Tag Archives: alcohol abuse

Energy Drinks and Addiction

While energy drinks are known to boost as person’s stamina and energy, they can also be highly addictive. These drinks contain high amounts of caffeine, which is just one of the reasons as to why a person can become addicted to drinking them. Drinking too many energy drinks in a short period of time can be very damaging to a person’s health. However, the effects can be far worse since addiction to energy drinks can heighten the risk of using other drugs and eventually suffering from drug abuse. The best way to avoid becoming addicted to energy drinks is by being educated about the dangers of these drinks and the links that they have to addiction.

 

Troublesome Links Between Energy Drinks and Addiction

 

Energy drinks act as a stimulant that affect the reward centers of your brain. People experience more intense feelings of happiness as well as a substantial boost in energy. As is the case with prescription stimulant medications, it’s possible to become addicted to energy drinks. Consuming these beverages on an occasional basis shouldn’t cause any problems. However, regular consumption can start making the body dependent on the drink in order to receive the energy that’s necessary for normal bodily functions. When the body and brain become dependent on energy drinks or a similar drug, it’s possible for side effects and withdrawal symptoms to develop whenever the substance hasn’t been consumed for a long time, which will in turn heighten cravings of the substance.

 

While addiction to energy drinks is harmful, the addicted individual may be prone to taking more serious drugs if their body starts to become tolerant to the effects of the energy drink. For instance, they may need to drink more of the beverage in order to receive the same energy boost that they once did. If so, this individual may start to experiment with other drugs that can provide them with the same boost or “high” that they were once able to achieve. A study that was performed by the National Institute of Drug Abuse found that individuals who regularly consume energy drinks have a much higher chance of taking prescription stimulants and cocaine. This study has found that the risk of alcohol abuse is also greater.

 

While energy drinks have yet to be classified as gateway drugs, there are some dangerous links between these beverage and drug abuse and addiction. Keep in mind that this stimulant affects adolescent brains more severely than it does with adults. Teenagers who consume high amounts of energy drinks during their adolescent years will oftentimes turn to the use and eventual abuse of more serious drugs as they grow older. It’s also much easier for teenagers to build a strong tolerance to the effects of energy drinks than it is with adults.

 

Signs of Energy Drink Addiction

 

If you suspect that someone close to you may be suffering from an energy drink addiction, there are a wide variety of signs and symptoms that you should look for to help determine if treatment is necessary. When a person has started to become addicted to energy drinks, they will need to consume this caffeine so that their energy can reach normal levels. If these people don’t consume energy drinks for a certain amount of time, they will begin to experience withdrawal symptoms, which primarily include regular headaches and fatigue.

 

Mood changes and issues with concentration are also likely. Individuals who consume too many energy drinks will likely experience increased blood pressure, palpitations, and irregular heart rates. While it can sometimes be difficult to identify these symptoms, it’s important to look for any changes in a person’s behavior that come with drinking a large amount of energy drinks. These behavioral changes could be the first signs that the person is becoming addicted.

 

Additional Health Risks to Consider

 

Along with addiction, there are also some additional health risks that everyone should be aware of when regularly consuming energy drinks. Because of the high amount of caffeine found in energy drinks, it’s possible to become intoxicated from the caffeine, which means that withdrawal symptoms are possible. There’s even a chance that the addicted individual could overdose on caffeine, which could be life-threatening if not treated immediately. Some of the other health risks to keep in mind include:

 

  • Cardiovascular issues

 

  • Obesity

 

  • Dental Problems

 

  • Sleep disorders like insomnia and sleep apnea

 

  • Calcium deficiency

What Addiction Recovery Involves

 

Drug addiction is considered to be a chronic disease, which means that it’s essentially impossible to become fully cured from the disease once it has developed. In some ways, the body will always crave whatever drug or drink the addicted individual has become dependent on. However, addiction recovery is possible and can be very effective at lessening dependence on the drug in question. Any individual who has become addicted to another drug like cocaine because of their energy drink usage should seek addiction treatment immediately.

 

This treatment can either be administered in an inpatient or outpatient capacity. Outpatient treatment for addiction takes place several days each week for a couple of hours each day. The treatment will be provided at some sort of outpatient facility, which could be a medical office or a hospital. The addiction treatment provided in outpatient care is very similar to inpatient care but with the added benefit of being able to go home at anytime. Inpatient rehabilitation for a drug addiction or an addiction to energy drinks takes place in a residential facility where the patient will be required to stay 24/7 for a certain period of time, which could be anywhere from a month to more than a year.

 

When enrolling into an inpatient care program, treatment will begin with a detoxification process, which is designed to make sure that the drugs or energy drinks safely leave the body without causing severe withdrawal symptoms. Once the substances are out of the body, further treatment can begin. This treatment typically includes group therapy, individual counseling, and even family therapy if necessary. Group therapy aims to provide attendees with a welcoming and friendly atmosphere among people who are going through the exact same issues, while one-on-one counseling is designed to help the addicted individual identify what has caused their addiction, which should help them manage the addiction in the future.

 

While addiction to the caffeine found in energy drinks is problematic, the high that’s caused by strong doses of caffeine can invariably make an individual yearn for something stronger. Addiction to caffeine can be difficult to overcome. However, this type of addiction is not nearly as severe as becoming addicted to prescription stimulants or cocaine, both of which provide a similar yet more potent boost of energy as energy drinks.

 

Addiction treatment is so important because of how damaging a long-term addiction to stimulants can be to a person’s health. When abusing these drugs for a lengthy period of time, both psychological and physical effects will invariably occur. The psychological effects of long-term abuse include delusions, hallucinations, paranoia, and depression. The physical effects can be even more severe and include:

 

  • Stroke

 

  • Seizures

 

  • Muscle deterioration

 

  • Cardiovascular damage

 

  • Headaches

 

  • Breathing issues

 

  • Extreme weight loss

 

  • Gastrointestinal problems

 

Dependence on stimulants and energy drinks can be reversed with treatment, which means that the long-term effects of this dependence can be mitigated if treated early enough.

 

If you believe that someone close to you has recently become addicted to energy drinks or has started taking more potent drugs because of this dependence, make sure that you seek addiction recovery as soon as possible.

 

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Rapid Resolution Therapy (RRT)

Rapid Resolution Therapy is a gentle and effective therapeutic modality, created by Dr. John Connelly, LCSW that resolves trauma and other distress in as little as one session. Because the root causes of problems are pinpointed and cleared, positive changes endure. Negative emotions and destructive behavioral patterns are eliminated. 

Unlike other forms of treatment, with Rapid Resolution it is not necessary to relive past events or experience any pain. Rapid Resolution therapy integrates hypnosis, cognitive and playful techniques, to name a few, allowing for optimal healing through multiple levels of the mind. This type of therapy leads to dramatic improvements in thoughts, feelings and behavior. Rapid Resolution Therapy has effectively treated PTSD, other trauma/stress related disorders, anxiety, panic attacks, sleep disturbance, frozen grief, guilt, resentment and even aided in successful recovery from addiction.

Along with creating Rapid Resolution Therapy, Dr. Connelly has also founded The Institute for Survivors of Sexual Violence, a non-profit (501C3) organization providing mental health professionals with state-of-the-art training in advanced clinical methods of eliminating the negative influence of trauma. You can learn more about Rapid Resolution Therapy and how to find providers in Austin, TX and all over the country by contacting me directly for a referral or by visiting the main Rapid Resolution Therapy website: www.rapidresolutiontherapy.org

Schedule a Free Consultation with: Julia Thompson:

 MSW NBCCH

TEXAS LMSW #66100

FLORIDA LCSW #SW14616

NATIONAL BOARD CERTIFIED CLINICAL HYPNOTHERAPIST

https://juliacthompson.com/rapid-resolution-therapy

RESOURCES

Article on Army website discussing RRT:  http://bit.ly/2ZTmQxh

Ted Talks video: “Life Changing power of words.” http://bit.ly/2GZDQuw

Julia Thompson: https://juliacthompson.com/

Vacation Hacks for Staying Sober

Vacation is a great way to get away from the stresses of life, spend time with people you care about, and have fun. But if you’re in recovery, vacation isn’t as simple as getting away for a while. Everything you do need to help support your sobriety, including vacation. Just because you’re in recovery doesn’t mean you can’t go on vacation. But if you’re thinking about taking some time away, it’s important to stay sober the whole time. Understanding why you should stay sober for life, including on vacation, and using some tips to help support your sobriety can make the difference between a great vacation and a relapse.

The importance of sobriety on vacation

When you’re in recovery, establishing routines in your daily life can make it easier to maintain your sobriety. You know what to expect each day, and your habits throughout the day help promote your sobriety. But when you go on vacation, your routines are disrupted. That can make it harder to resist temptations, especially if you’re in an environment where your will power is being challenged. But it’s just as important to stay sober on vacation as it is in your regular daily life. If you slip up, you run the risk of turning back to the life you had before and undoing all the work you did to get sober.

How to stay sober on vacation

Vacation should be a part of normal life. But when you’re working to stay sober, vacation can be a trigger for falling back into past behaviors. Here are some things you can do to help yourself stay sober when you’re on vacation.

Make sure you can handle the vacation

The timing of your vacation is a big consideration. Recovery is a process. The longer you’re sober, the easier it may be to go on vacation and use your willpower to avoid temptation. If you’re still early in your recovery, going on vacation may not be a good idea. Instead, it would be better to stick with your normal daily routine so you can reduce the risk of relapsing.

Communicate with your travel buddies

It’s also important to have open communication with the people you’ll be traveling with. They should know that you’re working on staying sober for life, and that a relapse could cause major problems in your life and recovery. Being open and honest with your travel buddies can help make sure that the vacation will be enjoyable for everyone and you’ll have the support you need to stay sober while you’re away from home. If your travel buddies can’t support your sobriety on vacation, it might not be the best idea to go.

Plan your itinerary around your needs

Staying sober means that you make decisions for your life based on your sobriety needs. The lifestyle you develop in recovery can be maintained while you’re on vacation. But that means that the itinerary for your vacation needs to be built around your needs for sobriety. If you need down time every day, make sure you get it. If you need time to exercise or have diet restrictions, make sure that your vacation can accommodate those needs. You want to have fun while you’re on vacation, but you still have basic needs that have to be met. If your vacation can’t meet your basic sobriety needs, it’s not a vacation for you.

Suggest activities that work for you

When you and your travel buddies are planning activities for the vacation, be sure to suggest activities that work for you. The people you’re traveling with may want to be supportive, but they may not know what that looks like on vacation. By suggesting activities you can do, it’s more likely that your vacation itinerary will be fun for you as well as for the people you’re traveling with. This is especially important if you’ve developed new interests and hobbies since getting sober. If your travel buddies are set on certain activities and those activities don’t support your sobriety, that may mean that you should reconsider going on vacation with those people.

Research destinations carefully

Some vacation destinations are better than others. Some vacation locations are built around drinking, for example. So if you’re working on sobriety, that wouldn’t be a good place for you to visit. As you’re planning your vacation, be sure to do research into what’s available in the area, what the big attractions are, and what you want to do while you’re away from home. For example, you might want to look for a destination that’s more “family-friendly.” Those locations tend to have activities that are good for people of all ages, which means there would be things to do that don’t involve substances or activities that might be triggering for you.

Don’t be afraid to use your ‘no’ muscle

Ultimately, whether or not you can and should go on vacation is up to you. If there are any red flags about the trip, or you think it’s too soon for you to disrupt your regular daily routines, don’t be afraid to use your ‘no’ muscle and say no to the vacation. Your travel buddies may be disappointed, but they want you to be healthy, happy, and sober. They’ll understand if it’s just not a good idea for you to go on vacation with them at that time. Your sobriety is the most important thing, so every decision you make should be for that goal.

Your sobriety is important. That doesn’t mean you can’t go on vacation with people, but if you’re going to, then you have to make sure that your vacation is going to support your sobriety. From communication to planning to being willing to say no, your vacation can be a way to get away from the stresses of life without relapsing. Use these tips as you prepare for your vacation, and then you can be sure that you’ll come home with great memories and that you’ll still be sober for life!

5 Addiction Recovery Hacks

Sober living can be a difficult feat for those who are dealing with alcoholism and other drug addiction problems. As much as you’d love to get through the initial stages of anxiety and depression so that you can enjoy sober living, your codependency on drugs can make a relapse feel like an inevitable instance. However, you can fix your codependency on alcoholism and drug addiction through the proper techniques of addiction recovery. We’re going to share with you some great ways to overcome anxiety, depression, and addiction in our five easy addiction recovery
hacks below.

Failure to plan is planing to fail.

1 – Create A Structured Schedule With New Habits

One of the biggest problems that you’re going to face is simply the urge to fall back into old habits. This becomes especially apparent when you don’t have any sort of structured plan. It’s easy to get bored and revert back. You need to think about the things in your life that need to be changed
first. This includes everything that would interfere with a drug-free lifestyle. Some examples include hanging out with people who do drugs or spending time with the same people who you indulged within the past.
Once you have a list of habits that will need to be changed, it’s time to create a structured schedule. We’re not talking about running yourself ragged trying to be someone completely new, but it will help to have a structure to each day to ensure that your mind is somewhat distracted
from your old habits. Take some time at the beginning of each day or week to plan out your schedule. This can help you focus on creating and obtaining long-term goals while protecting yourself from relapsing.

2 – Get Physically Active

While exercise may be the last thing on your mind right now, it’s going to help. You’ll need to be able to fill the void that used to be taken up by partaking in your favorite drug or drink of choice. What better way to fill that time than with some physical movement that will get your body feeling
alive? Exercise and general recreational activities can play a major rule in reducing your stress and restoring your sense of balance in life. You’ll also enjoy the benefits of better nutrition and overall health.
If you’re not overly interested in the traditional workout, then we suggest finding some sort of recreational activity that you enjoy doing. For example, join a local team sport, go hiking, go biking, or just simply get moving some other way. Something as simple as fishing a few times a week can get you outside and moving. The more used to the activity that your body gets, the more strenuous activities you can partake in on a regular basis.

3 – Develop New Relationships

While this may be a scary thought, the current relationships you have in your life can be triggers for relapse. We’re not saying to completely ignore everyone you’ve developed a relationship with up to this point, but realize they’re part of your old lifestyle. You need to introduce some new
relationships into your life in order to bring on a new life for you.
They always say to pick your friends wisely. Your thought process should be along these lines. If you’re a recovering alcoholic, don’t focus on creating relationships with those who spend their weekends at the bar. While they may be great people, they’re just going to enable you to relapse.
We know that it can be easier to make friends with those who you’ve had much in common with, such as hanging out at the bar. However, you must work to craft new relationships with people who have a different lifestyle than your older associates. For example, making friends with
someone from a local sports team can allow you to be influenced to participate in more physical activity.

4 – Wear Something To Symbolize Your Commitment To Sobriety

While there are many wristlets, shirts, hats, and other decors that you can sport showing off your sobriety, we want you to think beyond that. Instead, think about an item that you can wear each day. This may be a special watch or custom band. It doesn’t need to say recovering or sobriety on
it. Rather, you are the only one who has to know what it means to you.
When you wake up each morning and see your wrist band, you know that it means sobriety to you. It can help you take control of your choices and consistently remind you of your commitment to yourself to stay sober. Many recovering addictions find that it’s hard to remember their emotional
commitments in times when stress is high. They tend to make regretful decisions based on a whim. Imagine having something physically there to remind you not to drink or use. This is what your piece of adornment will do for you.

5 – Make Contingency Plans

A big issue with the task of staying sober is falling off the bandwagon. As human beings, we have this urge to think that we completely messed everything up when we do one thing wrong. For example, if you find yourself drinking one beer, suddenly you look at it as a failure on your part.
You say ‘screw it, I might as well have another cause I already messed it up!” This can lead to a drastic fall off the edge of the sobriety cliff. Instead, work on making contingency plans to help when you make that initial wrong mistake. This will save you from completely jumping off of the
edge and going way back into your addiction. Sit down and think up as many viable scenarios as you can. For example, in your old lifestyle, you
may have immediately pulled into the parking lot of a liquor store when you drove past. This is something that you’re going to have to create a contingency plan for. A solution may be if I pull into the liquor store parking lot, I’ll look at the picture of my son in my wallet, remember that I’m stronger than my addiction, and simply drive back out of the parking lot. This may seem like an easy plan, but you may be surprised just how quickly your mind will jump to pulling out that picture when you find yourself in that scenario. By having a game plan of how you’re going to
handle scenarios, it gives you a choice between old habits and new ones.
Overcoming addiction of any kind is a difficult feat for everyone. There’s no magical pill that will change you overnight just like there’s no diet pill that will take you from overweight to thin in a week. Creating a new addiction-free lifestyle for yourself is something that you’re going to have to
work for. The major components of success rely on being consistent and level-headed. Realize that mishaps are going to happen and that you can deal with them. No one is perfect and it takes commitment to live the life that we desire. The above addiction recovery hacks are a great basis to get you started on your new lifestyle. We encourage you to focus on all five areas and work on being as consistent as possible with them. As you endeavor more and more into your addiction-free lifestyle, you’ll be able to create new habits that steer your life in the direction that you want instead of in the direction that you don’t.

Easter Sunday

 

With every passing Easter Sunday, the idea of rebirth and starting over, sober and clean of drugs and alcohol is seen everywhere. From nature being reawakened from its winter slumber to the Christian belief in the rebirth of Christ, this time of the year has always had a special importance people in many different facets. It is a time of new beginnings, addiction recovery. Easter reminds us that even in the longest and darkest of nights, the morning will come and the sun will rise.

For many, this time is also the beginning of a process of a personal rebirth, to begin again in our own lives by righting our wrongs and starting to walk a new path. A rebirth is precisely what recovery from drugs and alcohol addiction is. Our staff at Hickory Wind Ranch will help you put the drugs down and gain even just a little clarity, we realize that we truly do not have to continue living the life of a drug addict and become an entirely new person—the person we were meant to be.

Learn More About Our Programs.