Fentanyl Is Deadly Beyond Manageability, Government Warns

Fentanyl Is Deadly Beyond Manageability, Government Warns

Fentanyl has become synonymous with the experience of the opioid epidemic. The synthetic opioid has been available as a prescription for many years. Up to 100 times more potent than morphine, the synthetic opioid was created to serve the need of medical patients who did not get pain relief from traditional morphine based opioid painkillers. As the opioid epidemic took off, fentanyl slowly became a problem. In 2016, overseas manufacturers got access to formulae for fentanyl and started mass producing it. Selling it as its own pill or lacing other drugs like heroin, cocaine, and Xanax with it, fentanyl became a household name because it has been claiming dozens of lives at a time. Within the course of a year, illegal fentanyl has become an increasing problem with increasing potency. Fentanyl has become so dangerous that the federal government issued a warning to all local police recently to handle the drug with the utmost care, according to USA Today.

“Accidental contact with a quantity equivalent to five or six grains of table salt can be deadly if inhaled or absorbed through skin abrasions,” the article cites. Local officers are being encouraged to wear gloves, masks, protective glasses, and more for protection against fentanyl. Recently, a new fentanyl analog was discovered and aptly named “Gray Death”. Combining all of the last year’s most recent forms of synthetic opioid, Gray Death is completely lethal. Fentanyl, carfentanil, W-18 and other potent synthetic opioids are all combined into one powder. The drug caused overdose on contact and inhalation.

Dangers of Fentanyl

By the numbers, the increase in fentanyl is almost overwhelming, which is why many local police and first responders are being put at risk. The article reports that:

  • Of 52,000 deaths due to drug overdose in 2015, an approximated 33,000 involved opioids like fentanyl

  • Advanced calculations for the drug overdose death rate in 2016 is expected to rise by 8,000 to almost 60,000

  • Between 2013 and 2014, the amount of fentanyl-related seizures has more than tripled

  • Since 2013 the number of fentanyl-related submissions to the National Forensic Laboratory Information System has gone up by 942 submissions, for a reported 3,344 submissions relating to fentanyl.

 

There is hope in the opioid epidemic with providers like Enlightened Recovery Solutions who are bringing a whole person approach to addiction treatment. OUr compassionate environment is home to spirit healing therapies which treat mind, body, and spirit for effective dual diagnosis care. For information, call us today at 844-234-LIVE.

3 Proven Methods To Reduce Anxiety When You’re In a Clutch

3 Proven Methods To Reduce Anxiety When You’re In A Clutch

Anxiety can feel unmanageable when it is at its worst. For many, alcohol is a trigger for using drugs and alcohol to cope. Before turning to self destructive behaviors, try one of these three methods.

 

Stop What You’re Doing And Focus On Your Breath

Anxiety builds when the brain and the body lose connection to one another. As the brain continues to put forth signals of anxiety through hormone production of cortisol and adrenaline, the body reacts. Increased heart rate, dizziness, hyperventilation, and other physical symptoms can worsen the experience of anxiety until they are resolved. One of the quickest ways to resolve the physical symptoms of anxiety is to start focusing on your breath. If your anxiety is climaxing no matter what you do, stop doing anything. Focus purely on breathing. Place a hand on your abdomen and a hand on your chest to feel the rise and fall of your diaphragm as you continue to breathe. Breathing will slow down your heart, which will help your brain relax as you pump more controlled oxygen to it. You don’t have to breathe “mindfully”, though you will be inherently by focusing on your breath, and you don’t have to meditate, though it will already be a form of meditating. All you have to do is breathe until you feel your muscles start to relax.

 

Don’t Interact With Technology For 10 Minutes

Technology is causing more anxiety that society is truly prepared for. The blue lights behind the screens of digital devices stimulates the brain to be more awake. There are many apps for smartphones and other digital devices which are effective in anxiety management. Apps for anxiety, mood, mindfulness, and meditation can all help with anxiety. Sometimes, interacting with the app instead of the natural environment can be too much. Instead of trying to find relief through the phone, find relief through your natural environment. As you focus on your breathing, look at the sky, look at your feet on the ground, or look at a fixed object you feel safe looking at. Giving your eyes and your brain a break will help with the anxiety.

 

Move Your Body, Preferably Outdoors

Adrenaline and cortisol give the body all the anxious energy it needs to fight or run. Part of the fight-or-flight response, these stress hormones give the body the edge it needs to act quickly and efficiently in order to survive. During anxiety, however, they can feel paralyzing, preventing the body from doing anything. To get rid of the stagnant energy, it's important to move the body as much as possible, preferably outdoors. The combination of physical exercise and outdoors will clear your mind and release anxious energy. Being in the outdoors while you move- even just walking around, or pacing back and forth, has been proven to have a tremendous effect and makes the exercise more impactful.

 

You can learn to manage your anxiety. Enlightened Recovery Solutions warmly welcomes men and women with dual diagnosis anxiety and substance use disorders to our partial care programs. Our compassionate environment supports our integrative approach of holistic treatment, approaching spirit healing therapies for the whole person. For information, call us today at 844-234-LIVE.

The Relationship Between Anxiety and Alcoholism

The Relationship Between Anxiety And Alcoholism

Many of the physical and psychological effects of alcohol can produce anxiety. The relationship between anxiety and alcohol, in addition to alcoholism, might be more complicated than many realize. Refinery29 reports on the relationship between drinking and alcoholism but frames the article for active drinkers. For those seeking recovery from alcoholism, their lifestyle will include abstinence from alcohol. Learning to cope with anxiety without alcohol is a challenge because of the way the relationship between the two become deeply ingrained in the brain.

 

Change In Hormone Production

Alcohol changes the way the brain functions, which is why alcohol can cause sensations like euphoria, relaxation, and impair judgment. The way alcohol achieves these changes is by interacting with hormone and neurotransmitter production. Dopamine, for example, is commonly discussed when examining alcohol’s effect on the brain because it is a primary way alcohol creates change. Mind altering substances like alcohol create an overproduction of dopamine, which is a neurotransmitter sometimes called the “happy hormone”. A surplus of dopamine has effect in other areas of the brain while also creating the sense of euphoria alcohol initially creates. Serotonin is another neurotransmitter more involved in mood and anxiety. Depression, for example, is a lack of serotonin. Alcohol consumption can cause a disruption in the production of serotonin, which results in anxiety. In addition, alcohol can increase the production of cortisol, a hormone for stress. When the body and mind enter fight-or-flight mode, which is a chronic for anxiety, cortisol is released. Cortisol puts the body on edge and prepares it to fight against a perceived threat. Interestingly, alcohol could be the perceived threat but also feel like a solution to anxiety.

 

Chemical Dependency Increases Anxiety

Using alcohol as a means to cope with anxiety can increase anxiety and thereby increase chemical dependency on alcohol to cope with anxiety. The relationship of alcohol addiction and co-occurring mental health disorders can be unruly, creating a vicious cycle. Drinking to cope with anxiety creates a memory association in the brain which, accompanied by the disruptions in neurotransmitter as well as hormone production, can become problematic. Instead of turning to other coping mechanisms, the body and the brain learn to turn to alcohol. Eventually the brain might realize that alcohol creates more anxiety than it gets rid of. Being chemically dependent on alcohol, the inability to choose differently will continue to cause anxiety.

 

The partial care programs at Enlightened Recovery Solutions are dual diagnosis, focusing on the holistic treatment of substance use and mental health disorders. Providing a compassionate environment of whole person care, our integrative programs utilize alternative therapies designed to heal the soul. For information, call us today at 844-234-LIVE.

Probiotics Might Provide Relief For Depression, Encourages Gut-Mind Connection

Probiotics Might Provide Relief For Depression, Encourages Gut-Mind Connection

Having an upset stomach usually doesn’t come with a good mood. When we don’t feel good in our gut, we tend not to feel good at all. Discomfort in our gut can feel like discomfort in our entire being. Researchers are increasingly paying attention to the connection between the gut, specifically meaning the bacteria in your stomach, called gut bacteria, and the mind.

A new study published in Gastroenterology used a placebo-controlled trial to show a connection between the use of probiotics and mood in people with IBS, irritable bowel syndrome, which has high rates of depression as well as anxiety. According to TIME, 44 adults were followed for 10 weeks to watch the effect of probiotics on their “mild to moderate anxiety or depression.” Half of the group took Bifidobacterium longum each day while the other took a placebo. Bifidobacterium longum is a probiotic which helps the gut produce healthy bacteria. The results were considerable.

For clinical trials observing depression, depression is evaluated on a scale which calculates a score. Called a clinical scale, these scores help doctors diagnose depression and the severity of depression. After six weeks of the trial, the article reports, “twice as many people who took the probiotic had decreased depression scores compared to those who took the placebo.” The numbers were 64% compared to 32%. After the full ten weeks of the trial, the results were similar. Another component was used to evaluate the effect of the probiotics on depression. Researchers used functional MRI scans and “found that improved depression scores were associated with changes in activity of several brain areas involved in mood regulation.” Mood lives in the brain. Changes in mood mean changes in brain chemistry. The trial proves that the relationship between the gut and the mind is significant. A healthy gut could mean a happier mind.

 

Probiotics are part of a healthy living lifestyle which can contribute to recovery. Recovery should be taken with a whole-person approach, taking the mind, the body, and the spirit into consideration. Enlightened Recovery Solutions creates a compassionate environment of healing by fusing integrative approaches to treatment. Our programs include nutrition, food education, and holistic health in order to empower clients toward fulfillment. For information on our dual diagnosis partial care programs, call us today at 844-234-LIVE.

Detecting an Approaching Manic Episode? There’s an App For That, Too

Detecting An Approaching Manic Episode?

Mania is a period of “great excitement, euphoria, delusions, and overactivity,” by definition. For those who experience mania as a solitary disorder or part of manic-depressive order, also known as bipolar, mania is a high, beyond the atmosphere with feelings of invincibility. Running at a thousand feet per second, other people often wonder just where the mind of someone with bipolar is going. Typically, the manic mind is going far off beyond rationalization. Coming up with big ideas and elaborate plans with sure footedness is common during a manic episode. Characterized by high energy, compulsive behaviors, and aggressive personality, mania should be seen coming from a mile away. For many with bipolar disorder, it can feel like the go to sleep depressed and wake up manic. There might be some warning signs before the shift occurs, like the way they text on their smartphones.

Researchers at the University of Illinois Chicago have created Affect, a smartphone app which analyzes a user's keystrokes in real time and detects if they are approaching or in the middle of a manic episode. Chicago Inno reports, “...the app unobtrusively analyzes keystroke dynamics such as typing speed, frequency of texting, and social media use.” According to the research, originally conducted by the University of Michigan, “...more erratic typing (such as ignoring spell check) correlates with a manic episode, while shorter messages correlate with a depressive episode.” The typing could be considered a manifestation of a common bipolar mania behavior of “jammed speech”. After a depressive episode where one might be socially withdrawn, isolated, and emotionally numb, they are chock full of thoughts, feelings, emotions, opinions, and arguments. Jammed speech refers to the unrelenting flow of verbal communication which, in the technological age, might be expressed through text. “During a manic episode, people with bipolar exhibit some common behaviors,” one researcher explains, “such as talking really, really fast, with diminished self-control and flight of ideas.” These behaviors naturally translate to technology, the researcher explains. “It is thus natural that they also exhibit similar abnormalities in non-verbal communications that are typed on their phones.”

Tracking behaviors which indicate mania and depression could be helpful in creating a great sense of self-awareness in those with bipolar as well as their family members. There is no way for someone with bipolar to stop the shift from depression to mania, however, they can learn tools for better regulating those shifts and managing themselves effectively in between.

 

At Enlightened Recovery Solutions, we welcome clients with bipolar and substance use disorders to our partial care programs where they can find compassionate therapy in a comfortable and soothing environment. Thriving on empathy, clients find empowerment through are alternative, clinical, and holistic therapies, designed to heal the spirit. For information, call us today at 844-234-LIVE.

Finding Solidarity Among Peers With Bipolar Can Be Life Saving

Finding Solidarity Among Peers With Bipolar Can Be Life Saving

This blog will mention suicide. If you are having suicidal thoughts or suicidal ideations it could be triggering for you. Please call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline for support at 1-800-273-8255.

 

People who are diagnosed with bipolar disorder are thirty times more likely to commit suicide, according to a study published in Neuropsychiatric Disease and Treatment. Bipolar disorder can come in two forms, bipolar I and bipolar II. Both forms of bipolar include the rotating experience of depression and mania for extended periods of time. Switching between depressive and manic episodes can be emotionally exhausting especially when, during the experience of one, you have to cope with actions taken during the other. High likelihoods of impulsivity, substance abuse, and co-occurring disorders can make having bipolar disorder a challenge.

Living with a mental illness of any kind, bipolar disorder included, can be an isolating experience for people. Though there are millions of people around the world who struggle with mental illness like bipolar but they can be separated by thousands of miles, silence about their struggles, and a pervasive stigma about mental illness. The outspoken voice mental illness is finding today on blog sites, lifestyle sites, and social media is new. Bringing more awareness to the experience of living with mental illness and recovering from it is changing the way the world views mental illnesses like bipolar. It is also bringing people with mental illness together, which, for people with bipolar, can be a revolutionary change.

For Huffington Post, one contributor who lives with bipolar describes one of his first times encountering another person with bipolar and the effect it had on his life. He writes, “When bipolar people meet, we find an immigrant intimacy, a solidarity. We share a suffering and a thrill.” Describing himself and his peers as “refugees” he explains the importance of finding like-minded people with the same struggles, the same challenges, and when they recover, the same accomplishments. “So we have a common loneliness,” he explains, “the struggle to get past ourselves. The shame of having to try.”

 

You are not alone in your struggles with bipolar and co-occurring substance use disorder. If you are in need of treatment, help is available. Enlightened Recovery Solutions offers compassionate therapy in a comfortable and soothing environment encouraging human connection and empowerment. Our harmonious approach to treatment fuses clinical with alternative to heal the spirit in addition to the body and the mind. For information on our programs and services, call us today at 844-234-LIVE.

Practice Might Not Make Perfect But It Will Change Your Recovery

Practice Might Not Make Perfect But It Will Change Your Recovery

Recovery is a practice in which we continually progress. That is why we often say progress, not perfection.

 

Minimize Distractions From Your Recovery

What could distract you from staying clean and sober? It’s a little complicated. The truth is anything can distract you from your recovery. Recovery is about more than staying clean and sober. Recovery is about adhering to spiritual principles as a program of living and finding a way to build a healthy lifestyle which supports your ability to stay clean and sober. That being said, you will be able to discern more and more over time what is a distraction from your recovery. For example, you might have distractions like obsessions about work, codependency in relationships, greed about money, neediness for material wealth- all of these things are distractions on the surface. Recovery is an inside job. When you neglect the inside work you have to do in recovery you get distracted from your recovery. You forget that you're inside you exists and needs to be nurtured, loved, as well as taken care of. Minimizing the distractions to your recovery doesn’t mean you have to only focus on your recovery all the time, because that isn’t sustainable. It does mean that you continue practicing noticing what does distract you for long periods of time and makes you feel shaky in your recovery.

 

Take Time For Self Care

When talking about practicing a task, a sport, a hobby, or a challenge, you hear advice about the necessity of taking breaks. To some people’s dismay, humans aren’t machines. We can’t just keep going and going. One of the unseen causes of relapse is becoming too exhausted to self regulate because you don’t take enough time for self care. The secret to sustained energy and motivation is taking the breaks you need to care for yourself compassionately.

 

Visualize Your Recovery In The Future

In recovery, you hear sentiments like take it one day at a time a lot. These sentiments aren’t just quips and cliches used for brainwashing or mind numbing. Quite the opposite, they are meant to stimulate your mind to remember to keep it simple, another popularly used term. Sometimes, to stay motivated in your ongoing practice of recovery, you need to look a little into the future. You don’t have to take everything into consideration at once as that can cause a lot of anxiety. One of the terms used in recovery, fake it till you make it, applies. Imagine what your life, clean and sober in recovery, will look like next month- in three months, six months, maybe a year. If you can’t imagine how it will look, imagine how you would want it to look. What would the happiest, healed, clean and sober version of yourself look like? What would you be doing with your life?

 

Enlightened Recovery Solutions offers partial care programs for dual diagnosis to men and women seeking transformative recovery in their lives. With an integrative approach to treatment, our programs harmoniously fuse clinical, alternative, and holistic therapy. For information, call us today at 844-234-LIVE.

What You Need To Understand About Healing When The Addict Goes To Treatment

What You Need To Understand About Healing When The Addict Goes To Treatment

Every addicted family model has an addict. There are other roles which everyone finds a way to fulfill, like the scapegoat, the caretaker, and golden child, and more. Typically, the addict in the family is not the catalyst for dysfunction. Though much blame will be placed on the addict for causing problems and “tearing the family apart” the addict is typically the catalyst for bringing preexisting family problems to the surface. Outraged at having to face their own consequences, each family member uses the addict as a reason, rather than a cause. Family healing is a gift in recovery that unfortunately, not everyone gets to access. For the families who do have an opportunity to heal, it requires compassion, understanding, patience, and humility to understand the dynamics of recovery.

First, it is necessary to realize that treatment is not a magical cure for family dysfunction. Treatment will help the loved one in your family who is addicted as well as help your family heal. However, when the addict in the family goes to treatment, years of dysfunction, hurt, and trauma are not suddenly erased. Most often, this is when the family realizes the problems stem beyond the addict’s addiction and need to be addressed by everybody.

Taking on personal recovery as a requirement for healing is often a surprise for family members when they’re addicted loved one goes to treatment. Just as treatment is not a magical cure for the family, it isn’t a magical cure for each person’s individual life either. Recovery is a personal journey everyone has to take. It takes work to heal. It takes willingness to want to do the work.

The family becomes an addicted family unit as a whole, not because of the one family member who has become addicted to drugs and alcohol but because the family, in a way, becomes addicted to addiction. Dysfunctional behavior becomes a routine and a habit, which can act like an “addiction” for the rest of the family. Enabling the addict’s behavior with additional dysfunctional behaviors is not intentional. The family is ill-prepared to cope with addiction and dysfunction. Family therapy is essential for the treatment and recovery process in order to learn the necessary coping skills to create a foundation of normalcy.

 

Miracles can happen in recovery. At Enlightened Solutions, we see them happen every day. Our integrative treatment program brings together the best of alternative therapies, clinical treatments, and holistic healing in addition to twelve step philosophy. For information, call us today at 844-234-LIVE.

5 Tools For a Recovery Toolbox You Can Use Everyday

5 Tools For A Recovery Toolbox You Can Use Everyday

Recovery is a choice, a commitment, a discovery, and a lifestyle. Each day you will learn more about yourself and your personal program of recovery. As you start to define how your life in recovery will look, here are five tools you can use in your toolbox every day.

  1. Name your daily essentials and use them, daily: What are the things you need as a human being everyday? What are the things you personally need every day? In the beginning of recovery, it can be difficult for addicts and alcoholics to define their needs. For many years, all they needed were more drugs and alcohol. Now that substances are no longer the picture, they can realize that lifestyle isn’t sustainable. It’s important to meet the daily needs of life like eating food, drinking water, and getting sleep. Those are the bare essentials every human being needs. After meeting essential needs, there are more personal needs to be met which you will have to define for yourself. As you continue to recover you will notice more and more what you need. We will discuss some more here.

  2. Spiritual Activities: Spirituality can become a major part of recovery and of life for many people. The twelve step programs like Alcoholics Anonymous run on spiritual principles and advocate a spiritual experience. Spiritually based, but scientifically backed practices like yoga, meditation, mindfulness, and breathing exercises can all become important as well. You might discover that a day without your spiritual practices doesn’t feel like a normal day. Getting into a daily routine of meditation or mindfulness can be a challenge. Breathing, however, is something you have to do every day to survive. By making focusing on your breathing a priority, you can bring in more attention to meditation, mindfulness, yoga or any other spiritual activity you discover.

  3. Getting Outside: Stepping into the sunshine and the fresh air is more essential than people realize to their wellness. Human beings were made to roam the earth, through all elements. Getting outside is part of our genetic makeup. Perhaps all you need for your recovery toolbox is a quick step out the door for a deep breath before burrowing back inside. Or, you might find that you need to spend at least an hour outside, walking, exercising, or gardening. Spending time outdoors is proven to enhance your feelings of wellness psychologically as well as physically.

  4. Connecting With Others: Making phone calls to friends, family, peers in recovery, a sponsor, or a newcomer in need of support is part of many people’s recovery toolbox. Connection is an antidote to addiction.

  5. Connecting With Yourself: Everything you do as part of your recovery toolbox will be helpful in connecting you with yourself. There are other ways to spend quality time with yourself that is just for you. You might find your best alone time while exercising, cooking, cleaning, taking a shower, doing something creative, or another activity. Making time for yourself is important because you’re the longest relationship you will ever have.

 

Enlightened Recovery Solutions offers partial care programs for addiction, alcoholism, and dual diagnosis issues to men and women seeking transformative healing. Our integrative approach to treatment brings together the best of clinical therapy, holistic treatment, and twelve step philosophy. For information, call us today at 844-234-LIVE.

What It Means When a Loved One Goes Silent In Recovery

What It Means When A Loved One Goes Silent In Recovery

Josh Billings once said that “Silence is the hardest argument to refute”. Though, as Lao Tzu would say, “silence is a source of great strength,” silence can also be “..one of the great arts of conversation,” as Marcus Tullius Cicero said. Silence isn’t always comfortable. When you are supporting someone in recovery from drug and alcohol addiction, silence an be an eerie reminder of days past. You would lose track of your loved one, go days without hearing from them, only to receive a desperate call for help some day later. You are rightfully concerned when your loved one goes silent. However, silence is a tool they are learning to use in order to effectively regulate their emotions. Silence is an opportunity for reflection, introspection, integration, and restoration. Learning to communicate the need for personal quiet time can take time, which isn’t a convenience to you. Here are some things to keep in mind when your loved one goes silent in recovery:

 

Silence could mean:

  • Your loved one has relapsed and doesn’t know how to tell you

  • Your loved one is thinking about relapse and doesn’t want to tell you

  • Your loved one has experienced something traumatic and isn’t able to talk about it yet

  • Your loved one is working through old resentments which could involve you and they need to create some distance

  • Your loved one is isolating in order to avoid interaction because they do not want to feel intimate or close to others. This can be a warning sign of relapse.

  • Your loved one is losing sight of reality and could be struggling with their dual diagnosis issues

 

It’s Important To Remember That:

  • Your loved one doesn’t have to tell you everything about their lives, all the time

  • Your loved one is entitled to their privacy and alone time

  • Your loved one might need a period of isolation and introversion in order to reboot themselves

  • Your loved one can have their own emotional experiences without your interjection

  • Your loved one does know the right thing to do

  • Your loved one simply needs to know you are there for them when they need you

 

Try To Avoid:

  • Pushing your loved one to talk if they aren’t ready

  • Making threats in order to get your loved one to talk because you’re uncomfortable with their silence

  • Turning the focus of your loved one’s silence on you and how it makes you feel

  • Telling your loved one that they are going to relapse if they don’t talk

  • Proposing ultimatums which include that you will not be available to talk once your loved one finally is

 

Instead, Try To:

  • Take care of your own needs rather than put all of your energy into your loved one

  • Examine any discomfort about your loved one’s silence with a therapist

  • Recognize your limitations in supporting your loved one

  • Accept the things about your loved one you cannot change

  • Lovingly let your loved one know they can come to you any time

 

The family can heal. At Enlightened Recovery Solutions, we encourage family healing through family therapy and family weekends where everyone can be involved in recovery. For information on our integrative partial care programs for addiction and dual diagnosis issues, call us today at 844-234-LIVE.

The Benefits Behind Talking It Out and How It Shaped Recovery

The Benefits Behind Talking It Out And How It Shaped Recovery

Modern day recovery and treatment for addiction is built on talking. Talk therapy is nothing new. When Bill Wilson and Bob Smith, the founders of Alcoholics Anonymous met on a fateful night they were not revolutionizing the power of talking. They were revolutionizing the power talking had in keep two alcoholics sober. Bill Wilson had been sober for over six months. After years of coming close to death, losing jobs, and punishing his family, he had found a program which worked for him and helped him stay sober.

The original “steps” came from the Oxford Group, which included many of the modern 12 steps known today. After having a “spiritual experience” and commencing to take certain steps, Bill Wilson was able to find sobriety. One night as he was traveling for business he found himself in the lobby of his hotel in Ohio anxiously eyeing the bar. He was shocked by the power of his alcoholism. After hard work and abstinence he had gotten his life back on track, saved his marriage, and had no need to pick up a drink. Yet, here he was faced with temptation and craving, a war between the rational and irrational happening in his head. Wilson was struck with a thought that only another alcoholic could understand him. Who could he call?

After rifling through the phone book, he decided upon a priest and asked if he knew of an alcoholic with whom Bill could speak. This, Bill was introduced to Dr. Bob, who was not sober. The two men spoke at length about the good ol’ days, the bad times, and the challenge of sobriety. Bill shared his experiences and Bob wanted to know more. Showing Bob the way of the steps, the two men realized they had discovered something profound: one alcoholic talking to another and showing them the spiritual path of the steps, works. Together they founded Alcoholics Anonymous which has been helping millions around the world and serves as the foundation for most addiction treatment.

Part of going to treatment for drug and alcohol addiction is working with a therapist and talking about underlying issues behind drinking and using. Another part is developing the many skills, tools, and techniques for staying sober after treatment. Working with a therapist is one of those tools. Connecting with other recovering addicts, as well as alcoholics, is another tool, because with them, you can always talk. Talking it out is a first resort and a last resort when faced with temptation, challenge, or difficulty in recovery.

Nobody can understand the personal and intimate experience of chemical dependency the way somebody else who has been chemically dependent can. Often, just the act of talking can relieve the stress and tension being caused by whatever the problem is. Not talking in recovery can be dangerous. Letting the stress and tension pile up in addition to the overwhelming responsibility of feeling like everything has to be done alone can lead to an emotional shutdown, which is a danger zone for the addicted mind. The minute you start talking, you take away some of that power and start the healing process. When in doubt, talk it out. It’s how recovery started, how recovery sustains, and how you will stay sober.

 

We’re here to talk with you. You are not alone. Enlightened Recovery Solutions offers partial care programs for addiction, alcoholism, and dual diagnosis issues to men and women seeking transformative healing care. Bringing together the best of holistic healing and clinical therapy, our twelve step inspired treatment seeks to help clients thrive in lifelong recovery. For information, call us today at 844-234-LIVE.

How Do I Support My Loved One in Addiction Treatment Without Burning Out?

How Do I Support My Loved One In Addiction Treatment Without Burning Out?

Empathy and compassion are two terms used frequently when discussing mental health, treatment for mental health, being in recovery for mental health, and supporting someone with mental health conditions. Compassion and empathy are similar but not exactly the same. Empathy is the “ability to understand and share the feelings of another” whereas compassion is “sympathetic pity and concern for the sufferings or misfortunes of others.” Both empathy and compassion ask us to get out of self and put ourselves into another’s shoes.

We reflect on our own experiences with suffering and misfortune in order to be empathetic toward another and feel compassion for their circumstances. Mindful writes that “empathy is our natural resonance with the emotions of others, where we sense the difficulty someone might be feeling. Compassion is one of the many responses to empathy.” In their article on how to care deeply for others without burning out, they touch on the importance of knowing the difference between empathy and compassion. They also touch on two important realizations, which are essential for any caring relationship, but especially critical when you are loving and supporting someone recovering from addiction.

First, it is essential to be mindful of your own limitations. Noticing the signs that you are becoming overwhelmed by your loved one’s addiction is the way you will be able to avoid lashing out, burning out, or giving up completely. You can only do so much. In fact, you can be a lifesaving person. However, you cannot be a superhero all the time. Though we can love and support our loved ones with addiction endlessly, we cannot actually change them; meaning, we cannot make them stay sober. This is another important realization the article mentions. People do not have the capacity to change other people. We can inspire, encourage, force, and abuse, but we cannot actually change them. We can have an effect or make an impact. We cannot actually change who our addicted loved ones are or what they choose to do. “Compassion also implies a wisdom and intelligence to know that it’s not up to you to fix the world for others,” the article explains. “You can’t function if you’re just taking in other’s pain all the time. There’s balance that’s crucial: You can acknowledge the pain, you can want to help, but you have to recognize that you can’t change other people’s experience of the world.”

Watching our loved ones go through pain and suffering of addiction is difficult. In the beginning of recovery, there can still be a lot of pain and suffering. Thankfully, recovery gets better overtime. You will watch your loved one heal and grow. Recovery can be part of your life as well. It is important to maintain healthy boundaries and take care of yourself in order to take care of others.

 

Enlightened Recovery Solutions encourages family healing and recovery. Our partial care programs offer family therapy and family programming, giving everyone an opportunity to come together and find serenity. Bringing together the best in alternative therapy, clinical treatment, and twelve step philosophy, our integrative approach to dual diagnosis treatment promotes transformative healing. For more information, call us today at 844-234-LIVE.

The Three Essential Oils You Need To Be a Rockstar in Addiction Recovery

The Three Essential Oils You Need To Be A Rockstar In Addiction Recovery

Recovery isn’t always an uphill battle. Sometimes you are going to cruise through the challenges recovery has to offer you. You are a rockstar for being here, being clean and sober, and being up for the challenge. Essential oils are a holistic

 

Rosemary

For: healing the body, empowering difficult conversations, relieving tension or anxious energy

You are capable of achieving anything you put your mind to. Every day- every minute- you stay clean and sober from drugs and alcohol, you are achieving something miraculous. Throughout recovery you will be presented opportunities to continue growing into greatness. You will have to face your fears, overcome your anxieties, and find the empowerment you need to move forward. From difficult conversations to difficult decisions, your strength and confidence in who you are will continue to build. For those moments when you’re looking upon another opportunity to grow, evolve, and be empowered, Rosemary oil can be helpful. Smelling good always makes you feel good, so try rubbing some on your most active pressure points like the underside of your wrists or your temples on your head next to your eyes. If you’re giving yourself a pep talk, put Rosemary in your aromatherapy diffuser to breathe in the empowerment you need. Using Rosemary in a diffuser during meditation can help clear the mind of anxiety to find strength in tranquility.

 

Bergamot

For: inner strength to get through tough times

You are forever on the hero’s journey in recovery. As you continue on your lifelong quest, you will come across victory and defeat, challenge and accomplishment. You will face times of fear, times of introspection, and challenges to your spirit. At the forefront of each of these challenges you will need to take a deep breath, collect your strength, and rely on the faith you need to get through. Bergamot is a great essential oil to have in these moments to help you overcome insecurity and doubt, uplifting your spirit instead. Revitalizing and energizing, the fresh scent of Bergamot is perfect for daily use so you can live every day like a superhero.

 

Lavender

For: stress relief and relaxation

Nothing brings a day together like the relaxing smell of lavender. Lavender is one of nature’s wonder flowers. In addition to be relaxing and soothing, contributing to the deep sleep you need to be a rockstar in recovery every day, Lavender is healing. Put it on wounds, cuts, bruises, or any physical issue for relaxation and healing. Every superstar has to partake in self-care now and then. Using lavender essential oil is like a quick trip to a luxurious space every time you use it. Deep relaxation, stress relief, and calm can go a long way in recovery.

 

Enlightened Recovery Solutions offers an integrative approach to treatment focusing on total transformative healing. Bringing together the best of clinical therapy, alternative healing, and holistic treatment, we strive to help clients live a fulfilling lifetime of recovery. For information on our partial care programs, call us today at 844-234-LIVE.

Best Essential Oils For Overcoming Challenges In Recovery

Best Essential Oils For Overcoming Challenges In Recovery

Essential oils are an ancient practice using the most healing properties of herbs, flowers, and plants. Either rubbed onto the skin or through aromatherapy, essential oils can be supportive to therapeutic efforts in recovery, mind, body, and spirit.

 

Organge

For: Getting out of a funk and shaking off the blues

Orange is an invigorating smell. As an essential oil, orange is good to shake off going through a funk or feeling a case of the blues. Recovery, especially early recovery, is full of ups and downs. As the brain and the body regulate, it isn’t uncommon to go through periods of depression. Life can be that way outside of recovery as well. All kinds of circumstances can bring us into a funk or a down time in our energy, mood, and emotional state. It is important in recovery to learn to let things pass, feel feelings, and learn from everything. However, a funk and the blues can become too overwhelming. When they do, there is a risk of returning to old feel-good behaviors which can be harmful and a threat to sobriety.

 

Eucalyptus

For: fighting off chronic early recovery colds, detox, PAWS, general relaxation

Eucalyptus is an ingredient used in many trusted cold remedies. Brand name products like Vick’s Vapo Rub use the natural menthol of eucalyptus for clearing up the nose and throat for relief during congestion. Eucalyptus is good for purifying and cleansing, which makes it a very essential oil. Early recovery can come with regular rounds of colds and flus. Everybody has a compromised immune system as their bodies are fighting hard to restore health after years of substance abuse. In addition to helping out during a cold or the flu, eucalyptus oil can help with detox and withdrawal symptoms which are ongoing. Symptoms of post acute withdrawal syndrome can last up to 24 months.

 

Sandalwood

For: working on your fourth step, clearing negative energy, trauma work

Sandalwood is an essential oil used in different religions and spiritual practices. It’s used to clear negative energy and sanctify an object or a process. Using sandalwood during a fourth step of the twelve step process is helpful in clearing away the surging negative emotions which can come from writing about resentments and harms done. Trauma work with a therapist and in group setting can also bring up old negative emotions which are difficult to process. Sandalwood will create a sense of grounding while healing the energy.

 

Enlightened Recovery Solutions strives to bring clients transformative healing of mind, body, and spirit. Our integrative treatment programs fuse the best of holistic and alternative healing with clinical therapy and twelve step philosophy. Providing partial care programs, we welcome clients seeking to recover from addiction, alcoholism, and mental health issues. For information, call us today at 844-234-LIVE.

How An Overactive Chakra Can Negatively Interfere With Your Recovery: Part Two

How An Overactive Chakra Can Negatively Interfere With Your Recovery: Part Two

Here we discuss the final chakras and how they can negatively interfere with your recovery when they are overactivated. There are many ways to heal the chakras through yoga, meditation, reiki, alternative healing, and even food therapy.

 

Overactive Heart Chakra

The heart chakra is located in the center of the chest at the sternum, right above the heart. Represented as green in color, the heart chakra embodies everything about your ability to give love, receive love, and be loving. Love is a wonderful part of life and in recovery. Many addicts and alcoholics have experienced pain- pain of loss, pain of trauma, pain of abuse. Pain can make it difficult to love. Love for many is equated with vulnerability. Vulnerability for many is equated with weakness or danger. To be loving does not have to mean being weak. Vulnerability is a form of strength. Love can be a gift, as well as a tool for manipulation. An overactive heart chakra can mean using love in the wrong ways to get what you want. Manipulation is a character liability which puts you at risk for toxic relationships. Recovery involves building healthy relationships which serve all who are involved.

 

Overactive Throat Chakra

The throat chakra is located in the middle of the throat and throughout the esophagus. Represented as light blue in color, the throat chakra represents your voice and communication. Developing a voice in recovery is essential to developing a relationship to the self and to others. Your voice can be a tool for change and for healing. With an overactive throat chakra, your voice can become a tool for hurt and harm. Words carry abundant energy and meaning. An overactive throat chakra can result in using your words aggressively, selfishly, and manipulatively. When the throat chakra is overactive, it means you’re doing more speaking than listening. Developing healthy communication skills in recovery is important for healing as well as interacting with life. Communication is a two way street. Everyone has a need to be heard, acknowledged, and understood.

 

Overactive Third Eye Chakra

The third eye chakra is located just above the center of the brows. Represented as indigo in color, the third eye chakra is your source of imagination, creativity, clarity, and the ability to see beyond immediate circumstances. Addiction and alcoholism are disorders of instant gratification. The way dopamine, a happiness hormone, is overproduced in the brain changes brain chemistry to lean more toward feeling any kind of pleasure as much as possible as soon as possible. Delayed gratification and accepting the need to wait is a challenge, but a necessary skill most addicts and alcoholics in recovery must develop. The ability to be present is an ability to be accepting of circumstances as they are. There are many ways to detach from the present in order to avoid accepting it. An overactive third eye chakra will result in daydreaming, fantasizing, and living in the future. Often, this is a coping mechanism to avoid confronting the present as it is. For addicts and alcoholics in recovery, this can be detrimental. Daydreaming about drug and alcohol use, called euphoric recall, can trigger the brain to create disturbing signals of craving. Living in euphoric recall can lead to relapse.

 

Overactive Crown Chakra

The crown chakra sits at the top of the head. Represented as purple, or sometimes white, in color, the crown chakra is the apex of your spirituality. Recovery is a spiritual experience. Addiction and alcoholism, in addition to dual diagnosis mental health issues, affect the mind, the body, and the spirit. Your crown chakra is the connection to spirituality and your open-mindedness to mystical ideas and philosophies. Open-mindedness about spirituality is an essential for making the most out of treatment and recovery. There is science behind the mechanism of faith and spirituality, which can reduce stress, increase wellbeing, and create a sense of connectivity which is counterproductive to the tendency toward isolation in addiction.

 

Enlightened Recovery Solutions takes an integrative approach to recovery by bringing together the best of clinical, alternative, and holistic healing. For information on our partial care programs for recovery, call us today at 844-234-LIVE.

How an Overactive Chakra Can Negatively Interfere With Your Recovery: Part One

How An Overactive Chakra Can Negatively Interfere With Your Recovery: Part One

The chakras are a series of energetic hubs which align the body from the top of the head, through the spine, to the base of the tailbone. Each chakra has energetic meaning which can interact with how we live our recovery. Here we discuss the first three chakras and how, when they are overactive, they can negatively interfere with recovery.

 

Overactive Root Chakra

The root chakra is located by at the bottom of the tailbone at the very core of your being. Represented as red in color, the root chakra is associated with your sense of foundation. “Grounding” exercises commonly refer to activating and healing the root chakra to feel more connected to the chakra system, the earth beneath your feet, and the world around you. When the root chakra is overactive, it can interfere with your recovery by causing you to resist change and act with more greed. The world is constantly changing. There are changes happening every single second which are essential to our survival and would be catastrophic if they stopped changing; for example, the earth is constantly rotating on it’s axis. If the earth stopped rotating, we would lose our sense of gravity and everything would start floating around, colliding, and causing a disaster. When we become resistant to change in recovery, we become resistant to growth. Continual growth is essential for long term recovery. It is natural and acceptable to want to keep things as they are, especially when they feel so good. Holding onto to pleasure is a characteristic of addiction. The spiritual approach, however, is recognizing that this too shall pass and there is always more to come.

 

Overactive Sacral Chakra

The sacral chakra is located within the abdomen, by the sacrum of the spine. Represented as orange in color, the sacral chakra is associated with acceptance. Acceptance is a widely discussed theme in all of recovery, especially twelve step philosophies. The popular “serenity prayer” asks a higher power of your understanding to grant you the serenity to accept the things you cannot change. Losing your ability to be in acceptance quickly leads to resentments toward people, places, and things which you want to control, feel you need to control, but ultimately cannot. You have to accept. Feeling out of control and detached from one area of life can lead to compensating by attaching to another area of life. Too often, that can result in reattaching to drugs and alcohol.

 

Overactive Solar Plexus Chakra

The solar plexus chakra is located in the upper abdomen, near the stomach. Represented as yellow in color, the solar plexus chakra supports your confidence and the second part of the “serenity prayer”. After asking for the serenity to accept what you cannot change, you ask for the courage to change the things you can. Primarily, you can change yourself and take control of yourself in your own life. An overactive solar plexus chakra can result in becoming aggressive, taking too much control, and trying to change everything. As a result, you lose sight of what you truly can change. Being overactive in the solar plexus means acting out of insecurity and fear through pride instead of confidence and humility.

 

Integrative healing is the primary principle of treatment at Enlightened Recovery Solutions. Our mind, body, spirit approach brings together the best of clinical therapy, holistic healing, and twelve step philosophy. For information on our partial care programs for addiction, alcoholism, and dual diagnosis issues, call us today at 844-234-LIVE.

Why Yoga Teachers Use Reiki During Practice

Why Yoga Teachers Use Reiki During Practice

At the beginning of a practice, or a yoga class, a teacher might let everyone know that they will be coming around to make adjustments. Helping students get into the right position, or asana, during yoga is essential to maximizing the benefit of that position. Yoga positions are specific, activating muscles to be stretched, strengthened, and to release the energy they hold within them. The healing, energetic touch of a yoga teacher can be relaxing to a struggling student and help them settle more comfortably into a position.

Touch during yoga practice can also be a practice for reiki. Reiki is another eastern alternative practice, with roots in Japanese culture. By interacting with the seven chakras and the body’s energy systems, reiki, through light touch or hovering above the body, helps move energy. Clearing unwanted blockages, reiki can help release the flow of energy. Releasing the flow of energy results in better health, reduced stress, deep relaxation, and more emotional regulation.

Combining reiki and yoga can create a powerful, healing experience, especially for those experiencing yoga as well as reiki for the first time in treatment. Addiction, alcoholism, and dual diagnosis mental health issues live within the mind as well as the body and have an impact on the spirit. Drugs and alcohol are often a way to cope with difficult emotions and emotional experience. By drowning the emotions with mind altering substances, one is led to believe that the feelings simply go away. Although emotions cannot be seen or felt to the physical touch, they are energetic experiences which just don’t disappear when they are taken away from the forefront of the mind. All emotion is energy. Using drugs, alcohol, or any other harmful behavior to stuff or hide emotions only compresses them, creating stuck, stagnant energy which blocks the natural flow. Treatment is focused on identifying this energy and the specific emotional experiences which created it.

The only way for this emotional energy to be released is for it to actually be released. However, after years of avoiding feeling, acknowledging feelings, and coming to terms with feelings, it can be difficult to release that energy. A combination of reiki and yoga can not only aid in releasing plugged up emotional energy but create deep relaxation and calm for the process. Healing touch helps those in treatment feel safe within their own emotional experience, an essential tool for lifelong recovery.

 

Our integrative approach to treatment brings together the best in alternative holistic healing, proven clinical therapy, and the spiritual foundation of twelve step philosophy. We want to see you thrive in recovery with ease. For information on our partial care programs for alcoholism, addiction, and dual diagnosis issues, call Enlightened Recovery Solutions today at 844-234-LIVE.

How to Help Someone with an Addiction Who Isn’t Ready for Treatment

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It’s important to understand exactly what addiction is, how addiction works, and the way that the effects of addiction are changing your friend. Addiction is a disorder, though some call it a disease, which interrupts the brain’s natural cycles, thereby having an effect on the body. Described as an “allergy”, addiction causes a tolerance and a dependency which keeps someone in a chemical cycle of reliance upon drugs and/or alcohol. Through specific brain mechanisms like the production of dopamine, an interaction with the reward center, and an alteration in the brain’s survival methods, drugs and alcohol become a priority.

The more memory association created by the more drugs and alcohol consumed, the more power these substances have over rationality, memory, judgment, morality, and physical health. Terms like “hijacking” are commonly used to describe addiction. In short, using drugs and alcohol becomes a matter of life or death in two ways. First, the brain is convinced that not continuing to be stimulated by drugs and alcohol will result in death. Two, if someone who is addicted continues to harm their mind and their body with drugs and alcohol, death is a legitimate threat. It seems like an obvious choice to someone who isn’t addicted. Inside the mind of the addicted brain, the choice is less clear and it feels as though the will to choose has been stripped.

Until your friend is ready to choose to recovery, there can be a long path of destruction and damage, to themselves, to you, and to others. The most painful challenge you are given is overcoming the need to fix everything, help with everything, and try to save them. A good friend will understand their limits and abilities. You can only do so much, say the right thing so many times in so many ways, and offer help beyond your means. There will come a point when you will need to recognize where your giving ends. You don’t have to abandon or reject your friend. In fact it is most important to let them know that while you cannot continue to give to them, you will always be there to support them. When they are truly ready for help, you will be there to help them. In between, you aren’t available as a financial supporter, problem solver, or anything else as it pertains to their addiction.

 

When the time is right, finding the right treatment program is essential. Enlightened Recovery Solutions offers an integrative treatment program approaching the holistic needs of recovery in mind, body, and spirit. In addition to clinical and alternative healing, our clients learn how to care for themselves and nurture their relationships.

Call us today for more information at 844-234-LIVE.

When A 12 Step Group Becomes Your Higher Power

When A 12 Step Group Becomes Your Higher Power

Twelve step programs advocate for a spiritual experience. By the time one reaches the twelfth step they should have had a “spiritual awakening” as a result, empowering them to carry the message to other alcoholics. The term “God” is used throughout texts, steps, and literature for twelve step groups like the founding group Alcoholics Anonymous. “God” is the “group consciousness” of a Higher Power which everyone is meant to define for themselves in their own understanding. Coming to define a higher power which one might call God takes time. For some it is an uncomfortable journey which could be described more as a struggle. Fully turning to and believing in a God of one’s own understanding is a process. Throughout that process, one continues to go to meetings, listen to other more experienced alcoholics or addicts in recovery, and get a sense of their higher power and relationship to it. In the beginning months of recovery, twelve step groups act as many people’s higher power. Going to meetings, talking with others, sharing about their experience- it’s something they can see, touch, hear, and believe in. “GOD” becomes a symbol for: Group Of Drunks.

Attending meetings is meant to be part of someone’s life and part of their recovery. Recovery is a multifaceted lifestyle which should confront all three areas of necessary healing: mind, body, and spirit. Twelve step meetings can have such a profound effect on people that they make it a priority. Whatever you put before your recovery, it is often said, you are going to lose. People tend to take this too literally and put their recovery, specifically their twelve step group program, above everything else. While this “keeps” them sober, keeps them involved, and keeps them away from harmful behaviors which could lead to relapse, it can also keep them away from other important areas of life. Recovery is not meant to be about living in fear of relapse or the many things which could inspire relapse. After all, anyone could walk into a twelve step meeting and offer up a drink or a drug. The true purpose of recovery is to be equipped to live life one life’s terms. Life’s largest term and greatest demand is simply to be lived.

Is there a psychological problem or any major risk when a twelve step program becomes someone’s higher power? Compared to the alternatives, no. However, there is more to life than twelve step meetings and more that recovery has to offer.

 

We want to help you heal through an integrative treatment program which approaches mind, body, and spirit. Our intentions at Enlightened Recovery Solutions is to prepare you to walk a spiritual path to absolute abundance in all areas of life, free from mind altering substances. Call us today for more information at 844-234-LIVE.

Relapse Prevention Is Critical For Long Term Recovery

Relapse Prevention Is Critical For Long Term Recovery

You send a loved one with an addiction problem to treatment. They spend 30-90 days getting clean and sober, talking about their feelings, and getting healthy again. After treatment, they move back home and start to live life again. Shortly thereafter, they relapse. You might repeat this cycle three or four times. What is missing? Relapse prevention.

Treatment is not a cure for addiction. Treatment, meaning attending a clinical recovery program, is an answer comprised of many different answers for living with addiction, without using drugs and alcohol. Relapse prevention is a particular set of tools which helps those in recovery learn how to live in a way which does not trigger them to use drugs and alcohol to cope. Without relapse prevention specific methods and techniques, treatment is a mere break form a hazardous lifestyle.

Stress Management

Overall, stress management in every form is one of the most important methods for relapse prevention. Stress triggers the brain to seek relief from stress. In the addicted brain, most often that happens through some form of creating pleasure. Due to the way addiction causes learning and memory association, creating pleasure is intimately tied with drugs and alcohol or other harmful behaviors. Managing stress includes learning what causes stress, how to identify stress, how to cope with stress, and understanding how stress relates to triggers for cravings.

Self-Care

Recovering from drug and alcohol addiction can feel like having to start life over and learn everything new. Too often self-care refers to the luxurious pampering and quality time one spends with themselves to feel good. Self-care also refers to the everyday responsibilities which need to be fulfilled to take care of the self like eating, hygiene, paying bills, managing tasks, and getting enough rest. Often called “life skills” learning how to incorporate essential themes of recovery into everyday life is critical to living a new lifestyle free from dependency on drug and alcohol.

 

Communication

Being acknowledged, heard, and understood are core needs of every human being. For addicts and alcoholics in recovery, it couldn’t be more important. Healthy forms of communication help maintain proper boundaries, boost self-esteem, and articulate emotions, wants, and needs.

Relapse prevention is a primary focus at Enlightened Solutions where we show clients how to live along spiritual lines in a new life of recovery. For information on our partial care programs for addiction and dual diagnosis issues, call us today at 844-234-LIVE.