Sunday, August 30, 2015

The Difference You Need to Know Between Addiction & Dependence

Addiction Quote Dependence

Physical dependence and addiction aren't the same.

Addiction can occur without physical dependence. For example, cocaine or methamphetamine both have little outwardly apparent withdrawal syndrome but addiction to either can devastate lives. Addictions to gambling, sex or the internet also have no physical dependence.

Physical dependence can also occur without addiction. It's common for most chronic pain patients who are able to take their opioid medication as prescribed for pain but don't develop the uncontrollable compulsion and loss of control. A desire to avoid withdrawal is not addiction.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

3 Things You Should Consider Before Giving up On an Addict

Cutting off an Addict isn't Always the Best Way to Help them Reach Recovery.

Love and Support Quote

Shocking! I know right, many of us have been told that enabling an addict and not cutting them off prevents them from reaching rock bottom and finally deciding they want to quit. However, I was able to get to a place where I decided I had enough while still having my mom's love and support. When my mother tried cutting me off my addiction got  worse. I know most parents love their children but not all children know there parents love them. Its not always easy convincing us we are loved because we often dont love ourselves but once we believe we our loved and supported no matter what the path to recovery becomes easier to envision. 

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Why Only Some People Get Addicted?

Addiction Quote

Have you ever wondered why you got addicted from experimenting with drugs while some of your friends didn't?

No they're NOT weak. According to a new study we finally have the answer we've all been waiting for and everything we thought we knew about addiction is wrong.

For as long as I can remember we've believed that people can get addicted after using only once and consequently abstinence was the only way to prevent getting addicted. The experiment that supported this theory was the one where a rat was put in a cage alone with a water bottle and a drugged water bottle and almost always became obsessed with the drugged water until it killed itself. However, today there's a lot of evidence against this. The  obvious one for me is that not everyone who is prescribed painkillers gets addicted.

Sunday, August 09, 2015

5 Great Ways Pets Can Help With Addiction Recovery

Quote Animals and Addiction

Did you know owning a pet can help with Addiction Recovery?

Around the time I decided I wanted to quit using, I saw an ad giving away free lab/huskie puppies. I usually don't read the newspaper but that day I was bored at my grandmother's house and decided to look at the newspaper when I came across the ad giving away free puppies. Right away I knew I wanted a dog, although at the time I had no idea how significant a role she would have in my recovery. They can do great things for someone in addiction recovery and it might just be that little bit of extra help that keeps them on the path to recovery.

However, I can't stress how important it is to be absolutely sure you can take care of them forever. It's very hard on a dog to get rehomed and they do not deserve to be neglected. I'd suggest adopting with someone who can take over if anything should happen. Whether it be a parent or a significant other make sure they're responsible and stable. Other great options are volunteering at a shelter, fostering for a shelter, or babysitting a friends dog. At least this way you can take care of a dog before you decide if its the right decision for you. There's also plenty of different pets to choose from.

Animals in Recovery
Maggie opening her Christmas gift

 The 5 ways my dog Maggie helped with my addiction recovery:

1. My dog eased my stress and anxiety

Spending time with an animal has shown to reduce stress. This is important to recovery because stress and anxiety are some of the most common triggers that lead to using. Petting Maggie helped my body release tension which eased that feeling of pressure that stress can have. It feels similar to meditation in some ways. I became more relaxed and I was able to think more clearly. 

2. My dog taught me responsibility

Pets depend on us for their survival. If we don't feed them they won't eat. There's a strong bond that forms when we are responsible for someone's survival. Being responsible for Maggies survival brought out strength in me I didn't know we had. I had to think about someone else besides myself and budget money for her food every month.

3. My dog helped me keep a routine

Stability and some kind of routine is important in recovery. It helps create a sense of safety and helps reduce stress. If I didn't take her out to do her business she would do it in the house so I had to have some kind of routine with her as to when I took her out. I wouldn't have been able to train her not to go in the house if I didn't take her out regularly and I couldn't just leave for long periods at a time without her.

Pets in Recovery Quote
4. My dog gave me unconditional love

Animals don't judge or discriminate. They don't care that you were an addict or that you did things you're ashamed of in the past. They don't care how you look or if you're poor all they want is your attention and some food. They will always be happy to see you. Unconditional love like that helped heal things I didn't even know were broken. It helped me start loving myself again.

5. My dog gave me companionship 

Addiction can sometimes make us feel alone, like no one understands us. It was difficult to open up to people but not my dog. She was always there for me. Never too busy for a cuddle or to listen to me talked. She helped me get out of the house and go on walks. She helped me have fun and enjoy the smaller things around me. She was a great dog and I miss her so much.

Animals in Recovery Quote

Yours truly,

Sunday, August 02, 2015

How I Became an Addict

I believe it started when my parents separated. Being such a daddy’s girl back then, it really shook me up when he wasn’t in my life as much. My mom moved me and my brother five hours away and I felt like my whole world came crashing down. Angry at my mom I started rebelling for the first time. I was around 11 when I started not listening to anyone and getting angry easily. No one saw the pain. I was just a spoiled brat with a mother who wasn’t disciplining me enough, which didn’t help because I actually felt the opposite of spoiled. I just had my dad, aka my whole world, taken from me. Seriously I use to follow my dad everywhere. He was the person I admired the most. People kept telling my mom she needed to be stricter with me but it honestly didn’t matter what she did I wasn’t listening. She could ground me or whatever but unless she was ready to physically fight me I wasn't listening. I didn’t do anything to crazy besides stay out late, skip class, smoke cigarettes and hanging out with the wrong people, especially boys.