Are There Support Groups for Families of Alcoholics?

Are there support groups for families of alcoholics?

A solid support system is one of the most important factors for recovery for a person in need of help for alcohol addiction. If you have a family member who is an alcoholic and is undergoing treatment for alcohol abuse, you can have a huge impact on their recovery by being supportive and making yourself available. 

But watching a loved one go through the throes of addiction and recovery can be emotionally trying. Many family members are unaware of whether or not there are support groups for families of alcoholics and wear themselves down or are not able to offer support to the best of their ability. The emotional side effects are experienced by spouses, children and other people who care. Each person in the family can experience lasting change in their lives, attitudes and behaviors as a result of alcohol addiction. Shame, anxiety and depression may also be experienced by family members of an alcoholic in addition to the changes experienced by the person addicted to alcohol, such as tension, disruptive behavior and strained relationships.

Furthermore, many support groups and professionals consider alcohol use disorder to be a family disease since it has a negative impact on not only the person battling the addiction to alcohol but also the people around them. 

The Different Types of Support Groups for Families of Alcoholics

Fortunately, there are several different types of support groups for families of alcoholics.

Al-Anon

Al-Anon is a support organization for family members and friends of problem drinkers. It was founded in 1951 by Lois Wilson after her husband founded Alcoholics Anonymous (AA). Lois experienced difficulty while supporting a recovering alcoholic in her personal life so she created an organization for people with an experience like hers. 

Al-Anon provides support and resources for those who need help while they provide support for a loved one with alcohol addiction. Family members and friends can attend meetings to help them cope better and learn how to best serve their loved ones, whether their loved ones have recovered or not. The primary focus of Al-Anon is to offer support to members, while letting them know they are not alone in their struggles.

Alateen

Alateen is part of the Al-Anon fellowship and is geared toward teens or adolescent family members of people affected by alcohol use disorder. Alateen offers meetings to allow young people to interact with others their own age who are also affected by alcoholism. Adolescents can benefit by making the experience of living with an alcoholic more relatable. Alateen provides literature that focuses on problems common to family members of alcoholics, including self-esteem problems, undue guilt and blame and excessive caretaking.

Adult Children of Alcoholics

Adult Children of Alcoholics (ACA) is a twelve-step program of adults who grew up in a home with an alcoholic. The program was originally formed based on the belief that the disease of family dysfunction during childhood continues to affect adults. Members meet and discuss how their childhoods affected them and how they continue to impact the present, while taking steps to encourage healing with their Twelve Steps solution, learning to have a relationship with a Higher Power who loves and cares for them in order to break free from the bondages of the past and to pursue a better future. 

Parents of Addicted Loved Ones

Parents of Addicted Loved Ones (PAL) is for parents of children addicted to alcohol or drugs who need support. PAL was founded by Michael Speakman, who worked as an inpatient substance abuse counselor in Arizona and is a Christian-run nonprofit organization that holds to the motto: “People helping people through the woods.” PAL meetings are typically held weekly and are run by peers, consisting of education and sharing about one another’s struggles and successes.

Reach Out to My Recovery Source Today

If you have a loved one battling alcoholism and have wondered if there are support groups for families of alcoholics, My Recovery Source can help. We can help you find support groups near you that will help you while you help your loved one through the burdens of addiction. 

Is Alcohol a Drug Even Though It’s Legal?

Is alcohol a drug even though It’s legal?

Is alcohol a drug? Many people question whether alcohol is considered a drug due to its effects on the brain and body – yet it is a legal substance. Many substances that alter brain activity are considered drugs so is alcohol a drug too?  

What Is alcohol?

Alcohol is a liquid produced through fermentation that is found in wine, spirits, beer and other beverages. Alcohol can cause intoxication when enough is ingested. Certain alcoholic drinks contain higher alcohol content and can cause stronger symptoms. 

Alcoholic beverages are often used for social activities and one of its original bases for drinking it was due to the sense of relaxation and pleasure it can bring to the person consuming it. But alcohol use can extend beyond recreational purposes and become problematic, which is why many people wonder, “Is alcohol a drug?”

Is Alcohol a Drug Even Though It’s Legal?

Alcohol is a drug. It is classified as a depressant although it does have some stimulant effects on the central nervous system (CNS) stimulant. Alcohol can raise the heart rate and cause some other physical changes that seem pleasing at first as a result of the brain releasing more dopamine but these effects are temporary. Dopamine is known as a feel-good hormone as it can make a person feel happy and can also reduce pain processing. 

But ultimately, alcohol is a depressant as it slows the central nervous system. Alcohol has a number of depressant effects on the body, including slow brain functioning and reduced neural activity in addition to a reduction in various vital functions in the body. Drowsiness, lowered inhibitions, drowsiness, decreased coordination and sedation are common depressant effects of alcohol. 

Alcohol can also make you feel sad, hopeless, depressed, listless or emotional. This is caused by the suppressed dopamine production that occurs when large amounts of alcohol are drunk.

It is considered one of the most addictive drugs of all. Not only is it commonly abused, but the dangers associated with alcohol abuse are often overlooked. Alcohol use is also more widely accepted and less regulated than other drugs, which also makes it dangerous. In fact, over 85% of American adults have drunk alcohol at some point in their lives. 

Long-Term Side Effects of Alcohol

Alcohol not only causes short-term side effects, as mentioned above. It can also lead to long-term changes in the brain and body that people are not always aware of, including:

  • Alcohol poisoning
  • Malnutrition
  • Permanent brain damage
  • Stroke
  • Seizures
  • Heart disease
  • Cancer
  • Permanent nerve damage
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Fetal alcohol syndrome
  • Abusive behavior
  • Moodiness
  • Death
  • Alcohol addiction 

Social side effects are also common with alcohol abuse or alcoholism, including:

  • Loss of friends
  • Divorce
  • Relationship strain
  • Loss of jobs
  • Loss of homes
  • Trouble with the law 

The negative effects of alcohol do not stop there. The symptoms of many mental health disorders can be exacerbated with alcohol use, including:

  • Social phobia
  • Panic disorder
  • Anxiety
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder
  • Antisocial personality disorder
  • Eating disorders
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder 
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Depression

If you or a loved one struggles with alcohol addiction, know you are not alone. There are nearly 17.6 people in the United States who suffer from chronic alcohol abuse or alcohol use disorders in the United States, according to the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (NCADD). 

Reach Out to My Recovery Source Today for More Information Regarding Addiction Recovery

Alcohol addiction is a chronic disease that is difficult to control, no matter the harmful consequences. Alcohol is a both psychologically and physically addictive powerful drug. Reaching out for help may be challenging but is imperative if you or your loved one want to find light at the end of the tunnel. Trying to quit without help is dangerous due to both the many uncomfortable symptoms of alcohol withdrawal in addition to the high risk of relapse. My Recovery Source is dedicated to helping you find a nearby alcohol addiction treatment center that best suits your needs and unique situation. Will you contact us today to get started on the journey of breaking the chains of addiction?

How to Learn Coping Skills for Addiction

How to learn coping skills for addiction

The road out of addiction is an arduous one. It takes a lot of concerted effort to overcome a substance use disorder and free yourself from the tight hold that drugs or alcohol have over your life.

In many cases, substance use – and subsequently abuse – was a reaction to something else; a coping mechanism that served to free you from the stressors, traumas or other troubling things in your life.

Some version of escapism.

Just as coping may have been a core motivator for how you started in the first place, you as well have to learn new and healthy coping skills to stay away from drugs in the future.

Learning is the operative word because it doesn’t necessarily come naturally. You must rewire and reconfigure your mind in a very real sense.

But why do you have to actively learn coping skills for addiction?

It helps here to define addiction because the answer lies within it.

As the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) puts it, “addiction is defined as a chronic, relapsing disorder characterized by compulsive drug seeking and use despite adverse consequences. It is considered a brain disorder, because it involves functional changes to brain circuits involved in reward, stress, and self-control. Those changes may last a long time after a person has stopped taking drugs”.

In other words, drug and alcohol use literally changes how your brain fires. It augments your ability to control yourself and throws things into chaos when you don’t get your fix.

Because those changes last for a long time, it takes dedicated time, attention and often professional help to undo the damage and learn new behaviors.

Best Ways to Understand & Develop Coping Skills for Substance Use Disorders

Among the most effective ways to learn coping skills are these:

Go to Rehab

Rehab can and does truly work wonders for people.

Whether your addiction is on the more severe side or milder, there is no doubt there’s a program out there that can help you.

For those suffering from a long-lasting and serious addiction, a well-rounded inpatient treatment program is what you’d likely require. A place where you would live in and receive 24/7 care and guidance.

The next step down from that is known as outpatient rehab, which can be used as either a transition from an inpatient stay or be started directly after detox for those living with a milder substance use disorder.

Your particular rehab regimen will be tailored to your needs but they all generally revolve around individual and group therapy to help you beat your addiction.

Do CBT Therapy

CBT therapy, or cognitive behavioral therapy, is considered the gold standard when it comes to evidence-based psychotherapy – also known as talk therapy – modalities for treating addiction.

CBT is the combination of cognitive therapy and behavioral therapy and can be summed up like this, “what we think, how we feel and how we behave are all closely connected – and all of these factors have a decisive influence on our well-being”

Cognitive behavioral therapy makes you aware of your negative or inaccurate thought patterns, those which inform your addiction and underlie it, so you can see them more clearly and begin to change how you react to situations.

Attend Support Groups After Rehab

Recovery is a lifelong process and you don’t “finish” when you get out of rehab. It takes continued effort to cement those new coping mechanisms and skills.

Reach Out to Principles Recovery Center Today for More Information Regarding Addiction Recovery

Aftercare comes in many forms but support groups are a fantastic way to stay the course; they’re a place you can go where you’re in the company of people who genuinely understand what you’re going through, plenty of whom have been on the journey for years and can help you stay the course.

If you’re struggling with addiction, reach out to us at Principles Recovery Center and let’s talk about it.

The Symptoms of Drug Use to Look Out for in My Friend

The symptoms of drug use to look out for in my friend

The topic of drug use can be difficult to broach among family and friends, but it is important. Drug use is prevalent among today’s society, with one in ten Americans struggling with symptoms of active drug or alcohol addiction. 

If you suspect your loved one is battling addiction, it will benefit them and you to understand the symptoms of drug use.  Understanding the symptoms of drug use can be crucial when it comes to getting necessary treatment before the effects of drug use become devastating. 

How Can I Tell My Friend Is On Drugs?

If you suspect your friend is on drugs, the first thing to keep in mind is that you should try to keep an open mind. Remember that many people with drug use are able to overcome their substance use problems before serious harm incurs. Knowing how to recognize the common symptoms of drug use is important if you want to help.

What Are the Common Symptoms of Drug Use?

The symptoms of drug use are important to know. They can change the way a person acts, looks and feels. There are many changes that occur within the body that impact a person’s emotions and behavior. Thankfully, there are several symptoms of drug use that you can watch out for to determine if your friend is on drugs. 

Physical Symptoms of Drug Use

Several physical symptoms of drug use are common among those who use them:

  • Sudden weight loss
  • Decreased appetite
  • Sleeping too much or too little
  • Bloodshot eyes
  • Constricted pupils
  • Poor hygiene and personal care
  • Change in complexion, 
  • Change in complexion, including jaundice, acne, pale skin or marks on skin

Psychological Symptoms of Drug Use

Some symptoms of drug use can be psychological and can include:

  • Lack of confidence or self-esteem
  • Poor motivation
  • Failure to set or follow through with goals
  • Anxiety and depression
  • Uneasiness
  • Mood swings
  • Irritability
  • Unpredictable temperament

Behavioral Symptoms of Drug Use

Some symptoms of drug use are behavioral and can include:

  • Neglect of responsibilities or obligations at home, school or work
  • Financial distress, such as borrowing money or selling belongings without any clear explanation
  • Secretive behavior
  • Poor decision making
  • Increased conflict
  • Trouble with the law, including theft 
  • Preoccupation with obtaining and using substances

How Can I Get My Friend Help With Their Drug Addiction?

First, it is important to understand that you can’t force your friend to stop using drugs, but you might be able to help still. Begin by encouraging your friend to avoid places they might normally take drugs and recommend other activities. 

You can also remind your friend of any potential dangers associated with using drugs and encourage them to find a place they can get help for their drug use problem, while telling them that no matter what happens, you are around to talk to and to support them. 

It can be stressful worrying about your friend’s drug use and you might feel uncertain about how to address the problem. It can be hard to communicate your concern and you might be worried it could lead to conflict. Despite this, it is important to take the right steps and create an intervention plan. Your intervention plan can include talking to a professional, inviting close family and friends and planning and practicing what you might say and options your friend might need to pursue. 

If you observe drug use symptoms in your friend, do your best to get help for them or to encourage them to get help. My Recovery Source is ready and available to help your friend to find true help for their drug use problem, regardless of location, personal situation, finances and background. Reach out to us today for free personalized recommendations for your loved one.

Define Detox Facilities for Drug and Alcohol Use

Detox facilities for drug and alcohol use defined

You want to quit using drugs or alcohol – or maybe you rather have a loved one you want to help to break the cycle of addiction. The idea of detox facilities may seem intimidating. The idea of rehab can be overwhelming. You might not know what to expect. Having a better understanding of detox facilities for drug and alcohol use will do you or your loved one well. 

What Are Detox Facilities for Drug and Alcohol Use?

Just as drug and alcohol addiction experiences may vary from person to person, so does the experience at substance abuse detox facilities. Some people require detoxification in addition to rehabilitation. 

Detoxification is a medical intervention process that is aimed at helping a person through the experience of drug and/or alcohol withdrawal. Detox programs can initiate a fresh start in life and can offer the foundation for a successful recovery. Quality detox facilities offer the latest evidence-based approaches and resources to ensure the detoxification process is as comfortable, effective and safe as possible. 

Many detox facilities for drug and alcohol use employ medication assisted detoxification in addition to psychological therapies to help relieve withdrawal symptoms while addressing any mental health issues at hand. 

Medical detox is the primary stage in the continuum of care. Most detox facilities offer comprehensive services for people suffering from substance abuse and addiction, including the treatment of the following disorders:

Alcoholism

Alcohol is one of the most widely abused drugs in the US. Many people drink to relax, socialize and celebrate. Alcohol has a strong effect on people and can vary from person to person. 

Opiate Abuse

Opiates have been used for centuries as pain-relieving drugs yet they are highly addictive. Drugs that fall into this family can be natural and synthetic and are derived from opium as well as morphine, heroin, hydrocodone, oxycodone, morphine and many others. Nearly 5 million Americans misuse pain relievers, according to Pain Physician. 

What Happens in Detox Facilities?

Typically, when a client enters into a detox program, the primary priority is to ensure the person is medically stable. Members of a clinical staff monitor the client around the clock, ensuring vital signs are where they should be as well as neurological status. Chemical withdrawal is a serious issue, which is why it is important that medical staff is available to monitor for issues including:

  • High blood pressure
  • Delirium
  • Seizures
  • Other dangerous symptoms

Rehydration and nutritional replacement are often required for dehydrated or malnourished people as well. 

Medication management is also offered in many detox facilities, better enabling individuals to advance from one phase of the recovery process to the next. This is something people can only do in a detox facility. 

Can I Detox on My Own At Home?

Withdrawal is uncomfortable, regardless of the type of substance you are addicted to. It can also be dangerous. This is why it is important that detoxification take place under the care of medical professionals. Many quality programs offer 24-hour monitoring offered by experienced professionals who are trained to both identify and treat signs and symptoms of alcohol or drug withdrawal. 

At-home detox comes with may risks, including:

  • Relapse: Detoxification is uncomfortable. The temptation to alleviate these symptoms is challenging. The agitation, cravings and discomfort are difficult to get through without relapsing based on willpower alone. 
  • Mental health issues: Many people experience mental health issues, such as paranoia, insomnia, anxiety, irritability, agitation and more during the detoxification process, but some people also have underlying mental health disorders that co-occur with addiction and can be easily overwhelmed during detoxification.
  • Overdose: The risk of overdose is high during the detox period. What once seemed like a normal dose to the body that initiated a high can become an overwhelming dose due to body changes and can be deadly.
  • Medical complications: Some people have medical conditions that can become an issue during detoxification. Whether known or unknown, chronic medical issues can create complications during detoxification.

Medical Detox Benefits

Detox facilities offer professional medical detox including psychiatric and medical care that can protect or prevent against the issues listed above. Clients have access to necessary treatment to manage these issues. It is never guaranteed that detox will not result in problems but detox facilities are equipped to help manage the side effects associated with detoxification. 

To learn more about the benefits of professional detox facilities and to find treatment near you, reach out to My Recovery Source today. We are ready to match you or your loved one with a detox facility that is equipped to help, guiding you to the path of lasting wellness and recovery.