Alcohol Effects on the Body
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Do you have what you affectionately refer to as an alcoholic liver? Or does your body hate the effects of alcohol? Whether you suffer from alcoholism or only enjoy the occasional drink, this video will show you how drinking really effects your body.
Transcript: You savor the first sip-and the multiple sips after-but what does your body think of that alcohol fix?...
You savor the first sip-and the multiple sips after-but what does your body think of that alcohol fix? Your body reacts to alcohol as it would to a poison. In other words, it works as hard to get it out as you work to get it in! First, the liver changes alcohol into acetaldehyde, a highly toxic substance. This then turns into acetate, a harmless substance that is passed out of your body in your urine, and-more minutely-in your breath and sweat. This process is hard work, and it means that your liver can't focus on its other job, which is sending energizing glucose to other areas of your body. That's why you feel tired, weak, and disoriented following a booze binge. And take note: It takes the liver of a 150-pound person two hours to metabolize one beer! The bottom line is that alcohol does a number on your body. So drink smart!More »
Last Modified: 2013-04-17 | Tags »
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If you've decided to confront a drinking problem, whether you join a support group or go into rehab depends heavily on your circumstances. But seeking help for alcoholism is a necessity. Watch this video to learn more.
Transcript: Does the idea of an alcohol support group conjure up images of sad, over-caffeinated people sharing intimate...
Does the idea of an alcohol support group conjure up images of sad, over-caffeinated people sharing intimate details of their lives. If so, this video will help you learn the real deal about seeking support.Support groups for alcoholics come in many forms, but they all have one goal in common: helping the addict to get well and to stop or greatly reduce their drinking. Perhaps the most well-known sobriety group is Alcoholics Anonymous, or AA. AA is an international foundation that believes alcoholism is a disease. To beat the illness, the group recommends that alcoholics abstain from all alcohol for the rest of their lives. Alcoholics Anonymous uses twelve steps to help users quit their addiction and make amends with those they have hurt by drinking. AA incorporates prayer and references to a "higher power"as part of its healing process. Due to these religious undertones, a 1996 court order ruled it illegal for parole officers or other authorities to require AA attendance. If you're uncomfortable with spiritual references, Alcoholics Anonymous is not the only support group available to you! Some alcoholics prefer a group like SMART Recovery, an acronym for Self-Management And Recovery Training, which does not believe that alcoholism is a disease, and which keeps religion out of the healing process. Instead, SMART Recovery approaches alcohol abuse as a mental issue, and seeks to change a person's mindset about drinking. There are some recovery programs which are not designed for alcoholics, but rather, for people who have abused alcohol in the past - and who are now ready to commit to reducing their drinking. Moderation Management, or MM, is an example of this type of program, and has been helpful for many college aged people. The rundown of the different alcohol support groups could continue for many videos, which means there is bound to be a program out there that will work for you. Because there are many different types of alcohol support groups, you are certain to find one that will work for you. To find your best support, talk to your college's health center, or search "Self Help Group Locator" on the internet.More »
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Exercise addiction can be defined as an obsession with fitness. Believe it or not, excessive exercise can be harmful. Watch this video to find out more.
Transcript: Exercise is a good thing, right? Well, most of the time but like the old adage says, you CAN get too...
Exercise is a good thing, right? Well, most of the time but like the old adage says, you CAN get too much of a good thing! According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, most adults should exercise about thirty minutes daily. For children, that number doubles, to about sixty minutes of physical activity each day. But for some people-most often females between ages 12 and 19 the recommended amount of exercise is never enough. Hypergymnasia is a condition characterized by a person's compulsive desire to exercise well beyond what is considered normal and healthy. A person with this condition typically has a skewed body image and tries to achieve an impossible goal by exercising in a rigorous manner. Often, hypergymnasia is coupled with anorexia nervosa or bulimia nervosa. Also called "obligatory exercise" and "anorexia athletica," this condition causes sufferers to lose all enjoyment of exercise. Instead, physical activity becomes an obligation that is not to be shirked, even in the face of sickness or injury. If a person with hypergymnasia misses even ONE workout, she is bombarded with feelings of guilt and anxiety. Often, individuals with the condition will abandon social, work, and school commitments in order to exercise. Physical activity becomes SO important, in fact, that sufferers define self-worth and success in terms of performance. It's not uncommon for compulsive exercisers to also struggle with very poor body image. In addition, excessive exercise can damage muscles, bones, and joints, and when these minor injuries aren't permitted time to heal, long-term damage can result. Even more disturbing, too much activity places stress on the heart, particularly when an eating disorder is ALSO present. In extreme cases, this can lead to cardiac arrest. Females are PARTICULARLY at risk for physical problems, as anorexia athletica can disrupt the hormone levels in their bodies. This can lead to premature bone loss as well as the cessation of their menstrual periods. While this is upsetting, people with hypergymnasia CAN and DO improve with treatment. Psychotherapy can help patients establish a healthier relationship with both exercise AND eating. In fact, an estimated 80-percent of those treated for anorexia athletica experience vast improvements or complete recoveries. If you, or someone you love, show signs of hypergymnasia, don't stay silent! Make an appointment with a mental health professional immediately!More »
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Understanding addiction is essential in helping, treating, or even living with an addict. Learn more about what addiction really is by watching this video.
Transcript: Addiction is a chronic mental illness that can be hard to treat, but there are resources and treatments...
Addiction is a chronic mental illness that can be hard to treat, but there are resources and treatments that can help. But before you can address the problem, how is addiction defined? Addiction means different things to different people. Some of us use the word to describe our affection for designer shoes or our inability to put down our Blackberries. But while it may begin as a bad "habit," real addiction goes far beyond that. Addiction is the compulsive need to engage in a certain activity or use a substance. Alcoholism, drug addiction, compulsive overeating, workaholism, and compulsive over-exercise are all examples of addiction. The use of said substance or activity creates a feeling of euphoria, or a "high," for the addicted individual. Addictions have a dual nature: On one end, the addiction is physical. The individual engages in the activity or takes in the substance to get the rush of brain chemicals needed to feel high. On the other end, the addiction is psychological. The addict needs their activity to help them cope with life, and intense anxiety is felt in the absence of their addictive substance or activity. While we tend to think of people being addicted to substances like narcotics or nicotine, other common addictions include: sex, shopping, eating, or gambling. And many addicts have more than one addiction. An addict will engage in their addiction even when it's clear that using the substance or engaging in the activity is against their own best interests. Addiction is often seen as a moral failing by the general public, but is understood as a disease by the medical establishment. Control is the central issue. An addict reaches a point at which they can no longer "control" how often or how much they will engage in the activity or use the substance, no matter how strong their willpower. Like other chronic diseases, addiction tends to grow worse over time. When addicted to something, the body becomes dependent on the substance or activity and needs increasing amounts to feel the same kind of rush. For people with severe addictions, a rehabilitation program can help overcome the initial stages of addiction. Conquering addiction is a challenging lifelong process. It's not impossible-but it can take time. Many addicts relapse more than once before getting sober for good. Much like dealing with diabetes, heart disease or other chronic diseases, recovering from addiction sometimes requires full lifestyle modification. That means adopting healthy habits and steering clear of destructive ones, often requiring an addict to make new friends, in order to remove themselves from the people and places associated with the addiction. It also means dealing with the emotional difficulties that drove you to drink or gamble or do drugs in the first place. Counseling sessions and 12-Step recovery programs can help. Peer-support programs like Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous have some of the highest rates of continued recovery. If you think you, or someone you love, may have a problem, speak with a trusted health professional, or contact your local AA chapter they can help you find resources in your community, to help battle your addiction.More »
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How can you know if a friend or loved one has an unhealthy addiction? There are some obvious and some not so obvious indications. Watch this video to learn about addiction symptoms.
Transcript: So you think that someone you know is suffering from addiction, but how can you know for sure? Find out...
So you think that someone you know is suffering from addiction, but how can you know for sure? Find out how doctors diagnose addiction, and learn more about what you can do if you, or someone you know, is struggling with addiction. Addiction is a compulsive dependence on a substance, like drugs, or on a behavior, like purging. The path to addiction begins with experimental or recreational use. Maybe you tried cocaine because your friends were doing it. Or perhaps you started gambling during a weekend trip to Atlantic City. You never know when, or if, addiction is going to take hold. That's part of what makes experimenting so risky. Some people can engage in addictive behaviors and never become dependent. Other people can become addicted the first time they try something. Having a family member who is an addict or alcoholic greatly increases YOUR risk of developing an addiction. Many people with an addiction problem do NOT know they have one. No matter what warning signs are present, addicts tend to be blind to their own disease, often finding excuses for their behavior when pressed. People with an addiction might say that all of their friends drink, smoke, do drugs or gamble as much as they do. Or, they might say that they can stop ANY time, but just have no DESIRE to quit. If you think you might have a problem, or know someone who does, here are some of the most common warning signs of addiction. People who are addicts have a compulsive need to use alcohol, drugs or engage in the problem behavior. Hallmarks of addiction, or increasing dependence can include: preoccupation with the substance or activity, the person planning their whole day around said substance or activity, and using more of the substance or participating more frequently in the activity than before. Addicts have a difficult time controlling their use, even though they often have a desire to cut back. They may try to stop, or make deals with themselves that they're ONLY going to drink so much-and then fail. People with a substance or behavior addiction will continue to use even when doing so leads to negative consequences, like losing a job or hurting a family member. Often, they spend a significant amount of time trying to cover up their activities. For instance, if a person has an alcohol problem, they may hide their liquor, avoid phone calls because they're hung over, or downplay how many drinks they've had. The signs for addiction are the same, whether one has a problem with alcohol, prescription drugs, street drugs, or behaviors like binging, purging, spending, gambling or sex. If you think that you, or someone you care about has an addiction problem, talk to someone whom you trust, who can help you find an addiction program in your area.More »
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Anyone can become addicted to drugs, alcohol or even sex -- it crosses all nationalities and socieconomic groups. But some people are more predisposed to addictions than others. Watch this video to learn more about genetics and addiction.
Transcript: No matter how old you are, how much money you make, or what color your skin is, you can develop an addiction....
No matter how old you are, how much money you make, or what color your skin is, you can develop an addiction. Everyone, from low-income single moms to middle-class straight-A students. from rock stars like Amy Winehouse, to media personalities like Rush Limbaugh can succumb to addiction. Millions of American will become addicted to a substance or behavior in their lifetime. And while we're all technically at risk, there are certain factors that make some of us more susceptible to addiction than others. Consider it a product of nature and nurture. Genes and environment both play a role in deciding who will develop an addiction-and who will not. Let's start with genetics. If a close family relative, like your mom, dad, sister or grandparent, has a problem with addiction, you are at greater risk, too. But how much greater? Scientists estimate that genes are a critical component of a person's vulnerability to addiction. But that means that there is also a key component of withstanding the potential of addiction that lies within a person's own hands. So even if you have so-called "addiction genes" in your family, you are not destined to become an addict. But you do have to be more careful when it comes to using and abusing substances. A few things that have been shown to help safeguard against future addictive behaviors include: A stable family life and close relationship with one's parents, sit-down family meals, and adequate parental involvement and supervision, can all help to keep kids off the path of addiction. Of course, we can't blame our parents for everything. It's probably no surprise that whom we hang out with can greatly determine whether we'll begin using addictive substances. If our friends get into drugs, alcohol, dangerous dieting or sex, chances are, we will too. Junior high and high school are times of sometimes intense peer pressure; it can feel much easier to go along with the crowd rather than find new friends. Perhaps that's why adolescents are at greater risk of addiction. Another high-risk group are those with psychological conditions like: depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder and ADHD, who often turn to drugs, alcohol or other mood-altering activities in order to escape their feelings. Identifying and treating symptoms of these and other psychological conditions early on can help prevent people from self-medicating with illegal substances. Even if none of these risk factors apply, that doesn't mean one is immune to addiction. Certain substances and behaviors, like cocaine and heroin, are more addictive than others. Remember that the only way you can avoid addiction for sure is by not abusing substances or behaviors in the first place.More »
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Living with an addict is not easy. In fact it can be a lot more frustrating for you than for the addict you are caring for. Watch this video to find out more.
Transcript: Living with, or caring for, someone with a substance or behavioral addiction, can be stressful and traumatizing....
Living with, or caring for, someone with a substance or behavioral addiction, can be stressful and traumatizing. Just because you recognize a family member has a problem doesn't mean he or she is willing to change. If you find yourself coping with the addiction of a family member, the most important thing you can do is to take care of yourself. Here's how: First, address the situation. Covering up your family member's addiction, or pretending it doesn't exist, allows the behavior to progress and worsen. Know that your loved one will most likely deny any problems, but it's okay to let them know you're concerned about their health. Second: find someone you can talk to. Living with addiction is extraordinarily stressful, and you shouldn't have to go through it alone. Opening up to a psychologist, clergy person, or support group can help you take stock of the situation and gain perspective. Consider joining Al-Anon or a similar peer support program, where other people dealing with a loved one's addiction can share their stories. Having a network of people who have been through similar experiences can help you to navigate day-to-day issues. Third, don't forget about yourself. It's easy to neglect your own needs when you're living with an addict. You might be so caught up in the worry for the other person that you don't take care of your most basic needs. Make sure you're getting enough rest, eating a balanced diet; and exercising. It may sound like an odd recommendation, but regular physical activity helps relieve your stress and anxiety, and builds self-esteem-all of which can help you cope with your loved one's addiction. Next, don't blame yourself. You can offer to help your loved one find treatment programs and encourage them to get better, but you can't make them change. An addict will get and remain sober only when he or she is ready. Remind yourself daily that it is not your fault. You did not cause them to get sick and you cannot make them get better. Finally, don't take on their problems. It's hard to watch someone you love slip into a spiral of bad decisions and consequences. And it's natural to want to help. But covering up for them, or straightening up their messy situations, isn't going to help them or you. Protecting them from their own actions may, however, keep them from realizing how bad their problem is. If they have to hit bottom in order to seek out treatment, you have to allow that to happen. Recovery is a process that can take a long time. The addiction didn't happen overnight, and getting sober won't either. As hard as it may be, try not to judge their addiction. Addiction is a disease that requires lifelong vigilance. Figure out what your own personal limits are as well. Just because you love someone doesn't mean you have to put up with their addiction. You just have to decide what's right for you.More »
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Teenage alcohol and drug abuse should be cause for concern among parents. While sampling drugs and alcohol may seem harmless, using them could turn into a lifelong addiction. Watch this video to learn more.
Transcript: The teen years are a time of newfound independence, as kids begin to become adults, venturing out into...
The teen years are a time of newfound independence, as kids begin to become adults, venturing out into the world, making their own decisions. It's also a time many will experiment with drugs and alcohol. Experimenting with drugs and alcohol is nothing new for teens. Consider these statistics: by the age of 14, 41 percent of kids will have had at least one drink. The average American boy will take his fist sip of alcohol when he's 11, while American girls try it a little later, by age of 13. The average teen begins drinking regularly just before turning 16, around the time they get their learner's permit and driver's license. Drinking or using drugs before the age of 15 triples their risk of becoming addict. Consider this sobering stat: right now, three million teenagers in the U.S. are alcoholics. And that's just one substance. Teens today have greater access to a lot more drugs than ever before. And many of them can be found right inside your house. High school and college students have been known to abuse ADHD drugs like Ritalin to help them study or control their appetite. They might try steroids to help them bulk up. Or they snag their parents' prescription painkillers from the medicine cabinet because they've heard you can get high off of them. Teens' brains are not yet fully developed. Pot, alcohol and other drugs can impair brain development and lead to permanent changes in the teenaged brain. Taking drugs at any age can lead to addiction. But teenagers are at even greater risk. The younger you are when you start using drugs, the greater your chances of developing a dependency. Parents need to stay involved in their kids' lives, and let them know early on about the dangers of drug use. Providing your teen with a stable home environment and a close, loving relationship is the best thing you can do to prevent alcohol and drug abuse. Establishing rules and boundaries is a key part of that. Even if they don't like it, kids need to know what's expected of them and what is acceptable behavior. Peer pressure can also play a big role in substance abuse. Whether a teenager is a misfit or runs with the popular crowd, having a low self-esteem and feeling like they don't fit in can make them try things in order to look cool. If all of their friends are doing it, there's a good chance that they will do it, too. That's why it is imperative for parents to keep the lines of communication open. Common signs of alcohol or drug abuse in teens include: withdrawing from family and friends, doing poorly in school, discipline problems, anger, and hostility. If you suspect that your teen is using any illegal substances, even if he or she is just experimenting, talk to them immediately. If their behavior continues or worsens, seek professional help. Remember the sooner you can get them help, the better their chances of kicking an addiction.More »
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Drug abuse and mental illness are related. Watch this video to learn the association between drugs, addiction and mental illness.
Transcript: A certain percentage of people who try drugs or alcohol stand a chance of becoming addicted, but for...
A certain percentage of people who try drugs or alcohol stand a chance of becoming addicted, but for those with psychological disorders, like depression, anxiety or schizophrenia, that number can climb to as high as eighty percent. Addiction and mental illness often go hand in hand, in fact, fifty percent of the people who seek treatment for addiction ALSO have a mental disorder. Addiction is a complex brain disease that involves compulsive and often uncontrollable cravings for a substance or behavior. People who are addicted will do almost anything to satisfy that craving, even if it results in tragic consequences. What accounts for such destructive behavior? Addiction changes the brain's structure and the way it functions. It deteriorates the SAME areas of the brain that malfunction in many mental illnesses. While scientists are STILL trying to understand the connection, we do know that people with psychological conditions are at greater risk for developing an addiction. Here's how the numbers stack up: 20 to 50 percent of people with depression or anxiety ALSO have an addiction. For people with schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, or antisocial personality, addiction affects between 40 to 80 percent. The question here is: Does drug abuse LEAD to mental illness, or are people with mental illnesses MORE SUSCEPTIBLE to addiction? Some research shows that people with schizophrenia, for instance, are more sensitive to the effects of drugs, and that they may become addicted more quickly. Other studies show that people with a particular gene are more likely to develop schizophrenia if they smoke marijuana regularly. If you have schizophrenia in your family tree, you MIGHT want to warn your family members about the possible connection. People who have a mental illness may also try to treat their symptoms by taking mood-altering substances. For example, take depression: people who are clinically depressed have a hard time getting pleasure out of things that most people find enjoyable. That's because their brain's so-called reward system isn't functioning properly. Mood-altering drugs can temporarily stimulate that area of the brain, allowing depressed people to feel better -at least momentarily. Because they feel so bad normally, depressed people might be more likely than people without mental illnesses to chase after that feeling. Chronic drug use can also WORSEN the symptoms of mental illness. Alcohol is a well-known depressant. Abusing it can lead to major depression. Methamphetamine abuse can cause anxiety, paranoia and psychosis. Overusing marijuana is sometimes associated with anxiety, depression, hallucinations, and in some cases, schizophrenia. People who suffer from mental illness AND addiction stand the best chance of getting sober if they treat both conditions simultaneously. Learning how to deal with the difficult emotions of mood disorders is paramount to staying sober. When looking for a substance abuse program or counselor, make SURE they are licensed in treating emotional disorders as well. The failure to treat a disorder can SIGNIFICANTLY jeopardize a patient's chances of success, so if you, or someone you love may be suffering from addiction and/or a mental condition, please seek help immediately!More »
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Treating drug and alcohol addiction is not as simple as one might think. Check out this video to learn more about the different ways to treat drug and alcohol addcition.
Transcript: When it comes to addiction treatment, there is NO one-size-fits-all program. What works for one person...
When it comes to addiction treatment, there is NO one-size-fits-all program. What works for one person might not work for another, and it can often take more than one stint in a recovery program to make sobriety stick. Addiction is a complex disease that makes a person compulsively crave a substance or activity. Changes in the brain often prevent an addict from being able to stop using. Even if at some point an addict wants to stop using, it can be difficult. If not impossible, for them to stop on their own. That's where treatment comes in. The ultimate goal of addiction treatment involves getting a person to stop using their substance of choice and helping them to achieve a substance-free lifestyle. A good treatment plan gives patients the necessary tools to help take control of their lives. That means learning to cope with the situations or emotions that drove them to abuse drugs, alcohol or behaviors to begin with. Throwing oneself into drugs or alcohol can be a way to escape unpleasant feelings. If addiction patients don't learn how to manage stressful or difficult times, they could relapse as soon as life becomes challenging or too overwhelming. Addiction patients often require long-term or repeated episodes of care to reach a place of lifelong abstinence and recovery. In addition, according to the Office of National Drug Control Policy, treatment can: reduce drug use by 40 to 60 percent; decrease criminal activity; and improve an addict's employment potential by up to 40 percent. There are several types of drug addiction treatments. Most involve medication, behavioral therapy or both. Some people may need in-patient programs, where they are monitored 24 hours a day. Others may be able to get sober through an outpatient 12-step program like Alcoholics Anonymous. Some programs begin with drug or alcohol detox. This can last for three to ten days, depending on the amount and length of time that substances had been taken. Detoxification is not meant as a long-term solution. It is only the FIRST stage of treatment. It is used to help minimize the effects of withdrawal, which can occur when an addict abruptly discontinues use. Even after detox, addicts can still experience intense cravings. Sometimes drug treatment facilities will put patients on medication, like methadone, to help reduce cravings. Many times, people with addiction problems also have underlying mental illness as well. If this is the case, the patient needs to work within a program that treats the mental disorder as well. Many substance abuse programs have long waiting lists. Others take insurance while others do not. It's important to find a program that you can afford to stay in for as long as you need. Research shows that most people need at least 3 months in treatment to reduce or stop their drug use. The longer the treatment, the better the outcome. If you think you, or someone you love, may have a problem with addiction, there is hope. You can find local treatment options by using the Substance Abuse Treatment Facility Locator at http://findtreatment.samhsa.gov/.More »
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Recovery from any addiction is a lifelong process. Watch our video, Keys to Successful Recovery From Addiction, for advice on steps to take to start a new, healthier lifestyle.
Transcript: In order to recover from an addiction, attitudes, beliefs and behaviors must change. An addict will need...
In order to recover from an addiction, attitudes, beliefs and behaviors must change. An addict will need to learn how to live again, in a way that does not support alcohol or drug use. Recovery is a lifelong process that will take constant vigilance. One will need to work on repairing existing relationships and building new, healthy ones. Most importantly, it means healing from within. Learning how to really love oneself and deal with the difficult emotions and situations that impelled the substance or activity abuse. The first step: admitting that there is a problem in the first place. Without relinquishing the denial, recovery cannot begin. Getting sober and going through treatment doesn't end when your time in rehab is over. If anything, that's when the real challenge begins. When you leave a supervised program, it's up to the individual to remain sober. But that doesn't mean that one needs to do this alone. In fact, if it can be helped, one should never do it alone. Find support from friends, family members, recovering addicts, counselors, or people in your church or community. Building a strong support system is essential to remaining in recovery. Peer support programs and self-help groups are an invaluable way to find comfort, stability, guidance and encouragement. Alcoholics Anonymous, or AA, is one of the most widely established and well-known self-help groups for alcoholics and addicts. Though people with any addiction can attend AA meetings, one may feel more comfortable with a 12-step program that caters to the specific addiction. These include narcotics anonymous, cocaine anonymous, marijuana anonymous, crystal meth anonymous, gamblers anonymous, overeaters anonymous and sexaholics anonymous. With over 30 programs modeled after the 12-step traditions of AA, one should be able to find a program for the specific addiction. One of the keys to working a successful 12-step program involves getting a sponsor, a former addict in the program, who can share his or her experiences about getting sober.12-step programs aren't just about going to meetings they also require one to take a personal inventory and dig deep within oneself to figure out why one started using in the first place. Accepting one's flaws and learning how to live with them without turning to alcohol, drugs or abusive activities is the aim of recovery. If you are trying to recover from an addiction, and feel the urge to drink or use, your sponsor is the first person you call. This teaches you to reach out instead of trying to handle your cravings or personal struggles alone. Group support programs also allow you to meet a lot of new people striving for sobriety. In the beginning especially, you will find recovery easier if you have other sober friends that you can hang out with. This is your opportunity to make new friends, find new interests and hobbies and surround yourself with positive people. By doing these things, you give yourself the greatest chance at lifelong recovery and happiness.More »
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Addiction rehabilitation centers have served as a lifeline for many but picking the right one can be tricky. Watch thos video to for tips on choosing the right rehabilitation center for you.
Transcript: There are many things that you should consider when choosing where to go for addiction treatment. Here's...
There are many things that you should consider when choosing where to go for addiction treatment. Here's more on picking the right addiction treatment center for you! Getting sober is not a one size fits all proposition. There are a number of key questions to ask, in order to assess what the best approach, for that individual, might be. For a person attempting to recover without constant supervision may opt for an out-patient program, which requires meeting with them once a week to devise a recovery plan, or they may require daily, eight hour educational and therapy sessions, in addition to AA or NA meetings. Budget is also a consideration. How much money does the program cost, and how much can you realistically afford? In-patient programs can typically run about $7,000 per month. The longer a person remains in a treatment facility, the greater his or her chances are of remaining sober. People who stay in treatment for three months or more will have the greatest success. Find out what your health insurance covers for in-patient and outpatient programs. In general, health insurance companies pay for 30 days of treatment at an in-network treatment center. Out of network treatment options are covered at a lower rate, and must usually be paid for out of pocket first. Also remember that not all facilities take insurance, so make that one of your first questions. Sometimes there are long wait lists to get in to a particular program. Make sure that there is a spot available when you need it. A key question to ask: Is the program licensed and state certified? And what is the program's treatment philosophy? According to the National Institute of Drug Abuse, "No single treatment is appropriate for all individuals." There are a lot of theories about what causes addiction, and what kinds of intervention will help prevent people from relapsing. Most programs rely to some degree on 12-step programs, along with various methods of counseling and therapy. Because there is no one solution that works best for everyone, it's important that you find a program that speaks to you. Consider visiting the treatment facility before you commit to it. Ask a family member or friend to go with you, and be prepared to interview the staff about its program. Here are a few questions that may help you decide whether the program is right for you: 1. How long is the typical stay? 2. Do you offer detox services? 3. Do you have a program for family members and loved ones? 4. How much contact will I have with friends and family? 5. What kinds of services and activities will I be participating in? 6. What is your success rate? 7. What kind of counseling and therapy sessions do you offer? 8. Are there staff members who have experience dealing with my specific addiction? 9. Do you provide follow-up care after I'm discharged and, if so, for how long? Choosing a drug treatment program may seem daunting and stressful, but every treatment center, regardless of its philosophies, has one goal: to help you get and stay sober.More »
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