How Does Treatment Get Me from Addiction to Recovery?

Addiction is a multi-faceted condition that needs to be addressed in a comprehensive manner. Quality treatment programs recognize this and focus attention on multiple areas of need. Although no one program is the right choice for every individual struggling with addiction, there are commonalities among effective treatment programs. Continue reading How Does Treatment Get Me from Addiction to Recovery?

6 Benefits of a Recovery Lifestyle

Substance addiction to drugs like amphetamine is a disease with wide-ranging consequences. When people become addicted to drugs or alcohol, almost every area of life is touched in some way. Conversely, when people address addiction and begin to recover, life improvements are also seen in multiple domains. Benefits of living a substance-free life in recovery include the following: Continue reading 6 Benefits of a Recovery Lifestyle

Journaling’s Effect on Wellness in Recovery

Throughout history, people have made a habit of writing down their thoughts, activities, goals, and other mental processes in a journal or diary. The fact that the practice has endured throughout time speaks to its power. More recently, researchers are discovering ways in which journaling can improve physical and mental health. If you are struggling with an addiction to amphetamine or other substance, learn how journaling can be an effective recovery tool.

Benefits of Journaling

Benefits of journaling include the following:

  • Identifying thoughts and emotions not fully brought to consciousness – All of us have thoughts and feelings that affect our behavior without us being fully aware of them. Journaling, especially the form called “free writing,” can help us identify these thoughts and emotions. Free writing involves writing whatever comes to mind for a given period of time without stopping to re-read or think about what is being written. The thoughts and emotions identified in this way can then be evaluated and addressed.
  • Expressing gratitude – A 2012 Psychology Today article emphasizes the power of thankfulness. The author notes that gratitude has been linked to increased optimism and a decrease in physical ailments. It is associated with better sleep and lower levels of anxiety and depression. The article points out that the brain cannot easily focus on both positive and negative stimuli at the same time. Journaling thankfulness and gratitude can be a powerful tool for improving mental outlook.
  • Reducing the power of strong emotions – The University of Rochester Medical Center states that one way to deal with overwhelming emotions is to express them in a healthy way. They note that journaling can help in that process. Writing about stressful events can even provide physical benefits. A 2002 article in the journal Monitor on Psychology reports on studies showing that writing about stress and emotions can boost immune functioning in people dealing with illnesses. The article reports that suppressing trauma-related thoughts can compromise immune functioning and that people who write visit the doctor less often.
  • Identifying patterns – When people keep journals for a period of time, patterns may begin to emerge. People may notice that they regularly feel angry or depressed after being with certain people, or that urges to use substances are stronger when they are tired. Identifying patterns can help people change them.
  • Helping to prioritize issues – Journaling can help people recognize when certain emotions or problematic behaviors are occurring more regularly. If people begin to realize that they are feeing angry more often than they are feeling depressed, for instance, they may want to focus on learning anger management skills.
  • Setting and achieving goals – Journaling can help identify desires and areas in which to set goals and objectives. It can also help people reach those goals. A 2015 Huffington Post article notes that writing something down signals to the brain that it is important. The reticular activating system then helps identify opportunities and tools to achieve the goal.
  • Promoting mindfulness – Mindfulness involves focusing on the present moment while being non-judgmentally aware of feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations. The Huffington Post article notes that there is a strong connection between happiness and mindfulness and that journaling can help people achieve a mindful state.
  • Improving communication and relationships – The skills developed in journaling may translate into better communication with others. This can improve personal and business relationships. Writing about disagreements can also sometimes help people see all sides of an issue and better understand the point of view of those with whom they are in conflict.
  • Providing an outlet for self-congratulation – Positive reinforcement for achievements is a strong motivator. Sometimes, for various reasons, others don’t provide the positive feedback that people in recovery need. Often, others are simply unaware of the victories or fail to recognize their importance. It is not always a good idea for people to verbally congratulate themselves for achievements, but writing them down in a journal can provide positive reinforcement.
  • Practicing self-discipline – Becoming disciplined in one area can help people build confidence and skill in self-control and can lead to increased self-discipline in other areas, as well.

There are many ways to journal. Some people prefer to use a computer or other electronic device and some prefer pen and paper. Some people like to write whatever comes to mind and others find it helpful to answer a given set of questions or follow another structured form. The most important thing is to write as often as possible and to set up a routine that makes it easy.

Change Can Begin Today

Recovery begins with the decision to make a change. If you are struggling with amphetamine addiction and are ready to recover, give us a call. Our helpline is toll-free and available 24 hours a day. Our consultants are caring and knowledgeable and can answer your questions about addiction treatment. They can help you identify the treatment option that best meets your needs and can even check your insurance coverage for you if you wish, at no cost or obligation. Addiction is treatable. Call today and begin your journey to freedom.

5 Ways to Create Sober Routines in Recovery

Part of recovering from an addiction to amphetamine or other substance is developing new routines that will support physical and psychological health and aid in the maintenance of sobriety. Routines help people practice behaviors until they become habitual. When routines are in place, making healthy choices about how to spend time and energy becomes easier.

Focus on Recovery Goals

Your recovery goals may change slightly as recovery progresses, but core issues will remain constant. Goals may include physical and neurological recovery, developing a recovery support system, avoiding relapse triggers, restoring relationships, and developing new, substance-free leisure activities.

With goals in mind, make a list of behaviors that help you achieve them. Physical healing, for example, can be supported by waking and sleeping at regular hours to make sure you get adequate rest and eating at regular times to make sure nutritional needs are met. Some sort of regular exercise is also helpful. Regularly attending support group meetings is a logical way to develop a support system and avoiding relapse triggers can involve spending time with sober friends, and staying away from places where you used to use. Romantic relationships may be strengthened with a regular date night and developing new leisure activities can involve joining a club or finding a new hobby.

Some activities will serve multiple purposes. Many recovery support groups provide not only support, but also education and social gatherings. Activities involving aerobic exercise can help with physical healing, emotional regulation, and also relapse prevention. The National Institute on Drug Abuse reports on 2012 animal studies finding that aerobic exercise reduced cocaine-seeking behavior. Making sure to get adequate sleep is also helpful for both physical healing and relapse prevention. A 2007 article in the Journal of Addictive Diseases reports that sleep disturbances increase the relapse risk in people recovering from alcohol dependence.

Make a Plan for Behaviors and Activities

When activities are selected, decide how frequently they need to be practiced. Some elements of a personal routine, such as those associated with eating and sleeping, need to be practiced daily. Some things may become part of a weekly routine, such as attending a service to promote spiritual growth or shopping for healthy food at a farmer’s market. You may decide that some activities, such as working out at a gym should be engaged in a few times a week. Because both fatigue and boredom can be relapse triggers, it is important to find the balance between too much free time and being overscheduled.

Make Your Routine Easy to Follow

This means taking care of logistical details in advance. If support group attendance, for example, requires transportation or childcare, make sure that has been arranged. It may be easier to follow a sleeping and waking routine by adding blackout blinds to the windows or utilizing white noise.

Especially in the beginning, when new routines are being established, it is wise to utilize reminders. These may include visual cues, such as dates and times written on a calendar, or digital aids, such as smartphone alarms. Accountability can be helpful, as well. Telling a mentor to call you when you miss a support group meeting, for example, can keep you on track.

Evaluate Your Progress

Frequently ask yourself how you are doing at keeping your routines. Are they helping you to reach your goals? Because people who have suffered from substance addiction may be more likely to develop process or behavioral addictions, evaluating progress should include making sure that activities such as eating, exercising, or playing video games are not becoming obsessions. Red flags include obsessive thoughts about the activity and the development of negative consequences associated with the behavior. Almost any activity can become problematic. A 2010 article in the American Journal of Drug and Alcohol Abuse discusses tanning as a behavioral addiction.

Be Flexible and Make Changes when Necessary

As healing progresses and basic routines become habitual, new goals can be set and new routines added to support them. New goals may be related to such things as educational or vocational pursuits.

Interests may also change and develop. Sometimes, when people’s lives have been consumed with addiction, they discover that they have forgotten or never developed interest in other things, and it can take a while to find new hobbies and activities that are enjoyable and the right fit. Anhedonia, or the inability to enjoy normally pleasurable activities, is also very common in early recovery. This is due to the depletion of dopamine and other neurotransmitters. Patience is needed as the brain and body heal, but at some point people may decide that a new way to meet recovery goals would be a better fit for them.

We Can Help

If you or someone you love is struggling with amphetamine addiction and ready to start a recovery journey, give us a call. We understand the issues, can answer your questions, and can help you find the treatment program that is the best fit for you. We can even check your insurance coverage for you if you wish, at no cost or obligation. The helpline is toll-free and available 24 hours a day. Call now and begin your journey to freedom.

How Each Person’s Recovery from Amphetamine Is Unique

How Each Person’s Recovery from Amphetamine Is Unique
Because each person is unique, the journey to amphetamine addiction recovery will be unique for each user

Amphetamines are stimulants that treat the symptoms of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and narcolepsy. These drugs are highly addictive, so using them in larger amounts, for longer or in ways other than prescribed can quickly lead to addiction. They can cause an array of side effects, like increased heart rate and blood pressure, decreased appetite and dry mouth. Amphetamines overtake the body’s natural response to fatigue and hunger, problems that make it difficult for users to eat or rest. Because these drugs affect people in different ways, amphetamine addiction recovery must be individualized.

Amphetamine Recovery Basics

Amphetamine addiction recovery is full of ups and downs depending on the individual and how long the addiction has persisted. Typically, addiction recovery begins with medically supervised detox, which rids the body of drugs. Unfortunately, because amphetamines are so powerful, detox can take several days, and the withdrawal symptoms can last for quite a while longer. In response, doctors and addiction treatment professionals provide the right care and medication to make detox as comfortable as possible.

After amphetamine detox ends, your recovery team will develop a treatment plan that meets your individual needs. Treatment often includes medications for underlying mental illnesses, especially if these illnesses caused or contribute to your addiction. Rehab facilities are careful to use medications only when absolutely necessary, because treating amphetamine addiction can be more complicated when other drugs are involved. However, once a diagnosis is reached, treatment (which includes individual and group therapy, nutrition counseling, exercise programs and meditation) can begin. Since amphetamine addiction is unique to each person, reaching the right balance of counseling, group therapy and other components is important for recovery success.

Amphetamine Addiction Characteristics

Amphetamine addiction develops over time. People who use amphetamines to treat medical conditions like ADHD may not realize they are becoming addicted to the drug, especially if they alter their dosage without consulting a doctor. Amphetamine dosages are adjusted depending on the weight of each individual, so one person’s dosage is rarely the same as someone else’s. If you or a loved one uses amphetamines, then be on the lookout for the following signs of addiction:

  • Increased body temperature
  • Euphoria
  • Increased blood pressure
  • Dry mouth
  • Faster breathing
  • Dilated pupils
  • Increased energy and alertness
  • Decreased fatigue
  • Decreased appetite

Addiction can strike anyone, so seek help if you or a loved one shows any of the aforementioned signs due to amphetamine use.

Find Help for Amphetamine Addiction

If you or a loved one uses amphetamine for a medical condition and you suspect an addiction has formed, then get help. Call our toll-free, 24 hour helpline to speak to an admissions coordinator about treatment options.

How Helping Others Can Boost Your Recovery from Amphetamine

How Helping Others Can Boost Your Recovery from Amphetamine
Helping others is a constructive way to boost your recovery from amphetamines

After successfully completing your addiction treatment, you have the awareness and tools to continue your journey in recovery. You have been advised to take it one day at a time, make your recovery a priority and join a support group. You have also been reminded to maintain a healthy lifestyle by eating properly, getting exercise and sufficient sleep.

Another suggestion that is equally important is to communicate with others and give some of your time to make positive contributions to others.

Helping Others

There are many ways to help others that only require a small investment of your time. You can help an elderly neighbor with yard work or errands. You can offer to read to children at the library. You can volunteer at the church to provide support in any of their programs. The list is quite endless and you can couple your acts of service with activities that you enjoy.

Focus on Self and Others

While in recovery, it is critical that you focus on yourself to make sure that you are doing everything you can to avoid relapse. However, there are times when you will receive emotional and spiritual rewards when you focus on others. Receiving a hug, smile or compliments from the people you help makes you feel good about yourself. Keeping a positive perspective is very important in recovery.

Helping Others in Recovery

The topic of helping others in recovery receives national attention. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) has several publications covering methods and strategies for helping others in recovery. SAMHSA notes that this peer support is particularly effective within certain groups such as military service members and veterans, young adults, and lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender populations.

Support Strategies

The most common way that those in recovery help others in recovery is by attending support group meetings. Groups such as Narcotics Anonymous have proven to be very effective in helping those in recovery from amphetamines to stay on track and continue to succeed in their recovery. You can offer to attend these meetings with others and offer to carpool if the need arises.

In today’s highly technology-based world, online support groups are becoming increasingly more common. Reaching out through these groups can provide a valuable benefit to you and others. It can be quite informative and encouraging to get support form people in other cultures around the world.

Getting Started

Once you realize that helping others in recovery can boost your personal recovery, you may not know how to proceed. You want to make sure that you find a situation that is truly healthy for all parties involved. You want to be cautious about getting involved in something that might take too much of your time or add stress to your life. Reaching out to sponsors, rehab specialists and support group leaders is a great place to start. They will be able to provide insights and make suggestions about ways you can help others while keeping your own recovery a priority.

Get Help for Drug Addiction

There are literally hundreds of ways that you can boost your recovery including helping others. Often, however; we are not sure where to start. Therefore, please call our toll-free helpline today. Our admissions coordinators are available 24 hours a day to answer any questions you might have about treatment for drug abuse and addiction.

What Does Personal Healing from Amphetamine Addiction Look Like?

What Does Personal Healing from Amphetamine Addiction Look Like?
Healing after addiction begins with abstinence, and repairing physical damage associated with amphetamine abuse

Amphetamine addiction is a damaging disease but healing is possible for any person. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) defines recovery as, “a process of change through which an individual achieves abstinence and improved health, wellness and quality of life.” Science, health professionals and individuals in recovery have proven that anyone can take steps to get clean, make a change and find personal healing. A drug-free life will look a little different for every individual, but many concepts and experiences will be the same.

Physical Healing After Amphetamine Addiction

SAMHSA’s definition of recovery begins with “improved health, wellness.” Healing after addiction begins with finding abstinence, rebalancing the body and repairing any physical damage associated with amphetamine addiction. Some potential physical effects of amphetamine abuse include the following:

  • Damage to brain cells
  • Amphetamine psychosis
  • Mood swings
  • Depression
  • Aggression
  • Malnutrition
  • Lack of sleep

Ending amphetamine use allows for many of these effects to be reversed or healed. The brain can develop new channels and connections when more cells aren’t being continually damaged and it can reestablish its own mood-balancing chemicals. Changes in thought patterns and behavior may reverse of their own accord once use has ended, or therapists can help patients work through thoughts and emotions to develop healthy coping mechanisms and emotional reactions. Treatment professionals can call in nutritionists to help individuals get the foods and nutrients they need to rebuild a strong body. Personal healing after amphetamine addiction begins with personal health on a physical and psychological level, and this base for recovery allows greater healing to take place.

Improving Quality of Life after Amphetamine Addiction

Once physical and mental health has begun to improve, recovering amphetamine users can begin to heal on a larger psychological, social and functional scale. Relationships are strained by addiction, but recovery allows these to begin to heal. Family members can get involved in therapy. Individuals can come to recognize how their actions affected others and how they can repair the relationships that will support their recovery while ending those that are associated with drug use and not based on love and concern. Recovering amphetamine users can rebuild their quality of life in many areas. Finances often suffer during addiction due to legal or medical fees, job loss or simply the cost of drugs alone. Recovery allows individuals to pursue better jobs or find a job they are passionate about and begin to save money or spend it on healthy, beneficial interests such as family vacations. Quality of life improves as individuals engage in healthy activities, find hobbies they love and rediscover the joy of a clean, healthy and sober life.

Find Healing After Addiction

When you or a loved one struggles with addiction, many areas of life suffer. Heal them all. Call our toll-free helpline and be directly connected to a caring, concerned and knowledgeable admissions coordinator. He or she will listen to your concerns, provide a free assessment and connect you to the resources for addiction recovery and healing that you need as an individual or a family. We are here for you 24 hours a day. Let us help.

Filling the Void Left by Amphetamine Addiction

Filling the Void Left by Amphetamine Addiction
Hobbies are effective in successful recovery

Amphetamine addiction can take over a user’s life, rearranging his priorities so that his first thought in almost any situation is getting the next fix. Family, friends, work, hobbies and health are pushed aside as the addict experiences a consuming compulsion to use amphetamine. When the amphetamine addict finally decides to attend rehab, he may barely recognize the person he has become.

Thankfully, amphetamine rehab is more than simply detoxifying from a drug and attempting to break the physical addiction. Treatment involves exploring the psychological aspects of addiction, and learning different skills for approaching life post-rehab. This well-rounded therapy and education prepares the amphetamine addict to live a rich and fulfilling life without substance abuse.

Yet many challenges still await even the most prepared recovering addict. After spending months or years single-mindedly pursuing a sensation, the amphetamine addict finds himself needing to fill this void left in his life in order to avoid relapse.

How Do I Avoid Feeling Empty and Relapsing?

While there is no way to entirely escape the temptation to use amphetamine again, learning to fill empty time and avoid situations that increase the likelihood of relapse can help a recovering addict learn to build a new life that does not revolve around amphetamine. A few ways to begin include the following:

  • ResponsibilitiesRecovering addicts can gain a sense of purpose in their lives by taking on new responsibilities. Being relied upon and believed in by others acts as extra motivation to remain sober, and can also fill time and give the recovering addict a sense of his own value. Returning to a career, finding a job, taking care of family members or enrolling in school are a few activities that give a sense of purpose.
  • Hobbies Hobbies often fall by the wayside when amphetamine addiction develops. Addicts forget how valuable and fun activities can be when they do not involve partying or getting a fix. Pursuing art, organized sports, outdoor activities or home projects can help recovering addicts socialize and feel productive.
  • EducationTaking college classes can help busy the mind and fill time with something constructive and rewarding, lessening the opportunities to think about using amphetamine.
  • Community serviceServing others can bring a sense of fulfillment and purpose to life that stands in stark contrast to the self-serving behavior that coincides with the disease of amphetamine addiction.
  • Travel The excitement of travel can match the unpredictable and rewarding feeling of using amphetamine, without the painful consequences. Even on a budget, travel can be enough of an adventure to distract from feelings of emptiness and discontent.

Getting involved with new people and activities can help you fill the void left by amphetamine addiction.

Help for Amphetamine Addiction

If you or a loved one is addicted to amphetamine, call our toll-free helpline to speak with an admissions coordinator about your professional treatment options. We are available 24 hours a day to connect you with the treatment plan that works for you. Please call today.

The Importance of Healthy Friendships in Maintaining Amphetamine Addiction Recovery

The Importance of Healthy Friendships in Maintaining Amphetamine Addiction RecoveryLearning the difference between healthy and unhealthy relationships can help strengthen an individual’s recovery efforts.  A closer look at a recovering addict’s relationships may help uncover relationships that are negative.  Close relatives, significant others, and even parents can have a negative influence on an individual’s life choices.

The Impact Healthy Relationships Have on Recovery

Healthy relationships have a positive impact on every aspect of an individual’s life.  The following are some examples of how these relationships may impact recovery:

  • Providing a strong support system
  • Encouraging healthy decisions
  • Respecting a recovering addict’s needs and wants

By having a reliable and strong support system, a recovering addict is able to have confidence in moving forward with recovery.  This support system may include individuals willing to accompany the recovering addict to community programs or help the recovering addict find employment.  Encouragement is a huge aspect in building self-confidence for recovering addicts.  Recovering addicts often have a lower self-esteem due to their past.  However, by constantly being surrounded by positive people, recovering addicts will soon gain a positive mentality as well.  Respect is also a major aspect for recovering addicts.  Their needs and wants should be a priority when it comes to avoiding certain locations and individuals, avoiding parties, or talking about cravings.

The Impact Unhealthy Relationships Have on Recovery

Unhealthy relationships can affect more than an individual’s sobriety. The following are some examples of how unhealthy relationships affect an individual’s recovery efforts:

  • Lacking support
  • Providing a negative environment
  • Neglecting priorities

Being in an unhealthy relationship means that those involved do not have each other’s best interests in mind.  These relationships often lack support for each other and can cause a tremendous amount of stress and anxiety.  The negative atmosphere can cause an individual to look for a coping mechanism, such as amphetamine, to help alleviate stress, anxiety, or resentment.  Individuals in such relationships will worry about their own priorities and neglect others’ needs.  For example, if one individual is sober and does not want drug use to occur in the house, his or her significant other may not care about those desires and continue to use in the residence.

Amphetamine Addiction Treatment

If you or someone you know is struggling with an addiction to amphetamine, please call our toll-free helpline.  Our highly trained counselors are available 24 hours a day to answer your addiction questions and help you find the best treatment available.  One call can change your entire life, so call us today.

Do Support Groups Really Aid Amphetamine Addiction Recovery?

Do Support Groups Really Aid Amphetamine Addiction Recovery?When people are recovering from amphetamine addiction, they should utilize all available resources to avoid relapse, including support groups. This treatment option helps addicts not only achieve, but also maintain recovery, because they connect people who struggle with similar problems. This can be especially beneficial to amphetamine addicts, so seek help today to find a community of recovering users.

How Amphetamine Addiction Works

Amphetamines, such as Adderall and Ritalin, stimulate the brain to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, narcolepsy and obesity. When taken properly, these drugs reduce the effects of these disorders, but they can lead to addiction if abused. Amphetamine addiction can produce strong cravings and withdrawal symptoms when an addict goes long enough without a dose, because their bodies have developed a dependency, meaning they need the drug to function. In other words, amphetamine addicts may struggle to overcome addiction, because they think they cannot thrive without the drug.

Because amphetamine addiction is so strong, users must seek help to overcome it. Users must first detox from the drug, and then they need to seek professional rehab to avoid relapse in the future. However, addiction is a lifelong illness, so it should be treated as such, which means that treatment should occur throughout life. One way to do this is through support groups.

Amphetamine Addiction Support Groups

In a support group, recovering addicts unite to offer accountability and support to other members. Meetings allow addicts to discuss their struggles with recovery, which allows them to encourage each other in continued sobriety. Support groups also share helpful ways to avoid relapse, which will help anyone who struggles to resist drug cravings. Unfortunately, support groups for amphetamine addicts are somewhat rare, but several support groups accept people who are addicted to any drug. For example, most Narcotics Anonymous (NA) chapters accept amphetamine addicts even though amphetamines are not narcotics. To summarize, if you want to overcome amphetamine addiction, find a local support group that can help you prevent relapse.

Many recovering addicts connect with support groups while in rehab, because these facilities understand the importance of accountability. Some facilities even offer support groups specifically for amphetamine addicts. But, if you lack a support group, you can locate one nearby rather easily. Finding a group like NA is often as simple as doing an online search, because most chapters maintain a current website with information like meeting times and locations.

Find Support Groups for Amphetamine Addicts

If you or a loved one needs help overcoming amphetamine addiction, please call our toll-free helpline today. Our admissions coordinators are available 24 hours a day to answer any questions you have about amphetamine addiction and treatment. Reach out to us right now for professional, instant support.