Are you or somebody you love taking an addictive drug? Are you abusing them? Many people are prescribed drugs by their doctor for medical purposes. Pain and illness are a fact of life. While many people are prescribed medications for ongoing conditions, some people only take them short-term. When the drugs are addictive, however, somebody may continue seeking them out when they don't medically need them.

It’s confusing that doctors prescribe drugs that are easy to abuse.

For many doctors, the goal is to make you feel better. As a result, they may prescribe medications that are addictive, believing it’s worth the risk to help you get better.

Sadly, many people start their journey towards addiction through legally prescribed drugs.

Addictive Prescription Drugs

Many types of prescription drugs have side effects that people find enjoyable. From the dawn of time, people have used substances to alter their thoughts and feelings. So it’s no surprise that some patients who take drugs may try to enhance the pleasurable side effects by abusing them.

There are a lot of different drugs that can be addictive when used in another way than prescribed. Here’s a look at the most common ones:

Getting Help for Addiction

Addiction, also known as substance use disorder, is a treatable and manageable disease. We’re here to help you reclaim your life in a compassionate, professional, healthy environment. Give us a call to learn more about how we can help at 619-363-4767.

There is good news for people who need therapy to help them in their recovery. Research has shown that people who attend online therapy get the same benefits as those who go to treatment in-person.

Socially Distanced, But Not Alone

One of the most significant changes that people in recovery have had to make during the pandemic was socially distancing. The act of remaining at least six feet from people and not hug or touch them has been hard for anyone. People need to connect. We need to be able to give and receive empathy. This is especially true for people in online therapy.

For many people, the pandemic has been a time of crisis. For some people, this means that new symptoms of mental health disorders have begun to intrude on their lives. Depression and anxiety, in particular, are at a high, especially among young adults.

12-step meetings have adapted pretty well to going online, even though it’s not the same as sitting in a room and being able to share or celebrate milestones in-person. People with seniority in recovery saw online meetings as an urgent need, and almost every city with 12-step meetings had to get help from the more tech-savvy members to get set up.

Online Therapy and Tools for Recovery

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is one of the most effective therapy types that can benefit almost anyone in recovery. People participate in their own treatment, focus on destructive patterns and behaviors, and often do “homework” to help them change those behaviors. For many people, learning these skills over video makes no difference; they can still use their therapy effectively and challenge behaviors and negative self-talk.

According to Forbes Magazine, over 14 studies found that “online CBT led to a 50% improvement in symptoms of panic disorder, social anxiety disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and compulsive gambling disorder.” People also felt less stressed and more energetic, whether their fatigue was from mental illness, stress, or physical health.

In other worse, online therapy works and helps people take back control of their mental well-being.

Reaching People Who Need it Most

For therapists, psychiatrists, and medical professionals, online appointments also helped fill a gap. To reach their clients where they’re at. People in recovery from addiction or mental health disorders are especially vulnerable to isolation and loneliness. A weekly check-in helps clients feel less isolated and more cared valued.

Mental health experts say that even after most of us are vaccinated, online therapy has its place. It will continue to be an essential tool, especially for people in rural areas and other places with limited access.

While the addiction epidemic is still raging, many geographic locations don’t have a treatment bed available when an addicted person is finally ready and willing to get lifesaving help.

Getting Help for Addiction

If you or somebody you love struggles with addiction, online therapy, group sessions, and individual sessions can help you connect to the resources, compassion, and expertise you need to reclaim your life. Get in touch to learn how we can help! You can reach us at 619-363-4767.

Addiction is a disease that can tornado through family life and leave loved ones trying to pick up the pieces. While a person may act selfishly when in the grip of their disease, recovery, too, focuses on the self. If you have a loved one in recovery, they will need space and time to heal and begin their recovery journey.  It’s important that you let them have the space to heal and change at their own pace. It may be hard for you to let go. This is why we recommend that family and friends have their own “recovery plan.”

Understanding Addiction as a Disease

Addiction, also referred to as a substance use disorder, is a disease that is progressive in nature. It affects the way the brain thinks and a person acts and feels. No one chooses to become addicted to substance, and most people say they wouldn’t wish it on their worst enemy.

There are many aspects of a person’s life that are affected by addiction, as well as their brain chemistry and physical health. Once the substances are removed from a person’s body, there are still many things that need to be worked on. Your loved one will never be the exact person they were before they started using substances; after all, addiction is a traumatic disease and trauma often changes people.

Learning About Addiction

Learning about addiction will help you understand the process your loved one is going through.  There are many books you can check out from the library or recommended videos and movies that you can stream online. Treatment counselors or members of Al-Anon groups may be able to point you in the right direction.

Neither Addiction Nor Recovery Happen Overnight

When your loved one first gets clean and sober, it can seem like life is back in a whirlwind. It’s easy to worry about a person in recovery’s comings and goings and wonder if they’re going to be able to stay clean and sober.

Addiction didn’t take place overnight, and trust and relationships won’t heal overnight. You may find yourself falling into old patterns of behavior when you’re worried about your loved one, or questioning why they have to go to so many therapy appointments and 12-step meetings.

Recovery for Family Members

Family members may need a support group to help them as their loved one goes through changes. Many people who go to groups for family members of addicts say they’ve learned more about themselves and their loved ones’ addiction. A group can help you learn more about how addiction has affected you, as well as your loved one, and how you can start to heal from the damage and learn to focus on your own life.

There are many groups available for families of addicted people, including Al-Anon, Codependents Anonymous and groups hosted by treatment recovery centers. If you’re unsure of resources available in your own area, ask a local treatment center for recommendations.

Getting Help for Addiction

No matter what or how much you or a loved one has used, recovery is possible. At Present Moments Recovery, we offer a nurturing, addiction-informed environment that helps our clients chart their own paths to recovery. If needed, we can also provide Medication-Assisted Treatment, which has been referred to by the FDA as the “gold standard” of treatment options when offered alongside talk therapy.

Please contact us to learn more how we can help! Call us at 619-363-4767.

As humans, we’ve all had one of those days. Waking up to a dreary, rainy day can set us off on the “wrong foot.” Many people let the weather “get them down” and use it as an excuse for a bad day. You may decide today's going to be rotten when you see poor weather predicted on the news.

Anticipating a lot of rain, or trudging through snow, can often put us in a bad mood. Some people even say that when they were using alcohol or drugs, they felt triggered to use more often during cold or dreary seasonal weather. Is using because of the weather just another lie that an addicted person tells themselves, or is there more to it?

Does the Weather Make People Use More?

Scientifically, there are no studies that show that weather is a problem that causes people to use more drugs or drink more often. So why do so many people in recovery admit they used more often during the coldest days or rainiest weeks of the year? One thing that we do know is that science reveals that weather can have a huge effect on our moods as humans. This means that even when we approach the day with a positive attitude, poor weather can still send us into a slump.

Most people who are addicted to a substance use it on both cloudy days and sunny days. Addiction is a disease that makes people use a drug despite negative consequences. It will tell you to get high because it's gloomy outside, and to get high because you want to enjoy the sunny weather.

If you struggle with depressive feelings or mental health issues, they can be exacerbated by poor weather. Seasonal weather has such a profound effect on some people that there’s even a mental health disorder describing it. Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is one reason people get depressed during the cold winter seasons, when there is less daylight.

Many treatments are out there to help combat SAD. One simple but effective treatment is a light lamp that you can use at the beginning and end of the day, mimicking the sunlight that you’re missing out on during the winter months. Discuss treatment for SAD with a therapist if you believe that you suffer from this syndrome, or you find that your mental health disorders are worse off when there is less sunlight in your daily life.

Does Poor Weather Trigger You?

Addiction is a tricky disease. In recovery, you’ll probably soon realize that you were triggered to use for a variety of reasons, and sometimes no reason at all. After all, most people with a substance use disorder will think up almost any excuse to get high or drunk when they’re in active addiction.

If you associate winter with using alcohol and drugs, it may also be that you’re triggered to use during the holiday season. Many people struggle with emotions and relationships during the holidays, and it makes sense that they increase their drugs use to circumvent these feelings.

Poor weather may make you feel like getting high or drunk, but in recovery, you’ll learn tools to cope with triggering feelings.

Getting Help for Addiction

Many people from all walks of life have reclaimed their lives in recovery. At Present Moments, we’re lucky that our beach climate makes for lots of calm and soothing weather. We want to help you leave your addiction behind, and learn a new way to live. Learn more about how you can start your recovery journey. We can answer any questions you may have, including insurance issues. Please give us a call at 619-363-4767 to learn more about your options.

Many people who get clean have triggers that make their addiction rear its ugly head. When you’re newly clean and sober, a lot of these triggers can be glaringly obvious. For example, a lot of people know that going to a place they used to use drugs is a huge trigger and entirely out of the question if they want to stay clean. You may also know that payday is a trigger because whenever you got paid, you would stock up on your drug of choice. But some triggers are not as apparent as others. Boredom is one of those triggers that you may not know about.

Why is Boredom a Trigger?

Boredom is a trigger for many reasons. When you were bored and in active addiction, your first thought was probably to get high or drunk. Now, you’re forced to think of a new task, hopefully, one that is entertaining.

Boredom also means that you’re not really rising to the challenges of recovery. Are you working the steps and going to meetings? Sometimes that’s not enough if you don’t feel like your life is being enriched.

Maybe it’s time to try some new meetings outside of your normal ones. Think about meetings that are outside of your comfort zone. For example, go to a morning meeting on the weekend if you usually go to an evening meeting. Or, if you live in the suburbs, drive up to the next town over to meet some new people.

Coping with Boredom

If you’re bored for some time, you’re going to need to make some changes. Finding a hobby, volunteering, or just exploring the world again can help relieve your longer-term boredom. bored hipster at desk

Finding things you enjoy will also help give you more purpose in life. Start to really learn what you love to do. Do you like to surf, do yoga, or spend the afternoon reading or writing instead?

Living a life of meaning is essential now that you’re clean and sober. Not everyone has the chance to turn their life around, but you’re clean and sober, which means you’ve embraced hope instead of fear. Use that hope to live a good life! Spend time getting to know yourself and the things you’d like to get out of life.

Help for Addiction

Do you or somebody you know have a problem with alcohol or drugs? Help is available. Give yourself a chance. Call us at 619-363-4767 for more information on how we can help you get started on the road to recovery.

America is a country with what is now considered an addiction culture. While the stereotype of addiction is a homeless person on the street begging for money for a fix, the truth about addiction can be alarming for many people. Research tells us that 60 percent of American adults know somebody is abusing drugs or alcohol at their workplace. Whether it’s a restaurant, post office, or hospital, drug abuse is becoming a common way for people to escape while they’re at work for the day. Thousands of accidents are caused at work by people under the influence every year.

Addiction Hurts Your Job Performance

Millions of people abuse drugs on the job, and whether it makes you nod out, or you come in late from a hangover, it affects your job performance. Does this sound like you? If so, you may be in denial about how bad it’s gotten.

When addiction affects your job performance, you may be late to work, forget to do take-home tasks, or simply not able to give your presentation the time and attention it deserves. All of these things can make you look bad. And you may have noticed that addiction is a progressive disease. You can’t control how it will affect you. When you stop showing up for work or make a terrible mistake on-the-job, you won’t even have a job to return to.

If you’re employed and have health insurance, you’re very fortunate. If you’re struggling with addiction, you have the resources to get the help you need.

Employment and Treatment

If you’re struggling with a substance use order, you’re not alone. Addiction is a tricky disease, and there are higher success rates of abstinence for people who enter a detox followed by longer-term, inpatient rehab. Your health insurance will usually pay for your treatment.

You will need to take some time off while you’re in treatment but can continue any outpatient treatment and 12-step meetings when you have completed the other program.

You may worry that your employer can fire you when you admit you have a substance use disorder, but some laws can protect you from this. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) protects employees from discrimination based on a disability, and alcohol addiction, as well as other types of addiction, are covered under it.

When Are You Not Protected by the ADA?

One caveat: you have to get help willingly, before your employer disciplines you for poor performance. If they can prove your performance has been weak due to your drug or alcohol use, they legally have the right to let you go.

People actively using illegal drugs are not protected by the ADA, but if you’re clean and sober, it still applies to you. Your employer also has the right to test you for drugs or alcohol use as they see fit during work.

Getting Help

Studies show that longer-term, inpatient treatment followed by 12-step meetings and other therapies is the most effective way for a person to stay clean from alcohol or drugs. If you’re worried about your career prospects, the best thing to do is take action today and learn more about your treatment options. Please give us a call at 619-363-4767 to get started.

 

Have you ever thought to yourself that you need to think more positively? Many people in recovery have an issue with pessimism and need to think better thoughts to help them grow and change.

Recovery involves a lot of issues, but one thing that most people in recovery battle at one time or another is a gnawing feeling of doom. After all, during addiction, things often didn’t go your way. When you were addicted, you really were doomed in a way. Most days started with seeking out your drug and ended with the drug not being enough. Maybe you tried to quit using but always ended up doomed to repeat that behavior again. There is a lot to focus on, especially with an addicted past, that can leave you with negative thoughts and beliefs.

Changing Negative Thoughts

As a clean person working towards a happy and healthy future, you aren’t doomed to anything. You get to make choices today that save you from what you once thought was inevitable. Addiction doesn’t have its hold on you, today. So how can you think more positively?

Negative thought patterns are often a regular part of being human and experiencing emotions. You don’t have to dwell in negative thinking, however.

You can begin to change your thinking once you’re aware of it.

Recognizing Negative Beliefs

What negative beliefs do you have about yourself? Everyone has them, but people in recovery struggle with them a bit more often. Examples of negative beliefs include:

By now, you probably get the idea. Words like “nobody,” “never,” “not” and “no” dominate these thoughts. These thoughts make you feel bad, and they’re something you should strive to eliminate when you’re trying to improve your life.

Negative beliefs are just that, beliefs. These thoughts are like feelings; they’re not facts. In recovery, they’re just another thing holding you back and helping you feel bad about yourself. It’s how the addicted mind proves you’re not worthy.

But these thoughts are wrong. They’re lying to you. You ARE worthy. And it’s time to eliminate these negative thoughts and replace them with positivity.

Here are three great ways to change your thinking:

  1. Morning affirmations. Every morning, use index cards to change your thinking. If you find yourself telling yourself you’re not “good enough,” start the day with an affirmation to the contrary, such as, “I’m a good person, and I’m getting stronger every day.” Ask your sponsor or therapist what kinds of qualities and ideas they think would help you think more positively.
  2. Wear a rubber bound around your wrist and STOP yourself when you’re having negative thoughts. Use the rubber band to “snap out of it” and refocus on the positives. Keep your
  3. Every day, keep a gratitude list. You’ll notice that you are becoming more grateful for things that you’ve done yourself. For example, if you get a promotion, you’ll probably be thankful for the pay raise. But give yourself a moment to celebrate that you earned it, too.

Changing the way you think is a process, but the sooner you begin to change self-defeating behavior such as negative thinking, the better. You deserve to build a more positive and healthy attitude in recovery. So please, give yourself a chance.

Getting Help

Recovery is a journey, not a destination. We believe every person deserves another chance to change their lives, and that a recovery plan should be tailored to the individual.

Get help getting clean, no matter who you are or what drug you use. We can help you regain your life and break free from addiction. Give us a call at 1-619-363-4767.

In the US, there is an addiction crisis. People from all walks of life need help with their substance use disorder, but not all have the resources to be able to do this. Some people who have a drug problem have resources to take time off to cope with their issues and get help. People who are employed full-time may be able to keep their employment and go to addiction treatment using the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA).

What Is FMLA?

FMLA is a federal law that requires employers to provide their employees with an alternative to losing their jobs when there is a medical crisis in their family. People can take it for themselves, or, sometimes as a caregiver as well. It can be used for things like cancer, car accidents, maternity leave, and addiction treatment. When approved, allows a leave of absence for up to 12 weeks in a 12 month period.

Are You Eligible for FMLA?

It’s possible that if you’re employed full-time, you will be able to use FMLA for your leave of absence. If you work for a larger company (more than 50 people) and have worked full-time for at least a year, it should be available to you.man behind desk talking to blond colleague

If you work for a state, local or federal employer, such as a school, you’re covered by FMLA no matter what as long as you’re full-time.

Not every employer will offer this benefit for drug or alcohol addiction, so it’s important to speak with human resources or have your treatment center help you navigate benefits before you make your official plans.

How Does FMLA Work?

FMLA is typically an unpaid leave of absence that allows you to take time off for up to 12 weeks. Some employers will offer additional benefits, such as paid leave, but the bare bones law exists to help you keep your job.

The FMLA official descriptions say that it “provides certain employees with up to 12 workweeks of unpaid, job-protected leave a year, and requires group health benefits to be maintained during the leave as if employees continued to work instead of taking leave.”

Hopefully, while you are away, you can take care of primary responsibilities or have help when you do so.

Getting Help

Getting help for a drug abuse problem can seem overwhelming, but you’re not alone. Recovery is always possible, no matter who you are or how much you use. Learn more about your options and using FMLA and insurance benefits for your treatment program by calling us at 619-363-4767.

Addiction (also known as substance use disorder) is a devious and sometimes confusing disease. However, many signs and symptoms may alert loved ones to the fact that a person is in trouble with their drug or alcohol use. Drug-seeking behavior, financial issues, and drama with relationships and even the law are signs that something is wrong. People who are addicted to drugs may have different symptoms, depending on the drug they use. People can become addicted to any mind-altering substance. However, some drugs are more addictive than others. These are important to know because “hitting bottom” or experiencing negative consequences can snowball quickly for the drug user as they begin to need more of the drug.

 

  1. Heroin: Heroin is one of the most addictive drugs and one of the most dangerous. It’s been used in many years all over the world as a narcotic, derived from the poppy plant. As an opiate, heroin quickly affects the brain, eliminating any pain signals and giving the user an intense euphoric high. Users rapidly also develop a tolerance to the drug, making them need more amounts to get the same rush they first experienced when getting high. When a person who uses heroin problems tries to cease using, they experience intense withdrawal symptoms. Often they choose to use again because these symptoms are so unpleasant or painful.

 

  1. Opioids: Similar to heroin, opioids are fueling an addiction crisis across the Unit4ed States due to lax prescribing and regulation. Opioids such as Oxycontin, Percocet, and Vicoden are all highly addictive drugs. They operate in the same way as heroin, with the difference being that they’re pharmaceutical drugs. They are made in a lab, not from the poppy plant, but they work the same way. Withdrawal is a considerable issue that stops people from getting help for this addiction, and group sitting in a waiting room looking seriouspeople often resort to heroin when they can’t get their drug of choice.

 

  1. Crack cocaine: Crack cocaine spurred a crisis of addiction, drug wars and mass incarceration throughout primarily inner-city communities in the 1990’s. Many stereotypes still surround this drug, and a lot of stigmas encompass its use. However, crack is incredibly similar (just more potent) to its more “designer” counterpart, cocaine. Crack is considered more addictive than cocaine because it’s more powerful, and its high is short-lived. Many people who use crack are unable to quit because of its powerful high. It gives users euphoria and more energy, making them jittery as well as high. The intense lasts about 15 minutes. People who become addicted to crack crash from that high and seek it again immediately, without realizing that they are quickly becoming addicted to the drug.

 

  1. Methamphetamine: This drug is also an “upper” with a high that can last for hours and cause the user to stay awake for hours or days. The high stimulates almost ten times as much of dopamine as is normal, causing extreme euphoria, adrenaline and sometimes paranoia too. The brain chemistry is immediately effected when a person has used meth. With the extreme high comes an extreme crash – making the user feel depressed and lethargic almost immediately after they “come down”. The withdrawal effects of meth are dangerous and can include nausea, vomiting, tremors, fever, seizures and hallucinations.

 

Many other drugs are addictive out there, but these are some of the most dangerous and, unfortunately, popular among addicted persons. Help is available no matter how bad you feel your addiction is! Recovery is possible.

If you or somebody you know thinks they have a problem with drugs, help is available. Please give us a call at 619-363-4767.

When a loved one is sick from addiction, it’s often family and friends who come forward to seek help. Treatment centers often work with parents, partners, and friends who only want what’s best for the addicted person. You may know your loved one has a substance use disorder, but not how to get them help.

Unfortunately, there’s a danger of “helping” your loved so much that they can’t get the treatment they need. This kind of help often leads to codependent enabling. This can be a severe problem for loved ones, even when the addicted person enters recovery. You may not know how to give it up.

 

Understanding Codependency & Enabling

 

Codependent enabling happens when you take care of a loved one even when they are equipped with the tools to take care of themselves. For example, if you have an addicted person in your family, you may decide that they need your help paying rent because they have used up their funds on other things, such as drugs. Or, you may promise to pick up a person from a bar, no questions asked, whenever they get too drunk to drive. Over time, this person comes to rely on you for a ride home every evening, taking advantage of your goodwill.

Enabling prevents the addicted person from facing the consequences of their behavior. The addicted person will get what they want from the enabler, and the enabler, in turn, will become codependent.angry codependent couple

So where does codependency come in? When the addicted person is happy, that makes the enabler feel “happy,” even when unhealthy patterns have been established. More and more of the enabler's time goes into "fixing" the other person, to the point you may resent them and neglect your own life. You may give up friends, lovers, and hobbies to "help" this person.

Enabling and being codependent hurts both parties. The enabler drops everything in their own life to take care of the addicted person, and the addicted person pushes the limits of their addiction, knowing that there are few consequences to endure alone.

People help their addicted loved one out of love, but when you help them with things they can obviously handle but choose not to, you’re infantilizing them. Your loved one can sit in a jail cell overnight when they’re arrested for being drunk in public. They can pay for their own taxi rides home. And if they need to keep their cell phone on, then they need to earn the money to use it. Even when a person is afflicted with a substance use disorder, they are still an adult. If you don’t set limits, they will continue to spiral without feeling like there are any problems.

 

Getting Help for Codependency

Codependency can make you miserable, and enabling can prevent your loved one from seeking or accepting help for their substance use disorder. In treatment, there is usually family therapy can help you learn together about breaking old patterns.

There are also meetings that can help you cope with your own patterns and your loved one. Enabling doesn’t give you any control over their actions, but places like Al-Anon and Co-Dependents Anonymous (CoDA) can help you find the support you deserve to break the cycle of codependency and enabling.

There is aways help available for those who are willing. If your loved one is ready to quit using, give us a call to learn more about treatment options. Or better yet, ask them to give us a call at (619) 363-4767.. All calls are 100% confidential.

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