You've likely heard the saying, "once an alcoholic, always an alcoholic." It's the phrase that someone utters when the alcoholic in his or her life goes on yet another bender or relapses after white-knuckling it to stay sober. It's usually said with frustration, contempt, or even worse, pity. I used to hate to hear the phrase, especially in my early attempts at recovery, when I struggled unsuccessfully to stop drinking. To me, it meant that my failure at sobriety was inevitable - that I would continue to return to the very thing that was destroying my relationships, my spirit, and my life, no matter how hard I tried to control it. Was I just destined to always be an alcoholic?
Alcohol abuse affects women differently than it affects men, even when they drink smaller amounts. There are more health risks for women, including liver disease, breast cancer, and brain damage. While women are just as likely as men to be successful with sobriety, women who abuse alcohol may have more challenges finding accessible treatment for alcohol abuse and addiction.
It's important to know how to identify the warning signs of addiction relapse when you have a loved one who is in recovery from addiction. There are some telltale signs that a person in recovery is moving toward an addiction relapse, even before they actually use drugs or drink again. When you are able to identify those signs, you may be able to help your loved one avoid relapsing and get his or her feet firmly planted back in recovery.
Substitute addictions may become a problem when people who overcome one addiction turn to something else to fill the void. Addiction is a difficult thing to conquer, and when people have to learn to live and cope without the drugs or alcohol they have been using as a coping mechanism, they sometimes fall victim to another addiction in the process. A drinker becomes addicted to benzodiazepines. A meth addict becomes an over-eater. A heroin addict becomes an alcoholic. Substitute addictions are challenging and frustrating for friends and family to deal with, and the people who are addicted may not even recognize that they are substituting one addiction for another.
What can a dual diagnosis of substance abuse and bipolar lead to --homelessness., incarceration or broken relationships. I was a walking dead person for a decade, while my co-occurring mental illnesses were left untreated. After receiving proper treatment for bipolar and and my dual diagnosis substance abuse disorder, I have found a fresh hope.
Alcohol and opiate withdrawal symptoms can be extremely difficult, but vitamins may help people with substance use disorders by possibly easing withdrawal symptoms. Treatment methods range from quitting cold turkey to hospitalization. Sometimes medications can be prescribed to ease withdrawal symptoms (Opioids Withdrawal: How Bad Is It? Symptoms, Treatment). However, one concern for people trying to get clean is becoming dependent on another substance. It is always important to check with your doctor when considering alternative treatment so they can review your medical history and specific situation. For the scope of this post, I will cover the use of vitamins B and C for alcohol and opiate withdrawal symptoms.
If you ignore self-care in recovery from addiction, you're putting yourself at risk for relapse. So, are you burning the candle at both ends or do you make everything else a priority, always putting yourself on the back burner? Not making self-care in recovery from addiction a priority is dangerous because self-care is the foundation we build our recovery on. We are learning to love and respect ourselves by practicing mindfulness, living in moderation, implementing healthy boundaries, improving sleep patterns, eating healthily and exercising. Self-care in recovery from addiction must be a priority and can be broken down into three parts.
Substance abuse stigma is but one obstacle on the path to addiction recovery. Legal troubles, medical issues, psychological problems, family issues, and work-related issues make up some others. But the stigma surrounding substance abuse adds insult to injury. For some, these obstacles to addiction recovery have the power to throw a person off the path to recovery. During a time when people need love, support, and encouragement, stigma makes recovery challenging. Substance abuse stigma can be found within an addict (self-stigma) and from outside influences.
“I just want to be normal. I don’t know what it’s like,” cried a tear-soaked heroin addict during a tough-love intervention. Her cry came after about 15 minutes of being yelled at, belittled, and degraded in front of 1000 viewers, all in the name of tough love. My heart broke into pieces for her because I’ve been that woman. I wanted to reach through my screen, hug her and tell her how precious she is. Tough love for addicts doesn't work.
Setting or maintaining boundaries with family and friends may be difficult if you are in recovery from addiction. The difficulty of setting limitations with others is a natural thing to experience in recovery because when you were in active addiction it’s likely that your boundaries were severely blurred or even nonexistent. The lack of boundaries in your life at the time may have led to manipulation, abuse, allowing others to take advantage of you and put you in harm’s way. It also leads to codependency in relationships, which likely fed your addiction and kept it active. But now you are in recovery, and it’s time to learn that setting and maintaining boundaries is essential to your recovery.