Tag Archives: alcoholism

Having a Healthy Pregnancy After Drug Addiction

You’ve hit the bottom with your drug addiction, yet you’ve fought your way back up. Now you’re at the point where you are thinking about having a baby. Whether this is your first pregnancy or your fifth, you need to prepare your mind and body for this major change.

You also need to stay on track with your recovery plan. Here are a few valuable tips to help you have a healthy pregnancy during your addiction recovery.

Get a Strong Body for Pregnancy

When it comes to getting in shape, why wait until you are pregnant? Start your exercise habits now. Choose simple things you can do nearly every day such as walking, swimming, yoga, or other activities. Of course, when the time comes, you’ll need to speak with your doctor about exercising safely during the various stages of pregnancy.

Remember, exercise is an important part of your recovery plan as well. Exercise is a great way to keep your stress levels low all the time. When you have a tense day, exercise a great way to unwind. Working out helps your blood circulation, your energy levels, and even your mood. Each of these is vital to your continued addiction recovery plan as much as they are your pregnancy.

Good Nutrition is Essential

Nearly every drug addict or alcoholic has poor nutrition when they start recovery. Addiction isn’t a healthy lifestyle, so they aren’t getting regular well-balanced meals. Addiction can change a person’s appetite dramatically. Just two examples make this point – meth addicts typically lose a great deal of weight because of a suppressed appetite, and alcoholics can have weight problems because of the empty calories in alcohol. Proper nutrition helps the healing process. Nutrients supply the body with energy. They provide substances to build and maintain healthy organs and fight off infection.[1]

No matter what your drug of choice was, you’ll need to be sure you are on track with your nutrition before becoming pregnant. If you went to a treatment center that focused on nutritional counseling, you may be a step ahead. If not, talk to your doctor or a local nutritionist for some guidance.

Establish good eating habits well before your pregnancy so you can be as healthy as you can from the start. Once you become pregnant, you may notice some differences in appetite and food preferences. While these may be unavoidable, you can handle it all better if you have been sticking to a healthy diet. Plus, everything you eat will benefit your baby down the road.

Use Your Support Network

Pregnancy is a time of wonder, but it can also be a stressful time. Your emotions and hormones will likely take a roller coaster ride. Once the baby is born, some women struggle with their emotions. You want to take intentional steps to avoid drug cravings during times of stress. When you were a participant in substance abuse, you likely used drugs as a way to handle stress. Know that stress will likely be a trigger for you.

A trigger can be thought of as anything that brings back thoughts, feelings, and memories that have to do with addiction.[2]

Now is the time that you need to engage your support network. You need to have people around you that will encourage you after the baby is born. You may even want to arrange for some help after the birth so you can get enough rest. Watch for anything related to your relapse triggers – family issues, sleep loss, trouble focusing on positive things under stress, etc.

Healthy Pregnancy After Getting Sober

You can have a healthy pregnancy while in recovery. Just be sure you plan ahead to get a healthy start. Be prepared and do not overlook the support you need to have a healthy pregnancy. If you need some help, please know you can contact us at Michael’s House. We are here to help you live a life without substance abuse. Please reach out to us at 760-548-4032 now.

[1] https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/002149.htm Substance Use Recovery and Diet

[2] Triggers and Relapse, a Craving Connection for Addicts. Jaffe, Adi. Published on March 17th, 2017.

How to Talk to an Alcoholic

For those of us who are free of mental illness, it can be difficult to comprehend the powerful nature of addiction. As a result, interactions with a friend who is an alcoholic can feel awkward. When you speak with a recovering alcoholic, it’s normal to try to fill the conversation with unrelated topics. Here are a handful of simple guidelines to keep in mind that may help ease the uncertainty.

Talk to the Alcoholic Like You Would Anybody Else

Male friends having a serious talkYour friend is still your friend. And he is a human being, just like you. If your friend has diabetes or osteoporosis, would you feel differently around them after they returned from a four-week wellness program? Probably not. If you and your alcoholic friend John have always bonded over sports and seafood, talk about your mutual interests.

In terms of questioning the alcoholic about his stint in rehab, keep it simple. While the individual is in a rehab center, he is surrounded by other alcoholics, AA slogans, anonymous fellowship text, life lessons, and much more. When he’s free of the 24/7 emphasis on recovery, chances are he is ready to talk about normal things. However, everyone’s different in this regard.

Going forward, if you’re close with the alcoholic, consider the following:

  • Differentiate between helping and enabling.Ask yourself if the help you’re about to provide—such as paying off this month’s credit card debt—is something he could do for himself if he were sober. If the answer is yes, you are doing both yourself and the alcoholic a disservice by following through. By stepping in to “solve” the addict’s problems, the enabler takes away any motivation for the addict to take responsibility for his or her actions.[1]
  • Practice detachment. In other words, try to view the alcoholism as separate from the friend in which the disease resides. If it helps, consider the person chemically compounded with two brain hemispheres -the alcoholic brain, and the logical brain. When you hear the alcoholic brain talking, attribute the behavior to their alcoholic circuitry. This will help you keep separate it from their lucid self.
  • Don’t blow up or react emphatically to a relapseIf your loved one goes on a drunken, week-long bender, yelling at him may actually push him into isolation and social withdrawal. The stronger your reaction, the more the alcoholic will focus on your words and anger. Putting on a poker face when your friend tells you he went out and got sloshed last night forces him to analyze his part in the relapse.
  • Set healthy boundaries. There’s no need to threaten an individual about the consequences from a sobriety slip. However, you can uphold a light, congenial conversation with your alcoholic friend post-treatment as a means for highlighting your newfound boundaries. Remind him that the boundaries are not a form of punishment, they are a byproduct of healthy differentiation.

In many cases, relapse happens after rehab. The chronic nature of the disease means that relapsing to drug abuse at some point is not only possible but likely. Relapse does not mean the treatment has failed.[2]

It’s natural to want to “save” or “help” your friend, especially if you witness hardships after he falls off the wagon. Stay strong by reminding yourself of the founding principle upon which Al-Anon is based –the only behaviors you can control are your own. Focus on being a good friend without enabling alcoholic actions. Remember when you set healthy boundaries and love your friend, the two behaviors are not mutually exclusive.

If you have questions about the treatment process or would like more information about alcoholism, please feel free to call us at Michael’s House. Our admissions counselors are ready to answer your questions and will provide you with the highest quality care.

[1] Psychology Today. Khaleghi, Karen. Posted on July 11th, 2012.

[2] https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/drugs-brains-behavior-science-addiction/treatment-recovery Drugs, Brains and Behavior: The Science of Addiction.

Feeling Suicidal During Recovery

When you think about it, drug and alcohol addiction is like a slow suicide.[1] You may not want to end your life in the heat of the moment. But you do permit the gradual poisoning of your mind and body.

Some people also get strong suicidal thoughts and urges during their active addiction and subsequent recovery. Many people who become sober can stop the slow self-harm of addiction before much permanent damage is done. But too many die in tragic ways during an active drug or alcohol addiction. Understanding the risks of depression and suicide associated with addiction can help you or your loved one make the choice to get help.

Impaired Impulse Control and Judgment

Woman getting drunkWhen someone is addicted to drugs or alcohol, they go all the way each time. They drink to get drunk and use drugs to get high. When this happens, the physiological effects become overwhelming. And that is usually the point for the addict, because excessive intoxication is what it takes to escape reality every day.

Unfortunately, heavy drug or alcohol use also impairs the basic functions that allow a person to live safely. Judgment becomes distorted and unreliable. A highly intoxicated person can easily misjudge oncoming traffic, their risk for falling, or the wisdom of provoking an aggressive person. Impulse control is also reduced with high levels of intoxication. Part of this comes from the immediate side effects of the drug or alcohol. The person’s cycle of compulsive behavior and obsessive thoughts allow them to answer their impulses to drink or use drugs. This impulsiveness often disrupts other areas of a person’s life.

Impaired Judgment Increases Suicide Danger

When it comes to addiction, the risk of suicide multiplies in a scary way.[2] When poor judgment and poor impulse control combine, the despair and emptiness so many addicts live with every day is increased exponentially. At some point, multiple problems begin to pile up. The negativity of an addicted mind seizes the opportunity to drive the point home. Thoughts of, “I’m worthless, it’s all pointless, nobody would care, everyone would be better off if I ended it now, this won’t get better, there’s no hope,” spin out of control. A sober suicidal person may be able to reach out for help or at least stop themselves from taking action, but a highly intoxicated suicidal person is far more likely to act on an impulse that puts them in harm’s way. And if someone already has depression or a history of suicide, the pathway to suicidal thoughts and actions is even more likely. People who are intoxicated may make suicidal gestures in order to get attention. Unfortunately, they may die accidentally because they misjudged the risk of their actions.

Curb Suicide Risk by Getting Sober Today

The best way to reduce the risk of suicide is to get sober now. It may take a while for an addict’s life to really turn around, but the suicide risk will drop significantly. As things improve, a recovering addict may have less reason to consider suicide in the first place. But just to be safe, anyone with a history of suicidal thoughts or attempts should always have a safety plan as part of their larger recovery plan. Find out more about getting sober by calling us today at 760-548-4032.

[1] The Mayo Clinic. “Drug Addiction,” December 5, 2014. Accessed March 28, 2017. http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/drug-addiction/basics/definition/con-20020970

[2] Carolyn C. Ross M.D., M.P.H. “Suicide: One of Addiction’s Hidden Risks,” Psychology Today, February 20, 2014. Accessed March 28, 2017.

6 Warning Signs of Alcoholism

Warning Signs of Alcoholism


What Are The Warning Signs Of Alcoholism To Look Out For

Many people who struggle with alcohol use really don’t think they have a problem. But most of the time, friends and loved ones around them can see the warning signs of a problem. If you feel like people get on your case about drinking or you wonder if your drinking has become problematic, you need to read this article. See if you find yourself in any of these following descriptions.

1. Drinking Excessive Amounts of Alcohol

Social or moderate drinking is defined as no more than one to two drinks per day for most people, depending on body weight and gender. Social or moderate drinking can be problematic if it causes undesirable side effects.

When people have five or more drinks in a day, it’s considered binge drinking. Many alcoholics eventually drink far more than this. It’s not uncommon for individuals with advanced alcoholism to have a dozen drinks or more each day. However, problem drinking often begins slowly and many drinkers find that they need to drink increasing amounts in order to feel the original effects of alcohol consumption.

2. Loss of Control While Drinking

At some point, many people who struggle with alcoholism make a promise to themselves or another person that they will cut back on their drinking. However, they are rarely able to keep this promise. They cannot stop drinking when they have reached a certain amount. They don’t think ahead about the consequences of drinking too much. Once they start drinking, they keep going until they are completely intoxicated.

3. Persistent Use of Alcohol Despite Awareness of Problems

Getting a DUI or receiving divorce papers may not be enough to make an alcoholic change their life. Alcoholics are often made aware of the problems caused by their drinking. They may feel powerless to change.

Other individuals may be so caught up in their denial that they don’t understand the full impact of these consequences. Their downward spiral continues because they lose control and perspective. It may be increasingly difficult to face the problems caused by drinking, but it is possible to heal, no matter how severe the problems have been.

4. Lots of Time Spent on Alcohol-Related Activities

Alcoholics spend a great deal of time engaged in alcohol-related activities. They also may neglect nearly everything else that matters to them. Family commitments, job requirements, financial obligations, hobbies, home and property care – all of these activities go by the wayside. An alcoholic will often defend his or her actions by saying they need to unwind or that no one understands their problems.

5. Experiencing Withdrawal Symptoms

Alcohol withdrawal symptoms develop when a heavy drinker suddenly stops all alcohol use. Some physical symptoms include nausea, vomiting, insomnia, rapid heartbeat, sweating, headaches, and tremors. A person may also feel fatigue, symptoms of depression, difficulty concentrating, irritability, or anxiety. Anyone with severe withdrawal symptoms such as fever, blackouts, hallucinations, or convulsions should seek immediate medical help.

6. Increased Tolerance of Alcohol

After drinking excessively for some time, a person’s body develops a tolerance for alcohol. This occurs when drinkers need to consume more alcohol to feel the same effect that they once felt. Many alcoholics think they don’t have a problem because they don’t always feel drunk when drinking. They still do a lot of damage to their body despite a lack of feeling impaired or intoxicated.

When Symptoms Add Up for Alcoholism

What were your results? If you found just one bit of truth in this article, you may want to consider how drinking is affecting your life. It may be time to ask some questions about getting sober. Please call our addiction treatment professionals today. We understand your concerns and will help you find solutions that fit your lifestyle.

7 Things That Could Derail Your Sobriety

You have gotten past a lot of hurdles to get sober. It’s been a tough road, but it’s been worth it. The following seven things could derail your sobriety and set you back at square one. Find out what they are and learn how to keep your sobriety in check.

  • 1. Being Around Friends Who Are Using

    You may think you can keep your old drug friends around because they promise not to use in front of you. But think about it. Can you really trust that they always do what’s in your best interest? People with drug addictions often say things they cannot back up with actions. It doesn’t mean they don’t want to be helpful to you. They have lost control, and so will you if you stay around them.

  • 2. Losing Touch With Your Addiction Support Network

    Your support network could include your friends and acquaintances from AA, people you got to know in drug rehab, or maybe even your sponsor. It’s great to be in touch with close friends and family who really care. But you can’t lose track of people who know the real dangers of addiction. They can help catch red flags of relapse that others might miss.

  • 3. Deciding You Can Achieve Recovery Without Support

    Isolation is a close friend of addiction. It keeps you away from fresh ideas and perspectives. Human beings can easily over-interpret bad things or fail to appreciate the small blessings in life. Having other caring people around you keeps you reaching out instead of just looking inward.

  • 4. Quitting Drug Rehab Early

    There are certainly some people out there who have skipped out on part of their drug treatment, maybe more than once. If they found their way back to sobriety, it’s probably because they stuck with a treatment program and opened themselves up to the process. Give drug rehab a full chance and give yourself a full chance at sobriety.

  • 5. Avoiding Necessary Life Changes

    Let’s imagine that when you came out of drug treatment, you really avoided dealing with your money issues. If this was a big stressor during your active addiction days, it could still trigger relapse in the future.

    Whether it’s finances, legal problems, unemployment, or something else, your sobriety will go more smoothly if you face these issues head-on. Find someone to help you with these problems, make some changes, and the stress won’t be such a threat to your sobriety anymore.

  • 6. Letting Healthy Habits Slip

    In drug rehab, you learned or relearned many healthy habits. Eating right, getting good sleep, starting an exercise plan, and relaxation – these are all necessary parts of a healthy sober lifestyle. But it’s easy to let these habits slip away if you aren’t paying close attention. Join other people who exercise regularly, cook with friends, or set reminders so you can keep these important habits going.

  • 7. Losing Focus on Staying Sober

    Mental drift happens to everyone. You get complacent, you justify loosening your standards, and you hardly notice what’s happening. Pretty soon your sobriety is just one of those things rolling around in your mind. Keep in touch with your sober network and you’ll keep sobriety at the top of your list.

Keep This List as a Reminder

This article can be a great reminder list as you establish a healthy lifestyle. When you stay aware of things that threaten your sobriety, you can keep relapse at a distance.

If you feel that your recovery may be in danger, we can help. Our experienced recovery professionals are available, day and night, to take your calls. Recovery is within reach. Call us today at 760-548-4032.

Start the Journey Today!


The Mental Side of Addiction Recovery

If you took a running tally of all the negative thoughts that pass through your mind in a few minutes, would they outnumber the positive or neutral ones? If you did this several times during the day, what would you notice? You might be surprised by what you find.

If you are in addiction recovery, a lot of negativity could be a sign of trouble.

The mental side of addiction recovery is just as important as the physical side. Negativity and black-and-white thinking are hallmarks of addiction. During drug rehab or alcohol treatment, you really take notice of what’s going on in your mind. After you finish rehab, you’ll need to stay aware of anything that could put your sobriety at risk.

Negative Thinking in Addiction Recovery

Worried woman with head in handsEveryone has negative thoughts at one time or another. It’s not realistic to assume you won’t have negative thoughts at all. Everybody has those at times, especially when in a bad mood or just after a bad experience. But consider this – are your negative thoughts just passing through, or do they color your perspective most of the time? That’s the difference between having some negative thoughts and having a surplus of negativity.

So what does the negativity have to do with addiction recovery? You may be less likely to relapse if you are able to stay calm and shake off your emotional upsets fairly quickly. While no one can avoid bad situations, everyone can add coping skills to get through even tough moments. Even when things don’t go right for a while, you can see better opportunities in the future or acknowledge that “this too shall pass”. You feel it, you come out of it, and you keep moving forward.

If you feel it and stay stuck in negative emotions, you aren’t going to feel that hope for tomorrow. Your feelings of despair and emptiness will only grow, and the temptation to drown them in drugs or alcohol will escalate. When you learn how to stay away from the negativity trap, you greatly improve your chances of staying sober longer.

Black and White Thinking in Addiction Recovery

Now, let’s focus on black-and-white thinking, also known as “all or nothing” thinking. This is like looking at a distorted mirror in a funhouse. Your head gets squished all the way to the top and your feet are spread out on the bottom. Everything in-between is skinnier than a stick, almost invisible. Your perception of the world can become like this if you don’t catch yourself. Mistakes become unacceptable. Things need to either be all going right or it’s not worth putting in the effort.

Sure, anyone in addiction recovery would love to have things roll along smoothly from one step to the next. But in real life, bumps happen. Setbacks happen. Temptations happen.

Sometimes people give in to them and sometimes they don’t. But that doesn’t mean it’s pointless to stay sober just because you feel a difficult craving one day. When you can learn to accept some of the gray areas in life, you can learn how to see the bigger picture. You can avoid getting trapped in all the ups and downs.

The Mental Battle of Addiction

Negativity and black-and-white thinking are two roadblocks that most recovering addicts or alcoholics face. They are part of reality, but they don’t have to bring you down. Reach out, stay in touch with your support network, and always be aware of negativity and black-and-white thinking in your daily life.

No one is born with perfect coping skills. If we don’t learn good coping skills early in life, it can be possible to learn them later in life. It never hurts to make improvements.

The good news is that you don’t have to make improvements on your own. There are millions of people who seek positive change in the world, and many of those people would help support your journey to wellness.

The staff at Michael’s House have dedicated their lives to helping people reach brighter futures. Our experienced and educated staff can help you and your family overcome the difficulties of addiction to build a more positive future. Give us a call at 760-548-4032 to find out how we can help you today.

Drug Addiction and Marriage

There are few things that can harm a marriage as thoroughly as a drug addiction. Certainly, many people who struggle with substance use manage to save their relationships and sometimes even grow stronger through their recovery. But many marriages do not survive the damage addiction inflicts. Consider a few ways that an untreated drug addiction cuts away at the very heart of a solid marriage.

Drug Addiction Destroys Trust

Woman contemplating divorceWhen you constantly say one thing and then do another, trust can disappear quickly. Trust is the foundation of a marriage. Without it, a relationship will eventually fail. When a person can’t count on their spouse anymore, they start to withdraw from the relationship and go into self-protection mode. Obviously, this doesn’t do good things for a marriage.

Drug addiction does a lot to sabotage trust in a relationship. Intoxication can lead to many poor decisions including extra-marital affairs, mismanagement of money, and risky behaviors such as driving under the influence. Intoxication makes effective communication impossible. Continued damage occurs when an addicted person chooses drug-related activities over family obligations.

Trust is much harder to keep once it’s been damaged like this. However, treatment can make a difference and possibly save relationships that have been devastated by substance use.

Drug Use and Drug Abuse Make Marriage Imbalanced

Addiction causes a person to become very self-focused and self-serving. Everything is about them getting their drug fix or drink while avoiding reality. Marriage is supposed to be about two people supporting and leaning on each other. When one gets down, the other lifts them up. They go through the ups and downs together with each other in mind.

This is not the case when someone has an active drug addiction. The non-addicted spouse often feels neglected in the marriage. If there are children in the family, the sober spouse may also feel like they are a single parent. Nothing is balanced as the addicted spousepursues self-serving behavior. Unless something changes, all the promises to do better become lip-service. A spouse can really feel abandoned because of this.

Both Partners Can Be Hurt

As you might expect, someone with a drug addiction can really hurt their spouse’s feelings and sense of respect. Words can absolutely hurt, especially when they come from someone you’ve pledged your life to.

The other risk is real physical harm coming to one or both people in the marriage. A person who is abusing drugs can become violent.Violence and violent tendencies may vary due to the addicted spouse’s drug of choice,his or her personality, and his or her intoxication levels. If the substance-using spouse blacks out and becomes aggressive, abuse or injury may occur to the spouse or family. The risk of harm increases if children are in the home. The unpredictable nature of a drug addict puts everyone at risk.

Drug Rehab Can Help Families

Not every marriage that has been impacted by substance use can be saved. However, many relationships can improve when the addicted spouse goes through drug rehab and sticks with sobriety. Even if a marriage ends, drug rehab can help both parents cooperate better for the sake of their children. Drug rehab can also help make the future brighter for each spouse, whether the relationship survives or not. Wellness and recovery simply offer a way for people to experience better outcomes in general.

Drug rehab programs can connect spouses with support groups. Many rehab centers also encourage spouse participation during family treatment sessions. Marriage is a two-way street and addiction does a lot to block the whole road. With a good drug rehab program, recovery and marriage can move forward together.

Addiction Relapse: Getting Back On Track

Your drug rehab counselor says relapse can happen to anyone going through recovery. Your recovery friends tell you that relapse is part of the process, it’s not the end of the world, and you can get through it.

That’s what they say, anyway. It sure feels like the bottom of a dark pit to you.

Your efforts with sobriety are not lost just because you’ve had a relapse. The positive changes you find in recovery are never lost.You just need to find your recovery again– it’s still yours and it’s still inside you. You may feel down and out now, but you are just one step away from getting your sobriety back on track.

Take One Step Back to Sobriety

Woman in hoodie on beachThat’s right, it just takes one step to get back on the path of sobriety. What is that step? It’s the decision that you are going to be sober for the next moment, no matter what it takes. Don’t think about next week, last month, yesterday, or tomorrow.

The next moment is all you need to focus on. Before long, the next moment turns into the moment after that, and the next five minutes, and the next hour. Whatever you need to do to stay sober for the very near future will get you through the worst of it.

Get in touch with a good sober friend and start talking. Go somewhere with a lot people where you can just walk around for a while. Get outdoors and enjoy the fresh air, maybe even some sunshine. Find some good music and soak it up. Do something that distracts you from the cravings, changes your mood, gets you out of isolation, or gets you away from your triggers.

Put One Foot in Front of the Other

Black-and-white thinking is a big part of addiction. Even when you are sober, this kind of negative, all-or-nothing outlook can make sobriety challenging. You may tend to look too far out into the future with many “what if” questions.

It will help you more to stay with your current moment of reality. When you get caught up in lots of worry about staying sober in the future, you lose sight of what you can do to be sober right here and now. The future will take care of itself. Stay where you have the power; you have power in the moment you are in at this very moment.

Rebuild Your Sobriety After Relapse

Take that one small step towards sobriety and slowly build your future again. Don’t let the emotional leftovers of your relapse take away the importance of this first step. It’s the beginning of your sobriety and it’s important. If you have trouble taking this first step, talk to a drug or alcohol rehab counselor for more help. You can call us anytime to learn more about getting and staying sober.

Coping Skills for a Sober Life

Sobriety requires intentionality. You have to rebuild your life to make sobriety a reality. And it’s not just about refraining from drug use; it’s about managing your mental and physical wellness so you don’t become vulnerable to relapse. Drug rehab is a key step in recovery, but once you leave rehab, your sobriety hinges on the decisions you make. Coping skills are essential to help you stay on track each day.

Physical Health

When you are addicted to drugs, there are often several long-term consequences. Some of these health problems may include lung or cardiovascular disease, stroke, cancer, lung disease and Hepatitis B or C.[1] To keep cravings at bay, you’ll need to get your body back on track.Regular exercise is very beneficial for someone in addiction recovery. It makes you feel stronger and more energetic. You may feel extra tired when you start exercising. Once your body adjusts, you’ll look forward to exercise as it boosts your endorphins and gets your blood flowing more freely.

You can try yoga, a fun aerobics class, biking, or even walking in your neighborhood every day. A simple exercise plan will help you keep you on track. Exercise boosts your mood and makes your body learn how to feel good without drug use. Exercise is also a great stress reliever, which you’ll need as you make big changes in your life.

Bicycling family

Mental Health

Mental wellness is another key part of staying sober. Painful emotions are a pathway for relapse, so you need to be aware of your moods. If you have a diagnosed mental illness—such as depression or PTSD—be sure you take your medication, go to your treatment sessions, and do whatever your doctor recommends. Putting off your mental health care is not an option.

Also, keep in mind what events or places cause you stress. Do you need to learn how to let go of an argument? Maybe you need to take a more flexible point of view? Perhaps you just need to unwind your muscles on a regular basis? There are lots of ways to relieve stress so you can have a positive mindset – funny movies, journal writing, some alone time, a long walk, prayer, or listening to something inspirational. Do these kinds of things regularly to fight off negativity and anxiety.

Social Environment

Your social connections with friends, family and support group members can help you get through the ups and downs in your sobriety. This group will congratulate you on your victories and also lift you up when you are down. Staying connected to sober people is a terrific and vital coping skill. But you must communicate with them about the challenges you face with your sobriety.

It’s not enough just to know them and make small talk when you are around each other. You need to take the risk of opening up. When you cultivate honest, caring relationships you’ll have someone to laugh with and someone to cry with.

Putting It All Together

As you move forward in your recovery, your sobriety depends on having—and using—coping skills. Keep in mind that drug addiction is a chronic disease like cardiovascular disease, type II diabetes or cancer.[2] Continual treatment is required. We at Michael’s House are here to help you stay sober. If you would like to talk to one of our admissions counselors, please call today.

[1] https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/drugs-brains-behavior-science-addiction/addiction-health What Are the Medical Consequences of Drug Addiction?

[2] https://archives.drugabuse.gov/publications/drug-abuse-addiction-one-americas-most-challenging-public-health-problems/addiction-chronic-disease Addiction is a Chronic Disease.

At-Risk Alcohol Abuse Among Older People

When you think about older people drinking alcohol, so many misconceptions and stereotypes exist. A new revealing study done by the school of medicine UCLA exposes much more about risky drinking by people 60 years old and older.[1] Many people assume that drinking at an older age isn’t that much of a problem or that not much can be done if a problem exists. But a new understanding of the risks of drinking for older people can help you or a loved one get the treatment you need.

Health Risk Factors

Elderly woman drinkingAccording to the UCLA study, older drinkers are much more likely to take a variety of medication which can increase their risk of developing complications from alcohol use. Some medicines can be dangerous when combined with alcohol, and certain health conditions can significantly worsen with heavy alcohol use, especially heart and liver conditions. Some older drinkers are at risk because they drink alone, due to the recent death of a spouse or other loved one or a divorce. Older drinkers are also at great risk for injury because of more frail bones, worsened sense of balance, or weakened muscles. The National Institute on Aging lists several risk factors for older adults who drink too much over time.[2]

Drinking too much over time or as an older adult can:

  • Lead to some kinds of cancer, liver damage, immune system disorders, and brain damage.
  • Worsen some health conditions like osteoporosis, diabetes, high blood pressure and ulcers.
  • Make some medical problems hard for doctors to find and treat because alcohol damages causes changes in the heart and blood vessels. These changes can dull pain or other symptoms that might be warning signs of a problem.
  • Increase forgetfulness and confusion in some older people which could be mistaken for signs of Alzheimer’s disease.

Older Alcohol Abuse Statistics

The UCLA study found that alcohol issues were slightly different for different cultural, educational and age groups. Caucasians were more than twice as likely to have risky drinking then Asians. Persons age 60 to 64 were more than twice as likely to have a drinking problem as those 80 years or older. Graduating from high school seemed to decrease an older person’s chances for risky drinking by 2.5 times. According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, adults who are 65 years of age or older and on no medication should have no more than three drinks on a given day or seven drinks in a week.[3]

Alcohol Rehab for the Mature Adult

Older people tend to be somewhat ignored when it comes to alcoholism. People often assume that the symptoms associated with alcoholism are just a normal part of aging. But too much alcohol in the older adult can have disastrous consequences. Dangerous medication and alcohol combinations, falls, and accelerated disease can all shorten or dramatically impair a person’s quality of life. No one wants this for their older relatives.

Realizing you or a loved one has a problem and asking for help is the first and most important step in alcohol recovery no matter a person’s age. For the older person struggling with alcoholism, family support is crucial for successful treatment.

The older alcoholic may doubt that he or she can change, especially after so many years. But with family participation and encouragement, older people with at-risk drinking can improve and even save their lives by getting the right treatment. For more information about helping an older loved one struggling with alcohol abuse, call our toll-free number now.

[1] University of California, Los Angeles. “High Rates of At-Risk Drinking Among Elderly Adults, Study Finds,” Science Daily, May 1, 2010. Accessed March 20, 2017. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/04/100429092944.htm

[2] National Institute on Aging. “Alcohol Use in Older People,” March 2012. Accessed March 20, 2017. https://www.nia.nih.gov/health/publication/alcohol-use-older-people

[3] National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. “Older Adults.” Accessed March 20, 2017.  https://www.nia.nih.gov/health/publication/alcohol-use-older-people