Category Archives: Addiction

The First Step To Recovery Is Asking For Help.

Posted March 27, 2018 by Josh

FEATURE — For addicts, there comes a point in our active addiction when we finally understand we need help.

When it comes to asking for help with our addiction, hesitation and fear often sets in

As a recovering addict, I speak from experience. Our active addiction has taken its toll on our lives, relationships, careers and families, yet when it comes to asking for help with our addiction, hesitation and fear often sets in. Even when we know the truth of our situation, admitting our vulnerability or defeat to a friend or family member tends to become a mountain of a task.

We know we need help, and still we don’t know how to ask for it. Along these lines, the following information is not only for the addict struggling to ask for help but also for families and loved ones who want to help nurture this process for the addict.

Courage to be vulnerable

Everyone involved in the process of helping the addict must know the conversation of asking for help is challenging.

Openly sharing our vulnerability that we have been so wrong is an intensely humbling process

Finding the strength to admit our defeat, shame, guilt and regret to a loved one is often the most difficult conversation we will have in our lives. Openly sharing our vulnerability that we have been so wrong is an intensely humbling process.

This conversation can happen after a traumatic event – hospitalization for example – or completely out of the blue. The common metaphor used in treatment is that, as addicts, we are “breaking up” with our addiction, almost as if we were in an unhealthy romantic relationship.

The substances we have used over an extended amount of time have been a primary source of comfort and escape. The substances have always been there for us, during the good times and the difficult times, and knowingly abandoning this “relationship” we cultivated will always be one of the most difficult hurdles in the path of recovery.

Willingness to talk

Watching addicts actively destroy their own lives is a crushing experience for family members, loved ones and friends. Even to comprehend how someone could choose drugs time and time again is difficult to fathom.

Those closest to the addict need to be ready for the conversation about treatment

Those closest to the addict need to be ready for the conversation about treatment. Do the research, reach out to people who have experienced an addict in their family. Ask questions about how they helped their loved one get help.

The conversation of getting help may happen at any moment or may be even slightly encouraged. Though it is challenging to pinpoint when an addict is ready for treatment, always be ready and have your homework done. The most important thing a family can do is to stop enabling the behavior and offer the solution of treatment.

This process is painful for everyone, but showing us addicts there are resources available may give us the hope we need to begin the journey of recovery.

Walking through the door

The first day of treatment will always be one of the most intimidating days for an addict. Imagine leaving almost everything you knew behind, truly surrendering to the care of people whom you’ve never met.

We addicts are fearful to walk through the doors of a treatment center; we are embarrassed, ashamed and demoralized. We may begin to be apprehensive to the idea of treatment, usually the closer we get to the front door. We may downplay or justify our addiction and claim that treatment is too “extreme.”

Here are some things addicts may say to keep from going to treatment:

  • What about my job?
  • How is this going to work?
  • I’m not that bad, I can do this by myself.
  • I can stop anytime I want.
  • How will I stay in touch with my (family, friends, significant other, children)?

Anyone helping the addict get to treatment needs to be prepared for these statements because they are really last ditch efforts for the addict to back out of treatment and continue using. An easy way to see the truth behind these objection statements is to substitute the word “drugs” as the subject.

For an example, when the addict asks “What about my job?” they are really saying “What about my drugs?”

Tell the addict how proud you are that they are willing to get help

Remember to be supportive yet assertive, and when en route to the treatment center, tell them everything will be OK and that they need to focus on getting better themselves. Continue to tell the addict how proud you are that they are willing to get help. Let them know they are being courageous for facing their problem head on. After the intake is done and their belongings are unpacked, make the goodbye short and powerful.

A little bit of hope for an addict goes a long way. Leave with tight embrace followed by “I love you and I believe in you.”

Written by Shane Currin, recovering addict, for Lion’s Gate Recovery.

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What is Addiction…Do We Know?

Posted September 6, 2017 by Chris Clayton

Addiction, in today’s society, has come to mean many things…addiction to chocolate, Netflix, Hulu, soda, and the many many things that we can become “addicted” to. But was is addiction? There has been, and still exists today, two main camps on what addiction is: a moral degradation of the soul and disease. Most frequently, chemical dependency is viewed as the fundamental essence of addiction and may apply to both camps outlined above. As part of my journey today, I asked an unknown woman to me what addiction was. After she helped my wife and I, she happily answered my simple question of “What is addiction?–“I have a very personal experience with addiction,” she said “not myself, but there are members of my family who have struggled with addiction and a loved one is in a treatment program as we speak.” Who would have thought…a complete stranger who also has been touched by such a mysterious illness. Also of note, she mentioned, as we talked openly about a taboo topic in the middle of a retail store…”I don’t think we know what addiction is.” Such a wise statement, however, she had been, and currently remains, impacted by the elusive addiction that has created pain in her family. So…what is addiction?

Chemical Dependency

This is often thought as the Cadillac of defining addiction and, of course this certainly is a part of addiction, but this is not the only indicator that addiction is taking place. Challenging perspective with chemical dependency is outlined well with new born babies. Are they born addicted, or chemically dependent? Great question, not a fun analogy–the baby is born chemically dependent as substance was on board with the mother, withdrawal will ensue, and the baby will need to go through a medically managed detoxification. Once again, this assuming substances were used to the extent of creating chemical dependency–yet another factor–length of time using a particular substance will determine chemical dependency. Once the baby has gone through the withdrawal process, they are not out procuring heroin/methamphetamine/alcohol, calling their dealer, or robbing their family to sustain a habituated behavior. No, they continue sleeping, eating, pooping, and repeat. This is not to say there are not complications…there are. But addiction, at this point, is not one of them. Maybe in the future, maybe not with substance but with ADHD, depression, bi-polar, or maybe nothing at all.

TED Talk with Johann Hari illustrates this nicely. Citing the Vietnam War, where many American Soldiers were using copious amounts of heroin, he indicates that when they returned home a majority of those who were using, STOPPED! Ironically, the lovely woman, mentioned above, referenced this same research (not having seen this TED Talk, but one that I recommended), she knew that addiction did not solely rest on chemical dependency. Rat Park, as the research came to find, began to understand the process of addiction and, through this segment, you may begin to cultivate a perspective not once had.

Addiction

So then, what is addiction? Hundreds of books written on this subject, theories debated historically, and a new culture of thoughts have continued the age-old debate that addiction is many things. Nature vs. Nurture, moral degradation of the soul, disease, learning disorder–this is a newer theory, stupidity, crazy…we have heard it all. As a young man growing up in St. George, I thought I was one of the best baseball players in Southern Utah. In fact, I had scholarships to Dixie College as a fighting Rebel, and then to Mercer University in Macon, Georgia–I was good! I also believed that I used drugs and alcohol the best and did so frequently, every chance I could in fact, without a thought as to why…two competing belief systems that I attempted to integrate. I bring this up as addiction begins, quite possibly, benign at first…not immediately malignant. And then–the threshold is crossed and the belief system of addiction begins, chemical dependency roots, learning of this pathological way of living embeds itself into everything you do…day after week after month after year drugs and alcohol push and pull stretching you to all your never’s. The belief that I AM an addict is molten lava, only to cure and harden. The belief system becomes personally ingrained, brain chemistry begins to change–emotional, cognitive, behavioral and spiritual systems become grossly misaligned–addiction is more than me and I FALL, hard, spinning out of control.

It is near impossible to delineate both chemical dependency and addiction herein, however, I hope to provide a shift in perspective of both concepts. More importantly, connection to feelings. A detailed account of addiction, a leading author on the subject, Gabor Maté provides a ghostly account of working with Canada’s chronic substance abuse population. In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts is a read to better understand and make an informed decision of what addiction is and is not–quite possibly, a perspective shift will take place, compassion will enter and autonomous thought begins.

It is our goal, both personally and professionally, to break free that hardened exterior and release the innate worth that is possessed by all. To create new I am’s, beliefs, connections, goals, smiles.

Lions Gate Recovery Loves You!

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Opiate Epidemic

Posted August 22, 2017 by Chris Clayton

Opiates, opioids, black, heroin, dope…doctor. These all are common expressions of the opioid epidemic that is sweeping the nation by storm. How one goes about procuring their drug of choice makes no difference as opiates begin to take hold with chemical dependency—slowly, progressively, nurture impacting nature and the disease of addiction settles in. No matter the means of ingestion, route of collection or socioeconomic status the disease of addiction knows no bounds and is destroying: loved ones, brothers, sisters, moms, dads, new born babies, friends, colleagues and the list continues just as the opiate epidemic does.

The opiate epidemic surrounds us, wholly as a community but more importantly as a way of living. In the news, articles infiltrate our senses with doctors overprescribing opiates, heroin dealers busted, the War on Drugs, manufacturing of synthetic substances, overdose deaths…should I continue? For those of you reading this, you know all too well…the feelings associated, the hurt contained within, and the overall pain of knowing things could have been different. St. George is no different in this plaguing issue and knowing what to do is a challenge as there is much going on—Lions Gate Recovery can help!

A simple Google search of—opioid epidemic—yields numerous pages of content…if your location is set on your phone or computer you may see Utah’s Opioid Epidemic: Who’s to Blame? Prescription medication of the opiate family, prescribed for pain, are used and abused and, of those taking such medication, some will be impacted and cross the threshold into addiction, begin using heroin or other black-market opiates, and rapidly create a life of destruction.

Of those beginning with heroin, you say…nothing different is there? That may take us to another entry where that is explored, however, the disease of addiction is not any different as it is destructive in any form. Methamphetamine, alcohol, marijuana, benzodiazepines, cocaine—of course these in no certain order—present with their own set of unique qualities; however, they all wreck lives, destroy bodies, and mental incarceration becomes the life expected.

Physiology, psychology, sociology, spirituality all influence the pathways for chemical dependency, addiction, and one’s ability to interact in their life…they also are a means to recovery. Addiction is Addiction—a common saying within the culture of recovery—is something we at Lions Gate Recovery work with on a daily basis. With a cultivation of knowledge, treatment, and understanding of self we can help you or your loved one abstain from substance.

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College hosts inclusive excellence conference

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How Weather Affects Substance Abuse

Posted April 1, 2017 by Christian Smith

Addiction rates have risen all around the country over the past decade, driven in large part due to the opioid epidemic. However, there is actually some research that suggests that there might be a connection between weather and substance abuse. (more…)

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College hosts inclusive excellence conference

The conference was created in an effort to bridge the gaps between theory and research in the academy as well as classroom policy and practice with teachers and administrators in today’s schools.

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Tips for Navigating Sobriety in Social Situations

Posted March 3, 2017 by Christian Smith

Navigating the early stages of sobriety can be difficult, especially when there are so many social expectations surrounding alcohol use. Social situations involving alcohol, such as weddings and work conferences, can be difficult to avoid as well. Recently, The Fix published eight helpful tips for maintaining newfound sobriety from alcohol, even in social situations where drinking may be present. Here is a brief look at some of those key tips. (more…)

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College hosts inclusive excellence conference

The conference was created in an effort to bridge the gaps between theory and research in the academy as well as classroom policy and practice with teachers and administrators in today’s schools.

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How to Beat Marijuana Addiction with Marijuana Rehab

Posted October 30, 2014 by Talbot Rehab

Marijuana is the term use to describe the dried leaves, flowers and seeds of a plant of Indian hemp. It is the most famous illegal drug used around the world. It is pretty inexpensive compared to other drugs. Easy to plant and grows like any ordinary plant. It will even grow in a pot. There are many individuals who are addicted in this drug. It is as addictive as alcohol for some. For others, marijuana is a harmless herb. The uncontrolled and continued use is a real problem because the consequences are ignored. The marijuana addiction causes major problems for authorities. They struggle to prevent people from abusing drugs like this.

How To Guide Your Friends or Family Toward Marijuana Rehab

This question must start with the individual user.

The following are some ideas on how to help someone or yourself beat marijuana addiction:

  • Willingness to beat marijuana addiction. If you are not willing your goal will not be achieved. You must have the determination and drive to beat marijuana addiction.
  • Understand why you are addicted to marijuana. Marijuana addiction is a provocative issue because people decline to understand the difference between psychological and physical addiction.
  • Quit smoking marijuana. Simple as that and hard to do but you must achieve it for your own good. If you stop smoking marijuana you can boost your self-esteem.
  • Knowing its effects. Thinking about the effects of marijuana on your health is one way to stop from smoking. Low self-esteem is one of the effects of abusing marijuana. The effects of marijuana on your brain and body are scary. You may experience effects on your learning, inability to do complex tasks, and failing in sports. Marijuana can also give users anxiety, panic, distrust, and fear.
  • Throw away or break down all the crutches that keep you using or smoking marijuana. Get rid of your supplies to stop you from smoking. It can prevent you from smoking when there are no visible paraphernalia and supplies of marijuana.
  • Avoiding your friends who use marijuana is one key way to beat marijuana addiction. Usually, they are the ones who influence you to use marijuana. Instead of following along with what they want, be an example of a person who is willing to change. It may help them to beat marijuana addiction as well. If they are unwilling to change, avoid them because they are not true friends. They just put you in a worse situation.
  • Stay busy. Make sure you are always busy. Focus your attention on your work and your family. When you are busy with work your focus is only there which will help you forget about marijuana for a while. Your family also is there to give you support and their love encourages you to beat marijuana addiction.
  • Seek qualified professional help. Consulting a professional who has experience in helping people break addictions will be your best chance for success.

Once you’ve achieved your goal and have beat marijuana addiction, make sure you never smoke marijuana again. You can’t afford any slip-ups.

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Tramadol Can Be A Dangerous Drug

Posted October 20, 2014 by Talbot Rehab

Tramadol is a type of pain reliever. This medication is used to treat medium to severe pain. It is also used for extended amounts time for managed pain treatment. But there is a downside to using this drug and that is an addiction.

Choosing the Right Addiction Treatment Is Very Important

Take Tramadol As Prescribed

Do not take Tramadol without a prescription and make sure that you know the right dosage that is applicable for your condition. When taking Tramadol, it is very important to follow the physician’s instructions. Taking large doses can cause a seriously negative results.

Possible Side Effects

Convulsions or seizure are possible side effects of using Tramadol. If you have a history of seizures, metabolic disorder, head injury, using other medications such as muscle relaxers, antidepressants or medications for vomiting or nausea, you may want to consider not using Tramadol. It can also affect your cognitive ability and reaction time.

Tramadol can be a very effective way to get pain relief. It is very important to get medical attention if you suspect an overdose. The symptoms of an overdose are: coma, fainting, lightheadedness, clammy or cold skin, shallow breathing, and drowsiness. You should not use this drug if you are engaging in activities that require alertness. Make sure that your medication is prescribed by a doctor and kept out of the reach of children or individuals with a history of addiction or drug abuse.

  • coma
  • fainting
  • lightheadedness
  • clammy or cold skin
  • shallow breathing
  • and drowsiness.

You should not use this drug if you are engaging in activities that require alertness. Make sure that your medication is prescribed by a doctor and kept out of the reach of children or individuals with a history of addiction or drug abuse.

Treatment for Tramadol Addiction

In some cases, Tramadol is abused and this can ultimately lead to addiction. If you or a loved one are abusing it is important to seek proper Tramadol addiction treatment. Stopping the abuse can be a difficult process. Withdrawal effects can be very difficult to overcome. During the withdrawal process, people may experience:

  • breathing problems
  • insomnia
  • hallucinations
  • chills
  • tremors
  • diarrhea
  • nausea
  • sweating
  • and anxiety.

It is important to consider a detox facility before choosing counseling and treatment.

Make sure to consult your doctor when selecting the right treatment plan and centers for Tramadol addiction. If you are suffering from Tramadol addiction, it is very important to select the right treatment that is applicable to your individual needs and requirements.

In most cases you will need addiction counseling for Tramadol addiction. Counselors will help you develop strategies that can help you cope with your addiction over a long period of time. There are also medications that can be used to suppress the craving for using Tramadol. If the addiction to Tramadol is really affecting your life, you may need to a go to a rehabilitation center. There, you can receive the support and supervision you need for your road to recovery from Tramadol addiction.

Because there are numerous rehab centers for drug addiction it is very important to select the right service provider that can meet all of your needs. The ideal rehab center should be able to provide the best chances for your recovery.

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How To Help A Friend Or Family Member with Alcohol Rehab in Utah

Posted October 20, 2014 by Talbot Rehab

Alcoholism Can Be Overwhelming, but Alcohol Rehab in Utah Can Help!

There are many programs for alcohol rehab in Utah, and there are several things you can do to guide your loved one to the help they need.

Addiction occurs when an individual can’t control their use or craving for alcohol. Their addictions become so strong that they continue to drink even though they understand the negative effects their alcohol use has on their life. There are many different reasons for alcohol abuse. In many cases, people suffer from a genetic disposition to addiction. Whatever the reason is for the alcoholic, it is important to get our loved ones the help they need.

Trying to help an alcoholic friend or family member can be both frustrating and heartbreaking. As much as you’d like to make them check into alcohol rehab in Utah, it’s never that easy. Trying to help an alcoholic get the help they need takes some tact and finesse, and there are a lot of ways convincing someone to get help can go wrong.

If you ever find yourself talking to an alcoholic with the intention of getting them to seek out alcohol rehab in Utah, here some approaches to avoid and the things you can do to help your loved one through recovery.

Keep Realistic Expectations

If you have a member of your family or a friend who is an alcoholic, you know that helping them can be difficult. Here are some things to remember so that you can keep the situation in good perspective.

Don’t Expect Immediate Results

You can never really convince someone to check into alcohol rehab in Utah or anywhere else simply by asking them. At least, you can’t expect those results right away. For many alcoholics, the desire to drink is a lot stronger than the desire to quit, especially if they’ve never tried to go sober before. Simply demanding someone to quit any addiction is stressful, demoralizing and overwhelming for that person. They will hopefully reach the point where they will get the help they need, but it takes time, encouragement, and self-understanding to get there. If you ever need help talking to your loved one, Lion’s Gate Recovery is always available. Call us anytime.

Don’t Choose a 30-Day Program If There are Other Options

The National Institute on Drug Abuse recommends at least three months of treatment for drug and alcohol addicts. Alcoholism is a complicated condition with several underlying problems, and it takes time to rebuild a life that has been affected by it. Someone may be able to achieve sobriety within 30 days, but making sure they stay sober and they address the reasons for their addiction almost always takes months of hard work.

Don’t Put Yourself In Danger

While it is very important that you stand by and support any alcoholic loved one, you shouldn’t have to put yourself into a position where you could be vulnerable to abuse. If you don’t feel safe with your alcoholic friend or family member, there is no shame in asking for help from your loved ones, counselors or law enforcement. Calling the police or moving out of your home may seem like a betrayal, but you can’t help anybody if you are seriously hurt or worse.

Don’t Take Anything Personally

It’s very possible that your alcoholic loved one could try to quit drinking only to start again a week or two later. This can be very hurtful, but you cannot take their relapse personally. As we said before, the desire for an alcoholic to drink is almost indescribably strong, perhaps stronger than any promises they may have made. The best thing is to have realistic expectations that this is often part of the recovery process. It often takes a lot of time and a few failed attempts before your loved one can truly be sober.

Don’t Lend Money to an Alcoholic

No matter how much your alcoholic loved one says they need it, do not lend them any money. It might be unfair to assume that they will use any money you give them to buy more alcohol, but you need to consider a worst-case scenario if you truly want to be of help. The only time you should ever give an alcoholic money is to help them pay for a hospital stay or a life-saving medical procedure. Any other situation will just make you an enabler.

Don’t Assume that Rehab Solves Everything

Checking into an alcohol rehab program is a crucial first step for any alcoholic who wishes to be sober, but it is only the first step. Many people who have never gone through rehab or have never seen anybody go through it assume that it cures addicts forever, but there are always other issues at play. There are the underlying issues that drove someone to become an addict in the first place, there are the many life problems that were caused by the addiction itself and there are damaged or ruined relationships that need to be mended. All of this takes time, sometimes years. Anybody who completes a rehab program should be very proud of themselves, but they still have a long road ahead of them before they can truly be “cured.”

After your loved one agrees to get help and enters a therapeutic program, you can assist them in other ways.

Here are some things you can do to support your loved one during recovery:

  • Medication – in many cases medication can be prescribed. At addiction treatment centers you can get help from health care experts. Doctors will provide options for alcohol treatment. There are also detoxification programs that use certain medications which are effective in treatment at alleviating some symptoms of withdrawal. It is important to consult a doctor before taking any medication.
  • Build support – Addiction is a family disease. Alcoholics need support while they are in treatment. Family members or friends should show support and encouragement during treatment. If there is proper family support they will be more likely to complete treatment. Talk with them about your concerns for their well-being. Show that you are willing to help them through the process. Make sure they know that they are not alone.
  • Follow the treatment plan – The counseling service or rehab facility will provide your loved one with a customized treatment plan. Generally, this involves family participation. Make sure to do your part and follow the plan. Even if this requires you to not have contact with them while they are in treatment.
  • Educate yourself – There are so many different sources available that provide important information about alcoholism. Seek out these sources. Find support groups for yourself. Once you have learned things that have helped you or an alcoholic friend or family member, make sure to help educate others.

 

 

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College hosts inclusive excellence conference

The conference was created in an effort to bridge the gaps between theory and research in the academy as well as classroom policy and practice with teachers and administrators in today’s schools.

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