Why Is Sound Therapy Effective For Addiction Treatment?

Why Is Sound Therapy Effective For Addiction Treatment?

Sound therapy is one of many alternative treatment methods which can be used during treatment for addiction, alcoholism, and co-occurring mental health disorders.

How Does Sound Therapy Work?

Sound therapy can be conducted through different mediums of producing sound. Traditional sound therapy uses a variety of instruments like chimes, drums, gongs, and tuning forks. Modern sound therapy utilizes electronic sound and computer technology to create specific rhythms, patterns and frequencies. The primary function of sound healing is using vibrations to create change and healing in the mind and the body, thereby helping the spirit heal. For example, some electronic sound therapy mimics the primordial sounds we experience in the womb as we are carried by our mothers during pregnancy. Such ambient sounds can be relaxing and conjure a sense of calm, safety, and protection.

Why Does Sound Therapy Work?

Specifics of sound therapy have not been deeply researched on a scientific level. According to

The News Minute, there are different theories. Physical vibrations from instruments or a “sound bed” cause vibrations in the physical body which encourages relaxation and pain relief or release of tension. Sound waves interact with brain waves, which is how we hear and create meaning out of what we hear. Sounds have different frequencies, which can cause different frequencies in the brain. A more simple theory suggests that ambient sounds are simply relaxing and being immersed in sound for an extended period of time causes deep relaxation. More complicated theories include Pythagorean formulae and complicated tonal systems which are complex and specific to the need of healing.

What Is The Connection Between Sound Therapy And Addiction Treatment?

Addiction lives in the mind, the body, and the spirit. During treatment, the body is in the earliest stages of recovering from addiction. Toxic energy lives inside of the joints and muscles which inhibit full recovery. Additionally, there is a lot of stress in early recovery due to withdrawal, coping with emotions, and working through cravings. Sound therapy helps neutralize the brain, stimulate healing in the body, and create a much needed sense of relaxation.

Enlightened Solutions has witnessed the transformative and healing effect of holistic healing and spiritual wellness in addiction treatment. Our partial care programs for dual diagnosis integrate healing, clinical therapy, and 12 step philosophy. For more information on how we are helping clients find lifelong recovery, call us today at 844-234-LIVE.

How Do You Regulate Your Emotions?

How Do You Regulate Your Emotions?

Emotional regulation can often be the difference between staying sober and relapsing. Learning to live with your emotions is key to long term recovery.

You turn to others

When you feel your emotions come up, you turn to others for support, comfort, and clarity. You get by with a little help from your friends when your song just isn’t quite in tune. Turning to others for help and support is a healthy emotional regulation technique. Look out for warning signs of dependency. If you always turn to others and can’t emotionally think for yourself that can lead to problems in moments when you’re alone and nobody can be reached. Recovery is about developing independence.

You self-medicate

Almost every addict and alcoholic is guilty of self-medicating. You turn to external substances, of any kind, to “deal” with your emotions. Unfortunately, self-medication isn’t a healthy coping technique. It means you avoid your feelings, or, believe that your feelings are only supported through outside substances. In treatment, many people are surprised when they realize just how much they depended on outside substance to deal with almost everything in their lives, good and bad.

You’re all about acceptance

Life happens, right? There’s no need to worry about it! It was what it was, it is what it is, and it will be what it will be. Maintaining this kind of attitude to regulate emotions is healthy to an extent. Too much acceptance can be a form of avoidance. We can both accept things and have feelings about them at the same time. Acceptance doesn’t mean not feeling. It means accepting your feelings as well.

You don’t really feel much

You’re well known for “shutting down” and even using statements like “I just shut down.” When emotions come flaring up your mind goes into code red lockdown. Windows are shut. Steel doors are drawn. You go incognito. Unbeknownst to you, your stealth mode is not so stealthy. Emotional shutdown is noticeable and affects everyone.

You overthink everything, all the time

Ruminating thoughts, chronic analysis, and loop thinking are ways to try and make sense of emotion rather than feel emotion. You’re trying to find the right thing to feel which makes the most sense instead of authentically being present with what you’re really feeling.

You can learn to live with your emotions in a healthy and authentic way. Recovery is a promise beyond just quitting drugs and alcohol. Enlightened Solutions wants to take you on your journey to transformative healing. Call us today for information on our integrative partial care programs for dual diagnosis substance use and secondary mental health disorders. 844-234-LIVE.

Are You Codependent?

Are You Codependent?

Recovering from codependency and codependent tendencies can feel as difficult as recovering from drug addiction and alcoholism. Letting go of lifetime behaviors and survival techniques is hard, but it is not impossible. You can have loving and healthy relationships. Are you codependent? See if you resonate with any of these descriptions:

  • You feel that if you don’t meet the needs of others you will be abandoned, rejected, abused, or neglected

  • As a result, you value the needs and wants of others over your own

  • Sometimes, the way you prioritize other people over yourself can lead to problems in your relationships and responsibilities

  • You feel like you cannot escape the cycle of trying to control, manipulate, care-take, and be overbearing in relationships. Once it starts causing problems, you feel as though it gets worse.

  • You either have poor boundaries or don’t set any boundaries when it comes to other people. You’re willing to let someone completely into your life and insert yourself completely into someone else’s. You’re often tired and feel like you have lost your sense of self.

  • You constantly dismiss your own thoughts, opinions, desires, wants, and needs as though they are unimportant and bothersome to other people. It’s possible you believe they are unimportant because you believe that you are unimportant.

  • Your life is full of obligations and responsibilities which drain you of your time, energy, and spirit. You are constantly in a state of giving, care taking, and managing. Frequently, you find yourself burned out and feeling resentful towards others. Eventually, you take on responsibilities from others just to be mad at them because you don’t feel there is any other way.

  • There is a good chance you’re in a relationship with an addict, an alcoholic, someone with narcissistic personality disorder, another codependent, or in some other kind of dysfunctional relationship.

  • You likely grew up in a home with someone who was abusive, neglectful, or who abandoned you and also suffered with an untreated mental health disorder.

  • You likely have a mental health disorder of your own, outside of your codependency.

  • Deep down, you feel that if you can just do enough, be enough, and please other people they won’t leave or hurt you.

Enlightened Recovery Solutions knows that there is freedom and serenity in recovery. It starts with you. Start your recovery with us. We integrate the best of holistic healing, spiritual wellness, clinically proven therapy, and 12 step philosophy. For more information, call us today at 844-234-LIVE.

Does Mindfulness Work For Reducing Anxiety?

Does Mindfulness Work For Reducing Anxiety?

Anxiety has little to do with being in the present moment other than spending that present moment worrying about the future. Getting caught up in anxious thoughts feels like getting lost in an uncontrollable stream of worry, concern, and fear over things which might not even be real. Millions of people live with anxiety and co-occurring disorders like addiction or alcoholism but do not receive treatment. Each day, they live under the rule of their anxiety, which takes a toll physically, mentally, and spiritually.

Recently, Brigham Young University conducted a study on anxiety and the effect of mindfulness in reducing anxiety. Mindfulness helps those with anxiety accomplish three important states. First, it helps them focus on the present moment. Second, it returns them to their breath. Third, it helps them get in touch with their true emotions. “People who are not aware of ‘moment-to-moment experience’ many times void difficult emotions,” the article explains, “This behavior leads to negative thoughts.” It can also lead to a heightened heart rate, rapid thinking mind, and muscle tension.

20 minutes of mindfulness a day can effectively reduce the symptoms of anxiety before, during, and after an anxiety attack or an episode of anxious thinking. Mindfulness practices tend to include focus on the breath. Practicing breathing exercises for anxiety helps increase mindfulness and reduce activity in the brain. Deep and controlled breaths are like a reset button for the brain, especially during anxiety. When we think of being anxious, worried, or afraid, we might notice our heart rate increasing. Anxiety typically does not come with long, deep breaths, but short rapid ones. The cross-signals of the rapid heart rate and short breathing actually trigger the brain’s anxiety further and vice versa.

Breathing For Anxiety

Start by identifying five things in each of your senses while trying to slow down your breath. After you have slowed your mind down with focus, turn your focus to your breath. Try breathing in through your nose for five full seconds, holding it for five full seconds, then letting it out for five full seconds. Repeat this breathing process. You will find that your body is systematically relaxing and your brain is starting to slow down. Soon, your anxious moment will be over and you will be in a clam state of mind.

Anxiety can be a trigger for relapse on drugs and alcohol. Recovery starts with holistic treatment of dual diagnosis issues, targeting mind, body, and spirit for transformative change. Our integrative programs at Enlightened Solutions bring together the best of both worlds, helping our clients find freedom in recovery. For more information, call us today at 844-234-LIVE.

Mania, Not Depression, Is The Hardest To Deal With In Bipolar

Mania, Not Depression, Is The Hardest To Deal With In Bipolar

Bipolar disorder can feel like living two different lives. Defined by episodes of mania and depression, bipolar is defined by experiencing shifting mood swings in the extreme of each category for extended periods of time. There are two different kinds of bipolar. Bipolar 1 includes more manic episodes than depressive episodes. The episodes can last for weeks or even months at a time. Bipolar 2 includes more depression and can change much more rapidly. Depression in bipolar is similar to other kinds of depression. What someone with bipolar experiences in mania, however, is unlike any other condition. Sometimes it is possible to feel a manic episode coming on. Thoughts might start to change, energy increases, and ideas become bigger over a short period of time. Most of the time, someone with bipolar wakes up at 1,000% instead of 25% and the energy doesn’t stop.

Symptoms Of Bipolar Mania

Bipolar mania will look different for every individual. Generally, there are shared symptoms which include:

  • Feeling “up” or elated

  • Having an abundant amount of energy

  • Feeling overly optimistic and positive

  • Coming up with high standard plans and ideas

  • Feeling invincible, often accompanied by a heightened sense of ego

  • Acting without consequence or consideration

  • “Jammed speech” or talking so fast as though there hasn’t been conversation for weeks

  • Insomnia or restlessness

Shopping beyond budget, participating in reckless behaviors, substance abuse, sexual promiscuity, and other thrill seeking behaviors are common during mania.

What Makes Mania Difficult

After spending a period of time in a depressive state, mania can feel like a welcome relief, if not an escape from the doldrums. Unfortunately, mania can quickly get out of control. The brain can become so rapid fire that it turns all the positive energy in a different direction. People in manic episodes might experience psychosis and paranoia because their mind is moving so quickly.

Mania is not an upside to depression in bipolar. It can mean feeling out of control, unable to trust oneself, and not knowing when the madness will end. It can mean not knowing mania is even happening until money is spent, arguments are started, and reckless behaviors take a toll.

Bipolar and addiction often go hand in hand. To treat dual diagnosis problems, there is a solution. At Enlightened Solutions, we see the holistic approach to treatment work successfully in bringing peace and serenity to our client’s lives. Our integrative partial care programs fuse together spiritual wellness, clinical therapy, and 12 step philosophy. For more information, call us today at 844-234-LIVE.

The H.O.W. Of Recovery: Honest, Open Chakras, Willingness

The H.O.W. Of Recovery: Honest, Open Chakras, Willingness

We are repeatedly told that recovery from drug and alcohol addiction, as well as most co-occurring mental health disorders has to be holistic. Holistic healing, holistic wellness, and a holistic approach all mean the same thing. The word holistic means comprehending that everything is made of many parts and all of those parts are intimately interconnected. Addiction and alcoholism are not isolated to the mind or the body or even the spirit. When someone is overcome by addiction and alcoholism they have to recover in mind, body, and spirit. Trying to define mental illness by just one part of the equation does an injustice to the complexity of mental health disorders and often does an injustice to someone getting the treatment they need. A key to understanding the holistic approach is understanding that the only way to explain mental illness is by referring to the whole person- mind, body, and spirit.

Spiritual wellness, spirituality, and spiritual healing are an important part of the recovery process. Most treatment centers take the holistic approach and include some therapeutic components in their programs which reflect spiritual wellness. Massage, acupuncture, yoga, meditation, reiki, are common examples. One area many treatment centers don’t focus on is healing the chakras and opening them up. Opening the chakras allows the energy in the body to effortlessly flow from head to toe. Chakras which are closed and have been closed for many years stop the flow of energy which can cause emotional as well as physical health problems.

Chakras are seven energy centers in the body starting from our sacral region in our low back and center all the way to the top of our head. We work with our chakras through yoga, meditation, and reiki to release the energy. Breathing exercises focused on opening the chakras can help release the blockages there. Most often, our difficulties in treatment are reflected in which chakras are closed. There are correlations between what each chakra represents and regulates to what we go through on a daily basis. Keeping the chakras open helps us to be more open to live, recovery, and the freedom recovery promises.

At Enlightened Solutions we provide an integrative program of holistic healing, clinical therapy, and 12 step philosophy for total transformation. Our partial care programs are designed for dual diagnosis patients needing healing for substance use and mental health disorders. Recovery starts with you. Start your recovery with us. Call us today for more information at 844-234-LIVE.

Which Essential Oils Can Aid In The Therapeutic Process?

Which Essential Oils Can Aid In The Therapeutic Process?

Holistic science and psychological science are increasingly going hand in hand. Therapy is done in treatment for drug and alcohol addiction through traditional methods and new innovative methods. One of the most important parts of therapy during treatment is the special work a client does one on one with their individual therapist. Among the many group therapies, educational groups, and holistic healing activities, an individual therapist helps guid treatment. Through their work, a client can begin to see the path they are following and process specific issues which come up in other areas of treatment.

However, not everyone is open to traditional talk therapy. Sitting in a room in front of someone who is a relative stranger with a pen and paper can be intimidating. Therapists learn many different tools for helping clients open up and discover more about themselves. The best treatment programs use integrative methods for aiding in the therapeutic process. Essential oils can be used to promote relaxation, enhance energy, open chakras and encourage emotional release. Essential oils used through a diffuser or on the skin can help bring a client fully into the treatment process and help them through therapy.

Orange Oil

Orange zest always brings about feelings of being refreshed and rejuvenated. As an essential oil, orange is helpful in creating an energized and uplifted mood. For therapy, orange oil can be used to work through trauma, put a positive end on an otherwise difficult session, or help lift the symptoms of depression in order to examine it through a different light.

Eucalyptus Oil

There is little doubt that Eucalyptus oil is healing. Many ointments used to treat pain or sickness use eucalyptus oil. This powerful oil helps open the nasal passage and the lungs, inspiring deep breathing for relaxation. Used for purifying and balancing, eucalyptus can be an oil for strength and hope during times of doubt and sickness.

Rosemary Oil

Rosemary makes any dish delicious in the kitchen. In therapy, rosemary can be an empowering scent. When fears are being faced with uncertainty and doubt, rosemary oil can help settle nerves and bring clarity to mind.

Lavender Oil

Few scents in the world have the instantaneous relaxing effect that lavender does. Lavender has the ability to heal wounds, relieve stress, and reduce tension. During times of anger, rage, or extreme emotional distress, lavender can create a sense of calm, feeling of being grounded, and a soothing sensation of comfort.

Using essential oils are part of the life skills we teach our clients in our integrative programs. Bringing together holistic healing and clinically proven therapeutic modalities, our programs for treating addiction and dual diagnosis issues are designed for transformative healing in mind, body, and spirit. Call us today for more information at 844-234-LIVE.

3 P’s For Relapse Prevention In The Heat Of The Moment

3 P’s For Relapse Prevention In The Heat Of The Moment

The way relapse is described often finds itself at a cross roads. According to neuroscience, relapse is a process. Over the course of many weeks, the brain builds up a case against logic and reason convincing such areas of the brain to give in to cravings. Euphoric recall, which is when one spends time reminiscing about good times and how rewarding addiction was, can start the process. Stress, emotional pain, and not utilizing the tools of recovery can also contribute. Essentially, the brain becomes so alive with memories of drinking and using that it signals cravings as if it has already had drugs and alcohol, therefore experiencing symptoms of withdrawal all over again.

On the other hand, according to many people in recovery who have experienced relapse themselves, it isn't a process but a spontaneous instant. In one flash of a moment all judgment and reason is lost. There are no consequences, no thinking. From black to white, A to B, there’s no stop in the middle. A drug or a drink is picked up and consumed. What happens next defines the course of their recovery. Either there is immediate regret and a return to working on recovery, or there is a period which can never be determined in length, of no sobriety.

Relapse does not have to happen. In addition to numerous therapeutic and holistic tools for relapse prevention there are a few key strategies you can apply when your chemical mind is taking over and you’re inches away from picking up.


Pausing is the one thing most people who relapse say they were not able to do. If you feel insatiable cravings coming up, do everything you can to try to pause in between. Take a moment to call a friend, call a sponsor, or take a walk. You might not be able to think clearly in that moment. However, if you stay away from the thought process long enough you will most likely see the cravings subside. Often, cravings get worse merely out of the anticipation that they are about to be satisfied.


Prana is a word for breath and pranayama is the practice of breathing. Using breath work of any kind, even just taking deep breaths, can have a wealth of benefit in a heated moment which could lead to relapse. Breath circulates oxygen to the brain which can help it calm down from the distress it is causing. Additionally, physical signals of cravings which have been sent out will benefit from the total body relaxation of breathing. Breathing also helps focus the mind, which can bring it out of hyper focus on drinking and using.

Present Moment Thinking

Being in the height of cravings often means one of two mental states: living in the future or living in the past. There’s fears about the future which come up in recovery, fears of the unknown and the uncontrollable. Likewise, there are fears about the past, regrets and mistakes which cannot be changed. Let go of the past and the future and focus on the choice you have right now in the present moment. In this instant you can choose between repeating the past or defining a new future. You are empowered to make the choice.

If you are struggling with chronic relapse, there is a solution. Enlightened Solutions has created an integrative program which brings together healing for mind, body, and spirit. Our integrative programs create transformational change. For more information, call us today at 844-234-LIVE.

Depression Can Become A Clinical Problem: Do You Know When?

Depression Can Become A Clinical Problem: Do You Know When?

The signs of depression aren’t always obvious. Symptoms can last a long time before they’re noticeably problematic.

When Your Appetite Has Taken A 180

Hunger and depression go together in confusing ways. If you are a normal eater you will notice a change either in the direction of eating more food or eating less food. Depression is being researched in its connection with gut bacteria which is created by the food we eat. Hunger can also be associated with hormones produced by the thyroid which affects hunger. A severe change in appetite can be a sign that something is imbalanced. If you are noticing serious changes in mood in addition to changes in hunger, that might be a sign of depression.

When Your Sleep Is The Opposite Of Normal

Sleeplessness in depression is common. First, the natural circadian rhythm can be altered by shifting hormones which cause change in sleep. Second, changes in sleep due to chemical depression can cause lethargy and sleeping all day, which can contribute to the natural sleep rhythm being off.  Third, depression can cause a different kind of sleep alteration. Instead of losing sleep during the night  due to being low energy all day one might lose sleep because they have too much energy. A little known and under recognized symptom of depression is high energy and productivity— the opposite of what is generally expected out of depression.

When Your Sensitivity Levels Are Off

Depression is characterized by heavy emotions of sadness and sensitivity. You might find yourself being more reactionary than responsive. Feeling as though you were an overfilled water balloon, you live as though you are on edge. The slightest offense— real or perceived— could set off waterworks and a slew of emotions. In contrast, sensitivity can also result in more demonstrations of anger. Depression and anger aren’t commonly thought to go together but they often can. Anger can be a sign of deep emotional pain which is stuck in its processing.

When You Think You’re Anxious

Anxiety and depression are often confused because they both share the characteristic of ruminating thoughts. Sometimes, anxiety is depressing and sometimes depression can induce anxiety. Experiencing anxiety attacks or feeling generally anxious about the future, or even the past, could actually be depression rather than anxiety.

Depression is a leading mental health issue around the world and one of the most highly co-occurring disorders with addiction and alcoholism. If you are struggling with depression and turning to drugs or alcohol to cope, there is a solution. Call Enlightened Solutions today for information on our partial care programs designed to heal mind, body, and spirit. 844-234-LIVE.

Creative Arts Therapies Are Beneficial For Wellbeing

Creative Arts Therapies Are Beneficial For Wellbeing

Few things, if any at all, in treatment are planned without a copious amount of research behind them. Every didactic lecture, experiential activity, physical exercise, holistic healing, and creative arts therapy is integrated into a treatment program for a very specific reason. Most often, they are for two specific reasons. First, they are proven to reduce the symptoms of addiction, alcoholism, and many of the mental health disorders which are often co-occurring. They relieve stress, enhance relaxation, as well as encourage physical, spiritual, and mental wellbeing. Second, they provide priceless instruction in “relapse prevention”, which is a general term for the collection of tools and skills those in recovery take with them after treatment. Though it can feel like it, treatment doesn’t last forever. One day, the structure and routine are gone. When difficult moments of triggers and cravings arise, it is up to those in recovery to utilize the tools they’ve picked up to get themselves through.

Creative arts therapies are an important practice and skill set in recovery. Treatment programs contain such an array of modalities because not one individual will recover in the same way. No two people experience their alcoholism or mental health disorder in the precisely same fashion. As a result, treatment programs have to be flexible enough to be tailored to the unique needs of each individual. Some people express themselves and work best in an academic setting while others find their best communication through art. Creative art therapies help create a bridge for grasping wide concepts in recovery, learning to communicate with others, finding ways to express emotions, and creating tools for self-care in the future.

According to Mindful, new research from New Zealand has found that “creative acts” in every day life can contribute to a greater sense of wellbeing. “Results showed that people who were engaged in more creative activities than usual on one day reported increased positive emotion and flourishing the next day, while negative emotions didn’t change,” the article explains. Interestingly, the opposite response did not occur. “People who experienced higher positive emotions on day one weren’t more involved in creative activities on day two, suggesting that everyday creativity leads to more well-being rather than the other way around.” Specifically and directly, the researcher behind the project explained that there was no sham around the effect of creativity and well being. “Research often yields complex, murky, or weak findings,” she expressed, “But these patterns were strong and straightforward: Doing creative things today predicts improvements in well-being tomorrow. Full stop.”

Integrative treatment is what we believe to be the solution to the problem of drug addiction and alcoholism. Our programs at Enlightened Solutions bring together a balance of clinical, holistic, spiritual, and twelve step approaches. For more information on our partial care programs, call 844-234-LIVE.

What Are Some Ways Alcoholics Hide Their Alcoholism?

What Are Some Ways Alcoholics Hide Their Alcoholism?

Alcoholics have to hide two things: their drinking and their alcoholism. Inherently, one protects the other.

They Refuse To Admit They Have A Problem

While they may not be doing the best job at hiding their drinking problem anymore, they are giving their denial every effort that they have. By refusing to acknowledge the truth, they can evade criticisms and accusations. Locking themselves further away from their loved ones and friends, they can continue to drink in spite of themselves. For those who have never experienced what is often called the “insanity” of alcoholism, it is difficult to understand this process. Chemical dependency upon alcohol changes the brain’s ability to make good judgments and choices based on consequences. Alcoholism is essentially a non-consequential mental health disorder for those who have it- meaning that they have a constitutional inability to see the consequences of their actions- or at least to feel that any negative consequences outweighs the benefit of consuming more alcohol. Alcoholism in the brain causes a restructuring which results in alcohol being prioritized over everything else.

Friends & Family Are Often Enablers

Codependency is a term which was born out of alcoholism treatment. Therapists were confounded by the way that so many family members and spouses of alcoholics enabled their loved one’s drinking and using. Alcoholism is commonly referred to as a family disease, meaning that the entire family is effected with a “sickness” when their loved one falls “ill” to alcoholism. Out of concern for their loved one’s health, they continue to allow them to drink and even buy them alcohol. Enabling is just one characteristic of codependency. It can include harmful behaviors like covering for the alcoholic, paying for legal matters, buying alcohol, or even getting drunk with the alcoholic.

Environment Can Play A Part

Some environments are riddled with unspoken alcohol abuse. College campuses, for example, are infamous as being the headquarters for binge drinking and the early development of alcoholism. High stress work places can include a lot of alcohol, as can work places which encourage the sale and distribution of alcohol. Alcohol based industries, for example, thrive on consuming alcohol and convincing others it’s enjoyable. Often times there are many alcoholics fledgling in these environments who can cover it up by simply saying that everyone is doing it. While may people, even a majority of people, may be abusing alcohol, not everyone will become chemically dependent upon it.  

Alcoholism can be healed. If you or a loved one are struggling to manage drinking, there is a solution. Our programs provide integrative care, bringing together holistic and clinically proven treatment methods with a twelve step foundation to provide total healing of mind, body, and spirit. Call us today for more information, at 844-234-LIVE.

High Functioning Alcoholism: Should We Be Calling It That?

High Functioning Alcoholism: Should We Be Calling It That?

There is always a certain level of shock and disbelief when a loved one who, aside from their recent admittance to alcoholism, seemed to have it “all together”. Despite a few difficulties here and there, everything in their life was happening according to “normal”. Daily responsibilities were being met within reason. They had a job the woke up and went to in the morning. If they had children, the children were well attended to. Bills were paid, mouths were fed, and they might even have been in decent physical shape, constantly working to take care of themselves. Somehow, behind the facade of “normalcy” or even what some might call “success” there was a chronic and worsening problem with alcohol. The stigmatized image of the alcoholic, which is not an uncommon story, minimizes the experience of others. As a result, other people who experience their alcoholism in different ways can perpetuate their problem unnoticed, until, their is no room left for hiding.

Bustle reports in depth about understanding the “high functioning alcoholic” and why this kind of alcoholism is often difficult to spot. “…people can fit the measure of a severe drinking disorder—inability to quit drinking, tendency to put themselves in situations where they may get hurt, experiences with withdrawal— while still appearing outwardly like perfectly healthy beings with functional lives.” The result is “a very dangerous combination.” High functioning alcoholism poses a significant threat not just to the life of the alcoholic but to the lives of those involved.

The stereotype of normalcy often prevents an alcoholic from recognizing their problem. Denial is a huge issue which prevents many alcoholics from taking the highly remarked “first step” in solving their problem with alcohol- admitting they have a problem with alcohol. As a result, the problem can continue to worsen. Eventually, it could lead to injury or death on the part of the alcoholic or on the part of their children, spouses, friends, coworkers, or other people. Simply stated, when an alcoholic— high functioning or not— is not held accountable for their problem, the alcoholism grows out of control.

If you feel that you or a loved one are living under the guise of high functioning alcoholism, your drinking does not have to get worse before everything gets better. Your journey to recovery starts with you. Start it with us at Enlightened Solutions. Our integrative programs bring together the best of holistic treatment, spiritual healing, twelve step philosophy, and clinically proven therapy modalities. Call us today for more information at 844-234-LIVE.

Generalized Anxiety: Do You Believe In Generalized Myths?

Generalized Anxiety: Do You Believe In Generalized Myths?

Anxiety is one of the most frequently co-occurring mental health disorders with substance use disorders which include drugs and alcohol. High anxiety can lead to tumultuous emotions and a chronic state of worrying, in addition to many other symptoms. Impulsivity, panic, and intensified fear of judgment by peers are especially high risk factors for those with anxiety to develop a relationship with substance abuse. Too often, anxiety disorders like generalized anxiety go misdiagnosed or undiagnosed. Mistaken for stress or chronic worrying, many family members and even doctors write off very obvious symptoms and approach anxiety in the wrong way. After numerous years without treatment, someone with generalized anxiety might find themselves struggling to make sense of their heightened emotional states and wondering why they can’t seem to function like ‘normal’ people. When the opportunity arises, they can easily be inspired to search for relief or answers in drugs and alcohol. The predisposition of mental illness causes the mind to be more susceptible to developing a chemical dependency, leading to a lifetime of problems until treatment and recovery.

Yes, Generalized Anxiety Can Be Treated

Generalized anxiety is a mental health disorder for which there are many treatments. Working with a psychiatrist for medication management, seeing a therapist to work through underlying issues, and receiving care from holistic health practitioners can all relieve the symptoms of generalized anxiety and make them more manageable. Mindfulness based stress reduction is a proven treatment method and lifestyle approach to living with anxiety. Using mindfulness helps take the focus out of the future, or the past, and bring it into the present moment. Immediately, there is a reduction in symptoms of stress.

Yes, Generalized Anxiety Is A Serious Anxiety Disorder

Because generalized anxiety is not a specific anxiety disorder like panic or social anxiety, many tend to believe that it is not or cannot be as severe. However, that is not true. Generalized anxiety in many ways is more complicated than specified anxiety because of the way it causes general anxiety. Without a specific focus, someone with generalized anxiety can experience anxious symptoms in response to absolutely anything.

Yes, Generalized Anxiety Needs To Be Treated When Co-Occurring With Substance Use Disorder

Anxiety and substance use disorders as co-occurring issues need to be treated in conjunction with one another. In order to fully recover from both, both need to be treated, because one can often inspire a triggered response in the other.

Enlightened Solutions offers an integrative approach to treating anxiety and substance use disorders. Bringing together spiritual and holistic healing with twelve step philosophy as well as clinically proven treatment methods, our clients start their lives in recovery on the right path. For more information, call us today at 844-234-LIVE.

Are You A Good Listener? Ways You Can Improve

Are You A Good Listener? Ways You Can Improve

Listening isn’t always as easy as it seems. We say we want to listen to our loved ones, that we are available to them whenever they need us. We want them to know that when they are struggling and need an ear to reach out to, ours are worthy to volunteer and listen. Are we truly prepared to hear what they have to say? Do we listen to them with an open heart and truly validate their experiences? Or might we still have residual pain due to the wreckage they caused in the past with their drinking and using? If we do, its likely we only listen to what we want to hear. We look for opportunities to prove ourselves right, to assert our authority, or to defend our positions. Perhaps we are filled with guilt and shame for not knowing when our loved one was asking for help- all those times when we should have been listening, but we weren’t.

Recovery and all of the work our loved ones are doing in treatment is teaching them many important lessons. One of them is to let go of the past and live as fully in the present moment as possible. Without holding onto anxiety about the future or worry about the past, our loved ones are finding themselves capable of being authentic and present in each moment of their lives. Listening is a practical way to apply present moment mindfulness to our new relationships building with loved ones in recovery.

Encourage Introspection Rather Than Investigate

We can be incredibly nosy and suspicious as the trusted family members of a loved one in treatment. Instead of truly searching for what is going on with our loved ones, we start to investigate them for what might be going on. For listening it is best to apply “innocent until proven guilty”. Ask them what is happening inside instead of accusatory statements like “what’s going on with you” or “what’s wrong”.

Remember That You’re Human, Too

Nobody is perfect. Consequently, we are all prone to being imperfect. If you find you want to fix, advise, control, or prevent something your loved one is talking about you are heading in the wrong direction. Now more than ever your loved one needs to know they are not deserving of the shame and guilt which comes with addiction and alcoholism or any co-occurring mental health disorders. Give subtle cues like head nods and non-verbal sounds which indicate you understand their struggle, even if you don’t get the details.

Enlightened Solutions believes it is possible for the family to heal. Our treatment programs include opportunities for family therapy and intensive family programming weekends in which loved ones come together in recovery. For more information on our partial care programs, call us today at 844-234-LIVE.

Sleep And Mental Health: There’s More To The Relationship

Sleep And Mental Health: There’s More To The Relationship

Sleep is a vital part of the recovery process. Rest is essential for the body, mind, and spirit to heal effectively. Without rest, clients run the risk of exhaustion and fatigue which can interfere with their ability to receive the information, participate ing groups, and make the most out of their treatment experience. Getting enough sleep is a practice which begins in early recovery and and must be carried out regularly throughout one’s lifetime for ongoing recovery.

Not getting enough sleep, struggling with restlessness, and even having to cope with night terrors or nightmares can be symptoms of poor mental health. Likewise, poor mental health can be caused by a lack of sleep. Anyone who has gone days on end with poor sleep feels the effect of mental and physical exhaustion symptomized by moodiness, irritability, and general discontent. For the addict or alcoholic in recovery this can have a devastating effect.

Huffington Post reports that sleep and mental health are intimately connected. “Nearly one in five Americans suffers from some kind of mental illness,” the website cites from the NIMH, National Institute of Mental Health. “Even more surprising, a whopping 50 to 80 percent of people living with typical psychiatric illnesses also report chronic sleep problems, compared to less than 20 percent of the general population.”

According to the article, post traumatic stress disorder, bipolar disorder, depression, and anxiety can all interfere with sleep. In contrast, depression and anxiety can be triggered by a lack of sleep.

In early recovery treatment days, your loved one will likely be prescribed a sleep additive which is either pharmaceutical or natural. Non-narcotic sleep medications can be used to help reset the sleep cycle and make sure each client is getting enough rest. Natural remedies like melatonin, tryptophan, and/or valerian root could be used as well. Many other practices can contribute to better sleep, such as:

      • Limiting the use of social media before bed time

      • Limiting the use of technological devices before bed time

      • Not taking a nap after 4p.m.

      • Cutting off intake of caffeine or high amounts of sugar after 5p.m.

      • Practicing mindfulness meditation before bed

Balance, health, and wellness are invaluable components of recovery. At Enlightened solutions, we provide integrative partial care programs for addiction and dual diagnosis mental health issues. Bringing together twelve step philosophy, clinically proven care, and spiritual holistic healing, we strive to help clients start their recovery the right way. For more information, call 844-234-LIVE.

Breakfast Is Essential For Daily Recovery

Breakfast Is Essential For Daily Recovery

You might have heard a saying in the rooms of twelve step recovery support groups or treatment center walls about how every day in recovery is  chance to earn the “daily reprieve”. Each day, you have the opportunity to put into practice the various tools you have been learning. Together, all those tools add up to important decisions which keep you sober throughout the day. The most important decision being not to pick up a drink or a drug, no matter what happens during the day. Four famous “horsemen” can contribute to a day gone wrong which can ultimately lead to relapse. Especially in the early months to first few years of recovery, maintaining these four warning signs is critical. They’re called HALT: hungry, angry, lonely, and tired.

Hunger comes first in this list for an important reason. When the body is malnourished, the brain cannot function properly. Anger, loneliness, and exhaustion can all result from a serious case of hunger. Crafting a well balanced and nutritious breakfast is an excellent and effective way to kickstart your metabolism and fuel your day from the get go. By starting off your day with a full breakfast, you won’t catch those hungry monster cravings in the afternoon. Hunger can cause moodiness and moodiness can be difficult to manage in early recovery. An addict’s impulses are to turn to drugs and alcohol when emotions become overwhelming or uncomfortable. Addiction takes over the brain in such a way that it takes true work and practice to recognize cravings for food- i.e. hunger- over cravings for drugs and alcohol- i.e. a programmed response to triggers.

Conquer breakfast and the rest of your day like a champion with a breakfast fit for one with these suggestions:

Utilize Your Cupcake Pans

Among many others, one of the gifts of recovery is a busy and full life. If your day starts from the get go because you’re a go-getter you need a grab-and-go breakfast. Try making mini baked egg dishes. Using eggs or egg whites you can include your favorite breakfast pieces like bacon, tomato, spinach, and onion. You’ll get a good boost of protein and some vegetables while you’re on the run.

Put Your “About Last Night” Stories Into An Omelette

Another great gift of recovery is never having to wake up with a hangover due to drugs and alcohol again. Instead of having to deal with leftover symptoms, turn your breakfast into a leftover specialty. If you’ve never scrambled your leftover pasta into an omelet, you’re missing out.

Pre-Package Awesome Smoothies

Put your favorite fruits and veggies into portion ready baggies and stick them in the freezer. Each morning you just have to empty the contents into the blender and add your favorite liquid and supplements. Coconut milk or coconut oil is a great way to start your day giving the brain all the essential omega acids it needs to function.

The Breakfast Sandwich Of Recovery Champions

Eggs, avocado, and whole grains is about as good as it can get. Research has proven that this is quite possibly the best breakfast for living in recovery from a mental health issue like depression, anxiety, and substance use disorders. Full of proteins, healthy oils, healthy fats, and essential acids, vitamins, and nutrients, there is no way to go wrong with this simple breakfast.

Learning how to live a balanced lifestyle is part of recovery. The programs at Enlightened Solutions include organic meal preparation and practical cooking classes including life skills for budgeting and grocery shopping. Our integrative programs bring enlightenment to the treatment process. For more information, call 844-234-LIVE.

4 Ways To Spark Growth And Development Without Spirituality

4 Ways To Spark Growth And Development Without Spirituality

Whether in a faith based program or a program that utilizes numerous holistic health and spiritually based practices, recovery goes hand in hand with spirituality. Proven treatment methods are called evidence based because they are demonstrated to reduce the severity of harmful symptoms which can cause stress, emotional distress, and eventually lead to relapse. Mindfulness based practices are proven to help recovering addicts and alcoholics find a center in their lives from which they can operate successfully without abusing drugs or alcohol. Mindfulness based stress reduction and mindfulness based cognitive behavioral therapy are both proven methods in addition to meditation practices.

Spirituality isn’t for everyone. Today, it is an integral part of most treatment programs for addiction recovery treatment. Unfortunately, despite high levels of customization and creating individualized programs for each person who enters a treatment facility, there is still a likelihood that someone who doesn’t like spiritual ‘stuff’ will still have to endure multiple hours a week of just that. One of the most important things to learn in recovery is a simple lesson which is often regarded in this way: take what you want and leave the rest. To their own disadvantage, many who are in recovery become quickly discouraged by spirituality and forget to look for the many other ways they can relate to recovery and engage in their personal growth. Another recovery saying, look for the similarities, not the differences also applies. In need of a few non-spiritual ways to have one of those break through transformations everyone seems to have? Here are a few suggestions:

  • Learn The Languages Of Emotions: There is nothing spiritual about emotional articulation. Emotions are immensely scientific in addition to being somewhat spiritual. Learning how to identify your emotions, regulate them, articulate them, and express them in a healthy way is a science and an art.

  • Read Books Which Are Inspiring To You: You don’t have to read the same books as everyone else with spiritual subjects you don’t relate to. Thankfully, plenty of people in recovery have taken to scientific research in addition to their own personal journeys of sobriety to create compelling and informative stories.

  • Utilize The Practical Stuff: Diet and nutrition, health and wellness, exercise and regular sleep- these are all tools for recovery and for life. Put focus into practicing these guides to transformative change. A good night's sleep every night for a week might just change your life.

  • Challenge Yourself To Get Uncomfortable: An ultimate demise of each recovering addict and alcoholic is being uncomfortable. Spirituality and spiritual talk can be uncomfortable. Averting it entirely will make your recovery remarkably isolated. Open-mindedness is often regarded as a spiritual tenet but can be a truly life-changing practical application. Take into consideration what works for others by maintaining an element of curiosity rather than indignation.

Enlightened Solutions offers a practical approach to integrating holistic and clinical elements into a life changing program. For information on our partial care programs for addiction and dual diagnosis issues, call 844-234-LIVE today.

Is Everyone Who Takes Opioids At Risk For Addiction?

Is Everyone Who Takes Opioids At Risk For Addiction?

Two cars are in a serious accident. The drivers of both cars are rushed to the hospital with severe injuries. As immediately as possible after routine procedure, both patients are administered either an oral or intravenous dose of morphine to relieve the pain. Analgesic and relaxing, their pain subsides and they likely fall asleep. Both patients need surgery to heal internal wounds or close up exposed ones. For the pain which will result afterwards, the doctor informs them, they will be prescribed a prescription painkiller. Likely they will receive something like Hydrocodone, Oxycotin, Dilaudid, or Percocet. Each of these medications are morphine based, designating them as opioids. While they are in the hospital, their intravenous pain medications and oral pain medications will be monitored. Upon discharge, they will each receive specific instructions on taking pain medication and rehabilitating their body at home. One patient goes on to heal fine and doesn’t take another opioid medication until there is another serious issue with pain. The other patient will heal from their original injury but may not heal from their pain. In the process, they’ll develop an addiction to opioid painkillers. In the wake of the opioid epidemic sweeping the nation, thousands of family members want to know the answer to one simple question: why?

New research published in the journal JAMA Surgery sought to answer this question. Though the number seems small, the amount of overdose deaths which could result has drastic implications- six percent of people who receive opioid painkillers for post-surgery rehabilitation continue using their prescription medication for at least three months post-procedure. Researchers found that the type of surgery or severity of the pain had little to do with the likelihood of using the prescription painkillers outside of their recommended expiration. The issue, researchers discovered, is a lack of screening for high risk factors which would contribute to the likelihood of substance abuse. Researchers called this “addressable patient-level” risk factors. Live Science reported on the findings. Increased risk for opioid abuse post-surgery had the highest percentages among patients who:

  • Smoked cigarettes

  • Drank alcohol

  • Had pre-existing substance abuse problems

  • Had anxiety

  • Were previously chronic pain patients

Opioid addiction can happen without a patient’s knowing that they are predisposed to developing a chemical dependency problem. Thousands of American have faced this problem in recent years, which has greatly contributed to the ongoing crisis with opioid painkillers, synthetic opioid painkillers including fentanyl, and a turn to heroin.

If you are struggling with coming off of post-surgical medications, there is hope. Enlightened Solutions offers partial care programs for opioid addiction and dual diagnosis mental health issues. Bringing together holistic healing and clinically proven treatment, our twelve step based programs are designed to enlighten and transform. Call us today for more information at 844-234-LIVE.

What Is The Success Rate Of Going To Treatment?

What Is The Success Rate Of Going To Treatment?

There’s no big data for addiction treatment. Currently, multiple companies are working relentlessly to create a system of accountability to find a way to track patients and analyze data. Many treatment centers today include alumni programs as part of their total packages. Alumni, sometimes called after care, can include phone calls and tracking for up to a year. Of course, there is little way to gauge whether someone in recovery is telling the truth when they say “Yes, I’m still sober and doing great.”

Addiction and alcoholism are hard to gauge in terms of success. The addiction treatment and recovery industry as a whole is uniting in its strive to define just that. Is it the amount of time spent clean and sober? Is success only defined by lifelong abstinence? Should abstinence be the hallmark of success? If a client is prone to chronic relapse, should success be determined by at least a reduction in how often they relapse? These are just some of the dozens of questions to ask. Additionally, there are questions regarding treatment methods and their success. What defines the success of detox and symptoms reduction? Is a treatment inefficient if it doesn’t completely eliminate symptoms of craving or obsessive thinking?

Trying to define success can be confusing. Numerous statistics float around the internet which indicate the “dropout rate” or “success rate” of treatment. However, making such conclusions is generally problematic because they cannot be generalized. Addiction treatment and recovery is highly individualized. One treatment center does not offer the same exact program as another. While in medicine there are the same medications prescribed, the same treatments, and the same surgical procedures, with mental health there is no one course of treatment. Treatment plans are designed around the specific nuances of an individual client, based on the treatment methods available. Treatment methods are chosen because of their proven efficacy in reducing symptoms and contributing to long term recovery. Called “evidence based treatments, they are so far the most ‘successful’ forms of treating addiction.

Success Is What You Make It

Recovery is largely defined by personal goals. With a treatment center staff, you or your loved one will define those goals and create a cohesive plan to reach them. One day at a time, you will participate together in the beginning of a lifelong journey toward recovery. It starts with you.

Start your recovery with Enlightened Solutions, offering partial care programs for co-occurring addiction, alcoholism, and mental health disorders. Integrating 12 step philosophy with spiritual holistic care and proven clinical methods, our clients leave enlightened on their journey to wellbeing. For more information, call 844-234-LIVE.

Which Comes First: Alcoholism Or Mental Health Disorders?

Which Comes First: Alcoholism Or Mental Health Disorders?

Alcoholism is a greater risk for those who are living with a preexisting mental health condition or those who have the genetic predisposition for one. Likewise, for those who are living with alcoholism, there is a greater risk of also developing a mental health disorder. Alcoholism by its technical name is alcohol use disorder, falling under the substance use disorder category. Widely, alcohol use disorder and other substance use disorders, called addictions, are mental health disorders of their own. When alcohol use disorder happens at the same time as another mental health disorder, it is referred to as dual diagnosis, or co-occurring disorders. For treatment and rehabilitation to be as successful and effective as possible it is necessary for treatment centers to make a full diagnosis of any existing mental health conditions in addition to substance use issues. Mistaking one issue for another is common. Discovering the source of each issue and treating it thoroughly is the best way to ensure long term recovery.

Alcoholism As A Result Of Mental Health Disorders

Abuse of alcohol is a common side effect of many mental health disorders, especially when they go untreated. Anxiety, depression, obsessive compulsive disorder, borderline personality disorder, bipolar disorder, and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder as some of the most common mental health disorders with a high rate of co-occurring alcoholism. Substance abuse spurs from mental health disorders like these for a number of reasons. First, some of these disorders come with a high likelihood of impulsivity. Impulsive decision making can lead to rash decisions and skewed senses of relations among peers. When substance abuse becomes an option, there is little functioning in the brain to prevent someone from making the decision. COnsuming alcohol in large quantities will be of little consideration and as a result can lead to chemical dependency. Second, alcoholism can result as a way to cope with the difficult emotions of other mental health disorders. Living with severe emotional pain, unmanageable mood swings, or chronic irrational thoughts can become exhausting and overwhelming. Upon introduction to alcohol, there is a relief and sanctuary discovered in the euphoric effects of intoxication.

Mental Health Disorders As A Result Of Alcoholism

Alcohol abuse chemically alters essential neural networkings of the brain. Consequently, many of the processes used on a daily basis to regulate emotions, cognitive functions, and other important activities become shifted. Mental health disorders like depression, anxiety, schizophrenia and paranoia can result from long term substance abuse.

Recovery from co-occurring alcoholism and mental health disorders is possible through integrative and enlightened treatment. Bringing together holistic recovery and proven treatment, the programs at Enlightened Solutions are designed to let recovery start with you. Call 844-234-LIVE today for more information.