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Posts Tagged ‘drug addiction’

The History of Poppies and Opium

Thursday, February 2nd, 2017

The History of Poppies and OpiumWhen most people think of poppies, they think of an innocent red or pink flower. They might think of the flower that put Dorothy to sleep in The Wizard of Oz, a fairly innocent children’s story. But poppies have a dark side with a long history – they are inextricably tied to drug addiction. Poppies are known as addictive plants and have long been used in opium production.

If you grow poppies in your garden, there is no need to panic and uproot them all at once. Nor is there any need to warn your families, friends, and neighbors against the evils of having a poppy in a bud vase. However, it is vital for everyone to educate themselves about the poppy’s history as an addictive plant. Education will help you and your loved ones guard against hidden sources of dangerous drugs.

How a Beautiful Flower Became a Dangerous Opium

Poppies have been cultivated for opium as far back as 3400 B.C. It was first cultivated in lower Mesopotamia, or what is now Southwest Asia. Poppies were progressively passed from the Sumerian culture to the Assyrians, and then to the Egyptians. The plant was commonly called hul gil, or “the joy plant,” because of the “highs” one can get from opium. From 3400 B.C. onward, opium importing, exporting, and use were common in many empires.

The main reason opium use spread so fast, was the Silk Road. The Silk Road refers to a series of interconnected trade routes running from Europe to China. The trade routes first developed between Persia (now Iran) and Syria, as well as in East Indian kingdoms. They grew along the Mediterranean coast, expanding well into China, and into European nations like Italy. By the Middle Ages, the Silk Road’s trade routes reached as far as Scandinavia. The Silk Road encompassed land and sea routes, making opium spread even farther and faster.

Opium was not always used recreationally. As far back as the 1600s and 1700s, it was primarily used medically, such as in traditional Chinese medicine. Recreational use was not unheard of, but uncommon, until the beginning of the Opium Wars. Until then, people who sought opium for recreational use depended on smuggling and commercial loopholes.

The Opium Wars

Although opium was not the only product traded on the Silk Road, it was always in high demand. Empires used it to increase their power and influence, and to control other nations. For example, Britain used their control of the East India Company to smuggle opium into China during the 1800s. The smuggling guaranteed Britain could meet its citizens’ constant demand for Chinese-produced tea. However, the more opium smuggled into China and other nations, the more people became addicted. By the early 1800s, China’s number of opium addicts had skyrocketed, partially due to Turkey’s involvement in the opium trade. An influx of American ships carrying Turkish-grown opium supplied China and other nations with heavy amounts of this coveted drug.

In 1839, China recognized this problem and shut down Britain’s drug trafficking racket. China also confiscated existing opium, which angered Britain and touched off the first of the Opium Wars. China’s Daoguang Emperor was determined to stop the spread of opium addiction in his country, and so Imperial Commissioner Lin Zexu enacted laws banning opium in China and cracking down on opium traders. British traders demanded compensation for their lost opium, but when the Treasury could not afford it, the war was used to resolve Britain’s debt.

During this time, Lin Zexu sent a letter to Queen Victoria, appealing to England’s own ban on the opium trade. He pointed out that if England was going to ban the drug, China was justified in instituting its own ban. In response, the Royal Navy blockaded Pearl Bay to restrict free trade in drugs. However, runs on the blockade, lost English and Chinese ships, and expeditionary forces kept the Opium War going until 1842.

The first Opium War ended with the Treaty of Nanjing, which established Hong Kong as a British territory. The treaty forced China to set up five treaty ports at which the British could trade all goods, including opium, freely. However, a second Opium War began in 1856 when Chinese officials seized the Arrow, a former pirate ship with a Chinese crew and expired British registration. This time France joined the war, having been involved in the treaty port business since 1843. Britain’s constant demand for concessions from China, failed diplomatic missions, and other issues made the Second Opium War stretch until 1860.

The Boxer Rebellion of 1899 further damaged relations between China and the West, and increased the opium problem. Today, the Opium Wars are known as part of China’s Century of Humiliations, and of the conflicts that destroyed Imperial China.

The Rise of Opium Across the World

Opium first entered the United States when Chinese immigrants arrived to work on our many developing railroads. The Gold Rush of 1849 brought a larger influx of Chinese immigrants, along with increased opium smoking and addiction. Opium addiction was not just a Chinese problem, however. By the mid-1800s, opium dens could be found around Southeast Asia and in parts of Europe. Immigrants from many nations brought opium with them, and dens gradually sprang up in the United States, especially in places like San Francisco and New York.

From the 1850s to the 1890s, opium use became more common in the United States. Opium could be drunk, injected, or smoked; drinking and injection were two popular methods of the time. San Francisco effectively banned opium smoking in the late 1800s, but the versatility of opium made it difficult to eradicate altogether. The Harrison Tax Act of 1914 sought to outlaw opium nationwide. However, opium, and especially its derivatives, was readily available to those who knew where to find them.

Opium Derivatives

Along with opium, itself, heroin can be produced from the opium poppy. This particular type of heroin has a long medical history; it was used as an asthma treatment in the 1830s. It was also used to calm fussy babies, as were its derivatives morphine and synthesized heroin. At the time, “heroin” was a brand name of the Bayer Company, now known for its aspirin, not just a street name or moniker for an illegal drug. After the Civil War, Bayer Heroin was actually used to help people addicted to morphine get rid of their addictions. Additionally, it was used as a pain reliever. These uses eventually backfired, and the Heroin Act of 1924 made heroin use illegal for medical and recreational uses throughout the United States.

Despite heroin’s illegal status, its use has been widespread for centuries. It was popular among jazz players and enthusiasts of the 1930s; this subculture gave us the term “hipster.” Heroin, opium, and related drugs such as LSD, MDMA, and marijuana have gained popularity in recent decades, too. Many people continue to use opium, heroin, and morphine to relieve chronic pain or induce sleep, which can lead to severe and lifelong addictions.

Codeine and Oxycodone are two other opium derivatives. They are arguably more dangerous than some of the others because they are often prescribed to treat common illnesses. Codeine, for example, is found in many popular cough syrups. It can also be taken orally as pain relief, and is much less potent than morphine. Yet constant or prolonged codeine use carries risk of dependency and addiction. As for Oxycodone, it too is a commonly prescribed pain reliever. It is made from a component of opium called the Baine, and can be snorted or injected.

Opium Addiction Signs and Symptoms

Opium has been used in medicine since at least 460 A.D., when Hippocrates, the father of modern medicine, admitted its usefulness as a narcotic. However, opium’s addictive effects have consistently proven more harmful than beneficial. Today, opium addiction flourishes around the world, particularly in Asian and South American countries such as Thailand and Colombia. International drug trafficking organizations continue to market opium, heroin, and similar drugs throughout the United States.

Today, opium abuse is more commonly called opiate abuse. Abuse covers illegal drugs such as heroin, as well as legal ones such as fentanyl. Physical signs of the use of opioids include drowsiness, confusion, restricted pupils, slowed breathing, and intermittent loss of consciousness. Some opiate abusers experience marked euphoria and mood swings.

Opiate addicts often “doctor shop” to get the drugs they want. Their loved ones often notice extra pill bottles in the trash, or an increase in doctor’s appointments. Due to the doctor shopping, opiate addicts often experience financial problems. They may withdraw from friends and family to keep their addictions secret.

Some opiates are used to treat anxiety and insomnia, so addicts may experience an upswing of these symptoms when they can’t get their drugs of choice. During opiate withdrawal, addicts battle headaches, nausea, constipation and diarrhea, and fatigue, among other symptoms.

If You or a Loved are Suffering From an Opiate Addiction and Need Professional Help, Please Contact The Treatment Center Now for Individualized, Professional Rehabilitation.

Safe Opiate Detox

Hope Diaries: From Recklessness to Freedom | Addiction Recovery

Wednesday, September 30th, 2015

Jordan: From Recklessness to Freedom

Addiction Recovery

Jordan was drawn to drugs when she was just 13. Seeking fun and excitement with her friends, her life was in a constant state of chaos and quickly got out of control. After a while, her partying became excuses and empty promises that she would do better, but nothing changed until one fateful day.

Feeling depressed and helpless, Jordan’s sister recommended she attend rehab.  Her life began to change the moment she picked up the phone, called The Treatment Center, and spoke to an admissions counselor. She soon realized she wasn’t alone in her struggles and decided to take the leap of faith and seek treatment and begin addiction recovery.

She thought her legal issues would be a major setback to receiving treatment, but her hope was restored when she was able to speak to a helpful Court Liaison, receive legal help and still continue her treatment plan.

To hear how Jordan gained control of her life and freed herself from the chains of drug and alcohol addiction, watch her video below:

Why Are Some People More to Addiction More Than Others?

Friday, September 11th, 2015
Why are some people more prone to addiction than others

What makes one person addicted and another person not addicted? Some people believe the difference between someone who doesn’t get addicted to substances and someone who does is an “addiction gene”. However, this could not be further from the truth.

Genetic predispositions to certain traits can lead to the likeliness of addiction; however, numerous studies show there is no specific gene that determines whether someone is likely to become an addict.

Conditions that include biological, psychological and social factors play more of a role than simply genetics. So if it is not specifically one gene, then why are some people prone to addiction more than others?

Childhood Trauma

Trauma is a negative overwhelming experience. According to the American Psychological Association, more than two-thirds of children experience trauma by age 16. In the United States, an estimated 7.9 million children have unintentional injuries and more than 400,000 children have injuries from violence.

When people experience traumatic events such as physical, sexual, and emotional abuse, neglect, community or domestic violence, or serious injuries, it can cause significant distress in a child’s life. Social factors such as poverty, status, race, gender and sex can increase the risk of exposure to trauma.

According to a study by Dr. Gabor Mate on adverse childhood experiences, a male child who has had at least 6 instances of traumatic events will have a 4,600 percent greater risk of substance abuse than a male child who has no traumatic experiences.

Trauma often affects children from adolescence well into adulthood, especially for those who have developed any psychological or emotional issues that aren’t addressed. For many with childhood trauma, drug and alcohol addiction tends to be less about recreational use and more of a way to self-medicate, escape pain, and survive.

Physical and Emotional Pain

The key to addiction is suffering. As self-medication becomes a way to escape physical and emotional pain, the physical and psychological stress from drug and/or alcohol abuse worsens.

Survivors of childhood trauma often experience chronic health problems such as a lower immune function, sleep problems, chronic pain, irritable bowel syndrome, diabetes, headaches, arthritis, and chronic fatigue.

For those with significant past traumas, it is common for them to experience the following:
• Anxiety
• Depression
• Insomnia
• Grief and sadness
• Fear of intimacy or new experiences
• Alienation/isolation
• Anger/irritability
• Guilt/shame
• Helplessness, powerlessness, and hopelessness

If the above issues aren’t addressed in therapy, self-medication becomes a way to escape physical and emotional pain. The physical and psychological stress from drug and/or alcohol abuse often worsens, which increases the cravings to use more.

Set and Setting

Set or the context of why people abuse drugs and alcohol plays a huge role in addiction. When significant trauma, physical and/or emotional pain is experienced, the emotions from stress can trigger drug and alcohol abuse. What’s more, setting or certain situations and events can bring up memories from the past and trigger drug and alcohol addiction.

The environment in which people are raised also plays a significant role in development of the brain. It’s easy for children who are exposed to drug and alcohol abuse to grow up thinking that’s the normal way to cope with problems. If addiction runs in families and communities, there is a greater risk of addiction than someone who has not been raised in that environment.

Loss of Connection

Loss of connection and community is also a huge factor. Often, the disconnection and isolation that a person feels within them or with others plays a significant role in why they begin to abuse drugs and alcohol in the first place. Addiction becomes a replacement for a loss of love and connection. Loved ones, activities and passions that were once enjoyed become second to addiction and it takes over one’s life. This is why underlying psychological and emotional issues must be addressed throughout the recovery process.

No One is Immune to Addiction

Yes, some people are prone to addiction more than others, but none of us are immune to addiction. We all go through difficulties in life. When people have a chance to process their own trauma in therapy, their well-being increases and their relationships improve.

The recovery process is about reconnecting with oneself and developing healthy, loving, intimate relationships with one’s family members, friends, loved ones and community. When a person realizes that they are not alone or as isolated as they feel, it creates a feeling of loving connection with oneself and the chains of addiction slowly break away.

If your loved one is struggling with drug and alcohol addiction, long-term recovery is possible. Find help today by calling us at 855-545-6777 or chat now. Our admissions counselors are glad to answer any questions you may have 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

The Dangers of Flakka: Everybody’s Worst Nightmare

Friday, August 14th, 2015

The Dangers of Flakka: Everyone's Worst Nightmare

Gravel. Five-dollar insanity. The drug that gives you “superhuman strength”. If you’ve been paying attention to the news in the last year, you know that the latest but not-so-new street drug, Flakka, has been on everyone’s radar. Local, state, and federal law enforcement have been on alert for the deadly drug that has caused an uproar nationwide.
As pharmaceutical drugs are banned by the Federal Drug Administration in the United States, nothing stops chemists in foreign pharmaceutical labs from developing new chemical compounds or derivatives of banned synthetic drugs.
Although bath salts were banned in 2011, new synthetic drugs are always being created faster than law enforcement can keep up with. Although the chemical component in Flakka, alpha-PVP was made illegal in March 2014, different versions of it keep emerging.

So what is Flakka?

Flakka is a synthetic stimulant or “upper” that boosts feelings of euphoria, attention, alertness, and movement. The designer drug has a chemical component known as alpha-PVP, which mirrors the banned amphetamine, bath salts.
Bath salts have a chemical compound known as MDPV, which is derived from the synthetic cathinone class of drugs. Alpha-PVP is more of a “second generation bath salt” that is similar to MDPV in its chemical structure and how it affects the brain. Often, it is mixed with other drugs like methamphetamine and/or a benzodiazepine such as Klonopin.

Flakka’s Effect on the Brain

The chemical, alpha-PVP basically blocks the reuptake or transportation of two neurotransmitters; dopamine and norepinephrine. This blockage creates a buildup of more dopamine and norepinephrine than normal.
Basically, the brain gets too much release of pleasure, exceeding its natural release. It also stimulates the locomotor activity in the body, which increases movement and restlessness.

Flakka’s Psychological Effects

Like many “uppers”, the drug alters the brain chemistry and increases the drug abuser’s tolerance, which makes them use at higher, sometimes fatal doses. Flakka abusers often experience the following psychological effects:
• Heightened sense of euphoria
• Anxiety/increased alertness
• Delirium/extreme paranoia
• Extreme aggression or “super strength”
• Severe hallucinations

Flakka’s Physical Effects

As reported by multiple news stories, many abusers often experience the following physical effects:
• Rapid heartrate
• Erratic irrational behavior
• Hyperactivity/restlessness
• Hyperthermia/overheating (running around naked as a result)
• Sensitivity to pain and fatigue
• Seizures
• Death by overdose
Although the compound of alpha-PVP isn’t exactly new, more scientific research is being done by institutions like The Scripps Research Institute to determine the potency and effects of alpha-PVP versus MDPV and other stimulants.

The Nationwide Impact

It’s easy for those who can’t get their hands on Adderall or other prescription stimulants to get a cheap bag of Flakka for five dollars. More and more drug users are turning to Flakka because it is inexpensive and potent. The danger, as with all synthetic drugs, is that no one ever knows exactly what they are getting.
A high profile case from an overdose death from Flakka sparked nationwide attention at 2014’s Ultra Music Festival in Miami. A string of reports followed of a man running through the streets naked claiming he was being chased, a man viciously beating an elderly woman, a man trying to break into a police department, and another who tried to escape from cops but impaled himself on a fence.
The use of Flakka has spiked in Texas, Ohio, West Virginia and Kentucky; however, Broward County, Florida has seen an unusual spike in use with 477 reported cases in 2014 alone. That is over 55 percent of Florida’s 870 Flakka cases from 2014.

Current Protective Measures

There are numerous drug-testing kits and toxicology screening tests that can usually detect adulterants found in drugs like MDMA, however, alpha-PVP doesn’t show up in drug checking kits; therefore, Flakka cannot be detected.
The U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency temporarily banned alpha-PVP and made it a Schedule I drug in March 2014, so alpha-PVP is now illegal. It’s expected that the ban will be made permanent when it expires in 2016. However, that doesn’t stop Flakka from being made with different chemical compounds or being sold as another commonly abused “designer drug”.


If you know someone who has been experimenting with Flakka, synthetic drugs or other drugs, call us today at 855-545-6777 or chat now. Our admissions counselors are glad to answer any questions you may have 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

How to Stop Enabling Your Loved One

Thursday, January 22nd, 2015

How to Stop Enabling Your Loved One

Enabling Your Loved One

Are you an enabler? Do you try to “fix” your loved one’s behavioral problems? It’s a common misconception that you can manipulate your loved one into doing and acting the way you want them to. You may be wondering why your loved one keeps acting the way they do.

Most enablers believe that they are doing the right thing to help their loved one overcome addiction. However, in an effort to control one’s behavior, they are actually encouraging their loved one to keep acting in a way that negatively affects them both.

So how do you recognize your own behavior and how can you stop enabling your loved one? Below is a list of a few key signs of enabling behavior and how you can change them.

Signs of Enabling Behaviors

Enablers struggle with the stress of their loved one’s addictive behaviors. They usually feel guilty if they are not helping others. They often have the hardest time telling others “no” when they’re asked for help. The constant need to please others leads to co-dependency behaviors such as:

  • Obsessiveness
  • Controlling behavior
  • Care-taking
  • Low self-worth
  • Guilt, anger, resentment
  • Self-abandonment

As they neglect their own needs, it’s easy for the enabler to become frustrated that their efforts are being taken for granted. The above behaviors often persist and prolong resentment. Usually enablers don’t recognize these behavioral patterns until some form of counseling has taken place.

How to Change Enabling Behaviors

1) Do you always cover up the evidence that your loved one has an addiction problem?

– Your loved one needs to see the consequences of their behavior so they can see that a change needs to happen. (i.e., leaving broken items from an angry rage, not making excuses for their job loss, not cleaning up vomit after drug or alcohol use, etc.)

2) Do you always give your loved one money, clothing, and other gifts?

– You’ll need to establish clear boundaries so you don’t allow yourself to get taken advantage of. While it may be hard at first, think of how your courageous decision to say “no” once and for all will help both of you in the long run.

3) Do you always try to control and manipulate your loved one so they’ll do what you want?

– Attending individual therapy will help you identify how your own behaviors may trigger addictive behaviors in your loved one. Also, attending group meetings with your loved one, such as 12-step meetings, will help you better understand the addiction recovery process. You will eventually learn to accept that you have no control over your loved one’s addiction, which is key.

4) Do you always let your loved one off the hook for failing to meet their obligations?

– Taking a hands-off approach is also a good way to let your loved one see how their actions are hurting themselves and everyone around them. It’s always good to have a backup plan so you don’t feel stressed from your loved one’s negative reactions.

5) Do you feel fearful that your loved one’s reaction will leave you feeling angry and guilty?

– It will be uncomfortable to break the habits of enabling, especially if you’re always hoping for a positive reaction. Yet, it’s helpful to compare the short-term emotional stress of saying “no” versus the long-term misery that enabling behavior causes.

Why Stop Now

Research on what causes enabling behavior and co-dependency is still up for debate. Prolonging enabling behavior can lead to deep depression. However, several evidence-based studies show that those who attend individual counseling and group meetings are less likely to continue their behavior once they learn effective coping mechanisms.

By participating in meetings, you’ll also discover that addiction recovery really is a family disease and everyone, even friends, can benefit from the principles of 12-step programs.

The Common Myths Surrounding Addiction Recovery

Thursday, July 17th, 2014

There are many myths about what life is like once someone enters recovery. While a successful recovery requires many changes, they are all meant to enhance an individual’s life. Common myths about addiction recovery can deter people from receiving the help they truly deserve. By discrediting these addiction recovery myths, people can see that a life without drugs or alcohol has a lot more to offer.

Myth 1: Your problems are over when you enter recovery.

Recovery is a lifelong process, and there is a lot of work to be done once someone enters recovery. Working a solid program is the only way many recovering addicts are able to stay clean and sober. Quitting the addiction is the first step in the recovery process. There is a lot of damage caused during active addiction that an addict must begin dealing with. By doing so, those in recovery are able to rediscover themselves and get their lives back.

Myth 2: Being in recovery means having a lot of willpower.

A common struggle for those in recovery is “normies” don’t understand why they can’t simply stop using drugs or alcohol. This doesn’t mean addicts are weak or hopeless. Ironically, someone working a 12-step program admits they have no control over their addiction and have the courage turn it over to a higher power. By doing this, addicts recognize they can’t stay clean and sober alone and are truly able to begin rebuilding their lives.

Myth 3: “Cheating” once in awhile in recovery is okay.

The illusion of gaining control of your addiction may trick you into believing you can drink or use again without entering a full-blown relapse. The amount of people who are able do this is very slim. Some would argue that those who can are not truly addicts and even one drink is considered a relapse. The majority of recovering addicts who drink or use after entering a life of sobriety can’t control it to a single event. The risk of relapsing and losing everything all over again is simply not worth it.

Myth 4: Your life is over when you enter recovery.

A life in recovery is about discovering yourself once again. The only thing ending in your life is the negative behaviors and actions that occur during active addiction. Through the fellowship, recovering addicts are able to enjoy a life they never dreamed of. Many make new friends and have the opportunity to rebuild damaged relationships. Without entering a life in recovery, these new possibilities wouldn’t be available.

Myth 5: A life in recovery is boring and deprived.

A huge part of recovery is learning how to have fun and enjoy life without mind-altering substances. As stated previously, a life in recovery is full of new opportunities. Many recovering addicts go back to school or pursue a career they always had a passion for. There is also an opportunity to pick up a new hobby such as painting, writing, jogging, etc. Throughout the year, there are many recovery events such as barbecues, pool parties and dances to attend.

From the Desk of Our CEO: On Understanding Addiction Recovery

Thursday, March 20th, 2014

When a family does not have prior knowledge about addiction or recovery, it can be difficult to understand why their loved one is unable to stop their drug or alcohol abuse. Too often, addiction is incorrectly associated with a lack of willpower or character flaws. Although society is taking great strides in raising awareness, many people do not realize that addiction is a disease. At The Treatment Center, raising awareness and helping individuals and families understand addiction recovery is our priority.

Before we can begin to explain the recovery process to families, we must help them understand addiction. It is a chronic disease that takes over all aspects of the addict’s life. When a person abuses drugs or alcohol for an extended period of time, it causes neurological and psychiatric changes to the brain. These changes make quitting much harder than simply having good intentions or a strong will. In the YouTube videos, “What is Addiction?” and “The Cycle of Addiction” our medical director, Dr. Ignatov, addresses the nature of addiction and the combination of factors that play into it.

By educating families about the addiction recovery process, they are able to better support their loved ones. Addiction takes each person on a unique, destructive path. One of the most important things to understand about recovery is that it takes time. Recovery is a commitment to persevere through every day’s obstacles, triggers and doubts. When an individual enters recovery, their journey is just beginning.

The lack of awareness and understanding of addiction recovery holds many back from receiving the help they need. I am fortunate enough to witness the miracle of recovery on a daily basis. It is our hope that our continued effort to raise awareness will encourage those affected by addiction to reach out for the help they deserve.

Best Wishes,

Bill Russell, CEO

Tips on Relapse Prevention

Monday, March 10th, 2014

You may have found yourself wondering, “How do I avoid relapse?” This is a question that many recovering addicts ask. Old habits can easily take you off of your path of recovery if the proper steps are not taken. For an addict, relapse is one of the scariest things that can happen. While there is no exact set of instructions, we have created a set of relapse prevention tips that encourage a clean and sober lifestyle.

Be Active in Your Recovery

Recovery is a process that is achieved one day at a time. If you want to live a clean and sober life then you must be active in making that happen. Work the steps, attend meetings, pick up commitments and don’t be afraid to reach out for help.

Build Your Sober Support

The best thing about being in recovery is being surrounded by others who know what you are going through and support your abstinence to drugs and alcohol. By building sober support, you are creating a group of individuals that will help you when the bad days come. Find a sponsor, join a homegroup, attend recovery events and be active in your alumni fellowship. It only works if you work it!

Avoid Your Triggers

Take time to recognize people, places and things that trigger you so that you can avoid them. This does not mean that you should avoid your problems. Staying away from those who encouraged your using and the bars you used to attend are healthy changes you can make in your life. Think about your daily routine and come up with simple solutions for any triggers you may encounter.

Learn to Manage Stress and Anxiety

Do not bottle up these feelings. Learn how to manage your stress and anxiety by finding ways to release this negative energy. Talking to someone, exercising and meditating are all positive ways to deal with these emotions. It’s also important to make sure you are getting enough sleep and eating well in order to avoid added stress in your day. Take the time to figure out what works best for you and make it part of your daily or weekly routine.

Develop a Schedule

Developing a schedule is a great way to begin building a healthy lifestyle. If you have a routine set in place, it is much harder to diverge from it to partake in unhealthy activities. Plan what meetings you want to attend each week and a day and time to meet with your sponsor.

Take Care of Yourself

If you make an effort to include the previous tips into your life, than you have already begun taking care of yourself. Besides the suggestions above, make a point to take care of yourself every day. What activities do you enjoy? What makes you feel good? Whether it’s going to sleep a little earlier, spending time alone reading or listening to music, make time every day. Pursuing a healthy lifestyle is a sure way to start feeling centered again.

Addiction: The Effects on Children | The Treatment Center

Thursday, January 30th, 2014

Addiction: The Effects on Children

Addiction & Children

When a parent suffers from an addiction, it can have long-term effects on children. It is estimated by the National Association for Children of Alcoholics (NACOA) that one in every four children lives in a family environment where addiction negatively affects their lives. Children who are affected by addiction grow up with a greater risk for emotional and substance abuse issues in the future.  According to the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (AACAP), children of alcoholics and addicts are four times more likely to become an alcoholic or addict themselves. It’s important to understand the effects addiction has on children in order to help them cope with a parent who is suffering.

The AACAP describes the multitude of feelings that children of alcoholics and addicts experience, such as:

  • Guilt – A child of an addict will feel guilty because they may think they are the reason for the drug or alcohol abuse. They may also not understand why they aren’t able to get their parent(s) to stop using.
  • Anxiety – When put in this environment, a child will begin to feel a lot of anxiety. They may constantly worry about the situation at home, fear for the parents when they aren’t there, and fear going back home.
  • Shame – Since addiction often coincides with shame, the child of an addict may inherit these feelings. They may feel ashamed of their home life, therefore not want to invite friends over in case they will realize what’s happening. Their parents may make them feel as though the addiction is a secret, therefore they should not reach out for help.
  • Lack of trust – Due to the dysfunctional dynamics going on at home, a child will develop a lack of trust for others. Since they have grown up feeling disappointed by their parents they feel others will disappoint them as well.
  • Confusion – With the sudden mood swings of an addict, a child is left feeling very confused. Despite their behavior, a parent under the influence may go from being very loving to very mean for no apparent reason.
  • Anger – A child may feel anger towards the addicted parent because they will not get better, and anger at the non-addicted parent or loved ones due to their lack of support and protection.
  • Depression – When a child feels hopeless because they cannot fix the situation and lonely because they are afraid to reach out for help they may begin to feel depressed.

Children who grow up with a parent who abuses drugs or alcohol need the support and love of non-addicted family members. Whether or not the addicted parent is in treatment or recovery, the child will still benefit from additional support. There are many programs such as Al-Anon and Alateen that support the family members of addicts. If a child receives support for what they are going through early on, they have a better chance of developing healthy coping mechanisms and avoiding their own emotional or substance abuse issues later on.

The most important thing a child needs to understand is that they are not responsible for their parent’s addiction. The NACOA suggests teaching children the “Seven Cs of Addiction”:

  • I didn’t cause it.
  • I can’t cure it.
  • I can’t control it.
  • I can take care of myself
  • By communicating my feelings,
  • Making healthy choices,
  • And celebrating myself.

If you or a loved one is suffering from addiction, we are here to help. We offer drug and alcohol treatment for adults and teens. Speak with an admission counselor today: 877-448-0342.


Best of the Week 1/11

Friday, January 10th, 2014


Welcome to our weekly roundup of the best addiction recovery news sources, compiled from various places across the web.

New Year, New You

The Ever-Present Problem of Teen Drug Use

From the Desk of Our CEO: New Year Reflections and Resolutions

Identifying Codependent and Enabling Behaviors

Aetna Helps Members Fight Prescription Drug Abuse



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