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Why Mindfulness Works in Recovery

Mindfulness can mean the difference in a clear head and feeling overwhelmed in addiction recovery

We live in an age where the world seems to be zipping by, and sometimes, it can seem like we are being left behind. We start to believe the messaging of famous sayings like FOMO (fear of missing out) and the non-stop barrage of social media memes shouting that amazing things are happening without us. We know in our logical minds that the highly filtered and curated lives we intentionally share on social media are a distraction to our real lives. Oddly, we seem to have stopped living, and we are neglecting “real life” while we wait for this Instagram version to arrive at our doorstep by some magic.

No matter our jobs, social lives, or realities, none of us are immune to these images and pressures. We are internalizing and even passing these insecurities onto our children and spouses. But how do we break free from this cycle – take back a “normal” sense of self and stop punishing ourselves for falling short?

Mindfulness.

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Meth Use – Signs, Symptoms & Things to Know

Dilated eyes can be a sign of substance abuse including meth use according to substance abuse experts at Destination Hope

Crystal meth, widely known on the street as methamphetamine, meth, chalk, ice, and crystal, is a highly addictive stimulant belonging to the amphetamine class of drugs. It’s sold illicitly as a white, crystalline powder that’s bitter-tasting and odorless. Amphetamines were first developed in 19th Century Germany and evolved into methamphetamines in Japan in 1919. During World War 2, meth was used to keep soldiers awake, and later, in the 1950s, it was used alternately as a decongestant to lose weight and fight depression. The 1960s saw a period of increased abuse which led to the drug being made illegal for most uses in the US in the 1970s. While the drug remains illegal today, it is a major drug of abuse and continues to be a significant societal concern.

Crystal meth abuse is a widespread problem in the U.S. and is exacerbated by the ease of production in large and small “labs” alike. Additional production of methamphetamine occurs in Mexico, at which point it is brought into the United States illegally. Although it’s not the most popular illicit drug of abuse, it is one of the most destructive.

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The Science Behind Addiction. Why Does It Affect Some People More Than Others?

The truth is anyone can become an addict whether they are a hero working on the front lines or a teen who succumbs to peer pressure. Risk factors make addiction more likely to take place in some people. It is a combination of biology and environment that make some people more susceptible to addiction.

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How Common Is Addiction?

We hear heartbreaking stories of addiction, overdose and relapse virtually every day. In most cases, these stories relate to celebrities or otherwise well-known people that have succumbed to the disease. Alternately, we hear of truly shocking behaviors that happened under the influence. Sadly, the day-to-day stories about addiction are too many to cover and have, for most people, become normal and expected. Overdose deaths often become the norm, in many people’s eyes, with the overwhelming statistics we see on drug use and addiction. This is not totally surprising. Indeed, it wouldn’t be a stretch to say that almost everyone has been affected by addiction or knows someone who has battled substance abuse or addiction – either alcohol or drugs.

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When Does Substance Abuse Become Addiction?

When evaluating the statistics on substance use, whether it be alcohol, drugs or any other illicit or legal substance that has addictive properties, it can be shocking to see how many people use on a regular basis. And while substance use is certainly a precursor to substance abuse, not everybody who uses, ends up abusing.

Substance abuse and addiction are often lumped into one category but are, in fact, quite distinct. Both cause adverse effects but are separated primarily by how the brain and body react to the substance and how the individual continues to use despite negative consequences. Once the user develops a compulsive or uncontrollable need for the substance of abuse, they have started the path to addiction.

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Does Evidence-Based Therapy Work?

According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, evidence-based therapy approaches are treatment programs that have been scholarly or scientifically researched and replicated by more than one study for proven effectiveness.1 These types of therapy approaches are used to help make treatment work more effectively for patients, whether or not it’s used in conjunction with medication.

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The Evolution of Addiction and Treatment Through the Ages

The consumption of alcohol, opioids, cannabis and cocaine have roots in ancient history. The Bible references Noah’s drinking habits and intoxication, and the use of opium in Syria in the 7th century B.C. is well-documented in ancient medical texts. Ancient Incas living in the Andes three thousand years before Christ chewed coca leaves to counter the physical effects of thin mountain air, and the Chinese Emperor Shen Nung wrote about cannabis in 2727 B.C.

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Parents with Substance Abuse Problems: Effects on Children

Drug addiction doesn’t just affect individuals; it affects the entire family unit. Children can experience a variety of impairments as a result of their parent's addiction, some of which can last for a lifetime. Getting these children back on a track of normal development often requires a multi-disciplined approach to their welfare. Parents who are well-established on the road to recovery can help these children to overcome issues related to the substance abuse and return to a normal development pattern. Financial Deficits Children of individuals with drug addiction often live in circumstances of want that make it difficult for them…

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Is Suboxone Addictive?

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, a combination of medication and behavioral therapy is the most effective way to treat addiction, and this is particularly true with opioid addictions.

The cravings and other withdrawal symptoms associated with opiate addiction can be excruciating, and the cravings, in particular, can linger long after the physical dependence has been broken through medical detox. Maintenance medications like methadone and Suboxone stave off cravings and withdrawal symptoms so that those with opiate addiction can focus on restoring their lives while slowly being weaned from these medications over weeks, months or even years.

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Is Technology Addiction a Scientific Condition?

It’s probably safe to say that we all know at a visceral level that too much time spent on our electronic devices isn’t particularly good for our brains or our health. We have trouble sleeping, we get headaches, our collective attention span grows shorter and the lines between real life and “Fallout” become alarmingly blurred.

We know technology affects the brain, and sometimes it’s in ways that aren’t all bad. The real problem comes from developing an addiction to our electronic devices or the features they offer, like social media, games, or other apps, and neglecting our well-being in other areas of our lives because of it.

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