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Friday, April 29, 2016

Signs That Your Loved One Has a Secret Drinking Problem

hiding secret drinking problemWe like to think that alcoholism is obvious; that we would all know if we were living, working, or interacting with someone who was drinking. While addiction may be apparent in certain cases, some alcohol-dependent people manage to hide their compulsion to drink. Over time, addicted individuals become adept at concealing their behavior by lying about their whereabouts, banking creatively to fund their habit, or diluting liquor to conceal how much they have consumed.

5 Possible Signs of a Hidden Alcohol Addiction
Individuals with alcohol abuse problems hide their drinking for many reasons: to protect their family or marriage, secure their job, safeguard their image, or avoid nagging relatives. Over time, signs of alcoholism may become more apparent as a family member becomes less capable of managing their tangled web of lies and deception.

Common signs of a hidden drinking problem may include:

1. Frequent mention of illness. This complaint may just indicate a hangover, but could also be due to liver damage, a suppressed immune system or the inability to fend off viruses or bacterial infections. 

2. Changes in personal appearance or hygiene. A sudden disinterest in showering, oral care, or nutrition could be a symptom of alcohol abuse. Over time, unaddressed neglect of self-care may also lead to gum disease, malnutrition, or gastrointestinal conditions that could complicate a substance abuser’s health.

3. Defensiveness. Men and women struggling with an alcohol addiction can become agitated and defensive when confronted—especially when they are unprepared to admit the problem. Do not let this deter you; seek professional help if necessary. Our addiction counselors can assist you with scheduling a life-saving intervention.

4. Hiding places. Finding a bottle of liquor tucked away in the linen closet or behind tools in the garage is a red flag that your loved one is hiding evidence of their substance abuse problem.

5. Mint & gum use. If your spouse, child, or parent is never without gum or mints—even for short periods of time—they could be disguising the alcohol on their breath.

Help for Hidden Addictions
If you believe that someone you love is hiding a life-threatening alcohol compulsion or substance abuse disorder, call a recovery specialist at 866.930.4673 to schedule an intervention or inquire about comfortable detox programs for alcohol, street drugs, or prescription medications. Our team is available 24/7 and can also be reached using our confidential online form.

Friday, April 22, 2016

The Facts about Social Anxiety Disorder

facts about social anxiety disorderWhen you get butterflies before making a presentation, or dream up a list of reasons to skip your high school reunion, you are showing signs of anxiety that almost everyone feels sometime in life. Social experiences are part of growing up, and most people have learned to take this normal anxiety in stride by the time they reach adulthood. For some 15 million American adults who suffer from social anxiety disorder (SAD), however, the fear of new relationships and social interactions is debilitating.

More than Being Shy 
Social anxiety disorder is characterized by distorted thinking and fear of being judged or evaluated by others. People who exhibit this disorder may be extremely self-conscious, easily embarrassed, and fearful that they can’t measure up to what others expect of them. Their fear is so great that it can cause physical symptoms like dizziness, nausea, racing heart, and shortness of breath.

Lives Shaped by Anxiety 
To avoid being judged or even noticed, people with SAD curtail social interaction, try to hide in the background, and may even turn to self-medication. Their social anxiety impacts all areas of life: holding a job, advancing at work, developing friendships and romantic relationships, and enjoying activities and recreation. More than 36% of adults with SAD have suffered with symptoms for 10 or more years before they finally received treatment.

Overcoming Social Anxiety
Individuals who seek and follow treatment can make permanent changes in their lives. Effective therapies for SAD include:

Cognitive-behavioral therapy, which helps to rewire the brain and reverse distorted thinking and behavior.
Behavioral group therapy that incorporates role-playing and social skills training.
Supervised pharmaceutical treatment using beta-blockers, benzodiazepines, or anti-depressants. This can relieve symptoms of anxiety, but are not a cure.
Anxiety management techniques like breathing exercises and meditation.
Lifestyle changes for better health, including limiting caffeine, not smoking, prioritizing sleep.
Diagnosis & treatment of co-occurring disorders like addiction, depression, and obsessive-compulsive behavior.

Holistic CA Rehab 
If you have been self-medicating to ease your fear of social interactions, Complete Harmony can help you to leave your fear and addiction behind. With comfortable detox, holistic therapies, and dual-diagnosis treatment, you’ll get the personalized help you need to experience a fuller, more satisfying life. Don’t sit on the sidelines any longer. Dial 866.930.4673 now to begin the enrollment process.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Integrating Holistic and Traditional Addiction Treatments

Integrating Holistic and Traditional Addiction TreatmentsSubstance abuse treatment philosophies can be divided into two broad categories: those that favor a holistic approach and those that use an evidence-based approach. While these treatment strategies have often been deployed in a mutually exclusive way, they both offer benefits and can be integrated to create a custom-tailored recovery program that yields lasting results.

The Benefits of Evidence-Based Therapies 
Evidence-based therapies are grounded in science and use detoxification strategies that include medications, psychotherapy, and counseling to treat acute withdrawal symptoms while addressing the underlying causes of substance abuse. When these strategies are conscientiously applied and attuned to individual needs, they tend to lead to predictable results that help patients get through the difficult initial phases of substance abuse cessation, while also empowering them with the psychological skills to avoid relapses.

Holistic Approaches to Addiction
Alternative therapies are generally geared towards activating the body's natural "feel-good" chemical reactions, helping the patient overcome addiction naturally while achieving a stronger sense of tranquility and inner harmony. Examples of holistic approaches include massage therapy, exercise therapy, yoga, art and music therapy, meditation, neurofeedback, and acupuncture, among others. Proper nutrition also plays a foundational role in holistic programs.

Proponents of these approaches emphasize that, because they do not substitute one drug for another, they help patients break the cycle of chemical dependence. For example, evidence-based approaches to heroin addiction have, for many years, been built around substituting heroin with a longer-acting and ostensibly less dangerous drug such as methadone, then reducing the patient's dosage until physical addiction has been overcome. While this approach can work in a carefully controlled clinical setting, critics have long contended that it effectively masks the problem rather than solving it.

Holistic approaches help patients recover their body's original state – the state it was in before substance abuse created the chemical changes that led to addiction.

Complimentary Combined Approaches to Addiction Treatment
At Complete Harmony Rehab, we've developed a groundbreaking hybrid addiction treatment program that combines the scientifically supported benefits of evidence-based approaches with the restorative power of holistic therapies. This unique treatment program is designed to help patients struggling with addictions to alcohol, street drugs, and prescription drugs, as well as relapses and co-occurring mental illnesses.

We recognize the shortcomings of one-size-fits-all approaches to addiction treatment, and we work with patients on an individual basis to develop custom-tailored treatment programs. If you or someone you care about is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, we invite you to learn more about our unique approach to recovery. Please contact us confidentially to learn more.

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Compulsive Use of Smart Phones a Growing Reality

compulsive use of smartphonesIn a recent Baylor University study, 60 of 164 respondents called themselves “addicted” to their smart phone. The study analyzed 24 different cell phone functions, reporting that apps like Instagram and Pinterest were among the most common time drains. The study found women’s phone use hovering at 10 hours per day, while men used their device slightly less (8 hours per day).

According to Baylor researcher James Roberts, Ph.D, these numbers are astounding. “As cell phone functions increase, addictions to this seemingly indispensable piece of technology become an increasingly realistic possibility,” he said.

Smart phones are not inherently bad, since they provide the tools we need to stay connected to friends and loved ones, capture images of important life moments, navigate us to new destinations, and organize our tasks in a more productive way. Unfortunately, their draw often proves too much: distracting us from family, work, and meaningful pastimes. In many cases, we even become anxious or agitated when we are unable to find or access our device.

Symptoms of Smart Phone Obsession 
If you are concerned that your smart device may be demanding more of your time than it should, ask yourself:

• Am I sleeping with my phone or checking it during the night?
• Do I feel compelled to respond to a text within seconds?
• How many times a day do I log into social media platforms? Is it excessive?
• Do I text or use my phone during mealtimes or while other people are trying to converse with me?
• Is my cell phone use causing family arguments or relationship problems?
• Am I purchasing apps, music, and phone-related items I cannot afford?

Tips for Detaching 
If you believe that you are too attached to your phone, tablet, or computer, it could be time for a hiatus. Try these three practical steps to begin detaching from your smart device:

1. Limit social media & email responses. Rather than waking up and checking notifications, tell yourself that you will eat a healthy breakfast, meditate, or work out BEFORE you take time to check your email or scan your Instagram feed.

2. Download an app that tracks your phone time. Chances are you are on your device more than you realize. Apps like Moment and BreakFree educate you about how much time you have wasted on your phone. That knowledge may be just the motivation you needed to make a change.

3. Turn off your phone for at least one hour each day. When possible, take the opportunity to be “unreachable” for a short period of time during your day. Power your phone down and take a deep breath knowing that you can function without your smart device, and (surprise!) even enjoy the peace and quiet.

Complete Harmony CA Rehab 
If compulsive cell phone use is a problem that co-occurs with your drug or alcohol addiction, Complete Harmony’s team of practitioners and addiction specialists can help. Join our family and begin to live life on healthier terms, without the need for technology overload. Dial 866.930.4673 to inquire about California addiction treatment and dual-diagnosis programs, or speak with a counselor about developing a customized recovery program for your needs.

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Dialectical Behavior Therapy as Treatment for Substance Misuse

Dialectical Behavior Therapy in Addiction TreatmentDialectical behavior therapy (DBT) is a technique that has shown great promise in the treatment of certain substance abuse disorders. Initially developed to help patients with compulsive patterns of self-harm, DBT has found new applications in drug and alcohol addiction recovery programs. At Complete Harmony, we employ DBT to help afflicted individuals relieve the underlying emotional imbalances and self-image issues that frequently accompany substance abuse.

Clinicians began to unlock the efficacy of DBT as a substance abuse treatment when they started to view drug and alcohol addiction as a psychological compulsion similar to those who engage in behaviors like self-mutilation. In both cases, patients turn to the problematic behavior as a means of dealing with feelings of shame, fear of abandonment, low self-esteem, and poor self-image. These feelings are often rooted in deep-seated emotional or psychological trauma, though genetic predisposition and other innate factors are also believed to play a role.

Complete Harmony’s DBT addiction treatment model proceeds through four discrete stages spread across 12 steps to help patients overcome drug and alcohol abuse while developing tools that promote long-term recovery.

DBT Addiction Treatment Programs at Complete Harmony
Our dialectical behavior therapy treatment protocol has been shown to be highly effective for patients with psychological profiles that include the following characteristics:

• Dramatic or violent mood swings
• Major depressive disorder & severe depression
• Self-harm or self-mutilation tendencies

The program uses clear, powerful strategies to help participants develop skills that enable them to overcome substance abuse while achieving better control of interpersonal relationships, mindfulness, emotional reactions, and ability to manage stress and distress. DBT begins with the simple recognition that positive change is needed to help the patient address both the acute and underlying issues that contribute to their problematic behaviors.

First, our counselors perform thorough evaluations that cover the patient's substance abuse history, health history, and psychological profile. From there, specific and individually tailored therapy objectives are identified, and patients begin treatment that ultimately leads to much higher levels of personal happiness and spiritual satisfaction.

If you would like to learn more about our 12-step alternatives, we invite you to contact a member of our medical or therapy team. Submit a confidential online inquiry, or call us toll-free at 866-930-4673—24 hours a day.

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