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Why Do We Ignore Warning Signs?

warning sign danger road

The words emergency and urgent tend to catch our attention. Until a warning sign is critical, we tend to ignore them. That is what was concluded through research regarding weather warning signs and why they go unnoticed until it is an emergency.

For accuweather.com, Dr. Laura Meyers of the Center for Advanced Public Safety explained there are a few simple reasons why people ignore weather warnings which could give them the time they need to prepare for survival. First, she mentions, is timing. If people have too much time between a warning and a consequence, they are likely to get tired of waiting for that consequence to arrive. Instead of continuing to wait, they will grow weary and ignore the warning entirely, writing it off. Sometimes, it’s too late. Quite profoundly, the article describes, “regardless of the warning, some people wait until they see their life is in danger.” It is also mentioned that some people give their attention to other places. According to the article, there is “sociological evidence that people feel silly for taking shelter; that it somehow reflects poorly on their courage.”

Courage

Interestingly, courage is a word we often use to describe people who come to recovery. It takes courage to weather the storm of addiction and alcoholism, and seek the shelter of sobriety. So often, addiction and alcoholism are coping mechanisms, acting as our shelter against any kind of storm which has entered our lives and threatened our livelihood. However, far too many people feel the same way about the warnings of danger and emergency in their addictions as they do to weather. They think it’s silly to take initiative to get help, unless they can really see the impending danger. Unfortunately, with drug addiction and alcoholism, by the time the storm hits, the emergency has passed. In the middle of the storm, it can difficult to find a way out. The chances are slim for survival.

It is nothing more than pride which prevents us from displaying the necessary humility to ask for help or heed to warning signs when they make themselves evident. Pride, in addition to ignorance, cost people their lives to addiction and alcoholism every day.

Do you know the warning signs of addiction and alcoholism? If you think you or a loved one might be struggling with chemical dependency, call Lakehouse Recovery Center today for information on our residential treatment programs:  877.762.3707.

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Opioids Don’t Have To Be The Answer: What Doctors Are Suggesting For Pain Management

opioids drugs

Millions of people overdose on opioids each year accidentally and non accidentally. Opioid overdose has become a widespread epidemic, claiming lives and putting governments on alert. Doctors who treat pain are finding themselves at dds regarding pain treatment. Many doctors argue that the plight of some, being those who become addicted to opioids, shouldn’t compromise the ability of most, those who don’t become addicted, in their chance at being treated for pain. In contrast, other doctors feel that opioid use for pain management is completely unnecessary.

Risk Of Opioid Use

Opioids were never meant to be the long term treatment solutions. However, through the handy work of sales representatives and doctors who believed in the treatment, opioids became the treatment of choice for any kind of pain. Originally, opioids were meant only to be used for treating chronic pain. Today, emergency room doctors and urgent care doctors can prescribe opioid narcotics for the slightest of injuries and most moderate of migraines. Three main risks come from opioid use:

  • Dependency
  • Addiction
  • Hyperalgesia

Dependency can occur without any abuse of an opioid drug. With regular use of an opioid, like Oxycontin, for example, at the prescribed dosage and timing of the dose, dependency can still occur. Should a single dose be skipped, there will be slight to severe symptoms of withdrawal. Of course, this often causes panic, encouraging someone to take more medication- either earlier than their next dose or more than their prescription at their next dose. Increasing the amount of drug being used is typically a precursor to addiction. Opioids pose a particular threat in this area. Oxycontin was exposed for not lasting the famously advertised twelve hour dose it was supposed to. As doctors prescribed higher doses, people still found that the pain did not last twelve hours. Desperate for pain relief, they started taking more. Hyperalgesia is what happens when someone takes a opioid painkiller but is no longer affected by the drug. Regardless of substance abuse, many found that their pain killers were no longer killing any pain. They turned to more and more pills at higher and higher doses to try and solve the problem, unknowing that the problem was inherent in their solution.

Lakehouse Recovery Center provide a peaceful and freeing facility tofr helping people recover from their addiction to opioids, painkillers, and prescription drugs. For information on our medically assisted detox and residential treatment programs, call us today at  877.762.3707.

 

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What Really Happens To Your Brain When You Sleep?

sleeping tired rest

Let’s face it- sleeping is pretty weird. We get tired. We close our eyes, and then we wake up a significant amount of time later. In a way, sleep is pretty terrifying! What happens during those non-waking moments when our brain is working to keep us alive while letting us rest? There is a lot that happens to the brain and the body during sleep as well as a lot that needs to happen. Science has proven over and over again that we need sleep. Without sufficient amounts of sleep for a consistent amount of time, we can go a little batty and become physically exhausted. Our brains create dreams as it filters out and makes sense of the millions of pieces of information it takes in throughout the day. Deep sleep at an REM state is needed to help the body rest and recover. Do you know how deep that recovery goes? Rest is not just a state of feeling, a heart rate, or a comparison for tired muscles. Rest is something that happens on a neurobiological level, according to new research.

Scientific American reports that during sleep, our very synapses rest and recover. Synapses are the connection between neurons. During the day, our synapses become full and active. The article explains that “the researchers found that sleep provides a time when the brain’s synapses — the connections among neurons—shrink back by nearly 20 percent. During this time, the synapses rest and prepare for the next day, when they will grow stronger while receiving new input—that is, learning new things, the researchers said.”

“Synaptic homeostasis” is the term given to synapses which do not get a chance to rest, causing them to “become overloaded and burned out, like an electrical outlet with too many appliances plugged into it”. If our synapses get tired, our whole brain gets tired and it will not be able to communicate properly.

Rest And Recovery

Enduring the physical and psychological side effects for many years of drug addiction or alcoholism is taxing. Under the influence of euphoria and other pleasurable side effects, we often don’t notice just how tired we really are. Upon getting sober, it hits us all at once. We aren’t just tired, we’re pooped! Getting lots of rest throughout the first year of recovery is important. Finding a balance between sleeping and being active is important, but, sleep is very important. Ideally, in recovery you should be getting between 8-10 hours of sleep per night. During treatment, you’ll have the opportunity for plenty of napping and resting. Rest is critically important for recovery so that your brain is well rested in order to recover.

Lakehouse Recovery Center provides integrative and alternative treatment methods so that you can feel rested, replenished and restored as you recover. Our residential treatment programs are open to men and women with substance use disorders and co-occurring mental health disorders. For more information, call 877.762.3707.

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Why You Should Forgive And Move Forward

forgiveness husband and wife

Forgive and forget- it’s easier said than done. We don’t have the technology to remove memories yet. We can forgive endlessly but never forget. When a harm is done against us, our brain takes that to memory. In fact, research shows that we are more prone toward noticing negative things in life than we are positive ones. That is why it takes so much work in recovery to learn how to change our thoughts, responses, behaviors- in essence, our minds. Experiencing trauma, abandonment, abuse, or neglect in any way can inspire us not to forgive in life. The opposite of forgiveness is resentment. Not forgiving means holding a grudge or a resentment towards someone else. Resentments and the anger which accompany them are rarely unwarranted, after all, a harm has been done to us. However, what is unwarranted is the extent to which we hold that resentment and withhold our forgiveness. More importantly, we have to decide how much of our lives will be affected by our lack of forgiveness. Despite our best attempts, withholding forgiveness doesn’t hurt the person we don’t want to forgive. It only hurts us as it prevents us from moving on in our lives. As we sit in anger or resentment, spending our time and energy in ill will towards others, they are continuing to live their lives. It is likely that our lack of forgiveness towards them have any effect. Indeed, if they are healthy, mature, and have good boundaries, it will hardly influence them at all.

If you are struggling with substance abuse of any kind, it is likely you are also struggling to carry the weight of many resentments. You might not consider yourself a very angry person- usually those people have the most anger buried within them compared to others. You and who you are has nothing to do with the fact that you are resentful and find it difficult to forgive. Not only is it a human trait, it is especially a trait of addicts and alcoholics who have lost their way.

Part of finding your way includes learning how to forgive. Forgiveness, we often think, means approving of the harms done to us. Our disapproval was best demonstrated through our withholding forgiveness, after all. True freedom lies in forgiving and moving forward, rather than forgiving and forgetting. Great wisdom lies in some of the harms done to us and helps us to better protect ourselves in the future. Moving forward is the way we mature and let go of our past while preparing for our future. Recovery lays the future at your feet. Forgiveness, is a wonderful first step.

Lakehouse Recovery Center is devoted to helping each client find the freedom in their lives they need to have fun again, learn how to live again, and make it through without mind altering substances. For more information, call us today at  877.762.3707.

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Are You An Alcoholic? Tell Tale Signs Your Drinking Problem Is A More Than Problem

man drinking alone alcohol

Alcoholism doesn’t have to advance in order for you to seek treatment. If you identify with any of these patterns, call Lakehouse Recovery Center today. You don’t have to hit rock bottom in order to start a new life.

Once You Pop, The Fun Don’t Stop

Except, it usually isn’t fun. In fact, you might not be able to remember the last time drinking was fun at all. Alcoholics have a hard time sipping on one or two drinks throughout an evening. Commonly called the “allergy” to alcohol, once the brain of an alcoholic receives that surge of dopamine-induced euphoria, it is triggered to want more- a lot more. Having just one is out of the question, despite best intentions and earnest attempts. Most alcoholics find themselves baffled by the end of the night, or when they regain consciousness if they are prone to blacking out. They only wanted to have one- they did not want this to happen again. It did and most likely, it will.

Your Mission Control Is Alcohol Consumption

You put a lot of time, energy, strategy, and planning into your alcohol consumption in order to try and control it. They should probably hire you for some secret agent sort of job considering how tactical you are. Unfortunately, you wouldn’t get the job because, you still end up drunk. You try to control how many drinks you have, how strong those drinks are, and how often you are consuming them, so that you can make sure you don’t get out of control. A big part of this inspired observation comes from wanting to stay out of denial that you are an alcoholic.

You’re Not An Alcoholic (You Think)

After yet another night of failed controlled drinking you find yourself wondering if you might have a problem. Alcoholism is pretty serious, as you know, and can have negative consequences including brain damage and liver failure. However, your concern is on the alcoholism part. Most alcoholics you know aren’t able to regulate their drinking, so they don’t drink- ever. Quitting drinking is something you’ve thought about. You aren’t sure you can do it. You might even be sure you can’t do it. Something within you says that you need to do it. A bigger part tells you not to.

Coming to terms with your alcoholism can be a difficult process. We understand. Our residential treatment programs are designed to meet alcoholism at any stage, when you are ready to ask for help. We’re here to answer the call.  877.762.3707.

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How A Drug Addiction Develops

addiction woman sad

Addiction is not known for discriminating. It doesn’t choose its host based on any particular factor. However, addiction doesn’t just happen to anybody. Two people can chronically abuse alcohol, for example, and only one of them might become chemically dependent upon alcohol, creating an alcohol use disorder. There are a few circumstances which might make one person more susceptible to developing chemical dependency than others:

  • Genetic lineage of addiction and mental illness in the family
  • Presence of a mental health disorder, including attention deficit disorder or attention hyperactivity disorder
  • Experiences of trauma, including abuse and neglect
  • Regular substance abuse

What Happens

How then, if not everyone will become addicted to drugs and/or alcohol, does someone become addicted? It starts with sobriety. Likely, you’ll think to yourself, sobriety comes after addiction. Until we begin to abuse drugs and alcohol, we are sober. Something changes along the way which leads us to abusing substances. Those changes can be incremental and gradual including environmental changes, cultural changes, and developmental changes. Whatever the shift is, it inspires the recreational use of mind altering substances. The recreational use of drugs is not something that comes naturally to human beings. Like everything in life, it is a learned behavior. The idea that using mind altering substances is a good idea has to come from somewhere else. It isn’t an original thought.

Developing Dependency

As time goes by and use increases, there begin to be side effects and consequences. Someone who is prone to developing a chemical dependency will experience side effects physically, mentally, behaviorally, and on a deeper level that many call spiritually. Addiction reaches a climax when there is a physical and mental dependency on the substance of choice. In order to function at any level, mind altering substances are needed- not desired, not wanted, not chosen, needed. The neuroscience model of addiction shows us that the brain becomes reorganized and prioritizes the use of mind altering substances.

Some regard chemical dependency as the point of addiction. Others use a few other points to mark true addiction:

  • Cravings for drugs and alcohol
  • Obsessive thinking about the substance of choice
  • Continued use despite negative consequences of health, wellness, and life relationships

Once someone begins to pass the threshold of chemical dependency, it is difficult for someone to stop using on their own. Indeed, their brain is biochemically convinced that it cannot stop on its own.

If you or a loved one are reaching the breaking point of addiction, call Lakehouse Recovery Center today. We provide medically assisted detox and residential treatment programs designed to help you or your loved one learn how to live life again and enjoy it without mind altering substances. For more information or to schedule a tour, call 877.762.3707.

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Are You A Good Communicator?

good communication

It’s the oldest prescription and advice for relationships: communication is key. We start learning lessons about communication from a very young age, observing and absorbing the communication behaviors of our parents. Communication patterns at home usually translate into the kind of communication patterns we will use as adolescents and adults. Children don’t become verbally aggressive or abusive on their own. They have to learn it from somewhere. Whether we have constricting boundaries in communication or a lack of boundaries, we can always improve the way we communicate. Learning how to communicate and improve communication are important for recovery. Many people are surprised to find that after quitting drugs and alcohol, they struggle to communicate how they feel, what they want, or what they need. Transmitting information from the brain to other people requires knowing what the brain is thinking and feeling. As we say in recovery, “you can’t transmit something you haven’t got”, which means, if you don’t have the communication skills, you aren’t going to be able to use them.

Examples of Good Communicator

Do you think you are a good communicator? Here are some simple questions to ask yourself to evaluate how you communicate to others, as well as with others. Communication is a two way street:  both transmitting and receiving.

  • You’re present in the moment, rather than trying to make the moment work in order to cure the past or change the future
  • You are confident in asking someone to listen to you when you feel you are not being attended to
  • You don’t ask to be fixed- when you want advice, you ask for it. When you receive unsolicited advice, you politely but assertively remind someone it is unwarranted
  • You speak your truth instead of what you think others want to hear
  • You speak nonjudgmentally and you listen without assumption or too much judgment
  • You can make it through a difficult conversation by maintaining composure
  • You stand your position without getting defensive. You also withstand from intentionally being offensive toward someone.

Communication is key when it comes to recovery. That is why, if you or a loved one are in need of help for an addiction or co-occurring disorder, it is critical to reach out. Lakehouse Recovery Center is here to answer your call and provide you with excellence in residential care. For more information, call  877.762.3707.

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Signs You’re Addicted And You’re Probably In Denial

denial stop drugs addiction woman

Nobody wants to be a drug addict or an alcoholic. Falling victim to the chemical alterations of substances is not something to be ashamed of. However, our society stigmatizes and shames addiction as well as alcoholism. Denial is an easy way to avoid having to dive deeper into that shame and ask for help. These are some signs you have developed a chemical dependency, but are still in denial that anything is wrong.

Struggling in Sobriety

Physically, you’re finding that it is difficult to wake up and get out of bed in the morning without feeling a little…off. Despite your best intentions to stay sober that day (really stay sober that day, because you mean it) you find that you’re unable to get going at all. The only thing which seems to be a logical answer is: you just need a little bit of alcohol or a hit of drugs to get you going. After that, you’re definitely staying sober the rest of the day. That way, you won’t wake up in the same position tomorrow. Inevitably, you use again. You can’t understand why. By midafternoon, you’re experiencing shakes and tremors. Anxiety sets in along with sweat and a bit of paranoia. Does everyone else around you know that you are having a problem? Do you even know you’re having a problem? It’s okay, you tell yourself…just a little bit more, to hold you over.

Behavioral Changes

Behaviorally, you find you’re having to lie a lot more. You can’t make it to work on time or perform in your job like you used to. Friends, family members, and coworkers have a funny look on their face when they see you. You don’t want people to know what’s going on, mostly because you don’t exactly understand what’s going on. Yet you’re always waking up without more understanding.

To say you don’t feel like yourself would mean having to remember what it feels like to feel like yourself. The truth is, you can’t remember what it feels like to just be you. Lately, you can’t be you, or something even close to you, without drugs and/or alcohol. When you tell yourself you can manage it, you know that you are lying. It’s been getting worse for some time and there is no sign that you’ll be regaining control anytime soon. Shame, guilt, fear, and confusion are taking over the otherwise enjoyable parts of who you are.

You’re welcome here, to Lakehouse Recovery Center, no matter what you are going through- substance abuse, or co-occurring disorders. Our residential treatment programs are open and easy to format using our variety of integrative activities and therapy types for recovery. Call us today for a tour or more information.  877.762.3707.

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Are You Unhappy In Your Body Image? Don’t Worry, You’re Not Alone

body fat image dysmorphia

Most people have insecurities regarding their body image. We all experience the small voice in the back of our minds which compares our bodies to others worries about how we look in comparison, if we are pretty enough, skinny enough, lean enough, big enough, or whatever it is that plagues us. There is a difference between having negative body image, having body image insecurities, and have a body image disorder like body dysmorphia.

Negative Body Image

We have one body that we are born with, the size, shape, and genetics all come included. Like snowflakes, each body is distinctly unique, though many may look the same. Unfortunately, in the modern world, we are pressured to feel that our bodies must look a certain way, so as not to feel different from the mass ideology of how a body should look. Once we become convinced that there is something inherently wrong with our bodies, we create a permanent memory association and habit, which will take a lot of work to break. There’s always something wrong, always something that could be better, or something that just isn’t as good as what other’s have.

Body Image Insecurities

Media and mainstream culture tend to obsess over and pinpoint specific parts of the body to make you believe is flawed and needs to look a certain way. Though you might feel most of you is acceptable, if not above what is considered “average”, you might be convinced that one “problem area” will never not be a problem.

Body Dysmorphic Disorder

If you find yourself obsessing about these perceived flaws to the point that you cannot go out, feel depressed, or take extreme measures to try and remedy what you consider to be the problem, you might struggle with body dysmorphic disorder. Real or perceived flaws regarding body image become  a sole focus in someone’s life, causing them to fret and worry on a constant basis. They experience anxiety and depression because this one )or multiple) physical part of themselves is so deeply unacceptable. As a result, they feel they are unloved, or unworthy of being loved. Plastic surgery, anorexia, bulimia, or excessive dieting can often result, as well as substance use disorders to cope with the negative feelings or try to fix the problem.

We want you to know that you are perfect and beautiful exactly the way that you are. However, we understand that coming to such a belief can take time and work. Our residential treatment programs are available for dual diagnosis clients who are struggling with body image and eating disorders in addition to substance use disorders or other co-occurring mental health disorders. For more information, call  877.762.3707.

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4 Things You Need To Know About Addiction And Recovery If You Want To Help

daughter mother support network

Addiction is a complex disorder which begs understanding in order to properly be assessed and treated. If you approach a loved one struggling with addiction the wrong way, you risk pushing them deeper into their addiction and compromising your efforts to help.

  • There is no one way (or cure!) to treat addiction. Currently, there is no distinct standard for care in addiction treatment because there is no cure. Evidence based treatment is the term given to clinical, therapeutic, and integrative treatment methods which have consistently helped people in treatment for addiction recovery. Though these aren’t laws of treatment, meaning they aren’t indisputable, they are reputable enough to be tried, tested, and found to be true for most people. Treatment centers like ours at Lakehouse Recovery Center, are open to creating a unique program for each client which pulls together individual treatment components and styles to best fit their needs. Often, addiction is a co-occurring disorder with other disorders like depression, trauma, or anxiety. Each person’s specific diagnosis requires a specific plan for treatment.
  • There are medical treatments for addiction in addition to therapeutic treatments which are helpful. Medication assisted treatment is controversial in the recovery space. Many of the substitute medications used in medication assisted treatment contain a small amount of morphine in the medications. The trace of morphine helps stave off symptoms of withdrawal, which in turn helps to curb cravings which can often lead people to relapse. Since there are no clearly defined standards in recovery, there are varying opinions on what constitutes “sobriety”. Abstinence is the most popular position. However, considering the magnitude and travesty of the current opioid epidemic, many feel that a small amount of morphine which continues to prevent overdose or abuse of other opioids, is harmless in comparison. Addiction and chemical dependency with these drugs is possible but is not always the case.
  • Supportive, well-informed, and caring family is critical for recovery. The revolving door of recovery can be compared to the revolving door of the prison system. Unfortunately, traditional treatment methods are not always effective after a series of chronic relapses. Commonly, such individuals do not have the love and support of a well-informed and healthy family. Whether it’s a family of origin or a chosen family, a recovering addict or alcoholic needs to be supported through healthy boundaries and information.
  • Addiction needs to be understood, not persecuted. Sadly, addiction is characterized as a “moral failing” as if an addict is consistently choosing to do something “wrong”. Addicts and alcoholics seeking recovery are not “bad” people in need of getting “good” again. Instead, they are sick people in need of getting well again.

Lake House understands that recovery requires ongoing support and care. That is why, after our residential treatment programs, we offer a 12 month aftercare program where clients continue living in our sober living facility. To schedule a tour or get more information on our program, call  877.762.3707.