Serotonin is an important chemical naturally produced in the body that aids nerve cells, digestion, breathing, brain function, and much more. Serotonin syndrome occurs when, by ingesting too many or the wrong combination of drugs, serotonin levels are too high for the body to handle. Mild occurrences of serotonin syndrome can dissipate on their own after a few days if the drug use is discontinued. More severe instances of serotonin syndrome can be lethal if left untreated.
Temptation is all around us; it’s just a fact of life. However, when traveling, it can be even harder to resist. This can be for several reasons. First, it seems that the opportunities to drink or abuse substances are more plentiful in your travels. Second, the stress of travel increases the likelihood of making a mistake. Finally, the laid-back and relaxed nature of a vacation may tempt you into a false sense of security, thinking that one drink or one hit will end there. Unfortunately, these issues can make it very difficult to avoid relapse. In this article, we discuss five ways to minimize the risk of relapse during your trip.
One of the most essential—and challenging—aspects of addiction recovery is the need to change a person’s behavior to improve their health status. Behavior change interventions, which involve a combination of program elements or strategies, are especially useful in addressing lifestyle modification for those suffering from addictions.
A change in patient lifestyle is necessary for successful management of long-term recovery, and relapse can often be attributed to lapses in healthy behavior. Patients easily understand the need for lifestyle modifications, but consistent, life-long behavior changes are difficult. That’s why behavior change interventions are important.
When defining recovery from substance abuse or addiction, it is natural that you would think about sobriety. Getting sober and staying sober, which usually means abstinence from drugs and alcohol, are the obvious goals for anyone in recovery.
In the early stages of recovery, detoxification and breaking the grip of the abused substance necessarily takes priority. But some feel that focusing on the initial challenges of “putting the plug in the jug,” so to speak, may overshadow another essential aspect of the recovery process, namely, emotional sobriety.
Some addiction experts point out that a lack of emotional maturity may actually be one of the major causes of relapse. If emotional dependency is not properly addressed, it may hinder the ability to live productive, satisfying lives free from substance abuse.
According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, recovery is a holistic endeavor that encompasses your physical and mental health, self-care, faith, creativity, spirituality and social networks.
No single treatment plan is right for every individual, and any high-quality treatment plan will offer an array of support and services that ensure a holistic approach to treatment. Ideally, these should include a variety of alternative and complementary therapies such as acupuncture, meditation, biofeedback, art therapy and music therapy.
Early recovery can be a treacherous time and requires constant vigilance and mindfulness to stay on track while battling intense cravings and feelings of loss. But for some, this time is marked by feelings of euphoria and palpable excitement. Recovery feels like the best thing in the world, and it seems like there’s nothing that can make you want to use again, ever.
In Alcoholics Anonymous, this is known as pink cloud syndrome, and while nobody wants to burst anyone’s bubble, it’s important to understand that these feelings of confidence—sometimes overconfidence—can lead to being blindsided by a relapse.
Assessing the Risk
With the prevalence of alcohol abuse and alcoholism in the United States—over seventeen million people—questions about foods containing or prepared with alcohol are a common and legitimate concern.
Some insist that alcohol in food or cooking is nothing to worry about, often citing a commonly held belief that alcohol gets cooked out of foods during the preparation process. They claim that alcohol is literally boiled off during heating or cooking and its alcoholic potency is destroyed or eliminated.
This is a myth and is not based on accurate science. Alcohol still remains in significant amounts when used in various recipes.
Health magazines and websites often tout the benefits of a variety of “superfoods,” a popular label that suggests that these edibles are extra dense with nutrients and therefore have some manner of curative powers. The reality, however, isn’t quite so cut and dried.
While superfoods are generally very healthy, their benefits are considerably overstated in many cases. The American Heart Association points out that the term “superfood” is more marketing ploy than accurate nutrition term, but that doesn’t mean that foods singled out as being super aren’t super good for your health.
Thanks to a recent study published in the journal Addictive Behaviors, you can now add a quick game of Tetris to your arsenal of ways to combat cravings.
Many theoretical models have been developed to explain the anatomy of a craving, which is believed to be both physiological and psychological, according to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. The physiological aspect is due to changes that affect the reward and motivation areas of the brain, while the psychological component has to do with learned behaviors and the negative emotions that once triggered drinking or drug use.
Cravings are a potent trigger for relapse, and relapse prevention strategies focus in part on techniques that can help alleviate cravings.
Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is the cornerstone of many substance abuse treatment programs. It targets harmful behavioral patterns and changes them through a process of identifying, understanding, and reworking the way a person thinks and feels.
Through its focus on long-term change, CBT has helped many people develop the skills necessary to cope with urges and find healthier ways to seek pleasure. Helping your loved ones understand what CBT entails can help them take an active role in their own recovery.