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.
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.
Perpetual worry affects the way we feel, how we think, and how we behave. Anxiety can create a downward spiral of emotions and trigger unhealthy behaviour and actions.
To fight back against onset acute anxiety, TAKE ACTION!
Action is the enemy of anxiety. It takes anxiety’s power away and gives it back to you.
Are you ready to take action? Use these simple but highly effective exercises to relieve acute anxiety when it surfaces.
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.”
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.
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.
Throughout life, the majority of us will be affected by anxiety in one way or another. For some of us it is just a minor blip to our normal, everyday life. However, for others it can be all encompassing and quite literally take control of our lives, sometimes without us even knowing it.
Do you know someone whose life is in a constant state of chaos? For whom everything is a crisis.
Perhaps this is you?
Chaos addicts are more common than you think.
Signs You’re Addicted to Drama
- You love to gossip.
- You hate when you’re not the centre of attention.
- You’re always late.
- You’re always fighting with someone.
- You overshare on social media.
- You yell and scream to make your point.
- You’re always sticking your nose in other people’s business.
- You end or threaten to end relationships often.
- You like to stir the pot.
Impulsivity and compulsivity are natural behaviours that are essential for human survival. Being impulsive is acting on instinct. Being compulsive is acting upon an irresistible urge. While similar sounding, these two behaviours differ in intent. Impulsive behaviour is action without thought, compulsive behaviour is premeditated.
For some, impulsive or compulsive behaviour becomes an addiction, leading to serious mental health disorders that take control of their lives. Learning to recognize these behaviours, their causes, and the disorders associated, can better educate us about the mental health challenges facing our community, and help end the stigma surrounding mental health disorders.
Everyday we hear people talking about different mental health disorders, but how many of us know what they truly mean? To help clarify, the following are definitions of some of the most common mental health conditions.
Addiction is a brain disorder characterized by a compulsive desire to do or to have something despite harmful consequences.
Anxiety is an intense feeling of fear, worry, nervousness, or unease caused by the anticipation of an imminent event or situation with an uncertain outcome.
While many people gamble recreationally without developing a problem, for some gambling can become an unhealthy obsession with serious consequences.
Gambling addiction is an impulse control disorder. A highly addictive activity that’s promise of easy money can quickly lead to financial ruin.
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.
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.
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.
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 Heroin?
Heroin is an illegal, opioid drug synthesized from morphine, a natural substance derived from the seedpod of the opium poppy.
In its purest form, heroin is fine, white powder. When the drug is “cut” with other substances its colour and consistency can change. Street heroin can range from a white powder to a beige or brown grainy substance to a dark black tar. The purity of heroin varies significantly from batch-to-batch and depending on which additives are used to cut the drug, this will determine its potency and risk. Continue reading “Commonly Used Illegal Drugs – Heroin”
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.
Prescription stimulants like Adderall and Ritalin increase alertness, attention and energy by amplifying the activity of certain brain neurotransmitters including dopamine and norepinephrine. These prescription psychoactive drugs act similar to illegal substances like cocaine, crack and methamphetamine.
Originally prescribed for a wide variety of medical conditions, as the prevalence of abuse became more wide spread stricter standards were enacted. Today, prescription stimulants are predominately prescribed for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), narcolepsy, and occasionally depression.
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”
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”