Five Ways Alcohol Ruins Your Skin

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Many of us have been guilty of enjoying a few too many cocktails in an night. And for the most part, if we’re drinking casually and not frequently, we don’t really notice the damage. But drinking, even for one night, actually may wreak havoc on your skin and over time, can do some serious damage. As soon as alcohol enters your system, your body goes into overdrive beginning to try to get it out of your system. It is not processed like other liquids and the liver has to dedicate all of its efforts to this toxin. Our skin is a reflection of our health. If we’re tired, our skin shows it. If we’re not feeling well, you can tell by how the body makes our skin look. It is important to know, when consuming alcohol or any other substance, what it is going to do to your body and your mind. Alcohol damages the body both inside and out. Alcohol can do a lot of damage to your skin, here are a few things to be wary of when you go out drinking.

Dry skin. Alcohol works to dehydrate the body. Because it is working to dehydrate you, your skin may reflect this even after one night of drinking. You may wake up to find your skin doesn’t feel like it’s normal hydrated self. Over time, if you continue to drink your skin may become so dry that it even seems ashy.

Wrinkles. Your skin is prone to aging and, of course, we can all expect wrinkles in our future. But alcohol may speed up the aging process. When the skin is dehydrated, as alcohol can cause it to be, it makes more susceptible to wrinkles and makes wrinkles seem more prominent as well.

Redness. Alcohol can cause inflammation in the blood vessels on your face and in your eyes which causes a flushed look and blood shot eyes. You may notice this in your friends if they’ve had one too many drinks. It should go away the next day, but in more severe cases alcohol has even caused Rosacea.

Puffiness. Some think that alcohol helps them to sleep better but it actually makes for a rough sleep. This in addition to dehydration, can cause for a puffy face and bloating.

Acne. Have you ever binged on fast food after a night out drinking? This could be part of the problem with acne as it relates to alcohol. Sugar and greasy food tend to make for a bad skin complexion and we are often correlate a night of binge drinking with junk food. Or we turn to grease for a hangover, which isn’t helping our body or our skin any.

The good news is most of these symptoms will go away as the alcohol leaves your system. But alcohol can cause permanent damage to those who suffer from addiction. If you are going out for a night of drinking, stay hydrated and eat a meal with your alcohol to help avoid your skin becoming dry and dull.

If you or a loved one suffer from addiction to alcohol, know that there is hope and help is out there for you.

How To Stay Sober In The New Year

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With only a handful of days left in 2016, many of us are setting our resolutions for the new year. Some of us sign up for a gym membership or decide to donate a bunch of our stuff to charity. For others, setting a new year’s resolution may hold even more meaning. This is a great time for those recovering from alcohol or drug addiction to continue with their sobriety. There are several ways to ensure a successful recovery in 2017.

Get a gym membership. Just like the rest of us that go on a health kick at the beginning of a new year, this could be a great option for those recovering from addiction. If you don’t love the gym, there are other ways to get up and moving. Exercise, in any form, is good for your heart, mind and body. Get outside and go for a walk or a run, join a sports club, or even look into workout options for your home. There are plenty of free online workout videos to get you moving. If you don’t mind a busy gym, now is the best time to sign up. Many gyms offer new year specials for new members. If you are able to stick it out the crowds will die down after a few weeks into the new year when resolutions start to fade.

Attend meetings regularly. If you haven’t been attending meetings with others suffering from addiction and working on their recovery, now is the time to make that commitment to yourself. Attending meetings may be beneficial for those who have struggled or are struggling through recovery. Meetings give everyone the chance to connect with others who have shared similar experiences. Having people you can relate to is important when going through anything difficult in life. Being able to gather as a group and share those experiences and talk to one another may really encourage those in recovery to stay on a successful path.

Invest in post-treatment therapy. Therapy or counseling is something that we all can benefit from, not just those recovering from addiction. For those who have recently or not-so-recently left a rehab facility, you may be able to work with your treatment center to find the right post-treatment therapy for your situation. Being able to talk with a professional about what you are feeling and thinking, especially through the holiday season may be extremely helpful and crucial to a successful recovery.

Pick up a new hobby. The new year is often a time when people decide to pick up an old hobby or start a new one that they have been meaning to try. When you keep busy with hobbies and activities, you are less likely to want to drink. Many relapses have been blamed on boredom. If you allow yourself to sit idle, it is easier to fall into a relapse trap. Keeping busy is one of the many keys to a successful recovery.

Whatever new year’s resolutions you decide to make for yourself, know that you are not alone on your journey. Enlist friends and family members to help you stay strong on your recovery journey. Surround yourself with love and support and you will make 2017 your best, most successful year yet.

Women and Addiction Treatment

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It wasn’t until the 1980’s that researchers began to look into the differences in men and women when it comes to addiction and addiction treatment. This was a major development in the world of addiction treatment. Men and women do not handle alcohol and other substances the same way. Their different body chemistry lead to different bodily reactions. Women are more likely to feel the effects of alcohol faster than men. Women have a higher rate of becoming addicted to substances more quickly than men but women are also less likely to receive treatment because of various factors. But why are women less likely to seek treatment for addiction? Women often face different obstacles than men to when it comes to seeking treatment for addiction. In the past, women were less likely to seek treatment at all.

Denial. Oftentimes people drink or use drugs to relieve themselves from some sort of stress. This may or may not become a habit over time, but because alcohol or drugs are being used only to relieve stress, it doesn’t really seem like a problem. For example, if a single mother works all day then tends to her children at night, she may want to enjoy a glass of wine or two when she is finally able to relax. Although this seems like an innocent stress reliever, over time it could lead to a serious problem and because it seems casual, it can also be a problem admitting to a problem.

Family Responsibilities. Women often feel a different obligation to their families than men. This is especially true for mothers. Mothers may have a harder time seeking treatment because they do not feel that they can leave their children and the responsibilities that come with taking care of their children. Rehab is not a quick process, it requires a good amount of time be devoted and for some women that does not seem possible.

Economic Factors. Studies have shown that women who may need to enter a treatment facility are less likely to have the money necessary to do so. This could be due to many factors, like the wage gap between men and women. Women may also feel that not making money while in rehab could also put a burden on their family.

Women are more likely than men to seek help from other sources before they will enroll in an addiction treatment facility. Women have been known to ask for help from their primary care physician and even clergy members before they will seek help from a rehab facility. Luckily, in recent years, more and more women have begun to enroll in treatment. Where as women used to be twice as likely not to go to rehab, the number of men and women who go to rehab are beginning to even out. This means that rehab advocates have been making strides to encourage everyone to go to rehab who needs to go. It is time we, as a community, begin to realize that alcohol abuse is a sickness and not just a bad habit.

How To Detox Off Alcohol

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As the new year approaches, many of us are setting our resolution bar high. The new year means gyms become packed and for a good month of so everyone is really trying to better themselves by resetting their lives as the year resets as well.

15976655339_1ca8bbe94e_bMany people also take the new year to give up bad habits that they may have been extra indulgent in over the holidays. This is a great time to give up alcohol. Here are some tips and tricks to detox off of alcohol for your New Year’s resolution. Keep in mind if you’ve struggled with an alcohol addiction, detoxing on your own is not recommended.

Decide how long to detox. Duration to detox is important. The longer you are able to detox from alcohol the more time you give your body to recuperate from the previous damage done. Even if you aren’t a heavy drinker, alcohol still wreaks havoc on your liver and other parts of your body. Alcohol is also a depressant, even if it doesn’t initially seem like one. The longer you stay away from alcohol the more benefits your body and mind will reap.

Plan your social calendar around your detox calendar. Once you’ve decided how long you want to detox for, the next step is to avoid temptation as much as possible. January tends to be a great time to go on an alcohol detox because your social calendar dies down. If you know you’re going to take a hiatus from alcohol, plan your events around that. It will be easier to stay true to your goals if you’re not out at a bar or surrounded by others drinking.

Replace alcohol with water and hydrate. While you’re taking the time to avoid alcohol, fill your body with water and hydrate, hydrate, hydrate. This is essential to the beginning of a detox because water will help flush out the toxins in your body and kick start your
detox. You can also hit the gym to speed up the process even more by sweating out the toxins too.

Tell your friends and family. Letting everyone in on your agenda will make it easier to go to any social gatherings you can’t avoid. Maybe you can even enlist a friend or two to join in with you on your health boost. A great support system is key in any detox situation.

If you do decide to detox, keep in mind that doing a casual alcohol detox is not for someone who has fallen victim to alcohol abuse. If you are addicted to alcohol, it is important to seek professional help in order to detox safely. If you are doing a casual detox from alcohol and you are a casual or social drinker, keep a positive outlook and remind yourself of all of the benefits that being alcohol free can bring.


Are You Addicted To Shopping?

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As the holidays approach, everyone is doing their fair share of Christmas shopping. For some, this time of year means something different. Those who suffer from shopping addiction may face more difficult struggles than what to get their uncle for the Secret Santa gift exchange. If you think you may be dealing with a shopping addiction problem, here are a few signs to watch out for.

You hide your purchases from loved ones. Those with a shopping addiction may choose to hide what they buy from those closest to them so that others remain oblivious to the problem. If you find yourself buying items and hiding them this could be a sign of a shopping addiction. Usually when you buy something you are excited about, you want to show it off right away but often times when someone feels ashamed of their spending or worried that they will be judged for overspending, they will instead keep their purchases a secret. Those addicted to shopping do this to try to hide the problem, much like someone addicted to alcohol might try to hide their drinking from others.

shopping-562616_960_720You shop to feel better about something else. Many people who struggle with shopping addiction may subconsciously or even consciously go shopping to feel better about other things in their lives. This doesn’t necessarily mean going out to a store but also includes online shopping. Any time you are feeling upset and you turn to spending money as a coping mechanism you may want to take a step back. While it is okay once in awhile to engage in shopping therapy. If you find yourself constantly buying things to feel better about stress or other emotions, you may be on your way to an addiction to shopping if you are not already addicted.

If you’ve been confronted about your spending. Sometimes loved ones notice things about us before we are aware of them ourselves. If you find yourself getting defensive towards loved ones who have asked you about your shopping habits that may be a red flag. Shopping addiction is a real problem that people suffer from and, just like with any other addiction, it can be hard to face the reality of the problem at hand.

Some people do not realize that being addicted to shopping can have some of the same repercussions as a substance addiction. Relationships with others can be compromised and money problems are often formed. If you think you might have a shopping addiction problem, it is never too late to seek help.

How to Avoid Relapsing During the Holidays

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While the holidays are a happy time for many of us because it is full of family and holiday cheer, for some of us the holidays may be a bit of a challenge. Those of us who have suffered from alcohol addiction often find the holiday season one to struggle through. If you’re dreading facing another holiday of temptation while you work through your recovery, here are a few tips to keep your focused and avoid a relapse.

Practice what you’re going to say. It might seem silly to practice your answers, but our relatives are nosy, they are probably going to have a lot of questions for you. Some (or most) maybe be uncomfortable for you. If you think of what kind of questions will be asked and what kind of answers you will have for those questions, you might feel more confident and less nervous about what you’re saying. Take the pressure off yourself by coming prepared.

Stay connected with others in recovery. If you go to meetings or have someone who is also going through recovery, stay connected with them during the holidays. Plan to meet up after a family gathering, or promise to text each other if you’re feeling overwhelmed. It’s always good to have people you can reach out to when you’re feeling like you might relapse. Sometimes the holidays are just too overwhelming and it may be your first instinct to hit the bar to help yourself relax. Instead pick up the phone

download-10Be honest with your relatives. If you find yourself being bombarded with questions and unwanted attention, be honest about how you’re feeling. Tell your family and friends, if you don’t want to talk about certain things, or if you want to avoid the topic of your recover all together. Being able to be open about what you do and don’t want to talk about may make gatherings easier to face.

Drive yourself. Wherever you end up for the holidays, make sure you have a way to escape if you need to. If you’re finding you have reached your maximum of family bonding, you are free to leave whenever you want. We all love our families, but sometimes it’s better to experience them in small doses. It’s okay to hang out for a little bit and then hit the road. Driving yourself will give you that freedom.

Whatever challenges you face this holiday season, know that your family means well, even if they seem to poke and pry into your personal life. You’ve done great things for yourself by following a path to recovery. Take this time to celebrate that fact!

Be Thankful For Your Recovery

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Whether you are ready for it or not, the holiday season is upon us. For those of us who have struggled with addiction, it might be difficult to be surrounded by family and friends drinking alcohol while participating in holiday festivities. But we should also take the time to reflect on what we are thankful for in recovery.

Ydownload-9ou’re alive. Life is something to celebrate no matter the circumstances, but many people who have struggled with addiction and through recovery, know just how big of a deal it is to be alive. So take a minute to celebrate the fact that you’re still breathing and you get to be around for another jolly holiday season.

Enjoy the holidays without a hangover. While it might seem like everyone is having a good time by drinking with the family, you actually have the better end of the deal. You won’t have to nurse a hangover or worry about getting in a drunken debate with other family members about politics. Instead you can sit back and enjoy the show and hopefully be able to realize that you’re really not missing much. This may be especially eye opening for someone who has had a history of binge drinking at family events. Being able to witness the holiday festivities with a clear mind will certainly give you a different perspective on this time of year.

Take this time to reconnect with family. If this is your first holiday since recovery, you have the chance to reconnect with family members. When someone falls victim to addiction, they tend to put a lot of their relationships to the side in order to focus on the substance abuse. Being able to partake in a family gathering and make amends with those you may have lost touch with, is a great holiday gift for everyone involved.

Being positive makes it easier. Recovery is going to be more difficult on you, if you have a negative attitude. Being able to face the holidays with a positive outlook and really be thankful for the steps you’ve taken to successfully recover from addiction is going to make you feel better about staying sober. Take a look at your journey. Remember how far you’ve come. Truly take this time to be thankful for the life you still have and the progress that you’ve made.

Equine Therapy For Addiction Treatment

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Equine therapy is becoming more and more popular in addiction treatment facilities because of its success rate. We’ve discussed dogs in addiction treatment, and the benefits that horses provide are similar. While horses and dogs require different care overall, they both need to be treated with patience and compassion in order to form a bond with a human. Horses have been used for years to treat those who have fallen victim to addiction. There are many reasons why horses are beneficial in addiction treatment. Patients are taught to develop a relationship with a horse by providing it with things that it needs.

Providing the horse with essentials like feeding and grooming allows a patient to form a bond with the horse and take on responsibilities that are necessary in recovery. Like other animals that are also used in a therapy setting, you must build a relationship in order for the animal to trust you. This means that simply feeding the horse or attempting to groom the horse, with no sense of compassion or while exuding a bad attitude will get you nowhere. Many people who have fallen victim to addiction suffer from broken relationships with family members and other loved ones, often times because of their addiction. Taking the time necessary to build a bond with a horse, may help a person relearn how to rebuild relationships with other people.

Horses react to different tones of voice and different moods. This is important in addiction treatment because many patients who enter rehab tend to have some hostility and definitely face some hardships on their journey. Learning the way that an animal reacts to their different moods can teach someone a lot about themselves. If you are angry or unwilling to be patient as you try to build a bond with a horse your tense behavior will impact how the horse reacts to you. Eventually, instead of being constantly frustrated by the horse, it is hoped that a patient will become vulnerable in order to form the bond.

Horses assist in rebuilding trust. Creating a bond with a horse takes time and requires trust between both the horse and the human. Trust is something that many rehab patients struggle with because of their addiction. Victims of addiction may struggle to trust people or themselves. Being able to build a trusting bond with an animal is a step in the right direction in being able to rebuild bonds with people.

Equine therapy is said to help those who tend to overthink. Putting a patient with a horse can help them to slow down all of that over thinking and connect with another living being on a different level.

In addition to addiction treatment, horses are used in other types of therapy. Horses have proven success in addiction treatment settings but they also offer support in helping those with other mental health problems like anxiety and depression. This is why equine therapy can be so beneficial for dual diagnosis patients. Depending on the facility you choose, you will likely be put in a equine therapy setting that is tailored to your specific needs. Not everyone struggles the same way through addiction so they have different needs through recovery. Equine therapy is often tailored to meet your specific recovery needs.

Dogs For Addiction Treatment

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It’s no secret that pets make most things better in life. Adding a pet to an addiction treatment routine may be beneficial to most patients. Some treatment centers allow patients to bring their own pets with them, knowing that it adds a comfort from home that would otherwise be missing. Other facilities bring in dogs to create a calmer environment and encourage building relationships while relearning responsibilities. Studies have shown that owning a pet can significantly reduce the amount of stress and anxiety in a person’s life. So how does animal-assisted therapy work for addiction treatment?

download-7Dogs feed off of human emotions. They can sense when you’re feeling sad or need a friend and they want to make you feel happy. Dogs trained specifically as therapy dogs are taught to offer comfort and love to their patients. Some dogs are brought into hospitals and nursing homes just to sit next to a patient to encourage a calmer environment. Bringing a dog into an addiction treatment center may make patients feel more at home and feel less hostile about their situation.

Dogs bring responsibility. With a pet, comes a great responsibility. Those who have entered a treatment facility for addiction need just that. Often times those who fall victim to substance abuse push the responsibilities in their life aside so that they can focus on their addiction. While taking care of an animal may seem easy for some people, when struggling through addiction recovery, it can be a very hefty yet necessary task to take on. Responsibility is an essential part of recovery because it helps those who are trying to recover get back on track.

Dogs help to get you moving. Dogs require exercise and exercise is an activity to incorporate into your recovery routine. Physical activity does great things for the mind and body and can help to reduce stress as well as cravings. Especially if you turn to physical activity when you feel a craving. Channeling something bad into something beneficial. 

Dogs boost moods. It has been proven that dogs are able to help with boosting moods and decreasing depression. This can be extremely beneficial to those going through addiction treatment. Especially those who suffer with dual diagnosis. When treating a patient with both an addiction and depression, a dog could be brought in to make the patient feel more comfortable and even happier just by having a dog around. 

While still in the minority, animal-assisted addiction treatment options are available. Many facilities also offer equine therapy for those who are interested in trying a unique recovery method that involves horses. Always look into your options before settling on a treatment center. The decision to seek treatment for addiction is a big one and it is okay to treat it as such. 

Entering Rehab: What To Expect

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Admitting you have a problem with substance abuse is a huge step on the path to recovery. The next step is often deciding to seek out treatment in order to overcome addiction but sometimes that step is even more scary than the first. The idea of entering a rehab facility can be intimidating for anyone who is considering it. Knowing what to expect may make the process a little easier to face when the time comes.

It won’t be easy. If addiction recovery was easy, we probably wouldn’t need treatment centers in the first place. You’re going to feel emotions that maybe you haven’t before. You’re going to feel challenged and out of your comfort zone. It won’t be a walk in the park but it will be worth it.

You’ll probably want to quit. At some point during your your stay at a treatment facility, you may feel the desire to quit. Being out of your comfort zone and no longer relying on the substances you once were to get through your days may make you want to run for the hills. Feeling that way is okay. As long as you can push passed that feeling and stick it out. A successful path to recovery is going to have obstacles and it’s going to have challenges that seem impossible. Overcoming those challenges and the desire to give up is a true test to your success.

You’ll need to detox. Depending on the facility that you choose to enter, they may offer on-site detoxing in which trained staff members will help you through the detox process before continuing on to the next stage of the process. If the facility you choose does offer detox, that will be your first step in the process, if you haven’t gone through it already.

You’ll learn a lot. You’re going to learn a lot about addiction and hopefully also about yourself. Understanding why addiction happens and what it does to your body may help you to realize the damage you’ve been doing to yourself. Getting to the bottom of why it is you may have fallen victim to addiction may also be enlightening.

Individual therapy. You’ll likely have individual therapy sessions that allow you to connect with a counselor one-on-one so that you can have that time to learn more about yourself and get to the root of your addiction in order to overcome it. Being able to pinpoint the root of the problem allows for a rehab facility to tailor your treatment to your specific needs. Being able to determine specific triggers may aid in your recovery.

16904900381_0287fc778b_bGroup therapy. Many times, rehab facilities also offer group therapy sessions. This can be a great asset for recovering from addiction. This gives you the opportunity to listen to others and to share your own stories with a group of people who can truly understand what you are going through. You are able to form bonds and connections with people who are struggling in similar ways as you and these bonds can last a lifetime. This is also a great way to gain support in treatment and out of it.

Free Time. There may be a few hours here and there that are allotted for free time. This gives you the opportunity to socialize with other patients, do some journaling, relax or maybe participate in any activities offered in the program. If the free time makes you uncomfortable or is hard for you to get through, speak up so your treatment provider can help you find ways to get through it.

Stay open-minded. It is going to be really hard to overcome any addiction if you don’t keep an open mind about the process. Not everything is going to be what you want it to be, especially when it comes to treatment for addiction. Keep in mind that you are surrounded by a team of people that have your best interest in mind. Their goal is to help you get your life back on track.

You’ve got options. The best thing you can do for yourself is use your resources and take the time to explore your options. Deciding to enter a treatment facility is big decision and entering the best facility for your needs it going to lead to your best outcome.