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A Closer Look at What Addiction Does to Families

[fa icon="calendar'] Feb 13, 2017 9:43:26 AM / by RU Texas posted in Recovery, Addiction, Interventions, Treatment, Family

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When discussing addiction and its impact, brief and superficial lip-service is often paid to damage it creates within the family unit. We hear common tropes like how substance abuse takes its tolls on families first and how it’s often addicts’ loved ones who suffer the hardest; but what does that really look like close up? The reality is that over 20 million Americans currently suffer from some sort of substance use disorder and a large majority of these people have a whole group of families, friends and loved ones that suffer right alongside them. While the impact on the family is different, there are some common problems that manifest when drug and alcohol abuse invades a home.

For one thing, it’s not uncommon for the affected family member’s addiction to dominate the household. The nature of addiction is so urgent and pervasive that families very often have little time or energy to tend to their own lives and needs. Each possible overdose, each addiction-related crime, each family altercation forces families to mobilize to try and mitigate the fallout. After a while, regardless of how close a family may have been prior to combatting addiction together, this all-consuming problem can breed powerful resentment and frustration that spills over into other relationships in the family (parents, siblings or both).  

Addiction and substance abuse also correlates closely with domestic violence. The United States Justice Department reports that over 60 percent of all domestic abusers suffer from substance use disorder and the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence reports that two thirds of all domestic violence incidents involve alcohol in some form. Nearly 90 percent of domestic violence program directors agree that risk increases when alcohol or drugs are involved. Nearly 80% of all child-abuse cases involve the presence of drugs and/or alcohol. Children who experience domestic violence either directly or passively are at a much higher risk of developing substance abuse problems of their own.

When we discuss the impact that addiction has on the family unit, it’s important to understand exactly what that means and what it looks like. This kind of strain is what makes the intervention process so difficult. It’s also important to remember, however, that addiction is a disease that transforms the brain chemistry and forces people to seek drugs or alcohol beyond logic, reason and regarding for themselves and others. We have to remember that the vibrant, loving and caring person we love is still in there somewhere, no matter how hopeless or desperate we think the situation may be, and we can begin the process of getting our loved ones back by guiding them toward addiction treatment.

 

 

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When Classical Goes Clinical: The Best Composers to Listen to While Healing

[fa icon="calendar'] Dec 28, 2016 2:00:00 PM / by RU Texas posted in Addiction, Family

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Let’s face it: not all of us are ready to turn on Rachmaninoff when we come home from work at the end of the day or when we go on a road trip with our friends. We all have our own musical preferences and they don’t all skew toward the classical genre. Like everything else, there’s a time and a place for every kind of music. Sometimes we want nothing more than take our aggression out while listening to Black Flag’s “Damaged”; sometimes we want to lose ourselves in the jangly melancholy of the Smiths; sometimes we need a track from Jay-Z to get us hyped up and sometimes we just want something we can ignore while we clean our houses.

More and more, classical music has found a new sense of place in the most unlikely environment: the doctor’s office. Certain composers’ works have been found to be effective in the alleviation of chronic and acute health conditions like depression, high blood pressure, anxiety, chronic pain and many others. Slower-tempo music is playing an increasingly significant role in the treatment of many physical and psychological health disorders.

Who, then, are some of the composers responsible for this healing renaissance?

Johann Sebastian Bach – From chronic pain to anxiety, the Austrian-born Bach has been helping more and more patients heal from a variety of conditions. His influence has been experienced by both adult and pediatric patients.

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart – A 2016 study reveals the powers of Mozart and Straus in the treatment of hypertension (high blood pressure).Works by the two composers were found to be significantly more beneficial than contemporary artists like ABBA.

Johannes Brahms – Brahms’ works have been celebrated throughout the world as a healing force for patients looking increase their energy, achieve inner calm and balance their physical and psychological wellness. The composer has been found to help listeners reduce their stress levels as well.

Other composers used to in clinical treatment include Beethoven, Wagner, Mendelssohn and many others. Embracing these works may take us a bit out of our comfort zone; but it’s important, whether or not we’re suffering from any kind of affliction to branch out and continue our musical education however possible. In the end, we just might find an unlikely source of healing and inspiration when we open our eyes and our ears.

These are just a few of the practical healing benefits of music. In an effort to provide further education regarding this invaluable therapeutic resource, Recovery Unplugged has released a new eBook on the healing properties of music in everyday life. We are committed to relaying music’s benefits before, during and after treatment or any other type of clinical intervention.

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The Impact of Music in Physical and Psychological Wellness

[fa icon="calendar'] Dec 20, 2016 10:30:00 AM / by RU Texas posted in Addiction, Family

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Morrissey once asked: “Does the body rule the mind or does the mind rule the body?” His ultimate conclusion was “I don’t know.” The good news is that music can have an extreme positive impact on both. For years clinicians have been using music to accelerate healing in both clinical and post-treatment environments. From the pediatric to palliative care settings, music has been proven to have healing choose that sooth both the savage beast and the human body and brain. Whether you’re suffering from chemical dependency, generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), chronic pain or anything else, there’s a place for music in your supplemental care plan. Some of the specific benefits of music integration may include:

Lowering of Blood Pressure – High blood pressure (also known as hypertension) can lead to a variety of unforeseen heath and quality-of-life issues, including weight gain, fatigue, stroke, anxiety and much more. A recent study, as well as many others, indicates that, depending upon the tempo, music has the power to regulate blood pressure. Researchers found that it increases when listening to fast-tempo music like punk or metal; but it has the opposite effect when listening to slower-paced works.

Reduction of Stress – Stress and anxiety are two of the most common mental health issues Americans face. If left unchecked these conditions can take a significant toll on the body, including muscle tension, fatigue, decreased memory and impaired cognitive function. Listening to music, specifically on headphones, has been documented to reduce stress and anxiety. It also helps in the facilitation of meditation in order to align physical and psychological wellness.

Management of Chronic Pain – As the evolution of pain-management research continues, clinicians are finding more and more ways that music helps reduce inflammation. One recent example of this is a study of men undergoing prostate biopsies at Duke University Hospital. The study compared those who listened to Bach during the procedure with those who had noise-canceling headphones or who didn’t listen to anything, and found that the Bach enthusiasts reported less pain.

These are just a few of the practical healing benefits of music. In an effort to provide further education regarding this invaluable therapeutic resource, Recovery Unplugged has released a new eBook on the healing properties of music in everyday life. We are committed to relaying music’s benefits before, during and after treatment or any other type of clinical intervention.

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Common Types of Supplemental Treatment Therapies

[fa icon="calendar'] Dec 6, 2016 10:25:00 AM / by RU Texas posted in Addiction, Family

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No treatment program should be identical to another. The issues and circumstances that trigger substance abuse are as unique to each individual and must be treated as such. Although there are some universal elements of quality treatment (detoxification, group therapy, individualized counseling, etc.), each patient deserves a customized and targeted treatment program for the maximum level of success. One of the fundamental elements to this level of individualized treatment is the availability of different supplemental therapy techniques. More and more treatment facilities are integrating historically non-traditional therapies in an effort to give patients a well-rounded recovery experience. Many of these techniques have been game-changers for patients looking to strengthen their recovery and live addiction-free in their everyday lives.

Although there is a seemingly endless array of these techniques that are discussed, a select few have been clinically proven to help patients with the behavioral and physical rigors of the recovery process, whether it’s acute withdrawal-related pain, anxiety, depression or anything else. There are certain tried-and-true techniques that have incalculable benefits to the post-treatment recovery process, two of which include:

Arts-Based Therapy – Creative therapies not only allow patients to better express themselves in ways that talk therapy can’t; they also strengthen confidence, unlock emotions and help us nurture our emotional growth. Whether it’s drawing a picture, producing a song, writing a poem or story or anything else, art-based therapy helps us to improve our sense of accomplishment and get more in touch with our feelings in the process. More and more treatment facilities are offering art therapy, creative writing and music-based therapy because of their proven results.

Holistic Therapy – Holistic therapies help patients align their physical, psychological and even spiritual wellness. Some common holistic therapy techniques include yoga, meditation, qi gong, tai chi and acupuncture. These techniques help patients manage their chronic pain and harness the energy necessary to live comfortably with their withdrawal symptoms. Nutritional counseling and fitness are two other fundamental elements of this therapeutic category.

The addiction treatment landscape has evolved considerably to offer specialized care to almost every type of patient. Other types of therapy include professionally targeted programs and medication-assisted treatment.

Recovery Unplugged has recent released an eBook that more deeply explores the benefits, purpose and types of supplemental treatment techniques in addiction care. The document discusses the efficacy of historically non-traditional therapies and their role in the continuously innovating modern-day treatment paradigm. Check it out today!

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Taking It With You: Benefits of Supplemental Therapies in Post-Treatment Life

[fa icon="calendar'] Dec 2, 2016 10:17:00 AM / by RU Texas posted in Addiction, Family

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Sooner or later our treatment ends. If we’re lucky, our programs give us valuable behavioral coping resources to help us manage the situations that can trigger relapse, whether we have to avoid them or face them, head on. The strength of these resources often lives and dies by the therapies we use to cultivate them, which is why it’s important that patients are exposed to a wide range of therapeutic techniques beyond traditional talk therapy, such as art therapy, music-based treatment, holistic techniques and more. The more well-rounded a patient’s recovery program is, the more of an opportunity they have to learn about themselves and develop the confidence they need to maintain their recovery when they transition back into their everyday lives.

In addition to the various relapse-prevention benefits of these supplemental therapies, they can also help patients in other areas of their lives, including but not limited to:

Breaking Down Emotional Barriers – Sometimes we’re afraid to talk about our feelings or we just don’t want to. Fear, shame, self-consciousness and a variety of other behavioral factors often prevent us from saying what we need to say to make the necessary progress. Expressive therapies like music and art can help patients break down these emotional barriers and help them to unlock dormant feelings without fear of judgment.

Strengthening Confidence – Occupational therapy techniques encourage patients to begin, nurture and complete a realistic and identifiable goal, whether it’s writing a song, a poem, painting a picture or anything else. Although the quality of these works is never a factor in their success, as the journey is always more important than the result, the mere completion of these projects can foster a sense of accomplishment on which patients can build while further empowering themselves.

Cultivating and Strengthening Relationships – Depending on how far we choose to take our new interests, we may find ourselves building new relationships based on them. We can also use the behavioral benefits we glean from these techniques (patience, tolerance, empathy, etc.) to improve strained relationships with loved ones.

Though many continue to remain on the peripheral of established clinical practice, supplemental techniques have the power to change patients’ everyday lives for the better. The more we embrace these therapies, and the deeper we weave them into the fabric of treatment, the more resources we give patients as they endeavor continue their recovery and rebuild their lives, careers and families.

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How Vivitrol Helps Families after Treatment

[fa icon="calendar'] Nov 29, 2016 10:51:49 AM / by RU Texas posted in Vivitrol, Opioid Addiction, Addiction, Family, Prison

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Those of us who have helped our loved ones manage addiction know how difficult it can be. Even after the best treatment and the most positive and encouraging signs of progress, the path can still be difficult. For every single person that suffers from addiction, there is usually a group of people suffering right alongside them. Sometimes this suffering consists of active conflict, including shouting fights and even physical confrontation; other times it can be as passive as watching a loved one struggle through the pain and sickness withdrawal symptoms. Many prefer actually fighting with their loved ones to watching them go through withdrawal because at least they have sense of control over a confrontation.

To watch a loved one struggle through their residual withdrawal period, even when they’re remaining faithful to their post-treatment recovery program, can be truly painful. Add to this, the constantly looming danger of relapse and subsequent overdose, and it’s easy to see how families can disintegrate in the wake of drug addiction. Loved ones of addicts are getting help from a newer and increasingly effective resource: Vivitrol. Vivitrol is an established and reputable medication for combatting alcohol and opioid abuse. It reduces cravings and blocks the euphoria associated with opioid highs. It is administer via a monthly injection by a licensed and credentialed physician.

Families of addicts are experiencing the benefits of Vivitrol through a growing variety of institutional avenues. In Duval County, Florida, an area which lies just under five hours from the Recovery Unplugged flagship facility in Fort Lauderdale, the prison system is using the medication to help inmates with their cravings so they’re able to better transition into their everyday lives once they’re released. The county is one of dozens across the country that is utilizing Vivitrol injections to help rehabilitate inmates. Vivitrol maintenance is not meant to replace any element of rehab like group therapy or individual counseling; but rather it’s meant to help patients reduce ongoing cravings.

For families who have an addict either in treatment or in prison, the reduction of cravings and the stabilization of physical health can be a game-changer in the way they’re able to transition into their lives in recovery. This mitigates family dysfunction, helps recovering addicts to focus and allows them to feel better every day. For a disease that is so complex, so powerful and so destructive, every single resource helps.

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Recovery Unplugged Releases New eBook on the Impact of Addiction on Families

[fa icon="calendar'] Nov 3, 2016 2:03:09 PM / by RU Texas posted in Addiction, Family

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RUTexas-families-in-addiction.jpgFamilies are the lesser-discussed casualties of addiction. For practically every one of the over 23 million Americans suffering from chemical dependency, there is a whole separate group of people suffering right alongside them. This family doesn’t even have to be blood-related. They can be anybody in our lives to whom we look for love, guidance, support and affection. When addiction threatens the family unit, loved ones of addicts can, and often do, become paralyzed with fear and uncertainty, resulting in inactivity and even enabling. Rather than let addiction and chemical dependency destroy the fabric of their family and threaten their loved one’s life, families can educate and empower themselves to guide their addicted loved one toward treatment.

Recovery Unplugged is proud to offer families a new tool to help families better understand their capabilities in this situation. Entitled “The Role and Responsibility of Families in the Addiction Recovery Process”, the new eBook discusses a variety of issues families face when endeavoring to deal with addiction, including the intervention process, the family’s role in post-treatment recovery, the importance of family involvement in treatment programs and much more. Recovery Unplugged authored this document to help begin families’ education regarding the disease of addiction, and to show them that, despite what they may think, they can be instrumental in reversing their loved ones’ course of active substance abuse and guide them toward the care they need.

Recovery Unplugged was exceedingly proud to produce this document, and very much hopes that it serves as a gateway to a more refined understanding among families of addicts regarding their considerable power and the steps they should take to promote and sustain recovery in their loved one’s life. DOWNLOAD the new eBook now, and learn how you can make the difference in your addicted loved one’s life.

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