Addiction and Recovery News and Reads Around The Web…

Hello, Recovery Friends and Welcome New Friends!


This past week I have had some interesting email newsletters from some of my favorite recovery websites and magazines. Now I am a big FAN of helping others who write informative and interesting articles about many issues of addiction, mental health and more. And I happen to read two articles I feel need to be shared here on my blog as they are very important issues. The first hit me because one of the underlying issues of WHY I had turned to gambling was to “cope and escape” from my hurtful pain and my past childhood trauma. As we learn to do the “inner work” of our recovery, many us find many issues and roots to our addictions.

The second article is about an actor I enjoyed watching the TV Series; “True Blood” and is a warning to those recovering from alcoholism that if you have other health problems, you need to work with your doctor and be honest with them of all that is going with you or you CAN have complications. That is what happened to 39-year-old, Actor, Nelsan Ellis as you will read. We need to learn to take care of our health as we most likely neglected it for a long period of time within our addiction. It is always sad to lose someone so young and vibrant. I hope you enjoy reading these and learn a little something from them…
( Articles Courtesy of “The Fix Mag” and website: SoberRecovery” )
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By Victoria Kim 07/11/17

The beloved actor’s family issued a statement about his battle with addiction as “a cautionary tale” to help others.

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Nelsan Ellis
Actor Nelsan Ellis died of heart failure over the weekend after attempting to quit alcohol on his own and heart failure complications.

Rather than shy away from the impact that years of substance use had on the actor, instead his family shared the details surrounding his death…

“Nelsan has suffered from drug and alcohol abuse for years,” the actor’s manager said on behalf of the family.

“After many stints in rehab, Nelsan attempted to withdraw from alcohol on his own. According to his father, during his withdrawal from alcohol he had a blood infection, his kidneys shut down, his liver was swollen, his blood pressure plummeted, and his dear sweet heart raced out of control.

On the morning of Saturday, July 8th, after four days in Woodhull Hospital, Nelsan was pronounced dead. Nelsan was a gentle, generous and kind soul…Nelsan was ashamed of his addiction and thus was reluctant to talk about it during his life. His family, however, believes that in death he would want his life to serve as a cautionary tale in an attempt to help others.”

The 39-year-old hailed from Illinois and was a graduate of the prestigious Juilliard School. He was known for playing the lovable Lafayette Reynolds on True Blood and Bobby Byrd in the James Brown biopic Get on Up, as well as his roles in The SoloistThe Help, and The Butler.

The symptoms/severity of alcohol withdrawal varies by person but can be fatal for some. Symptoms can range from mild insomnia to delirium tremens (DTs) and even death.

Symptoms of alcohol withdrawal include elevated blood pressure, excessive sweating and shaking, irritability, anxiety, agitation, seizures, and hallucinations.

In severe cases, individuals may experience delirium tremens (DTs), characterized by disorientation, severe agitation, rapid heartbeat, high blood pressure, and fever. DTs may last up to 3 or 4 days, according to Dr. Richard Saitz in “Introduction to Alcohol Withdrawal,” a paper published on the website of the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA).

According to Saitz, “about 5% of patients who experience DTs die from metabolic or cardiovascular complications, trauma or infections.”

One should never detox from alcohol alone. A person going through withdrawal should be monitored by a medical professional.

– The Fix

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THREE STEPS to HEAL FROM Emotional Abuse
By Dominica Applegate Jul 11, 2017 – Sober Recovery

What to Do When a Loved One Struggles with Addiction pic 2

Emotional abuse is a tragic occurrence that can turn even the happiest person into a sad and hopeless shadow. Sadly, it happens more often than we think. It can be anything from psychological abuse, which can cause anxiety, depression or post-traumatic stress disorder, to physical abuse, which can be experienced anytime during childhood or adulthood. After going through any traumatic event, it can be very difficult to cope with the unresolved wounds alone. Some people turn to drinking and drugging for temporary relief from the painful feelings, but that simply masks a much larger problem that needs to be contended with.

To help you start the process of healing, here are 3 pivotal steps you’ll have to take in order to properly deal with emotional distress.

1. Recognize the Root Issues

When you’re dealing with emotions that include depression, intense anger, high anxiety and extreme fear, it is important to get to the root issue of the matter and take steps to address it. Many times, those who’ve experienced abuse in their childhood have difficulty associating their current pain and substance abuse with old childhood wounds. Thus, it may benefit them to reach out for help via counseling12-Step groups or a rehab facility, which can help them recognize, process and put these deep rooted issues to rest.

2. Take Responsibility

Many of us have gone through something traumatic in life, and the negative emotions that come along with these experiences are understandable. However, there needs to be a point in time for the person going through these hard feelings to start taking responsibility for their own healing. The process of mending themselves from the inside begins when one makes the conscious decision that they are done being locked in their own prison cell of negative emotions.

3. Facilitate Emotional Healing

There are various therapy treatments for emotional abuse. If you’re dealing with emotional and substance abuse issues, you’ll have to tackle your addiction first. Being under the influence will just make it harder to heal old wounds.

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Once addiction recovery measures are in place, you can then look into some of the most popular modes of therapy that may help in your recovery:

  • Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT): This therapy is known for its cognitive aspects of dealing with trauma as it targets your thoughts and feelings about past experiences. Its goal is to eliminate the negative emotions you have and replace them with a positive mindset.
  • Somatic Therapy: For a more holistic approach, it may be important to undergo therapy that contends with the physiological effects of trauma. Somatic therapy works by helping your body recognize and release the pent-up energy that has accumulated since the trauma occurred. Unlike CBT, it’s not so much about one’s cognitive responses but instead, how the body (the nervous system, in particular) dealt with the trauma. This type of therapy allows the body to heal itself by facilitating a physiological release of blocked energy so you can feel physically freed.
  • Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT): This is a psychological acupressure technique recognized to help trauma survivors disassociate from old wounds so they can heal. Also known as “Tapping,” EFT involves literally tapping on certain locations in the body while repeating a positive affirmation out loud. It is currently used by many therapists in the world and is continually gaining more popularity.

Sometimes, trauma can take a real hit on your emotional well-being and affect your entire life, leaving some of us in the depths of addiction in search for a temporary relief. The therapy options mentioned above are just a few of the many avenues you can explore in order to heal from emotional abuse. Although it’s easier said than done, the one true way out of the situation and into emotional freedom comes with the decision to ask for help—and there are plenty of professionals available to walk you through it.

– Sober Recovery

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“Shared and Presented By Recovery Starts Here!”  ~  Author, Catherine Lyon

 

Guest Featured Author & Article: 20 Questions To Ask When Considering Inpatient Rehab.

Hello And Welcome Recovery Friends,

In honor of National Recovery Month, I’ve had many ‘Featured Recovery Guest Authors’ here to celebrate and share along with me here on my blog. So we have a new Recovery Guest Author, Alek Sabin who has written a special article for all of us. Now we all know how taunting it was when we started early recovery, what was the best way to seek help and approach the decision. Do we get treatment, therapy, church, go to inpatient or outpatient rehab or treatment?

There are so many choices these days, but lack of federal funding is still standing in the way for others who can afford rehab or treatment. Now that’s another blog post for the future! I do think this article by Alek can help answer some of these questions and concerns, and lead new comers to recovery in the right direction.. ..

20 Questions to Ask When Considering Inpatient Rehab ~ By: Alek Sabin

If you or a loved one are planning on checking into an inpatient rehabilitation facility, it is important to have all the knowledge necessary to find the right place for you. Knowing what to ask or look for in a rehab facility could make treatment smoother and more effective, and could even end up saving your life. Here are some questions you should consider asking any inpatient rehab facility that you may be checking in to:

 1.) How much will it cost?

The cost of inpatient rehabilitation varies greatly, with some places charging monthly payments as low as $7,500 to some as high as $120,000! Always know what you are getting for the cost. How much of that money is actually going towards helping the patient get better? What does this facility offer compared to other rehabilitation clinics of the same price?

 2.) Will insurance cover it?

Insurance companies always want their customers to take the cheapest health care option, and especially when it comes to inpatient rehabilitation. The truth, however, is that the cheapest options won’t always guarantee treatments with results. Always remember that, despite the initial cost, rehabilitation will be cheaper in the long run when stacked up against the costs of poor health, career instability, and damaged relationships that can be brought about by substance abuse. If the right place for you isn’t covered by your current provider, other methods of payment can be discussed with the rehabilitation facility.

 3.) How long will it last?

The answer to this question differs greatly from case to case. Not only are certain substances more addictive than others, but the effects of treatment can vary from person to person. Most psychologists recommend a stay of 90 days for the brain to recover, but other programs can be upward of a year depending on the severity of the addiction. Sometimes, the switch may be made from inpatient to outpatient rehabilitation to help cushion the costs of treatment, assuming that the patient has made strides in their recovery.

 4.) What is their track record?

Always ask how successful they have been with treating other patients with similar addictions. How does that rank up against other facilities? Your health, and even life, could be at stake. Don’t take for granted that you are at the right place until you know that you have the best odds you can get.

 5.) What about outpatient rehabilitation?

While outpatient rehabilitation can be great for some, it can also be dangerous to delay getting patients with harmful addictions the help that they need from inpatient rehabilitation. Ask some health professionals what they recommend depending on the situation. Certain drugs may practically require inpatient rehabilitation (such as heroin), while others may be easier to kick.

 6.) How much therapy will the patient get daily?

It’s important to know how much treatment a patient will actually receive at a facility. Some clinics have a physician work with you 2-3 times a day, while others will be closer to 5-6. Always make sure that the level of care provided is conducive to your recovery needs.

 7.) Is there 24-hour care?

Most inpatient facilities will have nurses on staff around the clock. This is one of the primary advantages that inpatient rehabilitation can give. If you feel that this level of care is important to your recovery, double-check and make sure this is a service that they offer.

 8.) How often do the doctors visit?

During every patient’s journey to recovery, they will be assigned a rehabilitation doctor who is responsible for them during their stay. It’s important that this doctor be able to note progress in a patient’s physical and mental health. Because of this, patients should always ask how often the doctors check up on their well-being.
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 9.) What if I require other medical attention?

Most inpatient rehab facilities are equipped to handle symptoms that a patient may develop from extended substance abuse. However, patients should be certain to specify any separate health concerns that they may have, and ask how the facility will be able to address those.

10.) Do they address mental health?

Sometimes the cause of a person’s addiction may have more to do with mental health, such as depression. It’s important to make certain that the facility will cater to those needs, and has the personnel to do so.

 11.) What about my work?

Inpatient rehabilitation requires a patient’s absence from work and other commitments for months at a time. Luckily, most facilities deal with employers on a regular basis, and are able to communicate the importance that recovery will make a happier, more productive employee.

 12.) What procedures take place when the patient is checked in?

Upon being checked in, most inpatient facilities will conduct an orientation for you and your family. Afterwards, they will begin intake, where some places will take your personal effects and put them aside during the duration of your stay. After intake, most facilities will give the patient several exams so that they can better know how to begin treatment. Ask, and be prepared for check in to your inpatient facility.

 13.) What things should I pack?

Different facilities will have different standards when it comes to what patients should bring with them. Some places will allow almost everything, including pets, to come along for the patient’s extended stay, while others prefer patients to not even bring their own clothes. Ask your inpatient rehab facility what their policy is. Either way, be sure to pack a toothbrush.

 14.) What is the ratio of staff to patients?

If a facility has a lower ratio of staff to patients, there is a good possibility that the patient’s individual needs could be overlooked, and that treatment could be less effective. Always find out how many patients will be there during your stay, and then ask how many staff are on premise at any given time.

15.) Can family visit, or even stay?

Some facilities have strict hours or days when family can visit, while some don’t allow visiting at all. Many places typically allow one family member to stay overnight if needed. Make sure you are fully aware of visitation policies and what they mean before checking into rehabilitation.

 16.) What activities are there?

Patients won’t just be seeing physicians while they are in rehabilitation. Most inpatient rehab facilities will provide therapeutic activities for patients to enjoy in their free time while they are there. Some of these are a way of calming the mind, while others offer a positive reinforcement of “sober time.” Ask about these activities, and make sure there is something you will enjoy doing.
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 17.) Should the patient attend rehab further from home?

Depending on the person, and a variety of factors, it might be beneficial for a patient to attend rehabilitation at a facility that is further away from their home. To see if this is the right option for you and your situation, make sure to ask a rehab doctor before checking in.

 18.) Will my primary physician have access to my rehab medical information?

After the rehabilitation period, a patient’s primary physician must have access to medication prescriptions or medical notes by the rehab doctor. It is important to talk to the facility and clarify this process before beginning rehabilitation.

 19.) Can I get my medication in rehab?

Inpatient rehabilitation facilities will allow most medications that patients have been prescribed before being checked in. However, some medications may affect the patient’s treatment, and must be reconsidered before moving forward. Make sure to talk to the rehab doctor about any medications you are taking before getting checked in.

 20.) What happens in the case of relapse?

Relapse doesn’t mean that the rehabilitation failed. It just means that the patient has relapsed and must take more steps towards recovery. Talk to the inpatient facility before checking in to see what steps they will plan on taking in the case of a relapse.
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Recovery Guest Author Article. I Welcome Author: Andy Andersen!

Hello and Welcome All Recovery Friends,

Well, summer is not yet over, so I wanted to share a Guest Recovery Author to gives all some helpful summertime vacation tips while you pack up the car to go traveling. This is an important part to of having a well balanced recovery life. I do myself remember back in the days when I traveled.

It seemed we couldn’t go to any destination that didn’t have a Casino near by. So happy those days are over! It is such a waste when a vacation is a bust when you have any kind of addiction. Heck, I didn’t travel for a long time because my addiction made us broke! But not anymore.

So lets read what Andy has put together for all of us to help make your travels go much smoother in Recovery!
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Tips for Traveling While In Recovery
Author: Andy Andersen

Addiction recovery is a delicate and critical time for everyone involved. For an addict in the early stages of sobriety, traveling long distance has its pros and cons. To help you figure out if you are ready to travel, read this first. If you do plan to travel while recovering from addiction, here are a few guidelines to help ensure your sobriety and make your travels an inspired part of your post-addiction journey:

Pick Your Destination Wisely

Some travel destinations are more conducive to sobriety than others. For recovering alcoholics in particular, selecting a popular vacation spot that doesn’t revolve around alcohol can be difficult. Examine your travel plans carefully and think long and hard about where you’ll be travelling. Some locations will inevitably be safer for you than others. For example, going camping or visiting a national park may be far more suitable for an alcoholic than a city-based vacation spot where nightlife is part of the equation. Though there’s no guarantee of complete safety from your addictions, being selective about your travel location can go a long way in giving you a strong buffer.

Golf ball on course with beautiful blurry landscape on background

Golf ball on course with beautiful blurry landscape on background

Ground Your Travels in Routine

One of the most challenging things about travelling as a recovering addict is losing a sense of routine. For some, this can easily cause anxiety that leads to relapse. That’s why it’s best to take control of your travel schedule early on and make sure that you have some sort of routine to rely on every day. Even if your vacation has you constantly on the go, you can commit yourself to small daily tasks that ground your travels in routine. Have a friend or sponsor that you can call once a day at a set time to check in. Schedule your meal times strictly. Have a planning session every evening where you go over your itinerary for the next day. There’s really no end to what type of routine you can come up with, even while you’re travelling.

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Seek Out Relaxing Activities

Not all vacations are relaxing ones. In fact, even the most fun-filled vacations can cause more stress than they’re worth. Be sure to seek out activities and travel spots that are relaxing to you. Over scheduling or oversaturating your travels with a lot of excitement can be too much stress too soon. Give yourself ample time each day to relax, depressurize, and find peace.

Explore New Interests That Will Help Your Recovery

One way to make travelling worth your while is to seek out new interests and hobbies that you can continue after your vacation. One of the great benefits of traveling is discovering new cultures, new ways of life, and new activities. If you discover an interesting craft, trade, or hobby during your travels, continue researching it after your vacation and utilize it as a source of comfort, power, and stress relief as you continue your recovery.

Avoid “Special Occasion” Thinking

The real danger of traveling or vacationing while in recovery is stepping out on the reality of your life back home. Temporarily forgetting the worries of your normal life while on vacation isn’t dangerous for most people, but for recovering addicts, it can lead to relapse. It can be far too easy to justify a relapse moment as a “special occasion” while travelling. Avoid this type of thinking like the plague. Execute your travels as part of your recovery instead of taking a break from it.

Rafting on the Bhote Koshi  in Nepal. The river has class 4-5 rapids.

Rafting on the Bhote Koshi in Nepal. The river has class 4-5 rapids.

Travel With People You Trust

The best way to avoid relapse while traveling is by maintaining a strong support system. Travel with loved-ones or close friends who understand where you are in your recovery and who are willing to stop at nothing to support you. Better still, bring a sponsor or a designate one of your travel companions as the watchful eye who will make sure you’re still actively engaged in your recovery.

Find Sober Communities Wherever You Are

There are support groups, 12-step meetings, and other forms of recovery communities almost everywhere. As you travel, research and find these communities and attend whatever gatherings are available to you. Not only will you meet new people who know exactly what you’re going through, but you will be turning your travel time into a bona fide addiction recovery program of your own making.

*I’d like to thank Andy for this helpful article. So recovery friends, as summer winds down, remember to have FUN and Live In The Moment!*
*Catherine*