Addicts are People Too: Humanizing Addiction

addicts-are-people-humanizing-addiction

Addict. Addiction. These words have always had a negative connotation. This is probably why many institutions would rather use the terms “substance dependence” or “drug dependent” or any other term to refer to people who are struggling with one form of addiction or another.

People associate the words “addict” and “addiction” with danger, unstable, messed up, wasted, homeless, jobless, irresponsible, hopeless, even crazy. More often than not, people would conjure images of a disheveled bum walking unsteadily in the streets when they hear “addict.”

What they don’t realize is that these addicts have families. They have jobs, careers, money, a house, a family, even a good, well-respected reputation in the community. What many of us may not realize is that these addicts have loved ones: family members, friends, children, and partners who are struggling with their addiction just as much as they are struggling themselves.

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3 Simple Ways to Say “No” (and Stay Sober)

simple-ways-to-say-no

Whether you have been abusing substances or not, saying “No” is always a little too difficult. We want to please people, avoid conflict, give a good impression, be agreeable, and just fit in. However, there are ways to say “no” especially in recovery, which will save you from all the hassles of explaining and still keep everyone happy.

When you were in active addiction, one of the most, if not THE most, hated word for you may as well be “No.” Back then, it may be hard for you to accept it when someone tells you “no” and consequently, you find it hard to say “no” to people, too. This kind of behavior is one of the biggest things that was sinking you deeper and deeper into your addiction.

Now that you are in recovery, you may have learned how to say “no.” It’s one of the things that is being taught to you while in treatment. However, as you may find out soon, it’s not as easy as it seems.

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HALT: Understanding Your Most Common Triggers

understanding-addiction-triggers

Triggers are powerful enemies in your recovery from addiction. Left unchecked and without the right coping mechanisms, triggers can cause you to slide back into relapse behaviors and even go back to your old path of addiction.

Once you get on the path of recovery, you are faced with a whole new set of challenges. From your lifestyle of dodging trouble and the consequences of your alcohol, drug, or behavioral addiction, you now have to commit to sobriety, and this can be a very interesting journey.

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Kinds of Thinking That Can Ruin Your Recovery

kinds-of-thinking-that-ruin-recovery

There are negative kinds of thinking that have the potential of leaving you with a stagnating state of mind, unable to grasp other ideas and unable to grow or mature. These negative kinds of thinking should be avoided, especially if you are recovering from drug, alcohol, or behavioral addiction.

What you think, you become. And when it comes to recovering from addiction, how you think determines how you will behave and deal with whatever comes at you in life. Positive ways of thinking and looking at things can contribute to a more successful, more long-term recovery, while there are negative ways of thinking that can ruin your chances at a sober, healthier, fuller, and much more productive life.

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Are You At Risk for Cross-Addiction?

cross-addiction

Cross-addiction occurs when you trade one addiction for another. For example, you may have abused marijuana and then developed dependence for meth after trying it out for a few times.

Cross-addiction can also happen when you are recovering from one substance or behavioral addiction and have found yourself developing another addiction, such as sex, gambling, or any other substance. Knowing what cross-addiction is, its signs, and how it can be treated, can help you before it’s too late.

So you are recovering from meth addiction pretty smoothly–until something in your life takes a sudden turn. One moment you’re going to your meetings with your support group, motivated with your ongoing commitment to sobriety; and the next moment, you’re derailed. Maybe a family member gets seriously ill, you lost your job, you broke up with your partner, or you had unexpected problems at work.

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Brain Damage: How Meth Affects Your Brain

meth-brain-damage-bridges-of-hope

Methamphetamine, meth, crystal meth or shabu here in the Philippines, has become the drug of choice for many Filipinos who have dependence and addiction problems. Little do they know that in the midst of it all, from their first hit until they succumb to a full-blown addiction, that meth changes the way their brain works, sometimes even damaging it permanently.

The Philippines is one of the world’s leading countries with a huge population dealing with methamphetamine abuse and addiction. Many reports in the news would show shabu-related crimes, as well as rampant pushing and peddling in the streets. Bust operations of drug dens, as well as meth laboratories, also show just how much meth is being traded and used by Filipinos across the country.

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Addicted to Alcohol? Take This Test to Find Out

audit-test-for-alcohol-addiction

So you woke up to another hangover, the third time this week. You don’t remember what happened or how you got home. You know you’re drinking too much and you wonder if you’re already addicted to alcohol. If you think you are, take this AUDIT test to find out for sure.

While there are those who drink occasionally, there are also those who drink excessively–and they don’t know it. Excessive drinking can lead to many devastating consequences,including physical and mental harm. Many kinds of excessive drinking can be described as:

  • drinking high amounts of alcohol on a daily basis;
  • frequent binge drinking leading to complete intoxication;
  • drinking that causes physical and mental problems; and
  • alcohol dependence or addiction.

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Why Humility is Important After Rehab

humility-after-rehab

Humility is one of the pillars of a successful recovery. By being humble, you open yourself up to learning life skills essential to your recovery and sobriety. You are less likely to take your life and sobriety for granted, and you become an inspiration to others.

In this world of social media and selfies, humility is one of the many traits that are seemingly, and hugely, undervalued. More focus is put on empowerment, assertiveness, and getting ahead. While these are not bad traits, it puts humility as a weakness.

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Drug Addiction and Mental Health

drug-addiction-and-mental-health

Using recreational and illicit drugs such as nicotine, alcohol, meth, cocaine, ecstasy and marijuana can have short-term and lasting effects to your body. This becomes a glaring problem especially if it changes the way you behave. You can be less responsible at work, less motivated, aggressive, violent, irritable, anxious, or paranoid. You may also affect your health, lifestyle and social skills, as well as many other aspects of your life. At the bottom of all these is your mental health.

So does drug abuse cause mental health problems, or does mental health problems cause drug problems?

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Relationship Advice for Dating a Recovering Addict

relationship-advice-for-dating-a-recovering-addict

You may be feeling all sorts of twisted and confused when you find yourself falling for and dating a recovering addict. However, if you decide to continue the relationship, the journey may be tumultuous. So here are some things you have to consider and keep in mind to ensure that you don’t lose your mind when you’re dating a recovering addict.

When you’re looking for a partner or are already in the dating scene, you may have a list of so-called deal-breakers, which are the things that the other person has which can turn you off. Aside from “married,” “addicted to drugs” or even someone with a history with drug dependence can be some of the items on top of the deal-breaker list.

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