dear dad letter being hand written to alcoholic father

Dear Dad, 

I must have been in denial, I never really saw the signs. But regardless of what I did or didn’t see, alcohol was quickly and surely taking over your life. Looking back I wish I did so much more to help you; to help mom. Even though I was an adult, she protected me from knowing what was really going on with you. A few moments she let a detail or two slip that made me wonder, but that was about as far as it got. 

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black and white photo of woman struggling addiction

Addiction rehab options – in-patient or out-patient

Addiction treatment for YOU

Choosing between in-patient or out-patient addiction rehab facilities can be a difficult decision for some, as each can have its benefits.

Deciding to put drug and alcohol use behind you can be a challenging and overwhelming experience, but know you never have to be alone and that there is always someone to support you. Making the decision to get sober is and will always be the hardest part, but staying committed to you decision is imperative for continued success.  To help you with deciding whether in-patient addiction treatment or out-patient addiction treatment is the best option, we have broken down the pros and cons of each.

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group of women outside in the summer

Summertime sobriety

Summer is in full swing. The sun is hot, beaches are packed and backyard party invitations are endless. But with most invitations comes the popular phrase: BYOB. Last summer that would not have been a problem, after all you were the life of the party and always had a full cooler at the ready. This summer is a little different now that you have chosen a different path – a sober path. 

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addiction recovery journaling about being grateful

Take note

Ask anyone who is going through it – addiction recovery is tough. Some days will be easy, while others will be down right torture. But just because there are inevitably going to be rough days, doesn’t mean you should forget them. One of the best ways to keep a record of your addiction recovery is to write about it. By being able to go back and review some of your hardest moments you can learn more about yourself and the strength you have, than you could ever imagine. ⁠

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man talking to young girl at the beach about addiction

Talking to kids about addiction

Imagine for a moment that you are a child and you are watching your father, whom you love more than anything in the world, struggle and spiral out of control. You notice that Daddy isn’t acting like himself, he loses his temper easily and is not home nearly as often as he once was. Perhaps you start to wonder what you had done to make him so upset and start to blame yourself for how he is acting – why else wouldn’t he want to be home with you? What you don’t know is that Daddy is struggling with addiction. 

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addiction family holding hands

Addiction is a Family Disease

When you or somebody you love is struggling with addiction, it is often referred to as a family disease because of the impact the addiction has on the individual struggling and those around them. Being a family member of someone who is struggling can be extremely difficult because of the emotional turmoil that occurs while watching a loved one grapple with their battle with addiction. 

Some of the emotions that may arise from being a bystander to a loved one’s addiction include fear, anger, sadness, shame, guilt, anxiety and/ or depression. The emotions of helplessness and hopelessness are commonly experienced as you are forced to watch your loved one self-destruct. These feelings can evoke a belief that your loved one’s struggle with addiction is your responsibility: “Their pain is your pain; their struggle is your struggle.” 

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stop enabling addict drinking

Stop enabling an addict

If you have a friend or family member that struggles with addiction, it is likely that you have heard the phrase, “you to need to stop enabling the addict.” We always want the best for our loved ones, especially those struggling with addiction. We believe that we are doing the right thing when helping them. At the end of the day, we may not realize that our helping could be enabling the habits and behaviours of someone struggling with addiction. When we enable an addict, we are preventing them from seeing the total consequences to their actions and/or behaviours. 

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the importance of self-care - self-care isn't selfish sign

The importance of self-care

To say that life has been stressful this year is an understatement. Life as we know it has changed completely. We have been faced with social, financial, professional and spiritual restrictions. This has created a lot of additional stress for many of us and there really isn’t an end in sight. When life gets hectic and overwhelming, we can burn out from pushing ourselves too much without a break.  

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The Healing Power of Art Therapy

THE HEALING POWER OF ART THERAPY

For thousands of years, people have used art as a form of self-expression, a way to process and communicate their emotional truths to the world. Creative expression is a fundamental part of the human experience, and increasingly it’s being recognized for its therapeutic benefit.

WHAT IS ART THERAPY?

Art therapy is a therapeutic technique that encourages individuals to express their thoughts and feelings through creativity rather than speech, to improve their physical, mental and emotional well-being.

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Addiction Myths and Facts

Addiction myths

Unless you or a loved one has a history of substance abuse, it’s hard to understand the true nature of addiction.  Without personal experience, people often fill their knowledge gap with presumptions, speculation, rumour, and conjecture, creating myths about addiction, and the recovery process that overshadow facts.  So, let’s clear the air.  The following are some of the most common myths about substance abuse, addiction, and recovery, and the real facts everyone should know.

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Addiction Recovery Diet

Addiction recovery diet

A healthy diet during addiction recovery restores the mind and body.

Long-term drug and alcohol abuse causes significant stress and damage to an addict’s mind and body.  Malnutrition, abscesses, gastrointestinal issues, heart problems, organ and tissue damage, depression, paranoia, and suicidal thoughts are just some of the many health issues addicts face.  Proper nutrition can help heal the effects of chronic substance abuse; restoring physical and mental health, and improving a patient’s odds of recovery.

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Is Sex Addiction Real?

IS SEX ADDICTION REAL?

The National Council on Sex Addiction and Compulsivity defines sexual addiction as “engaging in persistent and escalating patterns of sexual behaviour acted out despite increasingly negative consequences to self and others.”

However, there is considerable debate among health professionals whether sexual addiction is truly an addiction or rather a compulsive behaviour.  In fact, to date sexual addiction is not an official clinical diagnosis.

Part of the challenge in defining sexual addiction are the religious and cultural influences on the societal norms surrounding sexual behaviour.  How do we objectively distinguish sexual addiction from a high sex drive?

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friends dancing sober

Party sober

Attending parties and events can be one of the most difficult and stressful challenges for people in recovery and should be avoided during the first six months of sobriety. But as you gain confidence in your recovery, attending social functions or having an evening out with trusted friends and family can bring a sense of normalcy and help you feel less isolated.

Contrary to popular belief, your life doesn’t have to become boring or routine when you get sober. The party doesn’t have to end just because you can’t drink or use drugs. The key is to party smart.

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Commonly Used Drugs - Cocaine

Commonly Used Illegal Drugs – Cocaine

What is Cocaine?

Cocaine is a highly addictive stimulant drug extracted from the leaves of the South American coca bush.

When processed, it is available in two forms, hydrochloride salt and freebase.  Hydrochloride salt is the powdered form of cocaine, it can be snorted, or dissolved in water and injected.  Freebase is the base form of cocaine, it’s sold as solid rock crystal and is “cooked” using heat and inhaled or “smoked”.

Crack cocaine is derivative of cocaine made by cooking hydrochloride salt with water and baking soda. It is also smoked, typically through a pipe. Continue reading “Commonly Used Illegal Drugs – Cocaine”

Can Animal-Assisted Therapy Prevent Sustance Abuse?

Animals and your sobriety

Yes! According to a 2017 national survey of individuals recovering from addictions by the Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction (CCSA), pet therapy is valuable as a pathway to recovery. In Saskatchewan, 68.4% of survey respondents identified their relationship with animals or pets as an important support in recovery, and 39.5% said their relationship with animals was important to maintaining their recovery.

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Male addict drinking in bed

Am I an addict?

Sometimes what you are most of afraid of admitting is the very thing that will set you free.

The cliché is true, the hardest part of addiction recovery is admitting you have a problem. Denial is a major part of addiction, and many people have to reach rock bottom before they will accept that they are an addict and need help.

If you’re reading this article, there’s a good chance that you already know you have an issue with substance abuse, but you may be uncertain if you’re an addict.

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