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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30-Day Social Media Detox

30-day social media detox

Take a moment and ask yourself: Could I handle doing a 30-day social media detox?

Has your use of social media sites:

  • caused you to seek validation based on other people’s interest or approval?
  • produced feelings of insecurity?
  • distracted you from what’s happening in the moment?
  • reduced your in-person interaction with friends and family?
  • distorted your version of reality?
  • prevented you from participating in relationships or activities?
  • revealed too much of your private life?
  • triggered you to behave in a mean or hurtful way?
  • kept you from living up to your full potential?

Do any of these apply to you?  If so, it may be time to consider taking a break from social media.

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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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Eating Disorders

Understanding Eating Disorders

What are Eating Disorders?

Eating disorders are serious mental health illnesses defined by abnormal eating habits that can have a profoundly negative affect a person’s physical and psychological health.

People with eating disorders become obsessed with food and their body weight.  Whether the eating disorder manifests as eating too little, or too much, individuals with eating disorders use their preoccupation with food to create a sense of control over their lives, and to distract themselves from the painful emotions that are at the root of the condition.

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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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Commonly Used Illegal Drugs - Methamphetamine

Commonly Used Illegal Drugs – Methamphetamine

What is Methamphetamine?

Methamphetamine, commonly known as meth, is a highly addictive, synthetic stimulant.

Developed in the early 1900s, methamphetamine gained popularity during World War II as a way to keep soldiers awake.  After the war, use became prevalent among college students, truck drivers, athletes, and homemakers who used the drug for its ability to create increased alertness, energy, and confidence; and suppress appetite.

Today, methamphetamine is one of the most commonly used illegal drugs in the world.

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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”

What is Mindfulness?

What is mindfulness?

Do you remember what happened on your route to work this morning?  Do you remember driving to work this morning?

By dinnertime, can you remember what you had for lunch?  Did you eat lunch?

For most of us the answer is no. We can’t remember. We were running on autopilot.  Often our attention is so absorbed by our wandering mind that we’re not really present in our own lives. We get caught up in the act of doing, and the struggle to get things done, we fail to notice the beauty of life.  We forget to enjoy the journey.

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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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Commonly Used Club Drugs

Commonly Used Illegal Drugs – Club Drugs

Club drugs are a group of psychoactive drugs that take their name from their popularity at nightclubs, concerts, bars, and all-night dance parties. Club drugs are also commonly called designer drugs, as most are synthesized in a lab.

Generally used by teens and young adults, the majority of club drug use is limited to specific places, events, and activities where the drugs are thought to improve the overall experience or solicit a certain response.

The most common club drugs are Ecstasy, GHB, Ketamine, and Rohypnol.  All of these drugs act on the body’s central nervous system to produce a sense of euphoria, reduced inhibitions, heighten emotional and sensory feelings, and hallucinogenic effects.  But not all club drugs are the same.

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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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How to Talk to Your Child About Drugs and Alcohol

Talking to children about drugs and alcohol addiction

Research shows that children who learn the facts about drugs and alcohol from their parents are significantly less likely to use them.

No child is immune from exposure to drugs and alcohol.  Teen drug and alcohol abuse is prevalent in every community across Canada, and addiction has become a national crisis.

Children who aren’t properly educated about the dangers of drugs and alcohol are more likely to experiment and have a greater risk of addiction. Continue reading “Talking to children about drugs and alcohol addiction”

Commonly Abused Prescription Depressants

Commonly Abused Prescription Drugs – Depressants

Prescription depressants are used as popular sedatives, tranquilizers, and hypnotics. They work by increasing the amount of GABA (Gamma-Aminobutyric Acid) neurotransmitters in the brain to produce a calming effect on the central nervous system that reduces anxiety and over-stimulation and induces feelings of euphoria and relaxation.

Prescription depressants are grouped into three drug classes: Benzodiazepines, like Xanax, Valium, Klonopin, and Ativan; Barbiturates, like Nembutal; and Sedative-Hypnotics like Ambien, Lunesta and Sonata. Continue reading “Commonly Abused Prescription Drugs – Depressants”