Recovering addicts typically face a number of stressful situations upon leaving rehab. Some of the more common types of stress they must deal with as a sober person include strained family relationships, losing custody of their children, possibly spending time in jail for a past criminal charge and the general uncertainty of life without drugs.
While in rehab at 12 Keys, clients are taught a variety of stress management techniques to help them cope with life after recovery. In addition to practicing meditation, deep breathing exercises, visualization and using cognitive behavioral therapy techniques, recovering addicts may find these three tips for dealing with stress “on the outside” useful stress management activities:
Hiking and camping in the woods is a form of “earth-centered” ecotherapy 12 Keys recommends recovering patients participate in, either individually or with their support group peers.
Research into the palliative powers of nature has shown communing with nature offers wonderfully regenerative properties that alleviate depression, stress and anxiety.
If someone you love is addicted to drugs or alcohol, it can be very difficult to understand their condition. Even if you “get” that your loved one is living with a chronic disease, it is quite different from other ones like arthritis, diabetes, epilepsy or asthma. Those diseases don’t cause changes to the affected person’s mind. The results of this impact on the brain make it difficult for those affected to think rationally or even understand they need treatment.
Drug Abuse as a Brain Disorder
Research has shown that addiction is a brain disorder, and compulsive substance abuse is one of its characteristics. Each drug — including alcohol — produces a different type of effect for the user. Some of them are stimulants, which produce a sense of heightened awareness and more energy, while others make the user feel relaxed and sleepy.
Drug addiction is a serious problem in this country, with an estimated 23.5 million people addicted to drugs and alcohol. It is no surprise that the rate of addiction is rising, since there are more addictive substances available than ever before. Addiction is a devastating condition no matter what the cause or which substances are involved. From a public health and safety standpoint, though, it is important to share information about which drugs are the worst. Here is a guide to the 10 drugs that are causing the most problems in America today.
Developed in 1898 by a German pharmaceutical company, heroin was originally marketed as a cure for tuberculosis. It was also used as a means of weaning addicts off of morphine. Once believed to be non-addictive, heroin turned out to be even more addictive than morphine, and the cycle began.
Although rotting teeth, blackened cavities and bleeding gums aren’t the only physical effects of meth use, “meth mouth” gets a lot of attention because the mouth readily reveals the damaging effects of meth on the human body.
Made from a combination of pseudoephedrine/ephedrine and chemicals ranging from engine starter and fertilizer to rubbing alcohol, meth does not directly cause tooth decay and gum disease. Instead, meth produces a chronically dry mouth exacerbated by the user’s lack of good oral hygiene and eating nothing but high-carb, high-sugar foods. Also accelerating the development of meth mouth is the teeth clenching and tooth grinding behaviors seen in meth addicts “tweaking,” or suffering withdrawals.
Some research suggests that meth powder containing anhydrous ammonia, red phosphorous or battery lithium might contribute to rapid erosion of dental enamel in addicts who smoke or snort meth. Additionally, meth limits blood supply to the mouth because it constricts blood vessels throughout the body.