Imagine waking up and needing a drink on an immediate basis. Imagine getting sick when you don’t drink. Think about what it would be like if you felt you needed a drink to cope with everyday problems. These and many others are symptoms that alcoholics have to fight every single day. In this article, You would find Discussion on Medication, Medicine, Injections and Shot for Alcoholics to Stop Drinking. Recovering Alcoholic Success Stories with Recovering Alcoholic Diet. Also about Drinking While Pregnant Effects on Baby and Mother.
Alcohol is one of the most abused drugs in the United States. For example, statistics show that 28.8% of women and 43.1% of men who are over 18 in the US are binge drinkers. Alcohol is in our high schools – with 29.5% of 8th graders drinking in the last year. Alcohol abuse affects the young and old alike.
It may not seem like alcohol would be an addictive drug since so many people drink. But alcohol addiction is very real and is a huge problem in the US and around the world. Alcohol is classified as a depressant, which means it slows down vital functions like brain function, breathing, and heartbeat. That’s why it’s hard to talk, think and move when you drink too much. Because people who’ve been drinking are physically and mentally impaired, they don’t always come to logical conclusions and may do things they would never do sober. The way alcohol makes a person feel can be addictive, and can make the person think they can “only do things” when they are drunk. For example, have you ever heard a young man say he needs another drink before he can ask a girl out, or before he can get on the dance floor? Have you ever heard a woman saying she needs a little “liquid courage”? These people are using the drug as a crutch to do things which make them uncomfortable.
Alcoholism stems from a physical dependence on alcohol, as well as a mental dependence. Some symptoms of alcoholism are:
- Feeling like you have to drink in order to function.
- Getting “black-out” drunk.
- Depression; anxiety; irritability; nausea; insomnia; shakiness; loss of appetite; hallucinations; seizures; fever; other withdrawal symptoms.
- Drinking in situations where it’s dangerous or unlawful to do so.
- Using alcohol to avoid a problem.
- blog Hiding stashes of alcohol so you don’t run out.
People turn to alcohol to solve/avoid a problem. That problem may be a situation at work, a failing marriage, or it may be depression or a mental illness. The solution to alcoholism lies in finding the real reasons a person decided they had to turn to the drug, and helping them discover how to solve those problems for themselves. This means they have to confront life, which can be difficult when you’ve gotten in the habit of escaping from it. Not uncommon is the alcoholic who must continuously battle the urge to use alcohol to deal with life.
So, the question “Is there a cure for alcoholism?” is an interesting one. The dictionary states that a “Cure” means “To control or get rid of a bad habit, feeling, or attitude.” It also means “To stop someone from being affected by an illness.”
Alcoholism can be controlled by the individual. They can decide to go completely sober; they can go to rehab; they can change their lifestyle. But, whether they are cured or not is up to the person themselves. If they fall and take a drink again, does this mean they now have to go out of control and binge drink themselves into a coma? It shouldn’t, but for some people it does.
The best solution is to get clean and sober, address the underlying reason for drinking, and make connections with people you trust. This way, if you feel like you need to turn to alcohol again, you can talk with the people you trust to find a better, more productive solution.
The holistic rehabilitation solution is tailor made for each individual. Everyone gets a physical evaluation, and is helped off drugs or alcohol using nutrition and vitamins. The B vitamins, for example, are essential. It has been found that drug addiction – alcohol in particular – depletes a body of B vitamins. This is one of the major causes for the tremors and insomnia that an addict or alcoholic experiences when withdrawing.
At Best Drug Rehabilitation, we don’t stop at detox. We help the person discover the underlying reasons for their addiction, and help them make needed changes to their lives. This gives a person the resources to actually move beyond addiction. In this way, with the person working to control their alcoholism, our patients can achieve lasting sobriety.
Do drugs and alcohol make you more creative?
Many creative people seem to use alcohol and drugs. They may say that it helps them to be more creative than they are when they are sober. The fact is, that subjectively, they may feel more creative because drugs and alcohol limit your inhibitions. You just go ahead and do things. That’s part of the reason why people should never drink or take drugs and then drive. It simply isn’t safe. You take more chances.
Alcohol inhibits brain activity
A Harvard professor and neurologist researched the role of alcohol in creativity, and her finding isn’t encouraging for those who say they drink to be more creative. Alcohol actually reduces activity in your brain. You’re thinking more slowly, less clearly, and basically, you’re ‘dumbing down’.
But you don’t feel dumber, and you have fewer inhibitions, so you go for it and achieve a result. The truth is, you could probably have produced a much better result if you allowed your brain to work at its peak performance level. What’s holding you back isn’t a lack of alcohol-induced creativity; it’s your own habit of being critical of yourself that’s paralyzing you.
Pot makes you less creative
A test conducted in the Netherlands on pot smokers used a creative thinking process called ‘divergent thinking’ to test people’s creativity before and after smoking pot. Here’s what they found. Just about everybody said that they felt more creative, but they fared much worse at the creative thinking test after using pot!
So what really happened was a confidence trick. The pot caused the people in the test to think that they were more creative when in actual fact, they were much less creative!
Heroin and opiates jumble up your thoughts
Experts say that heroin brings our brains into a state that’s comparable to that experienced by people with a serious psychosis. So yes, you will have crazy thoughts, and if your idea of genius is madness, you’ll have some creative ones too, but the main contribution that heroin makes to creative people is what’s known as ‘disinhibition’.
So basically, you aren’t really more creative, but you are much less inhibited. That may sound pleasant enough, but the consequences of opiate use are well-known. Addiction happens quickly and getting off drugs is a slow and painful process for the addict – and those are the lucky ones. It would be easy to make a list as long as your arm of famous people who have died as a result of heroin overdoses – and that’s just the famous ones!
Bod Dylan was a heroin addict at one point in his career. Then he quit. If heroin had been responsible for much of his creativity, that would have been the end of his career, but instead he went on to write some of his all-time best songs after quitting heroin. Did it make him more creative? Probably not!
Drugs and alcohol: a snare and a delusion for creatives
No matter which way you look at it, drugs and alcohol are not going to make you more creative than you already are. But creative people are often self-conscious when they use their talent and suffer from feelings of angst that what they’re doing isn’t going to be good enough.
They know that when they use substances they feel smarter and more creative, so they hit the bottle, smoke a joint, or resort to whatever their ‘favorite’ substance is. Then the delusion begins. The person is actually less creative than usual, but they’re less inhibited, they feel more confident and yes – they feel more creative. But it’s all smoke and mirrors. They aren’t any more creative than they were before their fix.
Now comes the big trap that lies in wait. Because the creative person thinks that they are more creative when using substances, they feel the need to use them whenever they are at work on a creative project. What if that’s every day? Or even several times a day? The path to addictionlies waiting for the unwary.
How can you boost creativity?
A real boost of creativity comes from a sober mind. If you’re feeling like you aren’t making progress, perhaps you are just being too self-critical. You could also have spent too much time sitting still. Research has shown that getting a bit of brisk exercise in the outdoors really does boost creativity – without making your brain dumb down or putting you at risk of addiction. Get up, take a walk, take a break and when you get back to what you were doing, just go for it! It really will be so much better than anything you achieve under the influence of drugs and alcohol.
Don’t be Fooled: Alcohol Kills
People are inclined to think that alcohol doesn’t present a major health risk. After all, it’s perfectly legal to drink. But the World Health Organization lists alcohol as the third greatest health risk after tobacco and high blood pressure. That’s because alcohol kills – and you don’t even have to be particularly heavy drinker for it to impact on your health.
Just a little too much…
You’re at risk if you’re a man who drinks more than a pint and a half of lager a day, or if you are woman who drinks more than one large glass of wine a day. Alcohol use promotes cancers, brain disorders, osteoporosis, heart disease and gastritis.
Not all of these are necessarily fatal, but both heart disease and cancer can kill you – and who wants to develop dementia? Of course, you never see any of this in alcohol advertising. It’s all glitz and glamour or rugged-looking, healthy men throwing back a pint of lager with ‘the boys’. No images of hospital beds feature – that’s ‘behind the scenes’ stuff that they’d prefer you not to know about.
Much too much now and then
There’s a lot of joking and a light-hearted attitude towards binge drinking. Hangovers, memory loss and, of course, the previous night’s party, are all seen as something to laugh about. But death from alcohol poisoning is no laughing matter. Six American die every day and 2,200 die each year, simply from drinking too much alcohol.
These people aren’t alcoholics. Many of them don’t drink all that regularly, and according to the CDC, 75% of them are aged 35 to 64. It’s not the sort of thing we even think about when heading out to ‘celebrate’ the weekend with a few drinks. In the popular mythology, alcohol poisoning only happens to college students – but reality paints a different picture. Most alcohol poisoning fatalities occur amongst the middle-aged.
And it really is only a few drinks away. You don’t have to polish off a bottle of bourbon or pile into the beer all that much to get potentially fatal alcohol poisoning. Just five or more drinks places you at risk if you’re a man, and women reach the danger zone after only four drinks.
Much too much on a regular basis
At this point, we’re crossing the border between abuse and addiction. If you drink a lot and you drink often, you are at risk of reaching a point where you are no longer able to function without alcohol. And the health risks you face are very grave indeed.
80% of people who are admitted to hospital with liver disease use alcohol regularly. In very severe cases, irreversible damage has been done to the liver and it is impossible for the organ to function. 10% of liver cirrhosis patients will contract cancer of the liver. The CDC reports that over 18,000 people in the US die of alcohol-related liver cirrhosis every year.
And of course, all the other health risks related to alcohol are much more severe if you frequently drink too much.
How much is alcohol shortening your life span? There’s no way to be sure, but alcohol kills. It’s a fact that nobody can deny.
Death on the roads
10,076 traffic fatalities in the US involve alcohol-impaired drivers. That’s 31% of all deaths on the road. And 17% of road deaths in which children are killed involve a drunk driver. It’s all very well risking your own life, but when you drive drunk, you might end up having to live with the knowledge that you killed someone else.
What should you do?
Be aware of the risks that you face when you drink, and either don’t drink at all, or drink very moderately. Never binge drink.
If you can’t face that thought, you probably need help – even if you aren’t actually physically dependant on alcohol yet. Go for one on one counselling, consider joining group-therapy sessions, or book yourself into a rehabilitation center to detox and get your mind-set right for sober living.
Any of these might sound a bit radical – after all, just about everybody drinks. But it’s important to understand that problem drinking, though a common problem, should be treated as an illness and cannot be ignored. Just because a lot of other people share your problem, doesn’t mean that it isn’t serious. Take it seriously, and get help now. Remember: Alcohol kills! In total, excluding alcohol-related road accidents and homicides, more than 29,000 people in the US die from alcohol-related illnesses.
Is your business driving you to drink or drugs?
Many of us fall into the trap: “I’ll be my own boss,” we say “and I’ll have all the freedom I crave”. Then we discover that as bosses, we’re harder on ourselves than any employer we’ve ever had. We work longer hours, struggle with stress – and all too often – as I myself found, we turn to substance abuse.
As a high-powered sales executive, I was writing my own paycheck, but I was also abusing substances. After a ten year battle, I achieved freedom from addiction. What should I do next? I decided that my new mission in life would be to help others who were going through the addiction problems that I had finally overcome.
Best Drug Rehabilitation: my mission
I wanted to help in the best way possible so that other people would have an easier route to overcoming addiction than the battle that I had to go through. What could be better name for my new business than ‘Best Drug Rehabilitation’?
But I knew that I’d have to approach this new challenge with the right personal mindset. I decided that the best way to overcome the stress of being an entrepreneur was to become my own employee. Not the ‘boss’, not the business owner, but an employee of an entity that I would be able to separate from my personal life.
Your business is healthier when you are an ‘employee’ – and so are you
My business is actually doing better thanks to my adoption of this concept. I don’t run the day-to-day aspects of the business. My focus is on strategy, and my ‘employee’ mind-set makes me more open to fresh ideas, more able to delegate tasks and less likely to micro-manage. This places me in a better position to grow my operation.
As for stress, being able to recognise that you and your business are not a single entity gives you the freedom to relax, just as any employee does, when the workday is over. And if you want some time out, your business runs itself smoothly.
Ultimately, it’s the stress that causes business people to become dependent on substances to let off steam. I’ve seen it countless times, and I’ve helped many entrepreneurs who have ended up in deep water as a result of alcohol or drug abuse.
How do you know if you’re in the danger zone?
Knowing that you’re in danger of developing a stress-related addiction is way better than having to go through rehabilitation to undo damage. What danger signs should you look out for? How much stress is too much?
- You tend to overreact: As far as you’re concerned, everything’s a big deal and things that really are a big deal are not only ‘big’ but ‘enormous’. You seem to spend your life bouncing from one stressful situation to another.
- You have irrational worries: You daren’t leave your business to itself for a moment. When people tell you need a break, you say that you can’t possibly consider it right now. If they ask why, you can’t actually say what’s worrying you. You’re 1.5% off budget. Your accountant says you don’t need to worry, but you do. You know all this is irrational, but you can’t help yourself.
- You’re exhausted all the time: And you can’t sleep properly. You wake up at night with your mind racing and can’t get back to sleep. Even if you sleep through, you wake up feeling tired. You’re living on sheer nervous energy and keeping yourself going with caffeine or worse.
- Your heart races and you feel jittery: Every time you so much as think about your business, your heart starts racing. And once you’re at work, you have a sense of impending doom. Any minute now, all hell is going to break loose – at least, that’s what it feels like.
These are the classic signs of someone who is so stressed that they’re on the verge of burnout. You need to address your stress. There is no way that you are functioning at your best. Even if you’re not yet turning to substances to help you relax or get you to sleep at night, you need help and you have to make some changes. No human being can sustain your stress level indefinitely. Something is going to give.
And if you’re already self-medicating, you’re on the slippery slope. The drugs or alcohol that you use make you feel better for a little while, but they’re actually placing your body and mind under worse stress than ever. When you feel this happening, you think you have the answer: more pills, potions, drugs or alcohol. It’s a vicious circle and it’s time you got help!
Are you a Highly Functional Alcoholic?
The classic picture of the alcoholic is that of someone who has career, financial and relationship problems. He or she doesn’t turn up at work reliably, can’t pay their bills and ends up in abusive relationships, either as abuser or victim. But are these factors really the only symptoms of addiction that you should consider?
The truth about functional alcoholism…
You can have a fantastic life and career, get on well with friends and family, maintain a reputation as someone who reliably meets financial commitments, and still be an alcoholic. You may even feel proud about your ability to maintain your drinking habit while still being a highly functional member of society. Not sure if this is you? Use this handy calculator to see what your risks are. You may be surprised. More than two drinks a day puts you in the danger zone!
Why should you even consider rehabilitation?
Do you want to live your life to the full? More than two drinks a day not only affect your liver, but also damage your heart according to a new study. And women may be even more vulnerable to this effect than men. Do you care about your family? Your premature death would come as a blow to them. Would they be able to cope without you?
Do you want to be at your best and brightest? Excessive drinking – even if you don’t actually get drunk – reduces your ability to remember, learn and solve problems. Worst of all, these effects aren’t temporary. Your brain can actually get smaller, and there’s less activity in certain parts of the brain too. Just three drinks a day can cause irreversible brain damage, and the longer you drink, the worse it gets. And binge drinking on weekends does even more damage.
Do you want to protect the innocent? You’ve heard the whole ‘hype’ about drinking and driving. You’ve heard that moderate drinking affects response times. You may even think that none of this applies to you. After all, you feel fine after a few drinks. You can hold your booze! The facts are scary. Apart from having a slower reaction time even when blood alcohol levels are low, you have 32% less ‘visual acuity’. Simply put, you won’t even see a dangerous situation coming. Scariest of all, the CDC reports that over half the children that died in road accidents in the US are passengers of an alcohol impaired driver. This could be your child!
Do you need rehabilitation?
If you routinely use alcohol and experience psychological or physical withdrawal symptoms when you don’t drink, you should consider in-patient rehabilitation. If you occasionally binge-drink or are a regular social drinker, you may be able to get by with a positive resolution on your part. Consider getting supportive counselling to keep you on track.
Symptoms that indicate your need for in-patient treatment:
If you suffer from any of the following symptoms, you should consider getting help as an in-patient at a rehabilitation center.
- Inability to sleep when you stop drinking.
- You notice that you sweat a lot when you haven’t had a drink.
- You get anxious without alcohol.
- You decide to stop drinking, but you can’t keep your resolution.
- At the upper end of the scale, alcohol addicts can suffer from dangerous seizures and hallucinations when they don’t get their ‘fix’.
Should you be ashamed of yourself?
As long as you are willing to recognize that you have a problem and take steps to overcome it, you have no reason to be ashamed. Your (true) friends, family and your employers will respect you for taking the necessary steps to improve your life by quitting. If they don’t, the problem lies with them rather than with you.
If you are concerned about being stigmatized at work, you could consider using holiday leave to enjoy an opportunity to enhance your life and create a situation in which you can fulfil your true potential as a human being. What could be a better ‘holiday’ than that?
If you have an alcohol abuse or addiction problem, you are not alone! Up to 30% of Americans have alcohol abuse and addiction problems. If you take positive steps to resolve your issue, you should be proud of yourself! But if you don’t, you are endangering not only yourself but your family and the community at large.
Are you ready for change?
If you answered ‘yes’ to this question, congratulations. You have just taken the first step towards a better life. Don’t leave it there! Follow through!
Drinking While Pregnant Effects on Baby and Mother
It would seem that “everyone knows” that you should never drink alcohol while pregnant. However, alcohol use while pregnant is the leading preventable cause of birth defects and developmental disabilities in the United States.
There are usually three reasons a woman will drink alcohol while she is pregnant. The first is that she is an alcoholic and cannot or will not control her drinking. The second is that she does not know she is pregnant. The third and final reason is that she actually does not know what drinking alcohol will do to her unborn child.
Fetal Alcohol Syndrome
A child born from a mother who drank alcohol during her pregnancy may suffer from Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. This syndrome was first described by Kenneth Lyon Jones and David W. Smith in 1973. A child with FAS can be diagnosed by facial features and expressions.
What does a child with FAS suffer from?
– Malformed face and ears
– Underdeveloped heart, eyes, leg, arms, teeth, brain, and external genitalia
– Mental retardation
– Lower learning abilities than other kids their age
– Depression and anxiety
– Inappropriate sexual behavior
How is a Fetus Affected by Alcohol Abuse?
A developing fetus is nourished by what the mother eats or drinks. This means that the food and drink the mother consumes is broken down in her digestive system and absorbed into her bloodstream. The blood is carried to the placenta, which filters out harmful elements like bacteria, but allows things like oxygen, sugar, fat, protein, vitamins, minerals, caffeine, alcohol, and even drugs to go through and into the baby’s umbilical cord. The umbilical cord feeds the baby directly.
There is no “safe period” during which you can drink when pregnant. A fetus consumes what the mother consumes. This means that if you eat something healthy, your unborn child benefits from the nutrients you are giving him or her. On the flip side, if you drink, do drugs, or are generally unhealthy, your unborn baby is affected by your bad decision or addictive behavior.
Identifying Alcoholism in a Mother
A woman who is an alcoholic and is pregnant can exhibit the following behaviors and symptoms:
– Extreme nausea or morning sickness
– Getting consistently “black out” drunk
– Continuing to drink even when she knows she is pregnant and it will harm the baby
– Needs to drink to start her day
– Hiding her habit by keeping caches of alcohol “just in case” or by drinking secretively
– Cannot control how much she drinks
– Experiences withdrawal symptoms when she stops drinking
– Spending most of her time drinking and being hung over
– Hiding her habit from doctors and gynecologists
– Losing interest in the pregnancy, in life, or in activities she used to enjoy
– Depression or anxiety after drinking
Those are just some of the symptoms of alcoholism. There are more. A pregnant woman may hide her habit quite well, as it is so well known in modern times that drinking alcohol while pregnant is bad for the baby.
The very best solution for preventing Fetal Alcohol Syndrome is for any potential mother (meaning any women of child-bearing age) who is an alcoholic to seek help with her addiction before she gets pregnant.
However, alcohol abuse and alcoholism lead to behaviors a person would not normally engage in if they were clean and sober. A woman might accidentally get pregnant while they are physically dependent on alcohol. If this occurs, the mother needs to stop using and probably needs rehab. If a mother decides to go clean – which they ethically should do for the sake of the baby – they need to consult a doctor and be closely monitored during a medical detox process.
Addiction recovery: mobilize your support system
Going it alone is not the best way to conquer any challenge. If you were planning to climb Everest or take a trip to the North Pole, you wouldn’t even consider it without a support team to back you up. Getting through your addiction recovery period is one of the biggest and most important challenges you’ll ever face. Make sure that you have the best possible chance of success by mobilising your support team.
Who will support you during addiction recovery?
- Your family
Although your family may want to help you, they won’t necessarily know how. That’s why family counselling is so important. Your loved ones are the people who can help you to stay motivated and they’re the people you need to know you can turn to when the going gets tough.
By working together, your family can help you to pull through your recovery. Don’t leave them out in the cold. Chances are, they really want to help you, even if you hurt them during the time you were an addict.
Countless recovered addicts will tell you that the love and support of their families made a huge contribution to their addiction recovery, and that’s confirmed by studies that have shown that family involvement reduces the chances of a relapse.
- Your counsellor
There are deeper reasons why you became an addict – and you may not even be aware of all of them. Your counselor will help you to identify and address the root causes of your addiction. You may have detoxed and lost the physical craving for drugs or alcohol, but the psychological issues that underpinned your addiction won’t just go away all on their own.
Plus, a professional counselor will never judge you. You can tell him or her things you’d never want to discuss with your family – things you need to clear up if you are ever to recover fully from your addiction, its causes
Make sure that you feel comfortable about opening up to your counselor. A personal connection is important. A counselor needs to be someone that you can like and trust.
- Your therapy group
The people in your therapy group have been through similar experiences and right now, they’re in the same place as you are. You know that they are going through a similar process, and its great having the support of a group of people who really understand because they’re battling similar problems.
Although group therapy may seem awkward at first, you’ll soon find that you loosen up and begin to experience its benefits – and while you are being helped, you also provide help for others. As time goes on, you’ll find that your therapy group becomes closer and more supportive.
Therapy groups are a form of ‘peer pressure’, but it’s a positive kind of pressure. You know that you aren’t alone, and you can discuss any problems you encounter with your group.
- Your church or spiritual mentor
Your healing has to cover every aspect of your life, and spiritual guidance can provide you with the inspiration you need to keep at it when the going gets tough. Making peace with yourself, forgiving and being forgiven are vital steps in addiction recovery, and having spiritual guidance can go a long way towards making that a reality.
Having a person or a group of people that you deeply respect on your side can work wonders, even if they’re not physically present, and reaching beyond yourself to draw on a higher power for strength can get you through trials and temptations.
- True friends
True friends will be glad that you are now in recovery, and they will want to help. Sometimes, just knowing you can get on the phone and talk to someone who is supportive can be a huge advantage. But do be cautious that you aren’t mixing with people who will tempt you towards the very substances you need to eliminate from your life!
- Your employer
Telling your employer that you are in recovery may seem like a scary step, but most employers will be supportive. Just telling your boss about your recovery process will make you even less likely to backslide.
As you can see, addiction recovery takes a team of people who are all on your side rooting for you. It’s a good idea to keep a few ‘emergency numbers’ handy. Promise yourself that you will call one of these emergency supporters if you are tempted to use alcohol or drugs. You may find that just knowing they’re on standby helps you to pull through difficult times.
Get moving! Exercise helps you to overcome addiction
Have you ever wondered why the best residential rehab programs include exercise as an important therapy for those who want to overcome addiction? It’s not just a matter of improving your health – exercise to beat addiction has been researched in clinical studies, and the results of these studies are truly remarkable.
A 2010 study showed that addicted rats had reduced craving for cocaine and less damage to their brains when they exercised regularly. It’s as if all that healthy exercise stopped the rats from wanting drugs, even when they were available.
Have you ever heard of ‘runners’ high’? It’s a natural feel-good sensation that comes from heightened endorphin levels. So apart from helping you to feel great and look fantastic, fitness will also help you to get through your recovery.
Improve quality of life
A survey conducted in Scandinavia found that recovering addicts reported a similar effect to the one observed in the addicted rats. They just weren’t all that interested in drugs when they exercised regularly.
Plus, they reported the kind of benefits that just about anybody who exercises talks about. They felt more upbeat and energetic, and they were pleased with the improvements in their physical appearance.
Exercise is a great way to let off steam and reduce your stress. If you’re in recovery, you are in a stressful situation, but by sticking to your exercise routine, you can channel your stress into a healthy outlet.
Mental healing is as important as physical healing, and exercise helps with both. Sleep is also important. It’s the time when our bodies and minds heal, and exercise will help you to sleep better at night maximising the benefits of sleep.
Keep your mind busy
When cravings hit, being able to distract yourself from them is a valuable skill. Exercise is a great distraction, and some recovering addicts reach for their running shoes for exactly that reason. It’s hard to even think about drugs or alcohol when you’re pushing yourself to run that extra mile or get through the next set of exercises at the gym.
Build a new lifestyle
Kicking an addiction involves much more than just quitting. You need to build a whole new lifestyle. It’s a wonderful opportunity to develop new habits that will become part of your life from now on. Getting exercise and taking care of your body by eating a healthy diet can form part of that – and who doesn’t want to be lean, toned and healthy?
You may also find that exercise opens up social opportunities. Join a running club or find a workout buddy. Take up a sport. Who says you can’t have fun while you exercise?
Tips for getting started
All of these benefits sound wonderful, but you can’t expect things to happen overnight. If you’re not already fit, you aren’t going to love exercise from day one. It’s going to be very tempting to skip your workout at times, and you’ll never get the best out of your exercise if you’re constantly stopping and starting.
- Commit to at least three workout days a week. Four is better. Rest days are also important because they allow your body to recover between workouts.
- Push yourself, but don’t overo it. A lot of exercise beginners overdo it. They run too far, use weights that are way too heavy for them and so on. Allow yourself time to become stronger and fitter.
- Combine strength training and cardio. Running and cycling are great ways to get fit, but strength training is also important. Your muscles support your joints, so you’ll find that strength training will make you better at your cardio and reduce your chance of muscle and joint injuries. Stretching exercises are also really good for you, so if you can fit in a yoga class once a week or more, go for it!
- Consider working with a trainer. If you’re a raw beginner, you will be unsure of how to approach exercise – and you can hurt yourself if you do certain exercises in the wrong way. Think about joining a class or getting a personal trainer to show you how to get started.
Get moving – you have nothing to lose!
Well, let’s qualify that statement: you may well lose some unwanted weight! But you can gain a whole range of other benefits too. Exercise is good for your body and good for your mind, so why not make that commitment to regular workouts and get started?
Stick to it! You won’t get obvious results right away, but three months down the line you’ll be amazed at the difference exercise has made.
Recovering Alcoholic Success Stories: 10 inspiring stories
A lot of people subscribe to the idea that ex-addicts will never fulfil their real potential. But career success after addiction isn’t all that rare. Showbiz is an obvious place to start looking, but sport, politics and the business world also contribute to our list of successes. Check out these inspiring stories that prove the point. You may just be surprised!
- Oprah Whitney
Drug of choice: Crack
It’s hard to imagine that Oprah Winfrey, the woman we know as a successful entrepreneur and talk show hostess is a one-time crack user. It happened back in her twenties when a boyfriend introduced her to the drug. She kicked the habit and the boyfriend out of her life and has never looked back.
- Kirstin Davis
Drug of choice: Alcohol
Today, the gorgeous ‘Sex and the City’ star is the picture of health, but in 2008, she was brave enough to share her story of recovery from alcoholism. Back in the days when she was an addict, she didn’t think she’d live past 30, but kicking the habit has opened the doors to success and a healthy life.
- Charlie Watts
Drugs of choice: Alcohol and heroin
Rolling Stones Drummer Charlie Watts was always the ‘quiet’ band member. He didn’t get involved in scandals or outrageous parties, but from 1983 to 1986, he was a heroin addict and alcoholic. Although he was already famous and successful, his family relationships nearly broke down because of his habit. Charlie’s post-addiction success? Staying sober and keeping his family together.
- Larry Kudlow
Drugs of choice: Cocaine and alcohol
Being a Wall Street executive and an economic advisor at the White House amounts to serious success in a serious job, but Larry Kudlow was hiding a huge problem: his addiction. It took several attempts to kick the habit, but in-patient rehab and spiritual mentorship ultimately worked. Kudlow has been open about his experiences because he wants to inspire others – and his continued successes in politics, journalism and finance are legendary.
- Stephen King
Drugs of choice: Alcohol, cocaine, painkillers, marijuana
The character of the alcoholic writer who is losing his sanity portrayed in King’s bestseller ‘The Shining’ is no figment of the imagination. King was writing from experience. After kicking the habit in the eighties, King worried that his writing would suffer, but he has written some of his finest works since achieving sobriety.
- Laura Walsh
Drugs of choice: Painkillers and alcohol
Although Laura Welsh may not be well known in the US, she’s a household name in the UK. She bounced back from a crippling addiction consisting of 30 opiate painkillers and 20 cans of beer a day and built a hugely successful business from absolutely nothing. She’s also a successful authoress and an inspiring example of how an ex-addict can achieve massive success.
- Court McGee
Drugs of choice: Heroin and alcohol
Martial artist Court McGee was declared clinically dead from a heroin overdose in September 2005, but medics managed to revive him. His family found him a place at a rehabilitation center, but McGee would struggle with relapses before finally achieving victory over his habit. Since then he has achieved enormous success, but to him, his greatest success was winning back his wife, Courtney.
- Samuel L Jackson
Drug of choice: Crack
Twenty years of sobriety is surely proof that one can kick a drug habit for good. Samuel L Jackson’s continued sobriety is a great achievement in itself, but during this time, he has also made some of his finest movies. Jackson attributes his success to being a quitter: the best thing to be when what you’re quitting is drugs.
- Michael Glasser
Drugs of Choice: Multi-drug addiction
The tycoon of Denim, Michael Glasser wasn’t always on the road to success. At one point, he even sold Cocaine to keep up his habit. After nearly dying as a result of taking Quaaludes, his family persuaded him to enter rehab. Glasser gave it is his best effort, and today, he’s a multi-millionaire businessman who has been sober for 30 years.
- Buzz Aldrin
Drug of choice: Alcohol
Few people realize that the second man to set foot on the moon was a recovering alcoholic. Being a hot-shot astronaut and a substance abuser just don’t seem to fit together, but Alrdin had already quit drinking before the 1969 moon mission.
- Getting help is worthwhile
- You may relapse, but you can recover from that too
- Working at sobriety is worthwhile
- Alcohol is scarily addictive
- Inpatient treatment is often a necessity
- Counselling, mentorship and support are important
- Success after addiction is possible
Life really is better after addiction recovery: ex-addicts speak out
One of the questions that addicts ask is whether life really can be better after addiction. Their substance abuse had them rocketing been euphoria and hellish realities, can addiction recovery really lead to a better life?
People who have been there, say that a better life after addiction recovery is real. Let’s look at what some of them have to say:
The successful rock and roll musician of the band Creed went off the rails on prescription drugs, posting paranoid videos on social media and losing much of his vast fortune. He says he was “delusional, hallucinating, completely out of my mind”. He came close to suicide.
Today, he is in recovery, focussing on his health, his family and his spiritual wellbeing. He goes to his 12-step meetings and says of his addiction “I never want to go there again”.
An ex-heroin addict who relapsed several times, Amy says that that her addiction was characterized by feelings of emptiness and confusion. She emphasises that help is needed to get through recovery, and despite a bad relapse, she has now recovered and is living a full life. She captured her experiences in a book entitled ‘A better life: Tips form a Recovering Heroin Addict’. What do you get after addiction recovery? According to Amy, you get just what the title says: ‘A better life’.
An ex-addict who has not divulged his last name, James says that he hated the life he lived during his addiction. “I still think of heroin every day,” he says “but I never think of using it”. James says that he longed to be ‘clean’, but also longed for more heroin. He chose the former route, has been sober for 26 years, and he’s thankful that he’s found a better way to live.
Janice says that using drugs isn’t a lifestyle choice. She admits that she loved getting her fix, but she found herself in a hole so deep, she thought she’d never be able to climb back out of it again. But that’s just what Janice did, and this year, she’s celebrating six years of sobriety. She’s out of that ‘hole’ now, and she means to stay out!
Mike has been clean for two and a half years, but he still goes to his twelve step meetings. “I’m sober today” he says. Mike fears that complacency may lead him to take that one dose that will send him spiralling back into the hell of addiction he escaped from, so he keeps going to the meetings. He keeps reminding himself of what he escaped from, and he wants to remain the person he is now rather than becoming the person he once was.
“I value myself now” says Dave an ex-addict who seems as certain as you can get that life after addiction recovery really is better. He says that life after drugs is his first and his best chance at actually living. He admits that it’s not perfect – but he’s completely sure that it’s a whole lot better. No more feelings of guilt, no more constant worry about using, getting caught and where the next dose would come from. He’s been clean for two and a half years and means to stay that way.
An ex-addict who uses only his initial, M says that the opiates he was addicted to made him feel great – but that his addiction was ugly and selfish. After losing four of his closest friends to the drug, M chose a different route. He’s been sober for ‘several years’ now, and the conviction with which he speaks makes it clear that he’s not going back.
Yes, there is life after addiction recovery: and it really is better!
All of these success stories have a common thread. The user is seduced by substance abuse, but knows that it’s destroying them. Life after addiction recovery hasn’t been easy – life never is – but it’s a whole lot better because it’s honest and ‘real’. The fear of relapse is real, and some of these ex-addicts have already tasted this defeat, but they keep trying, one day at a time. Why? Because it’s worth it!
What to do if I catch my teenager with drugs or alcohol?
Teen Drug Use
In a 2012 study sponsored by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), over 45,000 high school students were surveyed at 395 public and private schools. The results were unsettling to say the least. When 12th graders were asked what they’ve used in the last 30 days, 41.5% reported drinking alcohol, while 25.2% reported use of illicit drugs. The figures were 11% and 7.7% for 8th graders, respectively. The numbers also pointed out that – over the last 20 years – while alcohol use has been on the decline, illicit drug use is on the rise. Other factors are now at work in 2012: a shocking escalation in prescription drug abuse, legalization of cannabis, and the introduction of synthetic and “legal” drugs such as “bath salts.” The climate for our youth is a stacked deck, wherein the dealers take the form of their peers, the media, and other figures of authority.
In another article we cover how you would talk to your kids about drugs, starting at a young age. Preemptive discussion is by far the best approach. When a child is educated and makes the conscious decision to avoid drugs and alcohol, you have empowered that individual to take a path that is free of chemical interference. However, you would by no means rest on your laurels. You would keep a running conversation on the subject, because the child will most certainly encounter new situations and new offers, not to mention all the pains and emotions of growing up.
But let’s say you were late for the meeting and just caught your teenager in possession of drugs or alcohol. What then should be done? The following is a guide for your use in such a scenario:
First and foremost, open up the communication channel on the matter. Getting angry is not likely to work. That is because if you respond with anger, a teenager’s response is to shut down the communication. They may lash back, or they may “agree” with you while not listening at all. This is not to say that you shouldn’t speak the truth; drug and alcohol abuse can result in death, whether through traffic accidents, poisoning, overdose or other incident. The answer would be a middle path, speaking the truth, but with understanding for the teenager’s predicament. The first questions you’d want to get answered would be what drugs they are doing, in what quantities and how often. Are they doing these with friends? They may not want to “rat” on their friends, so you might not get any names immediately. Is anyone driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol? This opening conversation may take some work.
Teenagers get involved with drugs for a number of reasons. These can range from boredom to the desire to numb the effects of trauma. Peer pressure, “being cool”, social media, easy access to drugs, personal or familial problems, parties and sex associated with drug and alcohol use, experimentation, alienation – all these and more can be at the root of teen drug use. When you are talking about the subject with your child, you are bringing these things to the surface. The teenager may not have a conscious understanding of why they are doing it. They may be utterly ignorant on the subject, which brings us to the next step…
A large percentage of teenagers who get involved with drugs or alcohol are oblivious to the dangers and realities of what these chemicals are, and what they do to the body and mind. Ask any addict and they will tell you that if they knew then what they know now, they would never have swallowed that first pill or taken that first hit. More tragic is the addict who cannot tell their story because drugs or alcohol took their life. Education of our youth is the most important step in the equation.
Likewise, many parents are not educated on all the drugs now available to their children. You being educated will go a long way towards resolution of the problem.
We live in an audio-visual age, where our children are bombarded with an endless stream of messages and images. Any message with the truth about drugs must be alive, vivid and captivating. We have provided links below to educational websites that serve to inform youth in a language they can easily understand. These contain chilling interviews with former users telling their stories, how they got started with drugs and the resultant wreckage. Equally effective are the detailed videos about individual drugs, how they are made, what gets added to them, and what they do to the body and mind.
When we educate instead of preach, we enable the child or teenager to make up his or her own mind.
Once you have established that drugs do not represent the solution to their problems – and only make them worse – what then? The answer is that you must fill the vacuum. This is where you really dig in to help your child solve his or her problems. If they feel intimidated by their peers, you could coach them in a role-playing format to boost their confidence. Suppose it’s boyfriend or girlfriend problems, it may the job of the other parent – or trusted ally – to step in and offer some advice. Perhaps they have trouble with schoolwork. Some tutoring may be in order. Problems could run deeper than you imagined, and you may need to enlist the help of a pastor or counselor. Your child may simply have no direction in life, in which case you’d want to help them formulate goals and start working towards them.
The number of problems and their solutions are limitless. The point is that chemical escape will only exacerbate whatever the child or teenager is experiencing.
There are two other key factors which can come into play:
Some parents are drug users, addicts or alcoholics themselves, which can made for an impossible situation when trying to educate their child. They are the role model, so how can they expect the child or teenager will do anything else but emulate the parent’s actions? It can be life-shattering for the parent. The course of action to take would be for another trusted relative, friend or professional to help both parties individually. The mother or father will have to own up and decide if they really want their child to walk down that road. The parent may need real rehabilitation, while the child or teenager may need communication and education, or – depending on the severity of drug use – may need rehabilitation as well.
The next factor is far more insidious than most would think. This is where the parent has authorized or condoned prescription psychotropic drugs for the child. These include antidepressants, Adderall, Ritalin, Focalin and a slew of others. They all have a myriad of side effects – mental and physical – including increased heart rate, high blood pressure, pupil dilation, panic attacks, disturbed sleep patterns, erratic behavior, hallucination, suicidal thoughts and actions, and violent outbursts. These drugs commonly create dependency and addiction, and pulling a person off them without a precise and gradual tapering off procedure can be catastrophic. There are medical practitioners who are versed in this process, and there are also centers that specialize in withdrawal and rehabilitation from these drugs, so consult with a professional when addressing this situation.
Through the steps of communication, knowing the causes, effective education, and being alert for specific factors, we can win the real war on drugs – the one that starts with our youth!
Author: Per Wickstrom