While seemingly harmless, some of these items can be used for self-harm and will be confiscated or monitored. 
  6. Comfort items, such as bedding, pillows, etc, may be allowed: Check with your facility of choice before packing. 

Granite Mountain Is Your Resource For Help 

If you or a loved one made the life-changing decision to get help, that’s the first step. Leaving home to go to treatment can be nerve-wracking and scary. At Granite Mountain, you’re not alone. To learn more about what to bring to rehab and what to expect, contact us today!

References

https://memorialhermann.org/services/specialties/parc/admissions/rehab-items

https://dualdiagnosis.org/addiction-treatment/what-to-bring/

the best foods for alcohol detox

The Best Foods For Alcohol Detox: What To Eat While In Early Recovery

The best foods for alcohol detox are those that will help the body heal. In early recovery, it is important to eat a healthy diet so as to allow your liver and other organs time to rest and recover from any damage they may have incurred during chronic drinking.

We need vitamins and minerals to make natural feel-good chemicals, GABA, in our bodies. They are also needed when the body makes energy, repairs organs, and strengthens immunity.

Certain foods are good for everyone when they are recovering from alcohol detox. The food should help you get back to a healthy balance, and it should start at the beginning of recovery.

Which Foods Provide the Best Nutrition in Addiction Recovery?

In general, anyone looking to maintain proper nutrition should focus on whole foods like fruits, vegetables, grains, beans, nuts, and low-fat meats. This is especially important for someone looking to rebuild their immune system and overall health.  

A person struggling with a substance abuse problem needs to eat well for their body and mind. Proper nutrition gives the individual much-needed energy, making them feel better mentally, physically, and emotionally. A positive mood is also affected by proper nutrition because it can positively affect an individual’s outlook on life–lessening the risk of relapse in some cases.

While it is important to pay attention to what types of foods you can and cannot eat, some foods contain a lot of good things that help your body heal. As always, if you are unsure about whether or not you will have an allergy issue with a certain food, consult with your doctor.

Fruits and Vegetables for Alcohol Detox

The best foods for alcohol detox are fruits and vegetables. The best time to eat these is in the morning because they will help clean your system out while you sleep at night. Fruits and vegetables contain a lot of fiber that helps with digestion which can make it easier on your stomach when going through withdrawal symptoms such as nausea or vomiting.

The best fruits and vegetables for alcohol detox are:

  • Raspberries
  • Grapefruit
  • Apples
  • Cucumber
  • Lettuce (only in moderation)
  • Tomatoes
  • Pears
  • Oranges
  • Bananas

One of the best ways to curb that craving for sweets is by eating fruit. If you’re trying to detox from alcohol, fruits are a great way for you to get that sweet fix without getting too hungry in between meals! 

Whole Grains for Alcohol Detox

Whole grains are also rich in fiber, but also provide a slow release of sugar into a person’s system to help prevent mood swings. They also help you feel fuller for longer and provide ongoing energy. You should strive to have at least one serving of whole grains a day.

The best whole grains for alcohol detox are:

  • Brown rice
  • Quinoa
  • Whole wheat bread and pasta.
  • Oatmeal
  • Barley

Some best grains to avoid during alcohol detox are white rice, processed cereal, and anything made with flour, or cornmeal. These options have no fiber content which can lead you to feel sluggish after meals.

Foods That are High in Vitamins and Minerals for Alcohol Detox

Prolonged alcohol consumption can lead your body to be vitamin deficient. This is especially true when it comes to vitamin B. This vitamin is especially important when it comes to a healthy functioning brain and nervous system.

But, alcoholism is also responsible for a lack of other essential vitamins such as vitamins A, D, and E. Lack of vitamin A can cause liver damage. Lack of vitamin D can cause the body to have difficulty absorbing calcium. This causes a loss of bone mass and density.

Vitamin deficiency, in turn, makes alcoholics more vulnerable to illnesses and diseases like pneumonia or tuberculosis since their immune systems are weak without the necessary vitamins for protection against these illnesses. 

Foods that are high in vitamins and minerals include:

  • Milk
  • Beef
  • Chicken
  • Lean Fish
  • Spinach
  • Broccoli
  • Orange Juice
  • Raisins and other dried fruit.

Multivitamin supplements can also help you get the required amount of vitamins and minerals you need. Look for a multivitamin (or several) that contains omega 3 fatty acids, magnesium, zinc, and of course vitamins A, B, C, D, and E.

Nutrient-Packed Liquids for Alcohol Detox

Nutrient-rich liquids like soups, stews, and smoothies make up a crucial part of the recovery process. These types of foods are an important aspect in transitioning into healthy eating habits that will last long after rehab has ended because they provide comfort while restoring gut function which was damaged by substance abuse.

The consumption of nutrient-dense fluids such as soup, stew, or juice is necessary for recovering from addiction to drugs and alcohol since these substances can put a major strain on your digestive system – this needs to be functioning properly before any solid food can enter your body. Soups (and other liquid dishes) offer some relief during detoxification when you’re still trying to get back onto firm dietary ground again; it’s also less taxing on our systems

Not only are these types of foods rich in nutrients and easy for the body to digest, but they can also be hydrating. This is important because hydration helps get drug metabolites out of the body during early recovery and can ease detox symptoms like feeling sick or lightheaded.

Healthy Snack Items for Alcohol Detox

Nuts are a great filling and healthy snack. If you have any cravings, nuts can help satisfy those wants without all the added sugar that might come from other snacks like cookies or candy bars because they’re high in protein rather than calories.

There is also some evidence to suggest that certain types of nuts may even be able to boost energy levels- so if your mood swings as it relates to hunger or blood sugar drops, keep plenty on hand!

Nuts make great fillers that can help with recovery by providing nutrients such as protein, fiber, iron, and zinc; the latter three have been shown scientifically to protect against various types of cancer when consumed regularly through food sources.

Healthy snacks include:

  • Almonds
  • Walnuts
  • Hazelnuts
  • Pistachios
  • Brazil nuts
  • Cashews
  • Peanuts
  • Pecans.

Many people find that they can’t resist the craving for something sweet. However, there are plenty of healthy snack options that will best serve your needs while in early recovery.

Cayenne Pepper for Alcohol Detox

Cayenne pepper is a natural spice that may help with alcohol detox because it contains capsaicin, which has been shown to have pain-relieving and appetite-stimulating effects. This can be helpful in early recovery when cravings are likely high.

Capsaicin stimulates the release of endorphins – compounds that provide feelings of happiness. It also helps with the withdrawal symptoms that come with quitting drinking such as nausea. Adding a dash of cayenne pepper will give you an extra boost on your journey out from under addiction.

Recipes that contain cayenne pepper

  • Vegetable soup
  • Indian Curry
  • Spicy marinades for meats
  • Chili con carne
  • Chili sauce

Electrolytes and Water for Alcohol Detox

If you are in recovery from alcohol, one of the best foods for alcohol detox includes anything with electrolytes. And of course, water is vital to any recovery plan.

Electrolytes control the balance of fluids in your body. They also regulate the acid-base balance, heart rate, and blood pressure. If you’re sweating a lot or feeling dehydrated from alcohol withdrawal symptoms, then these best foods for alcohol detox may be just what you need to recover quickly and safely!

Foods that contain lots of electrolytes and/or water:

  • Yogurt
  • Avocados
  • Watermelon
  • Beans
  • Potatoes
  • Broccoli
  • Peaches
  • Green tea

In early recovery, our bodies are trying to reconnect and reconfigure their operating systems. More times than not we’re functioning at a very low frequency of energy while our organs, cells, and transmitters find a way to start healing. Start your morning with a glass of water, and it will help you stay hydrated during the day.

Foods to Avoid While Going Through Alcohol Detox

Unfortunately, the most important foods to avoid when overcoming withdrawal symptoms are greasy, fatty food and too much sugar.

First and foremost, regular alcohol use over time destroys some of the body’s vitamin stores leading to deficiencies in vitamins B6, thiamine Folic acid as well as more. As a result, you need to eat extremely healthy with plenty of fruit vegetables, and other nutrient-rich foods in order to build up your stores again.

You want your body strong enough to fight off any potential side effects from alcohol withdrawal, such as depression, anxiety, irritability, etc…

Foods you should avoid during alcohol detox:

  • Candy bars
  • Cookies
  • Caffeine
  • Fast food
  • Fried food
  • Ice cream
  • Soda pop

Eating junk food can lead to a host of health problems, such as weight gain, high cholesterol, and blood pressure. Junk foods’ tendency to make you feel depressed or sluggish can also affect your mental state in addition to bodily organs like the heart and liver. You need foods to help aid in recovery, not make it more difficult.

Alcohol Withdrawal and Food Cravings That Commonly Occur

It’s normal for recovering alcoholics to desperately crave sugar to the point that they struggle to eat anything else. This is usually due to neurotransmitter imbalances, fluctuations in blood sugar content or just having an addictive personality.

Realistically, it’s probably a combination of all of the above, as the brain and body struggle to get over their addiction and begin to look for other sources of serotonin and other “feel good” chemicals.

Of course, these same chemicals can cause you to crave drinking again which can be a serious problem for former alcoholics for obvious reasons. These imbalances will continue to keep your system craving alcohol. 

Learn More About The Best Foods in our Alcohol Detox Program

At Granite Mountain Behavioral Health Center, we know that what you put in your body is just as crucial to your overall recovery. That’s why our chefs and nutritionists are trained to provide a well-balanced diet for recovering drug or alcohol addicts such as yourself who need the right nutrients every day.

We’ll also give you tools so that once discharged from treatment, it can be easy for you to continue eating healthy at home again with nothing more than a phone call away––just like when I was transitioning back into my life after discharge!

For more information about how much of an impact food has on addiction rehabilitation therapy here at GMBHC and get started on this journey today by contacting us now.

Alcohol-Related Dementia

What You Need to Know About Alcohol-Related Dementia: Wet Brain Disease

If you or your loved one consume large amounts of alcohol regularly you may notice signs of memory loss. The support you or your loved one needs to overcome this addiction to alcohol is available at Granite Mountain Behavioral Healthcare. Our team of dedicated, caring and trained professionals are prepared to support you in every phase of recovery.

The area of the brain that is damaged from alcohol-related dementia is the hippocampus. This part of your brain helps form new memories and store old memories. Both short and long-term memory loss can occur with alcohol-related dementia.

Alcohol-related dementia is a serious disease. If steps are taken to treat the addiction to alcohol it is possible to reverse the damage. This process that leads to sobriety requires determination and patience.

What Is Wernicke-Korsakoff Syndrome?

The two terms for Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome come from

  • Wernicke’s encephalopathy – a degenerative brain disorder of alcoholics that is due to a lack of vitamin B-1. The disorder affects the thalamus and hypothalamus sections of the brain.
  • Korsakoff syndrome – a memory disorder that stems from a lack of vitamin B-1 and the effects of alcoholism. This syndrome affects nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord and the section of the brain that controls memory.

The common terms for Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome are wet brain disease or alcohol-related dementia. This syndrome occurs in alcoholics. It is caused by two conditions in the brain that create a deficiency in vitamin B-1.

The deficiency in vitamin B-1 can occur in someone who is addicted to alcohol because of bad dietary habits. A good supply of vitamin B-1 is necessary because it is what turns food into energy. The alcohol in your system also prevents the storage and absorption of vitamin B-1.

How Does Drinking Affect the Brain?How Does Drinking Affect the Brain?

The brain is affected by alcohol in many different ways. Drinking a glass of wine with dinner or having drinks with friends on the weekends does not have a lasting impact on your brain. The problems arise from those who are not able to control their intake of alcohol and creates a pattern of alcohol abuse.

Alcoholics suffer from many health-related issues. Your brain is severely affected in many ways. Both the processing of information as well as the way information travels within your brain cells is altered.  Oxford University Press estimated that between 10 and 24 percent of brain damage and dementia cases may be related to alcohol abuse.

The stages that your body goes through when influenced by alcohol include:

  • Subliminal intoxication – Reaction time, behavior, and judgment are affected after one drink.
  • Euphoria – Dopamine – the chemical that creates pleasure – is released by your brain. You may feel relaxed during this stage, and reasoning and memory are somewhat lessened.
  • Excitement – Stage at which you are legally intoxicated. The brain’s occipital lobe, temporal lobe, and frontal lobe are affected. Blurred vision, slurred speech, and an overall lack of control are evident. Fine motor skills and reaction times slow down a great deal.
  • Confusion –  Walking and standing are compromised due to the effect on your cerebellum. This is the stage where blackouts may take place and that creates short-term memory issues. The hippocampus is the area of the brain that is being affected. 
  • Stupor – This stage sees a blood alcohol count of 0.25 and signs of alcohol poisoning are occurring. All functions of your body are impaired at this point and the possibility of someone passing out, getting injured, or even suffocating is high.
  • Coma – Your blood alcohol count is 0.35 and the risk of going into a coma is very real. Breathing, circulation, motor control, and responses are poor. Death is very possible at this stage
  • Death – A blood alcohol count of 0.45 can cause death. Your brain may not be able to control its vital functions at this stage.

Warning Signs of Alcohol-Related Dementia

The signs of alcohol-related dementia can vary from person to person. Brain structure and the length of time that excessive amounts of alcohol have been consumed can determine the severity of alcohol-related dementia. Warning signs of alcohol-related dementia include:

  • Short-term memory problems
  • Bad decision choices
  • Difficulty in solving complex problems
  • Personality changes that cannot be explained
  • Trouble with following directions
  • Finding the motivation to complete simple chores or tasks
  • Struggling to hold a conversation without struggling to “find the words”
  • Having a hard time staying focused

Does Alcohol Abuse Cause A Decline In Cognitive Activity?wet brain alcoholism

Cognitive activity is defined as “mental activity.” The cognitive activity of someone who is addicted to alcohol can be altered in many ways. The length of time that someone has been addicted to alcohol and the quantity of alcohol consumed will determine the amount of damage to a person’s cognitive activity.

A severe consequence of alcoholism is known as “alcoholic Korsakoff’s syndrome.” The signs of this syndrome indicate that a person is only able to remember new information for a few seconds, not able to solve problems, and not able to process their thoughts.

Other indications that alcohol is affecting your cognitive activity are:

  • A decrease in the amount of time it takes to process information
  • The ability to learn new things becomes difficult
  • An inability to deal with objects in a two-dimensional or three-dimensional space

The damage to the brain that occurs because of alcohol abuse can be caused by 

  • Head injuries that may occur while you are intoxicated and unable to control your body’s motor function
  • Overall toxicity of alcohol on your brain cells 
  • The biological stress of repeated intoxication and withdrawal
  • Diseases from alcohol-related damage to the brain and the brain’s blood supply

Can Drinking Be Linked to Short-Term or Long-Term Memory Loss?

In 2018 a study found that heavy drinking increased the risk of dementia by about three times. The effects of drinking alcohol can create both long and short-term memory problems. Long-term memory is “retrospective” memory, and short-term memory is “prospective” memory. 

Short-term memory loss is more prominent in alcoholics. Heavy use of alcohol causes the brain to have trouble transferring short-term memory items into long-term memories. Blackouts can occur when large amounts of alcohol are consumed. These blackouts have an effect on your short-term memory.

Long-term memory problems also occur to those who are addicted to alcohol. You may see changes to the body such as

  • Damage to nerves
  • Permanent brain damage
  • Reduced grey matter in the brain
  • Stroke

It has been discovered that the overall intelligence of someone who is addicted to alcohol is not affected by prolonged alcohol abuse. The memories that were stored in your brain before heavy alcohol use remain intact. Because of this, you are able to maintain your intelligence level even though you may be drinking excessively.

“Wet Brain” Disease Defined and Symptoms

what is wet brain disease“Wet brain” disease is a type of brain damage and is another way to describe Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome. Wet brain can occur due to alcohol abuse. It is brought on due to a lack of an important vitamin needed in the body – thiamine, also known as vitamin B-1.

Eating a balanced diet can supply the average person with enough vitamin B-1. Foods such as beef, pork, whole grains, and many vegetables provide the necessary, healthy amount. If you or a loved one is abusing alcohol they may have no concern with nourishing their body, much less making healthy food choices. This lack of nourishment is what can create a deficit in vitamin B-1.

When your body lacks vitamin B-1 neither the heart nor the brain is able to function well. One organ that is affected is the liver. Your liver stores any extra supply of vitamin B-1. Alcohol abuse will drain any of that extra supply of vitamin B-1.

There are enzymes and neurotransmitters in your brain that need vitamin B-1. When there is a lack of this vitamin, brain damage develops. This brain damage is referred to as wet brain. You are at risk of developing wet brain dementia when your intake of alcohol and the length of time heavy alcohol consumption occurs increase.

What Is the Treatment for Wet Brain?

Medical assistance is necessary for treating wet brain disease. Treatment requires medical assistance in order to increase the amount of vitamin B-1 in your body. If intervention happens quickly, there is a chance that some of the symptoms of wet brain disease can be reversed. If you do not seek treatment then the damage that occurs due to the lack of vitamin B-1 can be permanent.

Treatment options can include:

  • Injecting vitamin B-1 into the body
  • Detoxification and therapy to regain your health
  • Taking vitamin B-1 supplements
  • Making changes in diet

Alcoholism is a very dangerous and potentially deadly disease. Fortunately, it is a disease that can be treated and reversed with the help of our medical staff at Granite Mountain Behavioral Healthcare. Help is available and we are ready to take your call.

If you or your loved one is struggling with an addiction to alcohol please make that phone call today. We are ready to provide you with the care and support necessary to regain a normal, healthy life.

Resources

https://www.nm.org/healthbeat/healthy-tips/alcohol-and-the-brain

journaling in addiction recovery

The Power and Benefits Of Journaling In Addiction Recovery

Journaling is a powerful tool that allows you to express your innermost feelings and thoughts through writing. Granite Mountain Behavioral Healthcare is here to help with this process. We focus on empowering you or your loved one to believe that success is possible in your addiction recovery. Our staff will strive to help you or your loved one reach and maintain your goal of sobriety.

Writing down your thoughts and emotions can create a sense of freedom and release. Recovery journaling is an important process that can promote healing. This process allows you the freedom to express your joys, sorrows, and frustrations. There is no pressure and no judgment of what you write about.

Journaling – either on paper or digitally – can help you deal with the stress and anxiety that you may feel during addiction recovery. It is a therapeutic way to deal with emotions or events. The events may have happened in your past, or it may be current events or future events that you are concerned about.

The History of Journaling

People have kept diaries and journals for as long as there has been handwriting. Journaling for therapeutic reasons became well known in the 1960s because Dr. Ira Progoff started offering workshops and classes on the “Intensive Journal Method”. As the years went on his journaling methods became very popular.

The popularity of journaling as a form of anxiety and stress relief caused medical groups to take a closer look. Using journaling for therapeutic reasons made a lot of sense. It was found to be useful in group therapy as well as one-on-one therapy.

Today’s journaling is done in many formats. Handwritten journals are still popular, but many digital journals are used as well. Popular digital forms of journaling include blogs, Facebook, and Twitter.

How Can Journaling Benefit Me?

Writing down your thoughts, whether they are happy or sad, is beneficial and can greatly help in your addiction recovery process. Journaling has healing powers. It allows you the ability to read back through your entries to see how you have progressed in your journey. This form of self-realization and expression allows you to self-analyze your progress.

There are many benefits to writing in a journal. Some of the benefits of journaling in recovery include:

  • Stress relief
  • Lessen feelings of anxiety
  • Brings about a feeling of accomplishment
  • Provides a way to focus on goals
  • Promotes inner peace
  • Encourages emotional awareness
  • Allows you to see things from a different perspective

The Different Types of Recovery Journals

Recovery journaling may look different for you than for others. You may choose to have one single journal or have multiple journals where each has a different intention. The nice thing about journaling is that there is no “right” or “wrong” way to do it. You choose what works for you.

The various forms of journals that you may choose from are:

Diary Journal

This form of journaling is used to document daily events. You may decide to include your daily struggles and/or celebrations. You may find that writing down your thoughts about events that happen each day provides comfort and gives you focus.

Reflection Journal 

Your journal entries in a reflection journal may be brief and written at the end of each day. This is the time that you take to write down the decisions you made, and the outcome of those decisions, and how you felt. It is the hope that this form of journaling relaxes you to allow for a peaceful night’s sleep.

Gratitude Journal 

Journaling about the things that you are grateful for each day can bring about good feelings and create a positive outlook. Many gratitude journals prompt you to write down three to five things you are grateful for. This positivity will provide a hopeful feeling, and can cause you to see that a future free of drugs and alcohol is possible.

Spiritual Journal 

This form of journaling allows you to focus on your future and what you would like to become. It provides a way for you to document your spiritual journey through the recovery process. This type of journaling can happen throughout the day.

Health Journal 

This journal allows you to write down how you are physically and mentally feeling throughout the day. It provides an opportunity to look back at past entries and follow how the state of your health progresses.

Goal Journal 

Journal entries focus on short-term as well as long-term goals. This type of journaling provides a place for you to track your progress. You can look back at your entries and see what did and did not work. It is through these journal entries that you can find ways to achieve your goals.

What Are Some Prompts To Motivate You To Journal While In Recovery?

Deciding what to write about may not come easy for you. This may change as you become accustomed to writing down your feelings and emotions. Each day brings different challenges and you may need some help in starting a journal entry.

It is important to know that everyone has their unique style of journaling. Some prefer to write with ink, and some prefer a pencil. Others prefer to type their feelings out on a keyboard, or even on their phone. There is no right or wrong way to journal. The important thing is to find what works for you and do it.

When the words to start a journal entry just won’t come to mind there are many prompts to encourage you. Here are some examples:

  • Dear past me …
  • Dear present me …
  • Dear future me …
  • What makes you smile? Write down 10 things that make you smile.
  • What I wish others knew about me is …
  • My short-term goals are …
  • My long-term goals are …
  • Write a goodbye letter to someone who you want to remove from your life during your recovery process.
  • What are three things you do better than most people?
  • Write down one of your favorite memories.

Can Journaling Prevent Relapse?

Relapse is a very real and scary part of the recovery process. It is important to find outlets that can remove triggers and temptations that could cause you to relapse. Journaling can become one of those outlets.

The addiction recovery process requires you to look at yourself in a different light. Writing in a recovery journal can help you or your loved one with that process. Expressing yourself on paper or digitally inspires you to take a deeper look into what triggers may cause you to relapse.

Finding ways to prevent relapse in addiction recovery is key. Journaling allows your mind to relax and focus on events or emotions that may be bottled up. It is a form of self-care that is recommended because you are in control of what you decide to put down on paper.

Journaling can help in relieving the pressures of everyday life. These pressures create the potential for relapse. Writing down your feelings allows you to evaluate situations and handle things at your own pace.

How To Use Journaling To Maintain A Sober Life

Something as simple as finding exactly the right journal can be enough inspiration to make you want to write. It may be the cover or the color or the material that the journal is made of – whatever it takes to motivate you is fine.

It is important to remember these suggestions when journaling:

  • Entries always need to be honest. This is necessary to grow and learn. You will find that honest entries will help you be honest as a person. Your journal is a place where you can face the events and emotions in your life without the worry of being judged or reprimanded.
  • Always celebrate every victory – whether small or large – through your writing. Your accomplishments will provide the self-esteem needed to move forward on your journey to addiction recovery.
  • Find a quiet place to write down your thoughts. A calm, serene environment will allow you to dedicate your focus and energy to your entries.
  • Keep your recovery journal close at hand. You never know when the urge may strike to write something down. If your journal is available you may find that it becomes a way to process the thought, emotion, or situation that overcomes you.
  • Remember to take the time to look back at past entries. You may find a lot of therapeutic benefits in reading past thoughts. You may also be surprised at the amount of progress you have made as to the days and weeks pass. This progress will be motivation for you to maintain your life of sobriety.

Granite Mountain Behavioral Healthcare has an addiction treatment program that can transform your or your loved one’s life. We are ready to speak with you about the available options. Our staff is available to answer any questions about the services we offer. We look forward to helping you accomplish your goal of living a life free from drugs and alcohol.

 

 

SAD

Seasonal Affective Disorder: Vitamin D and Depression

Depression is one of the most common mental health conditions, but seasonal depression often goes overlooked. Many people think the symptoms of season depression are simply the “winter blues.” But, Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is much more than that. This mental condition can cause serious emotional and psychological distress if left untreated. 

SAD is treatable, but recognizing and acknowledging the problem is the first step toward recovery. You should understand what seasonal depression is, what causes it, and what treatments are available.

What Is Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)?

Seasonal Affective Disorder is characterized as a mood disorder that causes depressive symptoms during the colder and darker months of the year. People with this disorder may show the typical signs of depression in winter. Then, their symptoms fade away in the summertime.

Because the symptoms of SAD come and go throughout the year, individuals struggling with the disorder may not seek treatment. They may think that their low mood or fatigue are normal or unavoidable effects of the cold weather. Friends and family also might not notice that something is wrong because the depressive symptoms ease up as the weather improves.

However, when it goes untreated, seasonal depression can lead to several serious problems. Not only does it cause emotional pain for a significant part of the year, but it can affect your self-care, your job performance, and your relationships with loved ones.

The Link Between Vitamin D and Depression

SAD and Substance Abuse

There are several possible causes of SAD, but one of the most common factors is vitamin D. You can get vitamin D from some foods, but the seasonal main source of the vitamin is sunlight. When UV rays reach your skin, they trigger your body to synthesize vitamin D, which plays an important role in a variety of body and brain functions.

Researchers are still exploring the connection between vitamin D and depression. However, studies do show that vitamin D deficiency is correlated with mood disorders. In the winter, the shorter days and colder weather make it difficult to spend sufficient time outdoors. If you live in an area that experiences harsh winters, you may hardly get any sun exposure at all for several months of the year.

Other Causes and Risk Factors

Vitamin D isn’t the only factor involved in seasonal depression. Another possible cause is a decrease in serotonin, one of the neurotransmitters responsible for elevating your mood. Research shows that many people with SAD have higher levels of a protein that removes serotonin from the brain. Your serotonin levels may drop in the winter due to the lack of sunlight, and they may increase as the days get longer.

Melatonin, a hormone that helps regulate your sleep cycle, could play a role as well. Your body produces more melatonin in the dark, so your melatonin levels could increase in the winter. The hormone can also affect your mood, so people with SAD may feel lethargic, hopeless, or unmotivated in the winter because their melatonin levels have increased.

In addition to problems with hormones or brain chemistry, winter is simply a difficult time for many people. If you have a lot of outdoor hobbies, you may feel bored or isolated during the cold and snowy weather. The short daylight hours can make it feel like the days pass too quickly, and the lack of greenery can affect your mood.

There could be a genetic component to SAD as well. If you have a blood relative who struggles with seasonal depression or another mood disorder, you might be more likely to experience the condition.

Signs and Symptoms of SAD

Knowing the signs of seasonal depression will help you notice the disorder in yourself or a loved one. The following are the most common indicators of SAD:

  • A depressed mood that lasts for most of the day
  • Loss of interest in hobbies or activities
  • Fatigue
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Stigma: feelings of guilt, shame, or hopelessness
  • Changes in weight or appetite
  • Thoughts of suicide

The signs of seasonal depression are very similar to the signs of major depression and other depressive disorders, so the condition can be difficult to diagnose. However, identifying that there’s a problem is the first step toward getting help.

SAD and Substance Abuse

seasonal affective disorderDepression and substance use disorders often go hand-in-hand. Mood disorders can be incredibly difficult to cope with, so many people turn to drugs or alcohol as a form of self-medication. Some people with SAD use stimulants to try to boost their mood or increase their energy levels. Others use alcohol or opiates to try to block the pain of the depressive symptoms.

At first, these substances may provide short-term relief from feelings of sadness, guilt, or hopelessness. Over time, though, self-medicating can lead to addiction. Drugs and alcohol can worsen the symptoms of depression in the long run, too. This leads to a vicious cycle of self-medicating that only makes the depression and the addiction worse.

Co-occurring disorders are very common among people who struggle with substance abuse. According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, around 20 percent of Americans with an anxiety or mood disorder struggle with substance use. Additionally, about 20 percent of people with a substance use disorder are also diagnosed with an anxiety or mood disorder.

SAD can put you at risk of relapsing if you’re currently in recovery from a substance use disorder, too. If you aren’t receiving treatment for seasonal depression or don’t realize that you’re struggling with a mental health disorder, you may feel particularly vulnerable as the cold weather sets in. Without the proper coping skills for depression, you might be tempted to relapse with your substance use in search of relief from the mental health symptoms.

Treatment for Seasonal Depression

Overcoming SAD isn’t easy. However, you can manage it with a combination of professional treatment and natural remedies for seasonal depression. Although you may not be able to change the circumstances that have caused your seasonal depression, you can learn to cope with the symptoms and take control over the negative thoughts.

Counseling is one of the most popular and effective forms of treatment for SAD. Different therapists take different approaches to mental health counseling. Most focus on addressing the negative thoughts that may be impacting your mood, motivation, and overall well-being. You and your therapist can also explore the possible causes of your depression in winter and discuss coping skills that may help you get through difficult days.

Phototherapy is another treatment option for seasonal depression. This involves sitting in front of a specialized bright light for about 30 minutes per day. The light is designed to suppress your brain’s melatonin production and provide similar benefits to natural sunlight.

Certain lifestyle changes may be helpful natural remedies for seasonal depression, too. Keep in mind, though, that low energy is one of the most common symptoms of SAD. Try not to feel upset with yourself if you can’t find the motivation to dramatically change your lifestyle to combat your depression. However, activities like meditation, exercise, and art can all be great ways to lift your mood and increase your energy levels.

Medication can be an effective way to manage seasonal depression as well. Everyone responds differently to antidepressants, so you’ll have to work closely with a therapist and psychiatrist if you decide that medication is the right option for you. Your doctor’s recommendation may also vary if you’re currently in recovery from a substance use disorder. This is why it’s so important that you treat both disorders simultaneously.

Dual Diagnosis Treatment

The Link Between Vitamin D and Depression

If you have a substance use disorder and SAD, dual diagnosis treatment is the key to recovery. Both disorders may have the same underlying cause, or one may have caused the other. Dual diagnosis treatment helps you overcome both disorders and strengthen your overall mental health, reducing the risk of relapse.

When you attend a dual diagnosis treatment program, your team will take a comprehensive approach to your care. Instead of focusing solely on the substance use disorder, they’ll simultaneously address the other mental health problems that may play a role in your addiction.

An effective program will begin with a mental health evaluation. This allows your team to create an individualized treatment plan based on your unique needs. Your plan might include medical services during drug or alcohol detox, individual therapy, group therapy, and medication. You may also receive ongoing outpatient services after you leave the full-time program.

Seasonal affective disorder can take a serious toll on your quality of life. It’s especially difficult if you struggle with addiction or are working on recovering from a substance use disorder. You don’t have to manage seasonal depression on your own, though. With support from mental health professionals, you can overcome your dual diagnosis and improve your quality of life.

Granite Mountain Behavioral Healthcare offers individualized addiction treatment programs that address co-occurring disorders and promote long-term wellness. We believe in empowering our patients by helping them develop the skills they need to succeed. To learn more about our programs, contact us today.

Resources:

https://www.mhanational.org/conditions/seasonal-affective-disorder-sad

https://www.mentalhealth.gov/what-to-look-for/mood-disorders/sad

 

Alcohol has an effect on your muscles

Alcohol’s Effect On Muscles

For decades, we’ve been trying to find ways to consume alcohol without gaining the adverse alcohol effects has on your muscles. But does working out and gaining muscle mean that alcohol consumption must be eliminated? 

Many adults enjoy catching a happy hour or going out to get a drink, particularly on weekends, but alcohol and muscle recovery usually don’t mix. The workweek’s middle or end is traditionally commemorated with a happy hour that generally lasts more than only one hour. But the truth is, working adults and athletes both struggle to eliminate even casual drinking on weekends only. 

Some look for ways to balance consuming alcohol and athletics; others give into the fun that comes with partying, causing them to seek an alcohol recovery program.

How Does Alcohol Have An Effect On Your Muscles? 

Research has shown that alcohol has a major effect on your muscles. This is due to the impairment of muscle protein synthesis (MPS) by absorbing the body’s optimal nutrition. The experiment included athletes binge drinking large amounts of alcohol. Because athletes are most prone to requiring muscle but are often drinking, the studies had shown an even greater decline in MPS with a more significant amount of alcohol consumption. alcohol effects on muscles

The research provided enough data to propose educational awareness to coaches and athletes about alcohol and muscle recovery. 

Alcohol and Effects on Fat Burning

Alcohol consumption has been proven to decrease metabolism and reduce our fat-burning capability. This is partly because of how the human body reacts differently to alcohol than consuming real food. The body treats alcohol like a toxin, not a nutrient, so it’s impossible to store alcohol calories the way the body holds food calories.

Alternatively, our metabolism changes to removing toxic waste from burning stored food calories. The primary poisonous chemicals created from alcohol consumption are called acetate and acetaldehyde. 

You’ll almost immediately notice the urge to use the bathroom after consuming just two drinks. Your body is tentatively converting the unwanted byproducts as fuel to release the toxins. This slows down the natural metabolic process of fat stored being burned or adipose tissue. Research has determined that alcohol substitutes fat for fuel and supplies many daily requirement calories.

So, you’re out enjoying a few drinks, the metabolism has paused its fat-burning capabilities, and it starts to break down the booze first. This causes the food consumption calories to be stored as fat. From there, the alcohol decreases our ability to burn fat, especially around the belly area, creating the ever so popular “beer belly.” 

Long-term experiments have also reported that older women who consume alcohol moderately gained less weight than women who had eliminated alcohol. It was stated these women had consumed alcohol occasionally; and on those days, they were physically active and took in fewer calories. 

So, does this mean you can’t work out and enjoy a relaxing glass of wine before dinner? Luckily, research has shown that moderate drinking can be advantageous to our health.

Alcohol and Its Effects on Fitness

Analysis of alcohol and muscle recovery revealed that alcohol consumption can cause significant setbacks in gaining muscle and accomplishing fitness goals. Studies have shown that alcohol consumption reduces muscle protein synthesis (MPS), which reduces the possibility of gaining muscle. Alcohol and its Effects on Fitness

It has also been revealed that alcohol negatively modifies hormone levels and decreases the body’s metabolism, meaning the capability to decrease body fat becomes delayed. There’s also the problem for some who just can’t drink alcohol in moderation. 

How Much Should I Drink?

Health experts advise that women only have only one alcoholic drink per day and for men, no more than two. Simply enjoying a drink has become a reward and cheat option for completing a goal or solid workout and may turn into consuming more than two.

But not all is bad with alcohol consumption; analysis has also revealed some positive health advantages associated with consuming alcohol moderately, like increasing the good cholesterol levels (HDL), reducing stress, and insulin resistance. But overall it has been proven, the negatives of alcohol consumption exceed the positives.

It boils down to making the best-informed choice about alcohol consumption and your fitness goals regarding alcohol’s effects on muscles. 

Alcohol’s Effect on Healthy Eating 

Alcohol consumption can cause lowered inhibitions, leading to mindless eating, overeating, and consuming too many calories. Research has shown that when under the influence of alcohol, drinkers cannot stay focused on healthy eating. 

Alcohol consumption and eating bad go hand in hand, and the result is usually a lack of energy and an enlarged waistline. Studies on calorie intake and alcohol consumption showed people who enjoyed a glass of wine at lunch were consuming an additional 200 calories daily. Those extra calories over time had caused immense weight gain for most participating members. 

How many calories are in each type of drink?

  • 1.5oz liquor – 100 calories
  • 5oz wine- 100 calories
  • 12oz beer – 150 calories

Alcohol’s Effect on Hormones

There seems to be inconclusive data on alcohol’s effects on testosterone levels. Research has indicated someone would have to consume quite a lot of alcohol consistently to alter testosterone.

According to some studies, roughly nine drinks consumed for a man weighing 180lb can lower post-exercise testosterone hormone levels. Reduced testosterone in men can decrease libido, diminish muscle growth, and enhance the risk of osteoporosis.

Another study has shown that elevated alcohol consumption converts testosterone into estrogen, causing massive problems. Plants utilized to produce alcohol contain phytoestrogens, which affects the sex hormone in males. It also seems heavy drinking enhances the aromatase enzyme activity. This enzyme helps convert testosterone, the male sex hormone, into estrogen, the female sex hormone. Too much estrogen in men can cause loss of erection, sore nipples, testicular atrophy, and feminization symptoms. 

So, does this suggest that men shouldn’t consume alcohol if they want to preserve their manhood? Research states that heavy or excessive binge drinking can cause health problems, whereas drinking in moderation doesn’t negatively affect lean mass gains or male reproduction. 

Alcohol’s Effect On Muscles

An examination was conducted on the effects of alcohol consumption with MPS. Participants in the analysis were eight physically active males performing interval training and weight lifting as a portion of the testing method. They drank alcohol and whey protein instantly after their exercise and once again four hours afterward. 

The men also consumed a meal full of carbs two hours after training, with the muscle biopsies taken at rest, two & eight hours after the workout.

The results determined that alcohol levels had elevated above baseline post-exercise with both carbs and protein consumption. Muscle biopsies showed decreased measures of MPS following physical exercise. Alcohol consumed with a protein had reduced MPS by 24% and then 37% when coupled with carbs. The result revealed a partial release of MPS when alcohol was consumed with protein but still negatively diminished.

Alcohol’s Effect on Nutrition

alcohol and muscle recovery,Consuming alcohol indicates you’re drinking empty calories that have zero of the body’s nutritional value. Healthy carbohydrates will have seven calories per gram as opposed to four calories per gram. Many alcoholic beverages are blended with mixers full of dyes and sugar, producing more unhealthy calories for the body. 

Consuming alcohol has been proven to reduce nutrient absorption by reducing digestive enzymes. It can also cause damage to cells in the digestive tract that affect nutrient absorption. Without a healthy digestive system, even healthy food can become unbeneficial to the body. 

Researches have shown that excessive and binge drinking can block the body from absorbing a sufficient amount of protein and additional nutrients. Humans require adequate nutrients to perform optimal fitness exercises while building and maintaining muscle mass. 

Alcohol’s Effect On Sleep

Alcohol may give the feeling of being relaxed, but it has been proven to negatively affect and disrupt our sleep. Sleep is vital for tissue repair and recovering muscles. Without a sufficient amount of sleep, we become unable to function at maximum levels. Alcohol is a depressant substance and may help you fall asleep, but remaining asleep usually becomes an issue.

Research has revealed that alcohol consumption can disrupt our restorative or rapid eye movement (REM) rest. When going without REM rest, you could experience daytime drowsiness, exhaustion, and weak concentration.

Evidence has shown that alcohol negatively affects sleep patterns, which results in increased physical stress and fatigue. Without healthy REM sleep, strength and athletic abilities become tremendously affected. 

Implications state that modest alcohol consumption, meaning one-two drinks, will not disrupt or diminish our sleep patterns. Disrupted sleep can happen with excessive or binge drinking. It’s also highly recommended not to consume alcohol as a sleep aid to circumvent the danger of alcoholism.

Is Alcohol Worth Sacrificing Your Fitness Goals?

Implementing the standard suggested guidelines of consuming no more than one alcoholic beverage for women and two for men should not affect fitness levels and muscle growth. Boozing too much, though, is extremely unhealthy and dangerous. 

Becoming in shape and growing muscle does not imply eliminating alcohol; it only means you should continuously make healthy choices. As alcohol affects your muscles, this makes burning fat and building lean mass more challenging, and superior nutrient intake is crucial. And now that we know alcohol has zero nutrient value, consuming a drink or two occasionally and moderately seems to be possible.

You might not overwhelm yourself with optimal fitness gains, but restricting your alcohol consumption intake is crucial to avoiding alcoholism and living a healthy, happy life. 

Get Help Today

If you or a loved one is suffering from alcoholism, we can help. Here at Granite Mountain Behavioral Healthcare, we understand that treating someone with an alcohol addiction takes time and hands-on care. We now understand alcohol’s effects on muscles and other vital organs, but the real damage is when a disorder takes over a life. 

Do not hesitate any longer; contact us today and allow our team of specialists to help get you back on track to a healthy, happy lifestyle!

trauma informed care

What is Trauma-Informed Care?

There are many reasons why a person may fall into addiction and all its effects. While some people may ignore the reasons – this is an important part of the treatment process. One of the main reasons why many people become addicted to alcohol or drugs is because of past trauma. Over the years, it has been shown that many of those who struggle with addiction do so because of trauma. This is why trauma-informed care is essential during the recovery process. 

Trauma is considered an extremely stressful/scarring event or experience that affects a person deeply. If left untreated, these traumas can fester and become a reason to start using drugs or alcohol. Trauma and addiction treatment is a completely different situation than tackling trauma. It’s important to truly understand how these traumas play a role in a person’s substance abuse and addiction in general. 

It’s important to practice trauma-informed care so the root of the issue is resolved. Avoiding or ignoring the reason why a person is abusing drugs in the first place is problematic in the long run. Rehab centers like Granite Mountain can help you come to terms with your past trauma while overcoming your addiction one step at a time. Addiction treatment is a patient and long process but in the end, it’s worth it for a healthier and better life. 

What is Trauma?

Trauma is an event or experience that overwhelms and impacts a person’s sense of security/coping ability. Traumas vary from person to person and vary in severity. What one person might forget another person may be scarred by. Trauma can be a distressing event or something more mundane like their parents divorcing. These traumas can lead to years of repressed feelings and stress in a person’s life. 

Common traumas a person may experience may include:

  • Death of a loved one, close friend, or friend
  • Witnessing violence or abuse (themselves or loved one)
  • Living in a household with an addicted or abusive parent
  • Illness and disease (life-threatening) 
  • War experiences
  • Sexual assault or abuse 
  • Witnessing or being involved in a severe accident
  • Witnessing a death
  • Natural disasters

In reality, a traumatic experience can be anything at all. The main impact is how a person reacts to this trauma in their life. Many people tend to turn to drugs and alcohol to cope with these memories and past traumas. This can end up leading to dependence and addiction in the long run. When people get the treatment it’s important to approach it with the lens of trauma-informed care. This means looking at trauma as part of addiction treatment. 

Signs and Symptoms of Trauma

Trauma can end up leading to more intense conditions such as Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) which can be accompanied by depression and anxiety. A person’s trauma can lead to several different symptoms and problems in a person’s life. Some of the most common symptoms of trauma and PTSD include:

  • Nightmares
  • Anger/irritable
  • Avoiding certain events associated with a traumatic event
  • Flashbacks or reliving the traumatic event
  • Hopelessness and despair
  • Confusion
  • Memory loss

If you or a loved one is frequently experiencing these symptoms they may be dealing with PTSD. 

Trauma and Addiction 

The symptoms and emotions of these past traumas can be tough for a person to handle and cope with. They may seem overwhelming and distressing (sometimes frequently). As a result, people turn to drugs and alcohol to cope with the effects and to self-medicate. Self-medicating like this can be seen in those who struggle with mental disorders as well. This is usually a temporary solution and ends up causing more problems in the long run.

This is why trauma and addiction treatment should be treated together. Understanding that a person has had a traumatic experience in the past and is drinking because of it can make treatment more effective. Practicing trauma-informed care helps pinpoint the exact reasons why a person began drinking, to begin with. By coming to terms and coping with these feelings, a person can focus on getting help both mentally and physically. 

Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs)

In 1998 a study was conducted by the CDC (Centers for Diseases Control) to see the effects of adverse childhood experiences on a person’s health in the long-term. This study (as well as many future studies) showed that children with traumatic childhoods have an increased risk of developing drug and alcohol disorders as adults  The study was called the ACE study and several of the experiences identified as traumatic included:

  • Divorced parents
  • Neglect (physical or emotional)
  • Racism and bullying
  • Living in foster homes
  • Experiencing violence
  • Sexual, physical, or emotional abuse
  • Domestic violence
  • Living with a parent struggling with a mental illness or substance problem
  • Growing up in an unsafe neighborhood

The study determined that if a child experienced at least four of these they had an increased rate of developing depression, alcohol/drug abuse, and anxiety (among other conditions). Unfortunately, the trauma continues to affect thousands of children every year. Cases of trauma can negatively change how a person’s mind grows and develops. 

Trauma-Informed Care and Addiction Treatment

Luckily, many addiction treatment centers like Granite Mountain can integrate treatment for both addiction and trauma/PTSD. This is considered a case of co-occurring disorders. Co-occurring disorders (also known as dual diagnosis) occur when a person is dealing with both an addiction and a mental disorder (in this case PTSD). These cases can be very problematic if left untreated. As mentioned, trauma can be the reason why someone abuses drugs – in turn, their symptoms worsen which circles back to more drug use. It’s because of this that trauma and addiction treatment should be guided together. 

Trauma-informed care is a vital part of the process and allows for the best chances of recovery as well as a better life. The trauma-informed approach takes into account the past traumas and negative experiences in a recovering addict’s life. By creating a comprehensive treatment plan and following the principles of trauma-informed care.

How Does Trauma-informed Care Work?

Trauma-informed care uses several principles to help a person cope and understand their past traumas while tackling addiction. This is a process that requires both the therapist and the patient. Let’s take a look at the different principles of trauma-informed care during treatment:

  • Safety – The therapist needs to create a safe and open environment for the person, this is crucial to the success
  • Transparency/Trustworthiness – Before a person can open up about their past traumas there must be a certain level of trust in the therapist and the rehab center as well. A center like Granite can provide an extensive level of care and transparency. 
  • Collaboration and Mutual help – No matter who is getting treatment, a collaboration between other peers, therapists, and the staff is crucial. This goes hand-in-hand with the idea of trust. 
  • Peer Support – Sharing your story with others who have experienced trauma (as well as hearing their stories) is a very effective way to work through your feelings. Peer support is a vital part of almost all trauma and addiction treatment cases. 
  • Cultural, Gender, and Other Issues – Understanding topics of race, gender, age, religion, identity, ethnicity, and geography should be set as the ground rules. With this in mind, it’s important to honor and value these topics respectfully and openly – as these could be related to the trauma as well.
  • Empowering voice and choice – Part of the journey should be to reward and recognize the strength of those willing to battle their trauma (as well as recovering from addiction). Promoting the healing promise and empowering those who are struggling is a vital part of the process. 

There should be a strong relationship between the therapist and the person getting help. This should be a relationship of trust, professionalism, and support from beginning to end. No matter how bad things may appear, with the right help, you can overcome addiction and trauma. Trauma-informed care should be practiced with care and respect to achieve all goals set by the therapist and person struggling with the trauma. 

Receiving Trauma and Addiction Treatment

Approaching addiction takes a qualified and supportive team of specialists, that’s where our team at Granite Mountain comes in. The process of dealing with trauma and addiction involves multiple elements such as therapy, detox, and medication in some cases. Getting addiction treatment usually starts with detox and moves onto more quality treatment such as inpatient or outpatient treatment (depending on the case at hand). 

Start the Journey at Granite Behavioral Healthcare

Dealing with trauma and substance abuse can be a tricky and stressful situation. However, trauma and addiction treatment is an option. At Granite, our incredible staff is ready to help you overcome those hurdles with a trauma-informed care approach and a supportive environment the whole way. Don’t let addiction and past trauma ruin your life any longer, take the first step towards sobriety and a better life. Contact us today to learn about our addiction treatment options and mental health services. 

References:

https://www.ajpmonline.org/article/S0749-3797(98)00017-8/pdf

https://www.cdc.gov/vitalsigns/aces/index.html

https://www.nctsn.org/what-is-child-trauma/trauma-types

 

Rebuilding Your Life After Addiction

Rebuilding Your Life After Addiction: 10 Tips for a New Start

Suddenly entering a drug and alcohol recovery program and becoming sober is difficult enough, but rebuilding your life after addiction can only complicate things more. Initially, you’ll have to conquer withdrawal symptoms and cravings to use again. Returning to the real world and continuing a sober lifestyle after spending years of substance abuse addict can be like coming out of a cave. 

The transitional process will require several changes, steps, and resolutions that must be strictly followed to be successful. This is crucial if you’re working on your recovery or recently become sober and want to continue that path after rehab

After spending an amount of time in treatment, the transition process of rebuilding your life after addiction can be challenging and will require several steps. Here are ten tips to rebuilding your life after addiction.

Step 1: Slow and Steady Wins The Race

Often, those who are recently rebuilding their life after addiction believe they’re suddenly ready to jump back right into the world. But they’ll usually realize quickly they’re very far from being 100% ready. You’ll feel reinvigorated and recharged and living life to its fullest, but you should moderate. Lifes pace will likely feel quite differently now, and it might take time to reacclimate. But remember, regarding substance addiction recovery, slow and steady wins the race!

Step 2: Make Things Right 

Chance are, in the substance-abusing days, you did bad things or failed during that previous lifestyle. Even though these things happened during the addiction era, these actions had still caused people to become upset or have animosity. However, most loved ones will be happy to have you back healthy and sober and begin to realize the influence of old wounds can heal as time goes on. It is crucial to quickly and efficiently find ways to repair any damage you previously caused and make sure you make things right.

Step 3: Do What’s Expected of You

Another step to take when mending relationships with friends and family and to find out what they expect and need from you and their expectations of your behavior when dealing with them. For example, if you began using drugs and alcohol as a teen, and now you’re in your late 20’s, the early ’30s, life has changed. You may only remember things back when you were sober and a functioning family member, but those roles and expectations in those relationships have also changed. 

This discussion isn’t only for your sake, but for the sake of your loved ones too. They’ve gotten used to viewing you as a substance abuser and will continue to think of you that way unless you can show them differently. They may even expect too much now that you are back to being sober. Follow the rules and do what’s expected of you to help make loved ones view the present and form more practical standards moving forward.

10 Tips for a New Start

Step 4- Follow Through

Life after rehab will be tough enough adjusting to life and finding time to discuss in detail what is expected of you. But now that friends and family have given you the ground rules, moving forward, now you’ll have to follow through on it. You beat substance abuse and addiction, and now the time has come to change other habits correlating to how you relate to others, things you do for them, handling obligations, and more. 

People you speak with may be duly impressed by the interest you display in what they believed and required to consider their expectations. But what will impress them and help form a solid relationship is by following through on your commitments, now and long term.

Step 5: Leave Old Friends Behind

After leaving rehab, it is crucial to cut ties with all previous substance abusing and addicted friends from the past. Regardless of the support, they claim they’ll give you during your path to sobriety, the fact is their presence will only stall your progress. Even in situations where it’s a good friend or even a family member, they will bring you down and possibly trigger you to use again. 

During individual psychotherapy sessions, you’ll learn that even friends and family members who are happy that you’ve become sober still may not fully support your new lifestyle. But dont take that personally. They’re just afraid you’ll push your get clean ways and lifestyle onto them. They realize your lives are going in entirely different directions with them on the opposing end of the spectrum. 

Even if that’s not the case and you still fully support each other, hanging with others getting drunk or high will only tempt you. Being around them can at any moment trigger a relapse, so stay away or keep it at busy, formal meeting places. No amount of sentiment is worth your health, happiness, and especially your sobriety! Leave old friends behind.

Step 6: Finding New Hobbies

Back in the substance-abusing days, everyday life probably revolved around seeking and consuming drugs or alcohol. And the moments you weren’t occupied with using substance were perhaps overshadowed by thoughts of when and how you were going to schedule using again. So, now that you’re clean, what will you do with your free time now? 

Substance addiction has left a giant hole in your life, and now is the time for you to fill that hole with something productive, engaging, and fun. Finding new hobbies is easy; try by volunteering, pursuing further education, or other positive and fulfilling hobbies to keep new life on the right path.

Step 7: Start Exercising

Think back to the days of drinking and abusing substances. How often did you work out during that period? Although now you’re clean and sober, are you in good health? Those who start exercising can feel a world of difference regarding improving overall brain health, boosting energy levels, feeling of self-confidence, and sense of well-being. 

Whether it’s hiking, swimming, yoga, cycling, pilates, joining a gym, or a team sport, exercise can take things to a whole other level. Another reason to start exercising is to meet others dedicated to living a healthy lifestyle, which will help support your newly found healthy habits.

Step 8: Start Dieting

Like most people who’ve spent years abusing substances, you likely didn’t have the best diet throughout that period. Your body’s condition is influenced by what you eat, and it may now be showing signs of malnutrition caused by long term neglect. It is crucial to minimize fats, cut junk food out from your diet, cut out sugar and unhealthy food and eat fresh fruit, veggies, fish, and lean meats daily. Also, drink lots of water and cut back on coffee or energy drinks. 

A comprehensive health change won’t happen overnight, but over time, your tastes will change, and you’ll start craving healthy food. Next, you’ll begin to see extraordinary changes in appearance, immunity, energy level, and overall health. But it only happens when you start dieting.

rebuilding your life after addiction

Step 9: Get Plenty of Rest

Whatever your sleep schedule was in the substance-abusing era, it probably wasn’t very conducive to providing good mental and physical health. Staying up all night and sleeping all day, along with broken sleep throughout the night, did not help your health or mood. Going multiple days without sleep and then crashing are only a few basic models of sleep schedules that qualify as rest for a substance abuser. 

Chances are, you’d be surprised to see the difference sleeping for eight hours every night can make. It can help convert into a far better mood, higher energy levels, sharper mental alertness, better health, and more. But it all starts with getting plenty of rest.

Step 10: Set and Accomplish Goals

The most crucial step to take following substance addiction rehab is to figure out your life goals and set about following them. This will help put other positive things in motion. Now that you’re headed along a solid path towards your dreams like exercising, getting plenty of rest, and being good to loved ones will eventually fall into line. This an especially significant step to practice since you’ve probably not set any meaningful goals due to your substance abuse. Now, your new future is a blank slate, and you can decide who and what you want to be, accomplish in life, but you must make that decision and carry it out.

Get Help Today

If you or a loved one is rebuilding life after addiction and could use guidance to stay on track, we can help. Granite Mountain Behavioral Healthcare can help get you back on track and guide you in continuing your path to sobriety. Let’s face it; sobriety is a sprint, not a marathon. And with unexpected things in life like a global pandemic can disturb even the strongest of sober minds. This is why it is crucial to have a solid team to help you through the rehab journey. 

Do not hesitate any longer. Contact us today at Granite Mountain Behavioral Healthcare and allow our team to answer the questions you seek. Remember, this path does not have to be taken alone. We can help!

world mental health day

Focusing on Mental Health: Discussing the Importance of World Mental Health Day

We are in the middle of a pandemic, but it is certainly not the only health problem facing the world. We are also in the middle of a mental and behavioral health crisis. For numerous reasons, more and more people are learning about their mental health issues and getting the care they need. However, it’s scary to think about all of the people who still remain undiagnosed. 

Many people lack education. Others have the education, but they don’t get the help they need due to the stigma of having a mental illness. People with a mental illness have been seen as “weak” or “crazy” instead of being seen as people with a medical diagnosis that requires attention. That’s why mental health professionals lobbied for International Mental Health Day go showcase the importance of mental health awareness.

International Mental Health Day is a day designed to increase awareness and encourage people who suffer from mental illness to seek help to enrich their lives as well as the people around them. We celebrate International Mental Health Day this year on October 10, 2020.

The Mental Health Problem

18% of people in the United States have a mental health condition. Of course, it’s important to understand that these are only the people who come forward to get help. There are a number of people who go through life with mental and behavioral health problems every day but never get help, increasing the importance of mental health awareness. 

Some of the most prevalent mental health conditions include:

  • depression
  • anxiety
  • addiction
  • obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
  • bipolar
  • schizophrenia
  • post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)

Depression

Depression is a disorder characterized by sadness and a lack of enthusiasm for things that someone once loved. It can get so bad that someone may even consider taking their own life.

Anxiety

Anxiety is a disorder characterized by high tension and paranoia. The individual may experience general nervousness their entire life, or it may come up in particular situations.

Addiction

Addiction is a disorder characterized by the abuse and overindulgence of mind-altering substances, such as alcohol or heroin. The drug takes control over the person until they finally regain control back of their life.

OCD

OCD is a disorder characterized by obsessive thoughts and reactionary compulsive behaviors. One example involves compulsive cleaning to control obsessive thoughts about germs and dirtiness.

Bipolar Disorder 

Bipolar is a disorder characterized by intense mood swings. One moment, the person can be on cloud nine, happy, and excited. The next moment, they could be in a depressive state seemingly out of nowhere. They will also typically behave rather impulsively, making rash life decisions or shocking purchases.

Schizophrenia

Schizophrenia is a disorder characterized by delusions and altered perceptions of reality. People with schizophrenia may hear or see things that aren’t actually there, and these hallucinations can severely alter a person’s behavior.

PTSD

PTSD is a disorder characterized by flashbacks to trauma. It is often associated with soldiers returned from war or people who have suffered from abuse or a serious accident. The person can be triggered by certain sounds or situations. alternatively, the person can experience flashbacks completely out of nowhere.

Stigma Surrounding Mental Health

Throughout history, people who suffered from mental illness were treated as though they were crazy and possibly even dangerous. This was largely due to a lack of understanding of mental and behavioral health despite the efforts of many to learn more about the topic. People with mental illness may have been seen as possessed. In many cases, treatments were intense. 

If the treatment didn’t work, the person was generally discarded and forced to live in a confined environment with less than adequate accommodations. Even as we learned more, mental health facilities did not have proper facilities. Plus, treatment could even involve the removal of the brain or electric shock therapy. These treatments could permanently alter a person’s brain and personality to the point of serious cognitive deficiency.

Mental Health in the Media 

It doesn’t help how mental illness is often portrayed in the media. In many movies and television shows, mental illness is not represented properly. One common misrepresentation is confusing schizophrenia with a dissociative identity disorder. This misrepresentation only increases confusion about the topic. 

Due to fear, people then make assumptions about mental illness that it seems scary and dangerous. This makes others want to isolate people in their life with mental illness instead of offering understanding and compassion.

The importance of mental health awareness becomes a social concept. We need to offer support and understanding in order to help. That’s how we can remove the stigma and help people become valuable members of society instead of people with a disease.

Treatment for Mental Illness

It’s important for us as a society to recognize the importance of mental health awareness. When people are aware they have a problem, they are more likely to get treatment. 

Of course, it is up to the person suffering to get the treatment available to them. Someone with a mental health problem must take it upon themselves to get help, just like anyone with a health condition such as diabetes needs to get help. It’s that person’s responsibility to get help in order to be able to take care of themselves and the other people in their life. Luckily, there are a number of options when it comes to mental health treatment.

Lifestyle Changes

You may be surprised at how much simple changes in your daily habits can really affect your mental and behavioral health. Start small by taking care of your physical health. Eat foods filled with nutrients, such as fruits, vegetables, lean protein, and whole grains. 

Avoid foods high in fat but low in nutrients, such as potato chips. You should also make a point to exercise a couple of times a week to keep your body active. There are a number of other changes that could help, to, including:

  • drinking more water
  • sleeping 7- 9 every night
  • keeping your home clean
  • developing healthy relationships

Therapy

Therapy gives you the opportunity to talk about your issues with a trained professional in a safe environment. You will be able to talk about whatever you want to talk about. If you have nothing to say, your therapist can help guide the conversation in the right direction. The therapist will be able to help you identify your problems and get you back on the right track.

You can go to one-on-one therapy or group therapy with people who suffer from similar conditions. One-on-one therapy is a good idea for someone with very personal issues that they wouldn’t feel comfortable talking about in front of a group. Group therapy is a good idea for people who want to develop a support system or need help interacting with other people and making friends.

Medication

Many mental disorders are the result of a chemical imbalance in the brain. Generally speaking, this imbalance involves neurotransmitters, such as serotonin and dopamine. This chemical imbalance can sometimes be realigned with the help of medication. The medications will increase or decrease the number of neurotransmitters in the brain. There are different medications for different disorders. Some common medications for mental disorders include:

  • anti-depressants
  • anti-psychotics
  • mood stabilizers
  • stimulants
  • anti-anxiety

Medications can be effective and may be absolutely necessary in some situations. That being said, medications can also have some very serious side effects. In some cases, they may even become addictive. For these reasons, many people are looking for alternative treatments.

Holistic Treatments

There are options for people who don’t want to take medication. There are a number of holistic treatments designed to make someone feel better. Many people will use crystals or other ways to manifest positive energy. While lacking in substantiated evidence, the crystals can have a positive effect on people. 

Other people may choose to try acupuncture or other eastern medicine practices. These practices have been in place for thousands of years, but they have recently been applied to mental health.

Mental Health Rehabilitation

In some serious cases, the best answer could be intensive rehabilitation. In rehab, the patient will learn how to manage their illness. They will also be properly medicated if necessary. 

There are two min types of rehab: inpatient and outpatient. Inpatient treatment involves going to an on-site location and essentially living at the facility for an extended period of time. This is the most intensive treatment. The patient has round-the-clock care, and they are being monitored constantly, keeping them (and others) safe. 

Outpatient treatment involves going to treatment for 4-8 hours a day but still getting the opportunity to go home. This can be better for people who have certain responsibilities they just can’t forego in order to go to inpatient treatment.

International Mental Health Day is an important day in the world of mental and behavioral health. It’s crucial for us as a society to acknowledge the importance of mental health awareness so that people feel comfortable coming forward with their problems and getting the help they desperately need. 

If we don’t allow people to get help freely, more sons, daughters, friends, and spouses will take their own life or go through life miserable. Let’s get these people the help they need instead of shaming them. Show your support for International Mental Health Day this October 10th.

Contact Us Today 

At Granite Mountain Behavioral Healthcare, our team of treatment specialists can help help you find the program that works for you. Treatment is not a one-size-fits-all approach. We utilize a blend of traditional treatment methods as well as more holistic approaches. But most importantly, treatment is centered around you and regaining your health and freedom from addiction. 

If you or someone you know is suffering from a mental health disorder or addiction, it’s time to get help. Contact us today for more information.

acupuncture for addiction treatment

Holistic Therapies: Using Acupuncture for Addiction Treatment

Holistic therapy is a treatment that uses all-natural means to promote healing or sobriety. One commonly used holistic treatment is acupuncture. Acupuncture may seem like an out of the ordinary way to treat addiction, but in reality, it is one of the oldest natural treatments known to man. Before choosing to utilize acupuncture in recovery, it is important to understand it’s history, what it is, and how it can benefit you. 

What are Holistic Therapies?

A growing trend in medicinal circles over the last several decades has been the incorporation of “alternative” or holistic approaches. These holistic approaches, such as acupuncture, can be used for any number of ailments-from body soreness to addiction and everything in between. Due to the popularity of drug-free offerings, more and more treatment centers in the US are offering these types of therapies

Holistic ideas refer to treatments or approaches that speak to the “whole person”. Ther focus is on both the mind and body and seeking healing for both/and. With trends pointing towards more “natural” options, these holistic approaches are becoming more popular and being offered regularly. Some of these holistic options include yoga, meditation, massage therapy, and acupuncture. Patients who adhere to these options can see direct benefits in the area they are hoping to improve, as well as great fringe benefits such as better fitness, better sleep, and lower cholesterol. 

What is Acupuncture?

Acupuncture is an ancient art and healing method that uses needles and manipulation of various pressure points on the body to treat various health concerns. Generally, acupuncture involves the insertion of long, thin needles under the skin at specific points to promote healing. Acupuncture is an ancient Chinese art and healing method that uses the manipulation of various points on the body to treat a variety of health concerns. The needles are sized perfectly and sterilized to make sure no infection occurs. In addition to traditional needle-based therapy, other treatments, such as massage or herbals, are also used.   

The theory behind acupuncture, historically, was that it keeps the “qi energy” of the body in balance. Today, acupuncture experts understand that acupuncture produces positive results by stimulating many different systems of the body, such as cardiovascular, endocrine, and immune. All acupuncture therapists must be fully licensed and trained in the nuances of their methods.  

While acupuncture may seem like a far-fetched way to approach recovery, many people these days are trying acupuncture as an all-natural way to step into healing. Because there are very few risks associated with acupuncture, patients from all walks of life can try it for ailments ranging from eating disorders to depression to various addictions

Uses for Acupuncture

Because it is relatively low-risk, acupuncture can be tried for basically any ailment. Patients report very little discomfort and positive results have been achieved from any different areas of health care. In general, acupuncture is most widely used for the following reasons:

  • Reducing the effects surrounding chemotherapy and other cancer treatments
  • Recovery from dental pain or procedures
  • General muscle soreness or body aches
  • Migraines or other headaches
  • Labor or menstrual pains
  • Various mental health disorders or addictions

The Risks of Acupuncture

The inherent risks of acupuncture treatment are extremely low if you have certified, competent therapists using safe needles.ome common post-treatment side effects of acupuncture include soreness, minor bruising, or brief bleeding. Still, not everyone is a good candidate for acupuncture and you may be at greater risk if you have any of the following issues:

  • Bleeding disorders or clotting issues- You may be at greater risk for increased bleeding if you have a bleeding disorder or are taking blood thinners.
  • Have a pacemaker- Because some acupuncture uses minor electrical pulses, you should not seek acupuncture treatment if you utilize a pacemaker
  • Are pregnant- Some forms of acupuncture can potentially induce labor and lead to premature delivery. 

What to Expect Before an Acupuncture Treatment

Every acupuncture therapist has a different and unique approach, with many blending Eastern and Western treatment philosophies. In order to determine the type of acupuncture treatment that will benefit you the most, your expert may ask detailed questions about your lifestyle, medical history, and behavior.

The initial pre-procedure intake can take up to 60 minutes. Follow-up appointments can take as little as 30 minutes. Commonly, treatment may be performed two to three times per week. However, the number and spacing of treatments will often depend on the condition being treated and its severity. Generally, most patients receive between six and ten total treatments. 

What Happens During an Acupuncture Treatment?

Pressure points that are treated during acupuncture are located in all areas of the body. Oddly enough, the areas treated may not be close to the area for which you are seeking relief. For example, someone seeking acupuncture treatment for addiction may be surprised to find needles placed far away from their head and neck. Your acupuncture therapist will discuss the areas that he or she will be treated prior to your appointment. You will be given a gown, sheet, or towel and asked to lie facedown on a comfortable,massage-style table. The actual treatment involves the following

  • Needle insertion-Specialized needles are placed below the skin, to varying depths, at pressure points across your body. Most patients do not even feel the needles. Generally, between five and 25 needles are used during treatment. IT is possible you will notice a mild ache at the point of insertion. 
  • Needle manipulation-Your therapist may lightly move or wiggle the needles once they are inserted. He or she may also apply other stimulants, such as heat or electrical stimulation. 
  • Needle removal- Generally, acupuncture needles are left in place for ten to twenty minutes before removal. Most patients report little to no discomfort after the needles have been removed. 

While many people report good results after acupuncture, its effectiveness still varies. Because acupuncture is being used to treat such a wide range of ailments, including addiction, results can vary wildly from person to person. One patient may find instant results from migraines or other physical ailments whereas another patient can see little to no change. But again, because there is so little risk involved, acupuncture is gaining wide popularity for a number of different issues. 

Can Acupuncture be Used on its Own?

There have been many good results with acupuncture for drug treatment, however, most rehabilitation facilities still tend to use it as a secondary method in conjunction with other treatments. It is better to consider acupuncture as a complementary or secondary treatment. While acupuncture does show promising signs of being an effective method of treating symptoms of drug addiction, it isn’t a good idea to use it as a singular treatment. Think of it as an alternative or supplemental treatment. For example, Acupuncture can be extremely effective in treating withdrawal symptoms, but it cannot medically detoxify someone struggling with addiction. 

Perhaps the most appealing result of acupuncture is the way it promotes pain and stress relief as well as increases relaxation. With addiction, stress and anxiety often go hand in hand and acupuncture can be effective at treating both in a holistic way. While those who suffer from severe symptoms can still benefit from anti-anxiety and depression medication, acupuncture can absolutely help. 

Acupuncture Treatment for Addiction

Beating drug addiction is an extremely difficult journey that requires a unique approach in order to succeed. However, acupuncture has emerged as a vital tool in the fight against opiate addiction and is being utilized ever-increasingly. Patients going through the detoxification process can greatly benefit from the calming effects of acupuncture. 

In addition to traditional mental health treatment approaches, such as counseling and group therapy, acupuncture can aid patients in overcoming cravings and help stave off the dangers of relapse. 

More and more therapists are turning to acupuncture to treat all types of ailments, including opiate addiction. Acupuncture treatments help patients to relax and draw focus away from cravings and destructive thoughts. 

While it is not entirely understood how acupuncture is so effective, research shows evidence that acupuncture raises endorphin levels, which act as the body’s natural painkillers. A patient receiving acupuncture treatments is truly balancing their “yin and yang” energies and helping their body achieve healthier state-mentally and physically. 

Acupuncture as an Alternative Treatment for Addiction

Although acupuncture is still widely perceived as an “alternative medicine”, many mainstream rehab facilities are adding it to their arsenal because of how effective it has proven in addiction treatment. In fact, a study done in 1989 showed that acupuncture, used in conjunction with other treatments such as psychotherapy, can be almost twice as effective at treating addiction as traditional therapy alone. 

Acupuncture has proven to be an extremely effective alternative to traditional methadone-based detoxification treatments. Because methadone itself is an addictive drug, it is highly preferable to use a more natural detox approach if at all possible. 

Avoiding the side-effects of methadone based detox is one main reason acupuncture use is skyrocketing. Addicts who used a methadone based treatment often find themselves becoming addicted to methadone instead. Therefore, acupuncture treatments are far more desirable than methadone treatments because there are no side effects or addictive qualities.  

To inquire if you are a candidate for acupuncture as part of your addiction treatment, contact us today!