Category: Addiction and Rehab News

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Breaking the Cycle of Addiction

Have you heard of the “cycle of addiction”? It is created by changes produced in brain chemistry and perpetuated by physiological, psychological, and emotional dependency. Even with willpower and effort, people are not able to break from the influence of addiction. You may have experienced being caught in this vicious cycle before. This cycle of addiction continues unrestrained until some type of intervention occurs.

Understanding the Addiction Cycle

People use drugs and alcohol for different reasons. Some people experiment because they are curious, while others are exposed to prescription opioids as means of prescribed pain relief. On the other hand, many people use drugs or alcohol to cope with bereavement. But once individuals develop higher levels of tolerance and dependency on these substances, the cycle of addiction begins.

It starts with an emotional trigger. This can be a thought or memory that is rooted in past pain or trauma. Sometimes there are multiple triggers involved. Either consciously or unconsciously, there is an urge to suppress or shut down these unpleasant emotions. Next, the emotional trigger or triggers may lead to stronger cravings for drugs or alcohol.

By then, the body has learned to use drugs or alcohol as a routine way to turn off unpleasant emotions. Cravings are like tidal waves that can grow stronger, overwhelming, and even all-consuming. Using drugs or alcohol becomes the most important thing in life. One’s attention is absorbed by the need for substances and how to procure them.

When cravings finally give way to the actual procurement of substances and people begin using them, their senses and emotions turn off. It is as if what was triggering them no longer matters. They are consumed by the single activity of substance-induced pleasure. After the effects of substance use are gone, they may begin feeling guilty. This guilt feeds into the next cycle of stress.

Breaking From the Vicious Cycle

The first step is to identify this cycle pattern. You may want to receive a professional evaluation to help you identify common triggers of your substance use. A mental health professional can assess the severity of your addiction and whether you need certain medications to break from it. Some people may have tried rehab and treatment but later find them not working. Their cycle of addiction may even include rehab.

What they need is a thorough re-examination of the approach. Maybe the person has been closed-minded during treatment instead of absorbing all the useful techniques that are supposed to help them prevent relapses. There might be ongoing or new traumatic stress at work or in one’s marriage. Or maybe the treatment center does not use a trauma-informed approach to address deeper causes.

Breaking from the cycle of addiction means that sobriety and de-stressing are your top priorities in life. This entails setting up strict boundaries to avoid triggers, people, and places that create extra stress or trigger cravings for substances. Meanwhile, you also need to substitute time and energy for healthy activities. Below are a few practical tactics:

  • Identify the most common triggers of stress and cravings
  • Identify alternative healthy activities to replace bad habits
  • Practice healthy habits and activities consistently
  • Work with a trauma-informed therapist to explore the root causes
  • Integrate the therapist’s suggestions for lifestyle modification into your routines
  • Maintain a regimen of healthy practices
  • Identify more triggers and repeat the steps listed above

These few steps make a “maintenance cycle” that, if implemented well, can sustain ongoing progress in your recovery. Meanwhile, you need to develop and strengthen a support network. Staying connected with a good treatment center through its extended care or alumni program is always an extra level of support.

Setting Goals for Self-Motivation

You should also set reasonable goals both for the short-term and long-term. Make these goals measurable, explicit, and applicable. Share your goals with a few accountability partners who can encourage you. Below is an example of these goals:

Short-Term Goals

  • Attend weekly 12-step group meetings
  • Use prepared wise excuses to decline invitations from friends who use substances
  • Reward yourself with a movie after maintaining 4 weeks of abstinence
  • Practice mindfulness meditation for 10 minutes each morning
  • Maintain work-life balance

Long-Term Goals

  • Develop a circle of sober and recovery-supportive friends
  • Reward yourself with a trip after one year of abstinence
  • Get involved in community services and give it back.

Some health experts say that it takes over two months to break a bad habit. You certainly need to plan more time for breaking the cycle of addiction. Although everyone’s experience is different, honesty, humility, and perseverance are the key to success.

Are you aware that even casual drinking or drug use may lead to substance dependence? Understanding the risk factors of addiction is crucial for preventing or treating the cycle of addiction. If you are concerned about yourself or how to intervene with a loved one’s substance use, we have trusted recovery experts to work with you. At Capo Canyon Recovery, near Mission Viejo, CA, we take pride in our holistic path, which is incremental to a sustainable, long-term recovery. We focus on each stage of recovery, both in terms of physical health and mental health. Our inpatient residential care and outpatient long-term care programs offer unique benefits. We provide lush comfort with an in-house chef, luxurious beds, and an onsite organic garden during your sobriety journey. With Capo Canyon Recovery, you can rely on us to help you achieve long-term sobriety. Call us at (800) 804-8714.

Substance Addiction and Emotional Abuse at Home

Addiction to alcohol and drugs may disrupt family life. These substances also cause harm to family members’ emotional and mental health, including that of children. Living in an emotionally abusive relationship can be both miserable and disorienting. Although emotional abuse is often difficult to recognize, its negative impacts can be long-lasting.

Defining Emotional Abuse

In a relationship, emotional abuse takes place when one party manipulates the other person’s emotions. There tends to be a consistent pattern of abusive words and behavior that eventually wears down the other partner’s self-esteem.

Emotional abuse may happen in any relationship including among family members, spouses, friends, employers and employees, and co-workers. Despite its ubiquity, emotional abuse remains the most difficult form of abuse to recognize because it can be subtle and manipulative. Emotional abuse may surface as:

  • Threatening
  • Blaming
  • Over-criticizing
  • Gaslighting
  • Name-calling
  • Isolating the individual
  • Silent treatment
  • Withholding attention

How do you know if you are suffering emotional abuse? You can reflect on how the interactions make you feel. Emotionally abusive people display unrealistic expectations. For example, they may show dissatisfaction with whatever you do. They tend to invalidate you and make you feel worthless. They are domineering and always start arguments to pick on you. Whenever they are around, you have a feeling of “walking on eggshells.”

Addiction and Emotional Abuse: A Close and Complex Relationship

Addiction and emotional abuse have a complex relationship because one condition may contribute to the other. On the one hand, drugs or alcohol may cause people to lose control and engage in risky or compulsive behaviors, these tend to create an emotionally unstable and toxic environment at home. On the other hand, families or relationships with emotional abuse may increase individuals’ risk for substance use as a way to self-soothe. The stress and anxiety caused by emotional abuse may accumulate before people seek out drugs or alcohol to numb the pain.

In the home, addiction and emotional abuse may become co-occurring conditions. Worse, they can expose children to traumatic stress that precondition them to engage in substance use as they grow up. Families struggling with both addiction and abuse are caught in a vicious cycle. They need family-based intervention to break free.

Benefits of Family-Based Intervention

Many addiction treatment centers offer family-based interventions designed to address unhealthy patterns in the home or in intimate relationships. Family-based prevention programs focus primarily on education and skills training to enhance communication and boundary-setting. When young people are involved, family-based interventions focus on proper parenting skills, effective monitoring, discipline, and communication.

Because family members who are caregivers often experience emotional abuse from their loved ones who have a substance use disorder (SUD), they can find supportive family therapy groups that are designed for caregivers. Sharing personal experiences among a group of caregivers who experience the same struggles at home can be a relief.

Unfortunately, addiction-related emotional abuse may escalate to domestic violence. Family members may need to consider entering their loved ones into residential treatment. Many treatment centers incorporate anger management classes to help recovering individuals. The key is to get help as soon as possible. Denying or covering up the problem of a family member’s addiction can only worsen the situation.

The Importance of Self-Care

If you live in a home with addiction and emotional abuse, it is important to prioritize self-care as a way to heal yourself. Avoid worrying about pleasing the person abusing you. Take care of your needs by doing things that will help you think positively and affirm who you are. First of all, be sure to get an appropriate amount of rest and eat healthy meals. These simple self-care steps can go a long way in helping you deal with the day-to-day stresses of emotional abuse.

It is important to set healthy emotional boundaries in the home. Firmly tell the abusive person that they may no longer yell at you, call you names, insult you, be rude to you, etc. Remind them that such behaviors can impact children in the home. Self-care also means that you begin building a support network around yourself. Talk to a trusted friend, family member, or even a counselor about what you are experiencing.

If you have been in an emotionally abusive relationship for any amount of time, you may believe that there is something severely wrong with you. But you are not the problem. Despite your best efforts, you will never be able to change an emotionally abusive person by doing something different or by being different. The only thing you can do is probably engage less with an abusive person.

The relationship between substance addiction and abuse can go both ways. Families struggling with a member’s addiction may experience neglect or emotional abuse. Living in homes with abusive relationships may increase the risk of substance addiction. To recover from both, you need to work with a team of recovery experts and mental health specialists. At Capo Canyon Recovery, near Mission Viejo, CA, our team has trained recovery staff and mental health experts who make customized treatment plans for clients. We focus on each stage of recovery, both physical health,  mental health, and emotional health. Our inpatient residential care and outpatient, long-term care programs offer unmatched benefits. We provide excess comfort with an in-house chef, luxurious beds, and an onsite organic garden during your sobriety journey. If you choose Capo Canyon Recovery, we will care or you and support your family. Call us at (800) 804-8714.

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Envisioning Ten Amazing Things About Sobriety

What do you envision your future to be like when you reach sobriety? Can you foresee the many benefits that sobriety will bring to your life? Sometimes people need to be motivated by the vision of living a sober lifestyle. The positive benefits of staying sober involve your body, mind, spirit, and social life.

#1. Physical Benefits

Detoxing and quitting drugs or alcohol can stop the harmful effects these substances have on your physical health. It may take a while for you to see the healing happen. But over time, you will surely sleep better because the influences of substances that are used to suppress sleep are gone. Your body will feel more energized. Physical improvement may show in your appearance.

#2. Mental Health Benefits

During recovery, your inner world can emerge from its past chaotic order. The urge to cover up your addiction and the worry about securing drugs or alcohol are gone. You finally have a chance to relax. There is more stability and peace in both your emotional and mental state. Shortly after detox, your memory will rapidly improve. The worry of getting in trouble also disappears. You find yourself having fewer mood swings and an increased level of ease and happiness.

#3. Social Relationship Benefits

Recovery also gives you a second chance to repair relationships with family and friends. With the help of therapists, you will learn how to best express and communicate emotions. You can be present and engage in deeper conversations with family. Although it takes time for trust to rebuild, these relationships are in the process of healing.

Knowing that you need to prioritize sobriety in your social life allows you the opportunity to make new sober friends. Soon you will realize that friendships made in recovery support groups are not just beneficial for your sobriety but also for your overall wellness. This may even lead to you wanting to sponsor a newcomer in the recovery community.

#4. Celebrating Milestones of Sobriety

Whether you have been sober for three months or three years, it is always worthwhile to celebrate a milestone. As you progress from weeks to months and years, the power of sobriety will continue to grow. Your confidence and faith within yourself will be harder to break. Some milestones are not time-based. Maybe you are able to repair an important relationship. Or, you became a star employee for the month. These are all moments of personal growth.

#5. Sobriety Can Be Fun

There will be a time when you realize that life without drugs or alcohol can be deeply fulfilling. Once you are grounded in your own recovery, you can travel, visit places, and attend concerts. Or you can join a new hobby club such as rafting and exploring nature. Life can be adventurous and exciting again. You will find yourself creating fun and fulfilling memories together. Maybe you have thought about adopting a family pet. Now is the time to do that. Animals are fun to play with and can provide us with further emotional support.

#6. Making Self-Care an Everyday Practice

The most important key to reaping these many benefits of sobriety is through practicing regular self-care. Your life needs to extend beyond just sobriety. Intentional self-care and wellness regimens can become a positive lifestyle. Recovery offers an opportunity for you to explore your place in the world. With years of self-reflection and mindfulness practices, you may become a new person. That newness of life continues to grow. Life is much richer when you invest time in learning who you are, exploring new places, discovering new activities, or expressing yourself to bless others.

#7. Model A Healthy Lifestyle to Your Loved Ones

For parents, sobriety not only helps you stay present in parenting and family life but also makes you a role model for living a healthy lifestyle. Action speaks louder than words. When educating young children to adopt healthy habits, you need to, first of all, live out these values.

Maintaining sobriety also makes you a role model for family and friends. You can serve as a sponsor for newcomers to a support group. Giving back to the community enables you to thrive toward long-term recovery.

#8. Financial Security

Sobriety grants you more financial security because not only do you stop spending on drugs or alcohol but your desire and ability to put money away or into good use may increase. The best part is, that you get a sense that the work you do is more meaningful than before you are contributing to the welfare of your family.

#9. Cherishing Precious Moments of Life

Once having achieved sobriety, you can build a meaningful life full of great memories. Sobriety allows you to access what life has to offer. Before, drugs or alcohol may have created distance between you and your life. Darkness constantly overpowered that potential for joy. Your days of using may have become hazy, as you struggled to remember the better times. Sober living allows you to regain the positive aspects of your life, to access and experience them wholeheartedly.

#10. Connecting with Your True Self

In sobriety, you will enjoy a deeper connection with yourself. Removing negative thoughts from your life may lead to personal growth. Listening to the body and observing its changes during exercises can help you connect with yourself. By practicing self-care and self-love, you will treat your body and mind with gentle respect. Being able to love who you are despite all of your imperfections, is nothing short of a miraculous gift in sobriety.

Recovery from substance addiction is a long journey. You need motivation and hope to keep going. At Capo Canyon Recovery, near Mission Viejo, CA, we can walk alongside you. We know how to keep recovering individuals engaged and motivated. Our team takes pride in our holistic approach by providing care for the whole person. We have expertise to help you in each stage of recovery, both in terms of physical health and mental health. Our inpatient residential care and outpatient, long-term care programs offer unmatched benefits. We provide the comfort needed with an in-house chef, luxurious beds, and an onsite organic garden during your sobriety journey. You can find our facility a relaxing place to heal. Capo Canyon Recovery help you plan out a fulfilling life after sobriety. Call us at (800) 804-8714. You do not have to embark on this journey alone. We help you succeed.

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Understanding Different Types of Addictions

It is easy for an addiction to grow and eventually take over someone’s entire life. But most addictions begin without people being aware of these spiraling behaviors. This not only applies to substance addiction but also behavioral addiction. Learning to recognize the signs and symptoms of these various types of addiction is important for prevention and timely intervention.

Addictions to Substances

People may become dependent and addicted to a wide range of substances, including, but not limited to:

  • Alcohol
  • Tobacco
  • Opioids
  • Prescription drugs
  • Cocaine
  • Marijuana
  • Meth

With repeated and long-term use, people experience urges and cravings, cognitive problems, lack of attention, loss of mental sharpness, low work productivity, and many physical health issues.

Substance addiction also leads to risky behaviors such as sharing needles, having unprotected sex, or contracting transmittable diseases. Many people tend to develop co-occurring mental health symptoms and issues, such as insomnia, anxiety, and depression. When people mix multiple substances, such as alcohol and drugs, or different kinds of opioids, there can be a high risk of life-threatening overdoses.

Behavioral Addictions

Addictive behaviors are not always associated with substance use. Non-substance-related addictions include:

  • Food addiction/eating disorders
  • Sex addiction
  • Social media addiction
  • Work addiction
  • Video game addiction
  • Shopping addiction
  • Excessive exercising.

According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), all entities capable of stimulating a person can be addictive, and whenever a habit changes into an obligation, it can be considered an addiction.

Because behavioral addiction risk factors have the same biological bases as substance addiction, some of them can be treated by methods that are proven effective for the latter. These include SSRI medications, cognitive-behavioral therapy, and peer-support groups. Some behavioral disorders may create stress that leads people to substance use.

Seeking Treatment Options

Recovery experts now have a big toolkit of treatment methods. They can mix and match treatments based on what condition and symptoms you have. People with multiple disorders or addictions get a dual diagnosis. Treatment for this situation needs to be highly specialized and requires medical staff to work closely with mental health specialists.

Even for people suffering from a single type of addiction, there can be an integrated strategy to design a comprehensive treatment plan. Health professionals will assess your needs and pick from several therapeutic approaches. Or they may suggest changing to a different therapy when you made progress and adjustments in healing.

Different Types of Addiction Treatment Therapies

The most common type of approach to treating both substance and non-substance-related addictions is known as cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT). The basic principle is easy to understand: our thoughts, feelings, and behaviors are closely connected, and all these factors affect our well-being. A trained CBT therapist can help people identify harmful thoughts and behavioral patterns in life. It is a problem-oriented strategy focusing on finding solutions.

Dialectal Behavior Therapy

Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) is based on a biosocial theory to regulate emotions. It tends to people with a disposition toward emotional vulnerability. The therapist integrates many behavioral skills and teaches people how to recognize, understand, label, and regulate their emotions. It is an emotion-focused and change-oriented strategy.

Family Behavioral Therapy

Family behavioral therapy (FBT) has proven to be highly effective in both adults’ and adolescents’ addiction treatment. It involves key family members who can apply new skills of communication and stress management to improve the home environment.

Experiential Therapy

Another popular approach is experiential therapy. The therapist relies on the positive influence of nature, such as art-making, wilderness, or interactions with animals, to help feelings of healing and empathy. It is often used as a complementary treatment to other methods. For example, wilderness therapy can be especially helpful for people with dual diagnoses.

Building a Confident Roadmap to Recovery

Although addiction is a complex disease and takes different forms, we now have many effective tools to address these conditions. To build a confident roadmap to recovery, one needs to be educated about these conditions as well as the most effective treatment methods. To properly comprehend this knowledge, you need to understand not just the science of addiction and recovery, but also the available resources.

If you are looking for a roadmap or supporting a loved one in this journey, it is important to find a one-stop shop that provides you with the necessary coaching and resources. The scope of service offerings at each treatment center varies. But generally speaking, you would have a higher chance of recovery by working with programs that use an integrated approach with licensed staff members. It is also crucial to check out their extended care and alumni programs because continuing care is also important.

Addiction is a complex disease. Substance-related addiction may lead to co-occurring mental health issues. Even after completing detox treatment, some people may substitute non-substance-related addiction for their past addiction. For effective treatment, you need to work with experienced health professionals who work in these intersecting areas. A holistic treatment approach and quality extended care will boost your chance of long-term recovery. At Capo Canyon Recovery, near Mission Viejo, CA, we take pride in our holistic path, which is incremental to a sustainable, long-term recovery. We focus on each stage of recovery, both in terms of physical health and mental health. Our inpatient residential care and outpatient, long-term care programs offer unmatched benefits. We provide excess comfort with an in-house chef, luxurious beds, and an onsite organic garden during your sobriety journey. To learn more about our treatment programs, call us today at (800) 804-8714.

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Addiction Treatment Can Save Your Career

Many working professionals struggle with alcoholism and drug addiction, including healthcare professionals. One common barrier that keeps professionals from seeking treatment is the fear of losing their careers. However, entering treatment is the only way to save both their health and career.

The Use of Substances to Cope With Work-Related Stress

Very few people are immune to work-related stress. Common sources of stress include long working hours, commuting, over-competition, unreasonable employers, and challenging co-worker relationships. Without intentionally practicing self-care and having access to a workplace wellness program, work-related stress can build up.

Among working professionals, stress often goes unnoticed. People get used to their working environment even when stress levels are high. But over time, they may develop chronic depression, anxiety, and other mental health issues. These conditions increase the risk of substance use tendencies. In the field of healthcare, when faced with the high accessibility of drugs, healthcare professionals may be tempted to self-medicate and misuse medications.

Having substance use problems while working can tip one’s life off balance. Some common behavioral patterns include absenteeism, low productivity, low employee morale, and social avoidance. In some high-stress sectors such as banking, systemic cocaine use has become the norm to work the grueling long hours. Young professionals jeopardize their long-term health for their short-term work.

The Prevalence of Workplace Addiction Denialism

Like mental health illnesses, substance addiction has been widely stigmatized. For this reason, many working professionals prefer to hide their problems due to fear that employers or co-workers may falsely judge them. In actuality, employer-sponsored programs can support them in treatment, from start to finish.

Based on laws such as the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), employees with substance addiction cannot be discriminated against in the workplace. You can even file a charge of discrimination with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission if you are ever penalized for attending treatment. There is also the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) which allows qualifying individuals to take 12 unpaid workweeks to pursue treatment. Your employer is required to keep the reason for your leave confidential.

Untreated Addiction Can Destroy Your Career

While it may seem better to hide your addiction and pretend like nothing is wrong with your health and emotional stability, the truth is bound to come out. If you are honest about the need for treatment, get treated, and return to work more focused, you are more likely to keep your job.

Addiction is a serious disease that damages the brain and other major organs. The worst impact substance use can have on your future is to destroy your health. You also would not want to commit any crime under the influence of drugs or alcohol. All drug and alcohol-related charges will show up on background checks whenever you seek new employment paths. Getting treatment for your addiction is the best way out.

Choosing the Right Treatment Program

When you decide to begin treatment, understand that there are many options, including outpatient options that offer flexible scheduling for working clients. This option allows a certain degree of treatment privacy because you will still be showing up at work. If you need to enter into residential rehab, you then need to talk with your employer about how to make those accommodations.

Many recovery-supportive employers offer employee assistance programs that refer you to trusted health providers. You can also decide whether you need to use an FMLA-protected leave. While you do not have to share every detail about the treatment with your employer, being honest about the next steps can help build trust and accountability.

It is also important to prepare for your absence and communicate with colleagues. You can state the reason as medical leave and share work responsibilities with others. If someone continues to press you on the matter, it is perfectly appropriate to say that you do not feel comfortable talking about it.

Avoiding Workplace Stressors in Recovery

If you are going through treatment while holding a job, it is important to identify the common sources of stress at work. You can begin with detox and then work with a therapist who guides you through coping with work-related stress. You might be advised to reduce work hours, decline a heavier workload, or make other helpful adjustments. Treatment centers that advocate for holistic care can help you make the transition.

A key strategy is to build more healthy boundaries and self-care practices during work hours. Learn to reserve more self-care breaks during the day. Try to carve out time for practicing mindfulness meditation whenever you feel overwhelmed or stressed. Be a wellness advocate at work. Stress management and time management can help you become more focused while still having time for self-care.

Have you been struggling with work-related stress? Lack of relief from chronic stress may lead to substance use and addiction. If this is the case for you, it is time to work with recovery experts who can help you detox and manage workplace stress. A holistic approach can help you recover with sustainability. At Capo Canyon Recovery, near Mission Viejo, CA, we take pride in our holistic path, which is incremental to a sustainable, long-term recovery. We focus on each stage of recovery, both in terms of physical health and mental health. Our inpatient residential care and outpatient, long-term care programs offer unmatched benefits. We provide excess comfort with an in-house chef, luxurious beds, and an onsite organic garden during your sobriety journey. With Capo Canyon Recovery, you can rely on us to help you achieve long-term sobriety. Call us at (800) 804-8714.

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Think Positive!

If you are struggling with negative self-talk during recovery, you are not alone. Many recovering individuals experience the voice of an inner critic that produces a stream of negative thoughts and dialogues in the mind. If these cycles of negative self-talk happen unchecked, they can fuel addiction and mental health issues.

Deeper Causes of Negative Self-talk

Many recovering individuals harbor guilt and shame for their past addiction. Even when making progress in recovery, they still give in to self-blame. Recovery experts observe that people with low self-esteem tend to develop addictive habits, which continue to fuel the already low sense of self-worth. People who have this mental habit tend to beat themselves up for anything bad that happens in life. Negative self-talk sometimes personalizes a bad situation by such self-blame.

The negativity of attitudes is also demonstrated in the mind’s tendency to gravitate toward the worst-case scenario. There is a catastrophizing voice in the head saying, “This will be a disaster.” One only focuses on the negative and filters anything positive thing in sight. This may happen before or during a depressive episode. With time, habits of negative self-talk may evolve into chronic depression.

Changing How You See Things With Positivity

A person with a harmful self-talk habit may need external help to see the positive sides of life. People going through addiction recovery treatment can get help from cognitive-behavioral therapists. The latter’s job is to help identify negative thinking patterns and their connection to one’s mood and behavior.

Any reflective activities such as keeping a gratitude journal may help recovering individuals gain a different perspective on life. Just as how negative self-talk changes brain structures through neuroplasticity, the reinforcement of positive thinking methods can also help the brain reverse course. Of course, it takes time and perseverance to achieve optimal results. As you get better at recognizing negative thinking patterns, you can dive deeper and develop new outlooks on life.

Positive Thinking Exercises

There are many ways to practice positive thinking. One way is through counting one’s blessings in life. Carve out a routine time in the evening to do this. You can write them down for consistency, just like keeping a gratitude journal. This simple yet powerful exercise can break the cycle of negativity.

Another mental exercise is to step outside of yourself when you are stuck in a negative thought cycle. Imagine what your best friend or a compassionate person would say about this. Because we often do not practice self-love and self-compassion, removing ourselves one step from the situation may help create some needed self-empathy.

Another common method of reversing negative self-talk is through mindfulness meditation. By focusing on the present moment with self-acceptance, mindfulness exercises allow you to stop and refocus. Even when your mind begins to wander into negative corners again, simply recognize this and bring your focus back to the present moment.

The Benefits of Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy

Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is the most common approach to help recovering individuals address negative thought patterns. Unlike other forms of psychological treatment, CBT is based on the understanding that faulty or unhelpful ways of thinking may lead to mental health problems. A therapist will help you recognize distortions in thinking and use problem-solving skills to cope with difficult situations.

CBT treatment also helps people face their fears instead of avoiding them. The therapist may use role-play to help you prepare for problematic interactions. Most importantly, CBT therapists have a wide toolkit to help calm the mind and relax the body. Because psychological and emotional stress is at the root of negative self-talk, CBT directly addresses these sources of stress.

Practical Self-Care Methods to Promote Positive Thinking

Recovering individuals should integrate positive thinking into their daily actions and interactions. One way is to practice positive affirmations. Repeat a positive phrase to encourage yourself every day. While you can analyze what went wrong in certain challenging situations, give yourself enough time to let the issues settle before making judgments about yourself.

Positive thinking is very important in family life and work scenarios. Learn to relax and let things happen. Acknowledge failure but always be quick to forgive others and yourself. Do not dwell on past mistakes. If certain relationships or personalities are triggering, try to remove yourself from meeting them. Surround yourself with sober and positive friends. Always be open to others’ perspectives. Learn to accept compliments and enjoy them as a way to connect.

Self-care also means watching your own cheerfulness, energy level, anxiety levels, and satisfaction with life. If you feel stressed or anxious, maybe it is time to take a quality break from work and family responsibilities. Reserve some quiet and relaxing time for yourself to recharge.

If you are struggling with negative self-talk, it is time to work with mental health professionals who use evidence-based methods to help you. Unchecked negative thinking patterns may fuel your cravings and lead to a full-blown relapse. If you are looking for a quality program that offers cognitive-behavioral therapy, you do not need to look beyond Capo Canyon Recovery, near Mission Viejo, CA. Our team takes pride in our holistic path, which is incremental to sustainable and long-term recovery. We focus on each stage of recovery, both in terms of physical health and mental health. Our inpatient residential care and outpatient, long-term care programs offer unmatched benefits. We provide excess comfort with an in-house chef, luxurious beds, and an onsite organic garden during your sobriety journey. With Capo Canyon Recovery, you can rely on us to help you achieve long-term sobriety. Call us at (800) 804-8714.

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The Signs of Heroin Use

With the increasing accessibility of prescription opioids, many parents are concerned if their teens or adolescents use illicit drugs such as heroin. If you are one of them, do you know how to identify early signs of heroin use? The more informed and educated you become about illicit drugs, the more prepared you are when it actively comes to preventing teen addiction.

Prescription Opioids and Heroin

The opioids epidemic has affected many families and communities. It is now widely known that prescription opioid pain medications can be highly addictive. Among all opioids, heroin is another type of drug that people experiment with because it seems to promise a quick surge of pleasurable sensation.

As an opioid drug, heroin is made from morphine, a natural substance extracted from the seed pod of the various opium poppy plants. As a rapidly acting drug, heroin quickly enters the brain and binds to receptions in many brain areas, especially in nerve systems that manage pain and pleasure. Along with the surge of pleasure, people who use heroin may feel warm flushing of the skin, mental clouding, and other short-term effects.

With repeated use of heroin, people may develop physical and mental dependence. The withdrawal symptoms can be severe, including:

  • Restlessness
  • Insomnia
  • Diarrhea
  • Muscle and body aches
  • Cold flashes
  • Spontaneous leg movements

In the long run, people who use heroin may develop infection of the heart valves, liver disease, kidney disease, pneumonia, and mental disorders.

Heroin Addiction and Changes in the Brain

Like other addictive drugs, heroin attaches to brain molecules that are known as opioid receptors located in many areas of the brain. These areas function your breathing, pain perception, and regulation of pleasure. Because of the heroin-induced brain chemical changes, people may feel drowsy and have a rush of clouded thinking while their heart rate and breathing slow down.

Heroin affects the brain stem, which is in charge of all the body’s major functions, from breathing and movement to digesting food. This drug also impacts the limbic system that controls emotional responses and causes feelings of pleasure. Lastly, heroin use also changes the cerebral cortex, a mushroom-shaped outer part of the brain (the gray matter), which controls our senses and ability to think and make decisions.

Behavioral Patterns of Heroin Addiction

Due to the above-mentioned reasons, people with heroin addiction inevitably demonstrate altered behaviors, including neglect of personal hygiene and other responsibilities, withdrawal from family and friends, problems in interpersonal relationships, need for money, secrecy, and lying. They tend to sleep more and eat less, sometimes with deterioration of appearance and weight loss.

Some cognitive symptoms include decreased problem-solving and decision-making abilities, lack of self-control, memory impairment, and lack of ability to pay attention. Their emotions also show many changes, including sudden outbursts of anger, mood swings, paranoia, fearfulness, and anxiety.

The Dangers of Heroin Overdose

Early intervention is especially key when heroin use is suspected because the risk of overdose is high. Most heroin users will do anything to avoid painful withdrawal symptoms, and they become dependent on higher and higher doses. When you suspect a potential overdose has happened, watch for these signs and symptoms:

  • Cold skin
  • Constipation
  • Pinpoint pupils
  • Discoloration of the tongue
  • Delirium
  • Muscle spasms
  • Extreme hypotension
  • Weak pulse
  • Labored breathing

Heroin intoxication may last around one to three hours. There are medications (e.g., Naloxone) to treat heroin overdose, and they need to be given right away. Sometimes more than one dose may be required to help a person with an overdose start breathing again. This is why people with overdose risks need to be sent to an emergency room immediately. Surviving a heroin overdose may be the opportunity to persuade your loved one to begin treatment.

Heroin Addiction Can Be Treated

Although substance addiction leads to chronic brain disease, it is still treatable. There has been a range of treatments in the medical field, including medically-assisted detoxification, medications, and behavioral therapies that have been proven effective in helping people stop and recover from heroin use. For example, medications like buprenorphine and methadone work by binding to the same opioid receptors in the brain and reducing withdrawal symptoms.

Because most heroin users suffer from co-occurring mental health problems, they need to begin behavioral therapies, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy, which helps identify and modify a person’s drug-induced emotional and behavioral patterns. Every recovering individual needs a customized treatment plan and relapse prevention plan. Most likely, they will be in inpatient treatment which offers a monitored environment. With the support of family, friends, and recovery experts, you or your loved one can regain sober control of life.

If you want to support a loved one who is recovering from heroin addiction, you need to work with experienced recovery experts and mental health specialists. We have a strong recovery system to support you. At Capo Canyon Recovery, near Mission Viejo, CA, our licensed health professionals have helped many families care for their loved ones with heroin addiction. We have the knowledge and expertise necessary, and most of all, compassion. Our inpatient residential care and outpatient, long-term care programs offer curated benefits for each client. We provide unmatched comfort during your stay with an in-house chef, luxurious beds, and our organic garden. At Capo Canyon Recovery, you can feel confident that we will help you achieve long-term sobriety. By coaching you on how to best support your loved one, we walk alongside you to face all kinds of challenges. Call us at (800) 804-8714.

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How Can Creative Stimulation Strengthen Recovery?

Do you know there is a connection between creativity and your overall health? The healing power of creative activitieshas been confirmed by medical research. For people who are recovering from substance addiction, creative therapies can also help improve their physical, emotional, and mental health.

The Importance of Creative Stimulation

Being creative is an important foundation for human flourishing. When you are absorbed in making art or listening to music, there tends to be a flow of ease and happiness. This reduces anxiety, boosts your mood, and even slows your heart rate. Repetitive creative activities such as drawing, writing, and knitting generate flooding of dopamine, the feel-good chemical that helps motivate you in life.

It is not news that listening to music produces better connectivity between the left and right brains. In other words, listening to music improves cognitive function. Making art can help the mind focus, which improves mental health. Creative activities can be compared to mindfulness exercises because you focus on the present moment movements. They produce a calming effect on the brain. Activities like gardening integrate the healing power of nature into creative stimulation and may produce natural anti-depressant effects.

Creativity and Addiction Recovery

Many treatment programs integrate art and music therapies because of the above-mentioned reasons. People who are recovering from substance use disorders need time for their brains to heal. Many suffer from co-occurring mental health conditions that make it hard for them to relax and enjoy life. Art and music therapies can be instrumental in calming anxieties, helping recovering individuals focus and relax.

Recovery experts also use these creative therapies as a channel for people to express their previously bottled-up emotions. During recovery, emotional management is key to preventing relapse. Art-making and music-making can serve as nonverbal ways of processing complex feelings and expressing one’s emotions.

How Art Therapy Works in Recovery

Art therapy is the use of visual arts to serve a therapeutic purpose. A licensed art therapist may work with you closely and tailor each activity to meet your needs in recovery. Usually, these art therapy activities are conducted in a group. This helps build healthy connections among recovering individuals. Many people form friendships by doing sober activities together.

The art therapist may assign you to express yourself through a theme. You can use art supplies to create whatever comes to mind. The art-making process makes you slow down and explore the theme based on your own imagination. The focus of art therapy is often on the process and not the final product. But the final product can often still be quite self-revealing.

Who Can Participate in Art Therapy?

Many addiction treatment centers integrate art therapy to complement traditional mental health treatment methods such as cognitive-behavioral therapy. Art therapy aims to help recovering individuals process feelings, reduce stress, increase self-esteem, and cultivate new hobbies. Many people who have gone through art therapy begin a self-discovery journey because creating art helps them acknowledge and recognize feelings that have been locked up.

You do not need to be a talented artist in order to try art therapy. This activity may evoke the innate creativity that you did not know you had. When making art, be sure to stay honest with yourself and your emotions. Unleash your inner artist.

The greatest benefit of art therapy is allowing for a healthy outlet for expressing and letting go of negative emotions and fears. Sometimes complex emotions such as grief, anger, or sadness cannot be expressed with words. Making art can help people release them. This previously bottled-up emotional trauma can find a way to come out of the mind and body.

Other Creative Therapies

Music therapy works in about the same way as art therapy. You are led to do an activity of making your own music, including lyrics. This helps you express emotions in a nonverbal way. The release of creative energy that is inherent in everyone can be awakening and esteem-boosting.

Creative therapies can be integrated with nature therapy. There is creative energy in nature all the time, and you just have not taken the time to notice it. Placing yourself outdoors and breathing in the fresh air can enhance your creative processes. You can carry a notebook and write down some poetic inspirations. Many treatment centers are located in a natural environment so that they can make use of the healing power of the outdoors.

There is a wide range of creative therapies, including dancing, embroidery, jewelry-making, poetry, creative writing, scrapbooking, videography, woodwork, etc. Each of them may open the door to a new social life. You will be amazed to find that life in sobriety has so much to offer. The more you participate in and enjoy these creative activities, the more sustainable your recovery becomes.

Do you know that creative activities such as drawing, writing, and knitting produce better brain connectivity and improve cognitive function? Creative activities can produce a calming effect on the brain. This is why many treatment centers use them to help people heal. At Capo Canyon Recovery, near Mission Viejo, CA, we take pride in our holistic methods, which are incremental to your path to sustainable and long-term recovery. We focus on each stage of recovery, both physical and mental health. Our inpatient residential care and outpatient, long-term care programs offer curated benefits. We provide unmatched comfort during your stay with an in-house chef, luxurious beds, and our organic garden. Here, you can feel confident that we will help you achieve long-term sobriety. By coaching you to cope with upcoming stress and challenges, you can start your journey with experienced recovery experts today. Call us at (800) 804-8714.

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How to Help Our Children Avoid Substance Use

Parents are the biggest influence in a child’s life. They can pass on experiential knowledge in all areas of life to their children. When it comes to substance use, parents are also shouldered with the responsibility of education and prevention. The challenge often comes with how to go about doing it.

Keeping Lines of Communication Open in the Home

Before parents begin addressing more challenging topics, such as sexual behavior and substance use, there needs to be open communication in the home environment. A parent cannot expect their children to listen deeply after they have been absent themselves. You need to invest time in this two-way communication, starting when your child is young.

There can be frequent teachable moments and touchpoints when you are carefully observing their emotional development. Organic conversations may evolve naturally as your child gets older. Even with young children, it is important to offer information about the importance of healthy nutrition, sleep rhythm, and regular exercise.

If your child is curious about medicine bottles they see in the home, explain that a child can only take medicine if a parent or a doctor gives it. Help them understand that taking the wrong medicine can be dangerous to one’s health.

Prevention Communication With Older Children

With grade-level children who watch television and movies, parents should monitor what they watch to ensure it is age-appropriate as some content might contain substance use scenes. If the question or issue comes up, it is time to discuss the long-term negative consequences of drinking alcohol or using drugs. Guide them to make a distinction between short-term pleasure and long-term risks.

When your child is starting middle school, that is a time your influence as a parent will decrease. They will face more peer pressure at school, and some children may be exposed to substances offered by friends. Ask about whether they have seen other children vaping, smoking, drinking, or using drugs. Do not accuse or interrogate, but listen and communicate. Have an open discussion.

Introduce the brain science facts about how substance addiction can lead to brain disease. Most importantly, model sobriety and a healthy lifestyle to your children.

Getting to Know Your Child’s Friends

It takes a village to raise a healthy child. At this point, you should merge more into your child’s social world. Spend time getting to know your child’s friends and their parents when they spend time together. Set boundaries on what your child can do and cannot do with friends. Maybe communicate with other parents about the concern if this issue arises in the community.

As your teenage child grows up and enters high school, there will be more challenging issues related to risky sexual behavior and substance use. Share how your high school years went and what challenges you struggled with.

Ensure your child that you will always be there to support them no matter what happens. Trusting your child is an essential aspect of their confidence and decision-making. This is the time for them to face the world and prepare for independence.

Many parents panic when their children begin hanging out with other teens they don’t know. If you keep the lines of communication open, your child will trust you with their problems.

Prevention Starts With Parents

Ideally, parents should model a healthy lifestyle to their children. They should also be educated on scientific facts about substance use before trying to discuss it with their children. If there is one parent in the home who has a history of substance use, such as alcoholism or drug abuse, this parent in recovery needs to have an honest discussion with the child about their own addiction history.

In order to be a role model for your child, you must become sober first. Children do notice how their parents use substances and socialize. As a parent, your emotional and mental health also shapes whether a child feels safe and confident. If parenting gets challenging, maybe you should consider family-based therapy where an experienced counselor can guide every family member to identify emotional and behavioral patterns that need improvement.

Family-based prevention programs aim at enhancing family bonding and parental skills. Research has shown that even brief sessions of family-focused interventions can positively change specific parenting behaviors to reduce later risks of substance use.

All in all, parents and families need to stay connected with a strong support system, especially from the addiction recovery community. Substance addiction is treatable, and children of all ages must understand that. Parents should do their best and keep their hopes up.

If you are a parent in recovery, do you know how to educate your child about the negative effects of substance use? Education is important for preventing child or teen addiction, which is a rising epidemic in America. As a parent, you also need to model a healthy and sober lifestyle in the home. If you are looking for recovery specialists who can coach you on parenting and prevention, come and visit us at Capo Canyon Recovery, near Mission Viejo, CA. We have helped many families by using our holistic approach. We focus on each stage of recovery, both in terms of physical and mental health. You or your loved ones can make use of both our inpatient residential care and outpatient, long-term care programs that offer personalized benefits. Our experienced counselors and therapists can coach you on a wide range of issues related to prevention. Work with us now. Call us at (800) 804-8714.

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Catch the Early Warning Signs of Burnout

Many working professionals may experience work-related stress from time to time. However, if constant stress makes you feel physically exhausted and mentally disillusioned, you may be experiencing burnout. This term refers to severe stress accompanying overwork. A stressful lifestyle can cause depression, leading to substance use and addiction. Many career-driven professionals develop substance addiction because they use drugs and alcohol to self-medicate.

Physical and Mental Symptoms of Workplace Burnout

Many working professionals fail to catch some of the early warning signs of burnout. They may have been under pressure and stress for so long that they have failed to see how the body reacts. The first sign is often exhaustion. As a normal reaction to stress, exhaustion by itself is not a problem. However, the long-term building up of feeling drained and emotionally exhausted without being able to cope is a warning sign. Chronic exhaustion may lead to body pain and gastrointestinal problems.

When your body shows this early sign of chronic exhaustion, it will surely lead to a reduction in your productivity. Your work performance will decline, which becomes a vicious cycle because you feel more stressed about only making slow progress. Then you might need to put in more hours at work while neglecting family responsibilities. Working professionals who are experiencing these symptoms tend to lack creativity because their mind is in a state of deficit.

Gradually, people with burnout symptoms find their jobs increasingly challenging. They may start becoming cynical about work and relationships with colleagues.

Another warning sign of burnout is workplace alienation. These people may find excuses to distance themselves emotionally from people at work. They feel unmotivated to invest more into these social activities and feel numb about all work-related things.

Common symptoms of work-related burnout include physical, emotional, and behavioral signs characterized by lack of energy, sense of failure, and isolation.

The Relationship Between Burnout and Depression

Working professionals with depression may also display the above-mentioned symptoms. However, in situations of burnout, the problems are mostly work-related. While in depression, a person’s negative thoughts and feelings are not just about work but about all areas of life. Depression has a range of other symptoms, including low self-esteem, a sense of hopelessness, and suicidal tendencies. These are not typically considered symptoms of burnout.

It is essential to know the distinction between these two conditions so that you are not given a wrong diagnosis. Burnout may indeed increase the risk of a person developing depression, but these two can also happen separately. The tricky thing about work-related burnout is that there are no generally accepted questionnaires in the medical field. It is crucial to find out other causes with your health provider.

Making Lifestyle Changes to Cope With Burnout

There are many obvious causes of burnout, including overwork, lack of supportive relationships, taking on too many responsibilities, and sleep deprivation. Certain fast-paced and overcompetitive industries are notorious for producing these lifestyle features for employees. If you experience cycles of burnout that cannot be relieved because of overwhelming work demands, maybe it is time to consider changing your industry for the sake of your own health.

However, many working professionals also willingly give in to such a busy and overworked lifestyle. Some can tolerate sleep deprivation for years. This is also why many professionals in high-pressure positions tend to develop substance addiction problems. They are simply using another unhealthy method to deal with the stress from the original unhealthy rhythm of life.

Sometimes work-related burnout can be relieved by making certain lifestyle changes. First of all, you need to prioritize your health above all else. That is simply the starting point of personal accountability. You need to set boundaries at work so that you do not yield to unreasonable demands. You also need to set boundaries to protect your time with family and friends. Investing time in building meaningful relationships is an important part of a healthy and balanced lifestyle.

Learning to Relax While Working

You can add relaxation techniques to your day’s work schedule. For example, try not to skip your lunch break. Use it to have a nutritious meal and take a walk outside. Plan many breaks during a workday so that you can get enough release from the constant pressure. Encourage your employer to have a staff mental health awareness campaign in the workplace. This can reap positive benefits for employees’ well-being as well as productivity.

A general rule to cope with potential burnout is not letting your work dictate your life. Consider you as more important than the work you are doing. Be your own advocate at work and claim back the space that belongs to you. With a more supportive work environment that has higher mental health awareness, work can again become a source of joy.

Do you know that burnout due to over-stress may affect all our bodies’ systems, including nervous, cardiovascular, musculoskeletal, respiratory, and endocrine systems? For those in recovery from addiction, learning to de-stress is critical for preventing relapse. One should work with trained therapists to learn recovery-supportive techniques. At Capo Canyon Recovery, near Mission Viejo, CA, we take pride in our holistic methods, which are incremental to your path to sustainable and long-term recovery. We focus on each stage of recovery, both physical and mental health. Our inpatient residential care and outpatient, long-term care programs offer curated benefits. We provide unmatched comfort during your stay with an in-house chef, luxurious beds, and our organic garden. At Capo Canyon Recovery, you can feel confident that we will help you achieve long-term sobriety. By coaching you to cope with upcoming stress and challenges, you can start your journey with experienced recovery experts today. Call us at (800) 804-8714.