Although we know that addiction is a chronic disease of the body and the mind, developing effective treatments for it has taken decades of research and is far from perfected. There is no one right way to treat addiction. Practitioners of holistic medicine believe in treating the whole person, rather than treating a single disease or illness. If you have been struggling with addiction and traditional treatments have not been successful, consider seeking the help of a trained and experience practitioner of holistic medicine.
What Is Holistic Medicine?
The philosophy behind holistic medicine is treating the whole person. In traditional Western medicine, physicians treat a disease, first and foremost. A holistic practitioner gets to know the patient as an individual and considers his mental, physical and spiritual health, as well as the particular disease to be treated. The practitioner believes that many aspects of a patient’s life have become unbalanced and seeks to rebalance them.
Holistic medicine also means using preventive measures and many different medical techniques that complement each other. These are not limited to traditional medicine only.
Holistic Techniques And Addiction
Holistic medicine is well suited to treating addiction because, unlike many physical conditions, addiction cannot be treated with a course of medication or any other single technique. Treating addiction is a lifelong process and needs to be individualized to each patient. Holistic caregivers are trained in the practice of assessing each patient as an individual and developing a treatment plan that addresses the disease as well as overall wellness.
Many of the techniques used in holistic medicine can help you to find relief from withdrawal symptoms. They can reduce stress, anxiety and depression symptoms, any of which may lead to relapse if ignored. They can also improve your overall health, which is a powerful way to avoid relapsing.
Some of these techniques include acupuncture and acupressure, biofeedback and neurofeedback, herbal medicines, hypnosis, meditation, yoga, exercise, dietary and nutrition changes and Qigong, an ancient Chinese practice involving the balance of Qi, or energy.
Unfortunately, the research on how effective holistic medicine is in treating addiction is scarce. As medicine changes and evolves, perhaps more researchers will be willing to look into the alternative practices used by holistic practitioners. Until then you may simply want to try a holistic approach and see if it works for you. If you work with a trained and experienced practitioner, there is no harm in trying. The vast majority of techniques used in holistic medicine are safe and risk-free.
Finding A Holistic Practitioner
The best way to get the most out of holistic medicine is to seek help from the right practitioner. In the hands of someone who is untrained or inexperienced, you may not see any benefits and in a worst-case scenario you could be harmed. Start with your primary care physician for a referral. If your doctor has no one to refer, consider looking at professional organizations for holistic medicine practitioners. Always select someone who has been trained. Also look for someone who has worked with addicts. This type of experience will be invaluable.
When you go to your first appointment with a holistic medicine practitioner, consider it an interview. You need not come back if you don’t feel comfortable. The person working with you should assess your whole health, not just your addiction. He should ask you lots of questions and make you feel comfortable.
Holistic medicine is considered to be an alternative to traditional medicine, but it need not replace it. You can still seek help from a physician, go to rehab and work with a drug counselor while also working with a holistic practitioner. A true professional will work with you to integrate all of these types of care for your greatest benefit.
We recommend Promises Austin Luxury Rehab. They treat both men and women effectively and holistically, in a beautiful and private setting, with an excellent client-to-staff ratio!
You’re married to the life of the party. You probably have a lot of fun with him. He loves going out with friends and entertains everyone with funny stories and goofy antics. Everyone loves him, right? But you see him the next day, worn out, hung over, unable to remember all the details of the previous night. Your husband or partner is paying a high price for his social status. Being the fun one is great, but if it is forced through the veil of drunkenness, he may have a serious problem with alcohol.
What Is An Alcoholic?
The idea of your spouse as an alcoholic is scary. The odds are he isn’t one, but it is worth educating yourself about alcoholism if you suspect he drinks too much. Alcoholism, or alcohol dependence, is a true addiction and a serious disease. It takes a lot of drinking over a long period of time to become an alcoholic. If your husband binges and regrets it on weekends, he may not be an alcoholic — yet.
One of the most characteristic attributes of alcohol addiction is the presence of withdrawal symptoms. These are real, physical symptoms that result when an alcoholic stops drinking. They include tremors, anxiety, nausea, sweating, insomnia, headaches, depression and fatigue. Alcoholics severely crave alcohol to make these symptoms go away.
What Is A Problem Drinker?
While your husband may not be an alcoholic, it does not mean that he doesn’t have a problem at all. He could be a problem drinker or an almost alcoholic. Problem drinking can often look very much like being the life of the party. A problem drinker may also be that tired working mom who needs a couple glasses of wine to relax at the end of the day, but then can’t sleep well or loses her cool with the kids. A problem drinker may be someone who has symptoms of depression and drinks to feel better instead of getting help.
Any type of drinking that causes problems is problem drinking. Your husband has fun at parties and may never drive home afterward, but the next day is shot because of his hangover. He regrets the fact that he started a stupid argument with you while he was drunk. You ask him to slow down his drinking at parties and he won’t do it. Your relationship gets to be tense as a result. These are all problems caused by his behavior.
Should I Ask My Spouse To Stop Drinking?
If you have determined that your husband is indeed a problem drinker, it’s time to sit him down for a talk. Understand that he will probably be defensive so approach the topic carefully. Do not bring up the idea of alcoholism and even avoid the term problem drinker if you think that will help. Lead with how his drinking makes you feel and how you fear it will damage your relationship in the future. Discuss how much better he will feel in the morning without a hangover.
His counter arguments are likely to be that he only drinks on the weekends to de-stress or that he drinks only socially and that it isn’t a big deal. Remind him of how he feels the next day, of the regrets he usually expresses and emphasize that his drunkenness impacts you. Tell him that you hope he will slow down, but not that you need him to quit drinking altogether. Suggest that you skip one party and do something together instead to strengthen your relationship. By being honest with him you can begin to address and correct the problems that his drinking is causing.
If his drinking gets worse, it may need to come down to a professional intervention. Call us now for intervention help. You and your partner’s relationship and physical/mental health are worth it!
Your child is struggling with addiction. You have always been his caregiver. As a parent, you have taken care of him, helped him when he was down, kept him safe and took action when needed. Now that he is facing this very personal battle, you may feel helpless. How can you possibly take care of his needs when he is being ravaged by this disease? As a parent, the feeling of helplessness that accompanies the addiction of a child can be overwhelming and leave you with a sense of despair. You can’t fix the problem, but you can be there for your child and lend your support.
Why Can’t I Fix His Addiction?
You cannot fix your child’s addiction or cure him of it because addiction is a chronic disease with no hard and fast cure. You would never blame yourself for not being able to cure your child’s asthma or diabetes because you are not a doctor. You are not an addiction expert, a therapist or a doctor and you cannot treat or cure his disease. The sooner you are able to accept this fact, the better you will feel. That sense of helplessness will begin to lessen when you accept that your child has a disease that will require treatment by experts.
Can I Help My Child Overcome Addiction?
You do have the ability to help your addicted child. Once you accept that you cannot fix the problem, you can take steps to help him. Doing so will help to relieve those helpless feelings threatening to overwhelm you. In fact, taking action of some kind will keep you from falling into hopeless despair, which often leads to lethargy and inaction. Your child does need you now, so take steps to do what you can to help:
- Educate yourself – You have been blindsided by this problem and you probably have little experience with addiction. To better understand what your child is going through and what he needs from you, educate yourself about the disease of addiction. It will help you to have patience with him and to learn how to better support and assist him.
- Investigate treatment options – Unless your child is still a minor, you cannot force him to get professional help. You can, however, present him with options for treatment. Talk to your doctor about resources for addiction care and collect information about your options. Visit therapists and rehab facilities to get an idea of what is available and so that you can give your child the best choices when he is ready for help.
- Consider family therapy – Addiction is a disease that affects the entire family. Once your child has decided to get help, you can be an active participant. Engage in group therapy sessions with your child and other members of the family. He will find motivation in seeing that you and his loved ones are committed to his treatment.
- Build support – Your child is going through a difficult struggle, but so are you. You cannot give all your attention to him and forget about your own needs. Make sure you have built up support for yourself. Consider joining a support group for the loved ones of addicts. Also make sure that you have friends or family with whom you can talk when you feel overwhelmed and stressed. Support is necessary for addicts, but it is important for you too.
It is only natural to feel helpless when you cannot fix your child’s problem. You can guide him through it, though, and you can support him. When he is ready for help, be there for him and you will be doing the best you can.
If You Or Someone You Love Is Struggling With Drug Or Alcohol Abuse, You’ve Come To The Right Place – Help Is Just A Phone Call Away!
14 Aug 2014
A successful drug rehab program is one that reaches out to all kinds of people who need help and that provides those people with the skills they need to stay sober outside of the program. There are plenty of wonderful rehab facilities operating today, but who is getting help? Statistics can give us a lot of information about who is going to rehab and getting much-needed treatment.
What Can Be Treated In Rehab?
What happens in rehab depends on the type of addiction being treated, the age and experience of the patient and many other individualized factors. Information from surveys and research tell us that the majority of patients seeking help in rehab facilities are struggling with alcoholism or problem drinking. Nearly one-quarter of all admissions to rehab are people with an alcohol problem only.
A further 18 percent need treatment for alcohol addiction and abuse of another substance. Seventeen percent of people getting help are struggling with marijuana dependence, 14 percent need help for heroin addiction, and about 6 percent are battling addiction to non-heroin opioid drugs, most commonly prescription painkillers.
What Types Of People Seek Help?
Addiction is not a disease that targets one kind of person. Over 23 million people need to get treatment for addiction every year in the U.S. Among that population, 60 percent of people seeking help are white. Twenty percent of people in rehab are African American, 14 percent are Hispanic and 6 percent are Native American or Asian.
People seeking treatment for addiction may be any age, although the majority of admissions are people between the ages of 25 and 29. The next most likely age for those seeking treatment is between 20 and 24, followed by 40 to 44, with numbers dropping off quickly after age 60. Although the makeup of people getting care for addiction is varied, access is still not perfect and not everyone who needs help is getting it.
Is Rehab Successful?
Drug rehab is successful for many people, but it is important to remember that addiction is a chronic illness and has no cure. Drug rehab success rate statistics refer to the ability of programs to set addicts on the path to long-term sobriety. Relapse is not considered failure, as most addicts can expect to give in to cravings at least once. In fact, statistics show that rates of relapse for addicts seeking treatment are similar to those for other chronic diseases such as high blood pressure and diabetes.
Words of encouragement for someone in rehab can go a long way toward helping him or her achieve successful sobriety. If you have someone in your life struggling to make it through rehab, lend your support, your words of inspiration and your time in order to help him or her along the path to long-term success.
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Alcoholic hepatitis is a serious and potentially deadly liver ailment triggered by prolonged, excessive alcohol intake. It constitutes one form of a larger condition called alcohol-related liver disease. In a study published in May/June 2014 in the journal Alcohol and Alcoholism, researchers from two U.S. universities explored the potential usefulness of a medication called baclofen in easing the effects of alcoholic hepatitis in people affected by alcoholism. This medication, originally developed to treat certain types of muscle spasms, has already been shown to help people receiving treatment for alcoholism reduce the intensity of their cravings.
Hepatitis is the generic medical term for any disease mechanism that results in inflammation inside the liver, the body’s primary organ for doing such things as processing toxins and regulating cholesterol levels. Whenever you drink alcohol, a substance essentially poisonous to humans, your liver must process it and break it down so you can avoid any harmful effects.
Unfortunately, the liver breaks down alcohol relatively slowly and you can easily overwhelm its capacity for detoxification. A person who regularly consumes excessive amounts of alcohol is at risk for one or more progressively damaging changes in his or her liver function.
The first of these changes, called alcoholic fatty liver disease, occurs when the liver starts to produce an abnormally large amount of fat inside its individual cells. Alcoholic hepatitis sets in after alcoholic fatty liver disease and produces symptoms such as jaundice, declining appetite, pain in the abdominal region, nausea and vomiting. The third stage of damaging change, called alcoholic cirrhosis, involves a permanent, disruptive buildup of scar tissue inside the liver.
As many as one-third of all people who habitually consume excessive amounts of alcohol will develop alcoholic hepatitis, the American Liver Foundation reports. The inflammation associated with the condition can have a negative impact on liver function that ranges from mild to severe. People with relatively mild forms of alcoholic hepatitis can recover their liver function if they stop drinking. However, people with relatively severe forms of the condition can experience rapid declines in liver health that lead to a cessation of function (i.e., liver failure). In turn, a person with liver failure can easily die.
Doctors traditionally prescribe baclofen for people experiencing muscle spasms stemming from either certain diseases that damage the spinal cord or the degenerative autoimmune disorder multiple sclerosis. The medication achieves its therapeutic effects in this context by slowing down the spinal cord’s rate of nerve cell interaction. Over the last few years, doctors have started using baclofen as an off-label treatment for the drinking cravings that typically arise during alcoholism recovery. If left unaddressed, these cravings can easily derail an attempt at establishing or maintaining sobriety. In 2012, researchers from France and Italy published the results of a study that confirmed the usefulness of baclofen in reducing the intensity of alcohol cravings.
Baclofen’s Usefulness In Alcoholic Hepatitis Treatment
In the study published in Alcohol and Alcoholism, researchers from Loma Linda University and UCLA used a small-scale investigation of 40 people to test baclofen as a treatment for alcoholic hepatitis. All of the study participants were affected by alcoholism; some of them had both alcoholic hepatitis and alcoholic cirrhosis, while others only had alcoholic hepatitis. Thirty-five of the 40 participants received baclofen at some point during a one-year time period; the average length of use for the medication was just under six months. The researchers gauged the effectiveness of baclofen by comparing the results of seven key tests for alcoholic hepatitis before and after treatment with the medication.
Thirty-four out the 35 baclofen recipients maintained their sobriety throughout the period under consideration. Critically, the researchers concluded that these individuals also experienced a significant reduction in the severity of their alcoholic hepatitis as measured through six out of the seven screening tests. In addition, they concluded that use of baclofen did not produce any substantial side effects.
The study’s authors believe their findings underscore both the usefulness and the safety of baclofen as a treatment for alcoholic hepatitis. However, the size of the study was quite small. As a result, the authors urge further work in this area in order to confirm their results and determine the specific doses of the medication that have the maximum benefits for people with alcoholism-related liver inflammation.
Find Out If Baclofen Can Help Treat Cocaine Addiction
12 Aug 2014
Traditionally, the term addiction has been restricted to the description of dependence on a chemical substance, such as drugs or alcohol. Today we have a broader view of what addiction is and many experts recognize what they call behavioral, or process, addictions. Certain behaviors, like gambling, eating, or shopping, can become habitual in a similar way to drug abuse. If you feel you may be starting to cross a line when it comes to your shopping and spending, recognize your behaviors and learn how to curb them before you really get out of control.
Shopping As An Addiction
There is nothing wrong with enjoying shopping. Even shopping as a regular hobby is not necessarily a bad thing. As with any behavior, though, you may cross the line into addictive territory. Some of the aspects of chemical addictions are similar to what people with a shopping addiction experience. For instance, engaging in a shopping spree may be associated with strong emotions. People who shop compulsively often continue to do so in the face of financial problems. They may let their habit interfere with relationships. These are all commonalities with drug and alcohol addiction.
How Do You Recognize A Shopping Addiction?
You have had a bad day at work. You got in a fight with your boyfriend or your husband. The kids are really getting on nerves. What do you do to relieve your stress and boost your mood? If your automatic answer is to go shopping or make a purchase, you might have a problem. Using a behavior, like shopping, to regularly boost your mood and regulate your emotions is a sign of an addictive habit.
Other signs that your shopping is becoming a real problem include buying in spite of financial woes. Compulsive shoppers keep going even when they have drained the bank account. They rack up huge credit card debt. Some even lose their homes because of their habits. Maybe you’re hooked on bargains. Do you buy a new pair of black heels that are half off, even though you have ten pairs in your closet? If so, you could have a problem. Is your shopping disrupting your relationships? Are you hiding your purchases from your partner because you know they will start a fight otherwise? These are all signs that you have a very bad habit.
How Can You Curb Your Shopping Addiction?
The good news is that you can take steps now to reverse your compulsive shopping. Unless you are in so deep that you really can’t stop, these actions will help.:
- To limit how much you spend, only use cash
- Cut up all your credit cards to avoid the temptation to build more debt
- Make a list before you go shopping and stick to it strictly
- Eliminate all impulse buys
- Stay offline if you are a compulsive Internet shopper
What is most important and oftentimes most difficult is figuring out why you shop. When you feel the urge, stop to think about what is driving you to go shopping. Are you stressed? Depressed or anxious? Is there a particular event that is making you feel bad? Face these things head on rather than drowning your emotions in a shopping binge. When you face what you’re feeling you can find better ways to cope. Instead of going shopping, go for a jog. Have a cup of tea and read a book. Take a hot bath or talk to a friend. Whatever you do, don’t give in to the urge to shop. If you still can’t control your urges, seek professional help.
11 Aug 2014
Shame and stigma are two of the most common words associated with being an addict, both for those using and those in recovery. As a society we still largely view addiction as a moral failing, while science keeps telling us it is a medical condition. Too many addicts fail to get help because of the shame they feel and the stigma attached to the condition. When we can empower addicts to seek treatment instead of shaming them, we all benefit.
Empowerment Over Shame Of Addiction
Addiction has long been viewed as shameful for many reasons. Abusing substances does begin with a personal choice. No one is forced to use drugs or to drink. For this reason we have long assumed that addicts continue to have a choice and that they can always choose to stop using and turn their lives around. What many fail to realize is just how powerfully drugs and alcohol impact the brain and body. Substances that are highly addictive change the brain and make it almost impossible to stop using them.
As researchers in addiction uncover these truths, we should start to view addicts differently, but it takes time to change minds. We need to move toward empowering addicts, rather than making them feel ashamed. Empowerment means being educated about the disease of addiction and having the confidence to get much needed treatment. When we can empower addicts, we can better help them.
Taking Action To Empower Addicts
The good news is that ideas about and attitudes toward addiction are changing. It takes time to make a societal shift, but slowly and surely it seems to be happening. There are people who are taking specific actions to lift the stigma attached to addiction and to empower addicts as a whole and as individuals.
For instance, a new trend is taking place that involves gathering recovering addicts in large groups to celebrate recovery and sobriety. In the UK, the Brighton Recovery Walk is in its fourth year, while the nationwide UK Recovery Walk is on year six. These events include a large gathering of recovering addicts, out to celebrate their sobriety without shame. These recovery walks show the faces of addiction and battle the stigma of this disease with a positive message of hope and empowerment. Similar events have begun to pop up in the U.S. as well.
Other empowering actions work with individual addicts. For instance, Stanford University created a program to educate women in recovery in the humanities. The lessons these women learn help to empower and strengthen their recovery by teaching them about facing obstacles, giving them new perspectives and expanding their horizons. Most of all the courses show them that they are worthy of learning and of working with Stanford professors.
Empowering Individuals In Your Life
If you have an addict in your life, consider how you can empower her. Educate her about her disease and options for treatment. Help her by supporting her when she needs it and by being there during difficult times. Encourage her to attend events like the Recovery Walks and to seek out other programs that are available to help women like her.
The more you talk about addiction and refuse to treat it like a shameful series of choices that someone has made, the more we can empower all addicts. With empowerment comes the confidence to reach out and get help. Today we have a number of ways to treat addicts that are effective and no one should feel too ashamed to ask for that help.
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Some people take the time to weigh the potential costs and benefits of participating in a given activity before deciding what to do. Social scientists and researchers refer to this forward-thinking outlook as a future orientation or a future-oriented time perspective. In a study scheduled for publication in July 2014 in the journal Addictive Behaviors, researchers from Canada’s University of Waterloo sought to determine how a future orientation helps predict the likelihood that any given person will succeed in the attempt to quit smoking. These researchers concluded that a couple of key factors help explain the smoking cessation-related benefits of a future-oriented time perspective.
Nicotine Addiction And Smoking Cessation
According to figures compiled by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, most of the people who smoke cigarettes in the U.S. are physically dependent on nicotine, the main active ingredient in all types of tobacco. Unfortunately, for a number of reasons, nicotine dependence/addiction is fairly easy to acquire and fairly hard to overcome. Doctors, addiction specialists and public health officials refer to the attempt to stop smoking cigarettes as smoking cessation. More than two-thirds of American cigarette smokers openly express a desire to stop smoking entirely and establish a long-term nicotine-free lifestyle. In line with this fact, millions of Americans make an effort at smoking cessation every year; however relatively few people successfully quit smoking for more than a few days or weeks.
There are several scientifically proven methods to increase the odds of achieving and maintaining smoking abstinence, including nicotine replacement therapy, use of non-nicotine-based medications such as Chantix (varenicline) or Zyban (buproprion), and non-medication-based approaches such as in-person or remotely delivered behavioral therapy and informative sessions called brief interventions. However, most people in the U.S. who try to quit smoking do not rely on one of these well-tested options.
Time Perspective And Future Orientation
As a rule, most people primarily focus their thoughts and actions on events that happened in the past, events happening in the present or events that may occur in the future. The frame of reference in use determines any given individual’s time perspective. Two of the time perspectives have a particular bearing on substance use, abuse and addiction: a hedonistic view of the present and a future-oriented perspective that emphasizes the benefits of delayed gratification. Generally speaking, people who have a hedonistic perspective on the present value impulsive actions and short-term rewards over carefully considered actions and long-term rewards. Conversely, people who have a future-oriented perspective value carefully considered actions and long-term rewards over impulsive actions and short-term rewards.
Time Perspective’s Impact On Smoking Cessation Success
Doctors and researchers know that people with a future-oriented perspective commonly receive long-term benefits in the form of improved or well-maintained health. Smoking cessation success is one of these potential health benefits. In the study published in Addictive Behaviors, the University of Waterloo researchers used a large-scale survey of smokers living in Canada, the U.S., Great Britain and Australia to investigate exactly why future orientation has a positive influence on smoking cessation attempts. All told, this survey included information from 9,772 people; it covered topics that included the day-to-day time perspective of each participant, each participant’s level of personal motivation to quit smoking, the number of quit attempts over an eight-year period of time and the relative success of any quit attempts during the same time frame.
After analyzing the survey results, the researchers confirmed that cigarette users with a future-oriented time perspective successfully quit smoking more often than their counterparts who don’t have a future-oriented perspective. When they looked at the underlying reasons for the different outcomes in the two types of smokers, they found that the future-oriented individuals who successfully stopped smoking typically had a higher level of motivation during the cessation process and sustained their active participation in this process for longer amounts of time.
The authors of the study published in Addictive Behaviors note that their project is the first attempt to explore the link between future orientation and smoking cessation success in current or recent smokers located in more than one country. In addition, they note that the link between a future-oriented time perspective and success in smoking cessation was found in all four countries under consideration. The study’s authors believe that the two factors uncovered during the study—heightened motivation and sustained participation during quit attempts—may be the main explanatory factors for the positive outcomes in future-oriented smokers.
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