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What Makes a Good Counselor

Posted on :  July 16th, 2015  |  By :  towardsrecovery

Shopping for a good counselor for an opioid treatment facility is easier than most people think. There are several qualities that can be vetted during preliminary interviews, so the good candidates will stand out significantly from the poor ones. Whether you are looking to hire a top counselor for a treatment center or you are looking for a counselor for your own addiction or a loved one’s addiction, the desirable qualities are all the same.

Believing in the Treatment

The best counselors at treatment centers are the ones who actually believe that methadone works. When counselors show any sign of reluctance in appropriately prescribing methadone (at a methadone clinic), patients can suffer and so can the reputation of the clinic itself. Most methadone clinics will not employ counselors who do not recognize the power of methadone treatments.

Experience and Kindness Make a Big Difference

Patients often enjoy having a counselor with experience, either personal or with a loved one, regarding addiction and treatment. When a counselor has battled addiction, he or she can offer person lessons to patients. However, counselors also need to have the right education and training to work with real patients suffering from their own real addictions. Personal experience does not offer the same treatment counseling that proper training does.

Build Appropriate Relationships with Warmth

One of the most important traits of a good counselor is being able to build a relationship with patients. The best counselors are not judgmental and they are also warm and kind. They listen and show compassion. It should not matter if a counselor has personal experience as an addict, because compassion can be shown by everyone in the business.

Professional Competencies and Technical Knowledge

According to the publications for counselors who work with men and women who suffer from substance abuse, there are specific competencies and technical skills that counselors should have. Most importantly, they should know addiction. They should be aware of the physical and mental effects of drugs. They should also know all about the different types of treatment options and why they work and do not work. Counselors also need to understand how to best help each patient based on his or her unique needs.

Courteous and Professional Behavior Goes a Long Way

When someone decides to become a counselor and work in a methadone clinic, that counselor needs to be able to behave in a professional manner. It is important to appear as a capable person and to always be courteous. It is important to treat each patient with respect and not use language that makes them seem less than human. It is also important to have appropriate boundaries with their patients, without being too aloof or too close to their patients. Each counselor needs to behave ethically and continue professional development to stay involved in the newest ideas in the profession.

Reducing Turnover for Patients

The best clinics will recruit and hire top counselors and they keep those counselors for long periods of time. Patients appreciate having their favorite counselors during their entire treatment time frame. No one wants to be forced to switch counselors because their favorite counselor left. Every employer knows that turnover can be detrimental to the success of any organization, especially when an organization works with people. Top clinics will pay their counselors well and provide them with worthwhile benefits, too.

Working Together to Help Patients Succeed

Another important aspect of any methadone clinic is the medical staff. While the counseling staff is vital with their one-on-one work with patients, the medical staff is important because of their knowledge of prescription medications. Nurses and doctors need to be properly certified and they need to continue their education, too. It is important that the counselors and the medical staff communicate well with each other to provide the best support for their patients.

Towards Recovery Clinic can be reached by phone at 905-527-2042.

Methadone Maintenance Therapy: What are the Pros and Cons?

Posted on :  July 14th, 2015  |  By :  towardsrecovery

Methadone Maintenance Therapy or MMT is commonly used by clinics in North America. This therapy uses either methadone or Buprenorphine, because both work to help fight opioid addictions. Those who are addicted to opioids, like heroin or some prescription painkillers are prescribed this therapy. It is recommended that patients who are preparing for this type of treatment should educate themselves about the treatment and the pros and cons of it, too.

What Happens in the First Week

Those who go through this treatment become familiar with it after the first week. Most physicians recommend that you should take the first day of treatment off from work, because you will spend a few hours at the clinic. Physicians will usually prescribe at anywhere between 8 and 15 milligrams on day one. Before you enter the clinic for your first dose, you should also already be in withdrawal from your addiction drug, especially because your treatment drug is stronger than the opiates you are addicted to and the treatment medication will exacerbate your addiction. If you have not created withdrawal for yourself, the medication will do it, which will trick you into thinking that the medication is not working properly. Your self-prescribed withdrawal will also give your physician a better idea of what dosage you need.

What Your Physician Expects During Week One

During the first week, you will see your doctor at least two times. This is so your physician can see that you will actually follow your instructions and take your medication when and how it is prescribed. Your physician will also order lab work and counseling time, too. You can expect to have urine testing to be sure you are following your prescription instructions. If you continue to abuse opiates, you will feel strange because the medication will not be able to properly work to help you fight the addiction. But, if you do take your MMT medication, you should be able to feel “normal” and as if you never started taking drugs.

Why MMT is a Good Choice

Before you decide whether or not to involve yourself in MMT, there are several pros and cons to consider. First, MMT has been used successfully for over 30 years to treat men and women with addictions to opioids. The therapy does involve daily structure, which helps patients find success. It has a cost that is usually put on a sliding scale to make it affordable for everyone who wants the help. There is a support system built in, because of the counseling component and many addicts are able to get support from other addicts through group counseling. The medication used to fight the opioid addiction is an opioid itself, which ends withdrawal symptoms and the medication lasts for more than 24 hours. Doses can be adjusted and increased as needed.

The Challenges of Methadone Therapy

There are a few different reasons to look for other possible treatment options. The first is that people who are involved in MMT can still abuse opioids, even though it is discouraged. There are also many people who are involved in this treatment who feel that they have no say in what is happening, because their physicians and the protocol dictate the meds and therapy sessions. Employers who ask employees to take urine drug tests can see the MMT drugs. Most clinics require patients to come in daily for treatment and this can be difficult for some patients to schedule; it can also make vacation and work-related travel difficult to schedule. Some patients also have problems with the stigma that can be attached to the fact that they need to come in to a methadone clinic on a regular basis.

If you have any questions about methadone treatment, contact Towards Recovery Clinics at 905-527-2042.

No Methadone for You

Posted on :  July 10th, 2015  |  By :  towardsrecovery

Methadone is an important factor in the success rates of people fighting opioid addiction. At Towards Recovery Clinics, we understand how vital a treatment program is for our patients. But, we also understand that not every addict will benefit from a methadone treatment program. Before we prescribe any program, we assess each patient’s needs and addictions. There are certain reasons why we would not prescribe methadone.

Methadone Only Fights Opioid Addictions

The first reason we would not prescribe methadone is because a patient has an addiction to something other than opioids. Unfortunately, would-be patients with addictions to other substances, like cocaine, come to us thinking that methadone will help them when it will not at all. There is no reason to give methadone to someone who is not addicted to opioids, like heroin; so, we do not.

Physical and Psychological Dependence are Required

Another reason we would not prescribe methadone is because the patient might have a physical dependence, but not a psychological one. Patients might take opioid pain medication, but they take it as directed. When there is no sign of abuse, there is no real need for a methadone treatment plan. These plans have strict regulations and can only be prescribed to people who have psychological disorders, like obsessions and compulsions or being unable to function without their drugs. Methadone cannot be prescribed like pain medication, because that is not the purpose of the drug. Interestingly, opioid addicts who do take methadone find that their pain problems tend to be reduced.

There is a Time Requirement

Since methadone is addicting, it is only prescribed to patients who have had their opioid addictions for over 12 months. This is a government regulation and cannot be avoided. There are other options for addicts with addicts who have had problems for less than one year, like buprenorphine, because it is not as addicting as methadone is.

Inpatient Programs Take Precedence

If an addict can fight the addiction in an inpatient treatment facility, we will recommend that over methadone treatment plans. In many cases, this recommendation is given to people who can afford to spend a significant amount of time in a treatment facility, especially since it can be rather expensive. Some people think this is controversial, because of the success rate of methadone treatment plans; but inpatient treatment programs do not cause new addictions like methadone does.

No Other Addictions Allowed

When opioid addicts have other addictions, to substances like alcohol or sedatives, methadone can be deadly. Addicts with multiple addictions should detox before they begin any methadone treatment program simply because mixing methadone with other addictive substances can cause death.

Mental Illness Needs to Be Treated

Patients with serious mental illnesses should also avoid being placed on methadone treatment programs. We do not prescribe methadone to patients with suicidal tendencies. We also do not prescribe it to patients with psychosis and hallucinatory issues. When patients are out of touch with reality, methadone treatments can only create more problems because they do not follow program instructions.

Appropriate Behavior is Necessary

It is also difficult to prescribe methadone to patients who are unable to take care of themselves. Patients who are not safe to have in a treatment center because they are violent or they sell drugs will not receive treatment. At Towards Recovery Clinics, we take care of our patients and the people in our communities. We do not want to have problems with disruptive patients, so we do not prescribe treatment programs for them. Patients will be counseled on what is appropriate behavior and if they can maintain it, they will receive treatment. However, those who cannot, will not be treated.

Physician Need to Approve

Serious physical and health problems can be worsened by methadone treatment. Before treatment plans are approved, it is important for us to find out with patients are healthy enough to withstand treatment. Lung and heart problems can become worse with methadone treatment. Fortunately, there are other treatment programs that can be used instead.

If you have any questions about methadone treatment or other optional treatments, contact Towards Recovery Clinics at 905-527-2042.

Start a Healthy Addiction: Blogging

Posted on :  July 8th, 2015  |  By :  towardsrecovery

Whether you are in the middle of a methadone treatment or someone you love is being treated, one of the healthiest things you can do for your mind is begin a writing habit. While many people love to write in their personal journals, one of the most popular options for writing is blogging. This tried-and-true method of self-medication (without any medicine) has been helping people manage and evaluate their personal struggles for nearly a decade. Researchers have even found that blogging is highly therapeutic and it can serve as a coping mechanism. Now is the best time to begin a blog.

Blogging Brings Relief to Cancer Patients

One of the most promising studies about blogging and health was conducted by oncologists with their cancer patients. During this study, conducted in 2008, patients with cancer wrote in an expressive way before they had their treatments. Researchers found that the patients who wrote prior to treatment actually felt much better during and after treatment when compared to patients who did not have the opportunity to write. Researchers asked not only about physical feelings, but mental ones, too. Along with cancer patients, researchers have studied the effects of blogging on AIDS patients and have found the same results.

Blogging Provides a Healthy Outlet for Complaining

Now that blogging is viral due to the numerous opportunities to begin a blog for free, neuroscientists have studied the benefits of writing for an online audience. They have found that many people appreciate being able to complain in a public way. Blogging offers patients who are fighting terminal diseases and challenging treatments an outlet for their complaining. Once they are able to complain, they feel significantly better. Neuroscientists liken this behavior to the placebo effect, where people think themselves into feeling good.

The Brain Needs to Communicate; So Why Not Blog?

Other researchers have looked at the human’s need to communicate. Some people experience hypergraphia, which is the urge to write. Many people who are working through challenges relating to illness and addiction need to communicate. Blogging offers the brain the ability to meet that need to communicate and to write. Neuroscientists are seeing that their limbic systems are being satisfied through blogging because they can fill a very human need and for some bloggers, they actually experience a release of dopamine, which is a neurotransmitter that can be responsible for feelings of pleasure.

Where Does Blogging Affect the Brain

As researchers continue to look at why blogging helps bring relief to those experiencing uncomfortable treatments, they have found some areas of the brain that benefit from blogging. Speech is controlled in the frontal lobe and temporal lobe, but there is not an area in the brain that controls writing. When people have damage in the area of the brain known as Wernicke’s area in the temporal lobe, they can have problems with speaking and comprehending. Interestingly, patients with damage in Wernicke’s area are often compelled to write, and blogging could take care of their needs. Researchers have noticed that certain areas of the brain show heightened activity when people begin to blog, but the images vary based on different blogging sessions.

Build Your Blog and Build a Community

If blogging can help people with terminal illnesses, it can certainly provide relief to men and women who are fighting drug addiction. If you do decide to begin blogging, there is no particular topic that needs to be covered. Many people will write about what they know, and if you feel the need to write about your addiction, that is your choice. Since blogging is a way of sharing your thoughts and experiences online, you could develop an audience, which is a perk of blogging. You might even find that your online readers become a support for you, which is another benefit of taking time to write expressively online.

If you have any questions, contact Towards Recovery Clinics at 905-527-2042.

What If Loved Ones Have Drug Problems?

Posted on :  July 6th, 2015  |  By :  towardsrecovery

Methadone clinics like Toward Recovery Clinics are not filled with people who come in on their own. In many cases, our patients are brought in by their loved ones, both friends and family. Fortunately, those friends and family members recognized that someone they love has a problem and they decided to do something about it. There are usually rather clear signs that someone is abusing drugs.

Addiction Can Happen to Anyone

The first thing that friends and family members should understand is that absolutely anyone can develop a drug addiction. Scientific research shows that any human brain can become addicted. Research has also shown that drug addictions can be overcome and those who are addicted can go back to normalcy.

Family and Friends Cannot Fix the Addiction

Friends and family members should understand that there is no way that they can fix the addiction. Professionals need to be involved, but friends and family can direct their loved ones to those professionals. It might take time, but loved ones can share resources to help encourage the addict to get to those professionals. The biggest problem with getting help is that the addict’s brain is altered by drug abuse. This change can prevent them from realizing they need help.

How to Help When Asked to Help

There will be times when addicts will actually ask their loved ones for help. When this happens, loved ones should help the addict immediately. This could involve bringing the addict to a hospital or a local clinic. If you do not know where to turn, the best option is to find a physician nearby who specializes in addiction. Physicians with these specialties usually have an on-call service so they can be reached 24 hours per day, 7 days per week.

Be a Positive Influence

Along with finding help and directly the addict to help, it is a good idea to praise your loved one for asking for help. It is difficult for anyone to admit that they need help, let alone someone who is addicted to a dangerous drug. Addicts who begin the journey to recovery have a long road ahead of them and they will need all of the support they can get. Research has shown that addiction can be managed and that recovery programs actually do work but only through treatment programs that help the brain fight the substance and help the addict learn behaviors to fight the desire for the drug. Your support will help make the fight easier to win.

Talk about Privacy with Professionals

Some addicts will be worried about what other people will think when they hear about the addiction. They are concerned about losing their jobs, losing friends, and struggling with family members. During this time, addicts need real compassion from people in their worlds. Fortunately, there are laws regarding privacy for people who are involved in drug treatment. You can always discuss privacy with the physician who is treating your loved one.

It is Not Like Television

Friends and family members are the best people to pressure a loved one into a treatment program. However, there will be people who cannot be convinced, no matter what happens. While reality television and documentaries show that interventions can convince addicts to get help, there is not any scientific research that proves interventions actually do work. There are times with interventions actually result in violence or other problems. It is usually better to offer an incentive to get an addict to see a physician and once the physician gets involved, addicts tend to listen because they respect what the professional has to say.

Contact Us for More Help

If you need any more help to get a loved one into treatment, you can actually visit a treatment center like Towards Recovery Clinic. We will supply you with the knowledge you need to convince your loved one to visit us. If you have any questions or you want to visit us, please contact us at our head office at 905-527-2042.

Understanding HALT

Posted on :  July 3rd, 2015  |  By :  towardsrecovery

Recovery can be a lifelong process. One of the most useful ways to avoid a relapse is to understand your triggers. For most addicts, the triggers tend to be the same and the acronym H.A.L.T. can keep you from faltering. The acronym stands for Hunger, Anger, Loneliness, and Tiredness. While you might not be able to completely avoid being hungry, angry, lonely, or tired, you can build your conscious awareness of where your mind goes during these states. There are steps you can take to help your body adjust and accept these states of being so you do not feel the need to reach for drugs or alcohol.

Learn to Recognize Hunger

The body and mind can play with each other and create a sense of hunger. Many people actually think they are hungry, when they are actually bored, thirsty, or tired. You do not need to starve yourself, but it can help your awareness by actually learning how your body feels when it is hungry. When people are dieting, they learn to recognize the feeling of hunger so they can manage their portion sizes and caloric intake. You can do the same so that you truly know when it is time to eat, rather than crave drugs or alcohol. Learning about your body in a healthy way will help you manage your recovery.

In order to keep yourself from craving your addiction when you are hungry, you can keep delicious snacks available. You will need to control what you have available in your pantry so you do not develop an addiction to refined sugar or processed foods. Have fresh cold-pressed juices or easy-to-eat fruits like grapes, bananas, and berries and vegetables like cut broccoli or cauliflower available. Train yourself to eat those when you are hungry, so you do not crave harmful substances instead.

Do Not Run from Anger

It is highly unlikely that you will never experience anger during your recovery. Like hunger, you should learn what your body feels like when it is angry. Emotions create stress in the body and fortunately, the body will eventually rid itself of those toxic stressful feelings. You do not need to help the body do this by using mood-altering substances. You should recognize the emotion and then move on. You can do this by learning to use your breath to calm your body. For some people, exercising helps them manage their emotions. When you recognize the sensation of anger, you will be better prepared to accept it without help from addictive substances.

Learn to Manage Your Loneliness

Loneliness is a challenging feeling to accept. While you are in recovery, you might feel like the only person with an addiction. One of the best ways to manage loneliness is to find a group of people who are experiencing something similar. Support groups are one of the best tools to help with loneliness. You might not be able to meet with your group when you are feeling lonely, but you will be able to think about those people who care about you and want you to succeed in your recovery. It can also be helpful to have healthy places to go when you are feeling lonely. A local coffee shop, the gym, or a favorite bookstore are all places that you can go to be around other people. When you have a few tools at your disposal, you will not turn to drugs or alcohol.

When Tired, Take a Nap

The feeling of tiredness is another common trigger for people who are recovering. You might have turned to an addictive substance to fall asleep each night, but you cannot do this during recovery. It is a good idea to learn new ways to help fall asleep, like breathing techniques or meditation techniques. When you are tired, take a nap or go to sleep for the night. It is a better option than using drugs or alcohol.

If you have any concerns about treatment and recovery options for your addiction, contact Towards Recovery Clinics at 905-527-2042.

Staying Sober While Traveling

Posted on :  July 1st, 2015  |  By :  towardsrecovery

Recovering from addiction can be a lifelong struggle. When you are recovering, you might have the opportunity to travel. Since traveling and vacationing is a good way to relax and decompress from the stresses of life, it is a good idea to take advantage of the time. But, when you are recovering, you have to consider the reality of being away from your home and the new life you have made. Before you decide not to travel, you should know that other people who have been in recovery have traveled and managed to enjoy themselves while vacationing. Here are a few tips to make your time away from home more successful and less stressful:

Do your research: Before you go on vacation, closely research the places that you plan to visit and stay. If you are staying at a resort, you should look to see if the resort has a party atmosphere or a family atmosphere. If you know that a tiki bar near the pool will be too enticing to avoid, then you should look for a resort that does not have alcohol in such a convenient and tempting location.

Look for a local support system: Most communities have support systems for people who are in recovery. Whether you need help with heroin, alcohol, or another addiction, you can research the location’s support groups, clinics, and meetings. Most communities have 12-Step Meetings and cruises also have “Friends of Bill W.” daily meetings, too.

Bring a friend: If you know that traveling on your own will not work, then invite a friend or family member with you. There is strength in numbers, especially when you need a supportive friend who will help you avoid tough situations. You could even arrange for a sober holiday by organizing a big event for others who are in a similar situation. Some travel organizations plan sober vacations for people who are in recovery.

Fill your time: Many vacationers will fall into the habit of relaxing and drinking, but people in recovery need alternatives. The best way to avoid the trap of needing a fix, you should build a daily itinerary that will keep you comfortably busy. See the sites, plan tours, and keep yourself away from the drugs and alcohol.

Try something new: While you are away from home, why not do something new? Maybe you take a cooking class or a yoga class while you are out of town. You can try new food or other activities – like learning to surf. Hike the local parks. Swim in the ocean. Vacation is the time to step out of the norm and live your life. Since you do not have to go to work or wake up to an alarm, you can truly take this time to enjoy yourself and the opportunities that arise.

Just say no: If you are in a place where people are drinking, you do not need join them. There are so many people who choose not to drink, that it is no big deal to see someone drinking water instead of liquor. You might feel out of place, but no one else thinks that you are doing anything strange. You might see like you are the strange one or the focus of attention, but in reality, no one cares if you are not drinking. Take the opportunity to enjoy good conversation, icy cold water, and good music.

Stay alert to your cravings: Even though you are away from home, you should be alert to your triggers. They might include being tired or lonely, hungry or nervous, or excited or sluggish. Pay attention to your feelings and your body so you can stay healthy and in a positive place.

If you have any questions about addiction recovery, contact Towards Recovery Clinics at 905-527-2042.

Nutrition, Addiction, and Recovery

Posted on :  June 29th, 2015  |  By :  towardsrecovery

The old adage, “You are what you eat,” seems to be especially timely in 2015. Social media, blogs, and traditional new outlets have been inundating readers with the importance of making good food choices. From buying locally grown produce and organic produce to avoiding foods that are heavily manufactured, nutrition is a hot topic right now. Nutritionists and food experts know that eating a diet of unprocessed food can help people fight disease and when good nutrition is paired with regular exercise, health only seems to improve. People who are recovering from their addictions to drugs and alcohol can help themselves by making wise food choices.

Poor Food Choices Create Health Problems

The choices we make with food can help fight addiction, and it can help fuel it, too. One of the most common triggers for addicts in recovery is anxiety. Unfortunately, most people who have anxiety are not diagnosed until they have lived with it for a long time. When anxiety and addiction are paired, it is more likely that addiction will become the salve for anxiety. Interestingly, anxiety can be triggered by certain foods, too. Men and women with anxiety should avoid drinking caffeinated beverages and eating foods with caffeine. This commonly used drug will create more anxiety, increase irritability, and change moods.

People with anxiety should also avoid drinking any alcoholic beverages. While they might seem calming at first, they will cause more irritability as the alcoholic beverages are digested. An anxious person will appreciate the calming sensation at first, then will want more of it once the irritability increases.

Avoiding Self-Medicating by Drinking Water

Instead of self-medicating with alcohol, caffeine, and other drugs, it is better to look at the foods that can actually help with anxious feelings. Experts found that the best beverage for people with anxiety is actually water. Along with drinking plenty of water, anxiety can be calmed by eating complex carbohydrates, like quinoa and oatmeal, as well as healthy proteins, too.

Good Foods to Fight Anxiety and Speed Up Recovery

When people who are fighting addiction and/or anxiety eat simple carbohydrates, they are likely to have mood swings and irritability. These sensations are caused by the glucose spike that occurs after eating refined sugars and grains. While foods like pasta, sandwich bread, and candy taste good, they do not help the body in any way other than providing calories. The last thing that anyone who is working to fight addiction needs is food that can create more problems, especially with mood. Simple carbohydrates can actually cause more cravings that can lead to physical problems like diabetes due to obesity along with heart and/or gastrointestinal issues.

Work with a Nutritionist

What you eat can either help or hinder your addiction recovery. Since anxiety often comes hand-in-hand with addiction, it is helpful to create a nutritional program that will ease both problems. Working with a nutritionist is the best way to develop a healthy eating program that will help you avoid falling into unhealthy traps. A low glycemic diet will ease anxiety and help prevent relapse. The proper diet will reduce cravings, balance brain chemicals, and create healthy sleep and wake cycles. Along with eating good, clean food, many nutritionists will suggest supplements that will help with digestion.

Add Exercise and Meditation for More Benefits

Succeeding in addiction recovery does take more than just clean eating. It takes a clean lifestyle. Along with a healthy diet, it can be helpful to meditate and exercise regularly. The physical, mental, and spiritual benefits of meditation and regular exercise will help end anxious feelings and provide a positive outlook on life.

If you have any questions about the benefits of diet with your recovery, contact the addiction counselors at Towards Recovery Clinics at 905-527-2042.

Fun for the Recovering Addict

Posted on :  June 27th, 2015  |  By :  towardsrecovery

When you are recovering from a heroin addiction (or any other addiction), the definition of “fun” changes dramatically. Whether you started using drugs in your teen years, or you started in adulthood, fun often meant taking risks that a sober person would not take. The idea of pushing the limits when under the influence is extremely exciting and therefore, quite fun. However, when you are no longer abusing drugs, you need a new way to have fun and enjoy life.

Fun Changes as We Age

People who abuse drugs into the 20s and 30s will see their peers enjoying the fun of starting professional and family lives. Those who are frequently high will still find themselves fighting hangovers, looking for drugs, and avoiding arrests. Sober peers will move on, enjoying their weddings, children, and careers. This type of fun might not appeal to addicts; but after moving into recovery, the appeal will increase.

Addiction Alters Brain Development

When it comes to addiction, it is far easier to develop the problem as a teen, rather than as an adult. The teenage brain lacks the self-regulatory ability that the adult brain has, which is why teens are more likely to engage in “fun” behavior that is actually rather dangerous. The prefrontal cortex, which is responsible for assessing activities and for reasoning, does not fully develop until somewhere between the ages of 18 and 25. As the prefrontal cortex develops, the idea of fun changes, which is why it is less likely for adult to undertake risky behavior.

The development of the prefrontal cortex might can be stunted by addiction to drugs and alcohol. This explains why so many people who began using drugs at a young age have so much difficulty recovering from their addiction. It also explains why so many recovering addicts have challenges discovering what fun is without drugs or alcohol. The developmental problems that come with addiction last make recovery difficult and it explains why adult addicts continue to make so many poor decisions.

Functioning Adults with Poor Decision-making Skills

Despite the challenges with the prefrontal cortex, it can be amazing to realize that there are many addicts who are able to work, pay bills, and function in society. While the functional behaviors might not be the same as those of non-addicts, many adult addicts are able to hide their addiction – for a while. The difficulties that adult addicts face tend to involve building and maintaining relationships, which is why they have challenges understanding the idea of adult “fun.”

Hope for Recovery

Even though the brain does have challenges when it comes to fighting addiction, there is hope for recovery. Researchers have found that men and women who stepped onto the path of recovery and sobriety have had positive changes in their brain functions. Brain cells were able to communicate better with each other and the functions of thought improved, too. In many cases, the improvement was visible to researchers after two months of sobriety.

Fun without the Risk

Fortunately, the idea of fun, which involves weighing risk versus reward, becomes better understood as brain function improves. Adults who are sober are able to understand the risks and make better choices by better understanding the potential outcomes of risky behavior.

Enjoy the Small Things

Once you are dedicated to a life of sobriety and recovery, you will be able to enjoy the small joys in life that adults consider to be fun. You will no longer feel like you need to be driving your car at top speeds while under the influence of dangerous narcotics. You will have more fun watching your family grow than you ever would have had with drugs and alcohol.

If you have any questions about addiction recovery, contact Towards Recovery Clinics at 905-527-2042.

Exercise to Fuel Your Recovery

Posted on :  June 25th, 2015  |  By :  towardsrecovery

One of the best things that you can do for your recovery is add an exercise regimen. Whether you decide to add yoga, weight lifting, or running to your schedule, adding exercise will help you maintain your recovery and become fit. After abusing your body with your addiction, getting fit might not seem like something you can do, but it just takes that first step to get on the path to feeling good.

There are plenty of benefits to exercising beyond the obvious physical ones. People who regularly workout, tend to eat better. By simply exercising, you will want to eat healthy, real food rather than processed fast food and junk food. You will also meet new people, especially if you exercise at a gym, yoga studio, or local Y. Those new people can become good friends who will support you on your fitness goal. You will also develop good habits that will keep you from wanting and needing to relapse into your addiction. When you add an hour (or more) of exercise to your daily schedule, you will have less time to do other things during the day.

In order to have success with your exercise plan, here are some tips:

Make a realistic goal: Before you create goals to lose weight, your first fitness goals should be about showing up. The weight will eventually come off with regular exercise, but if you do not show up, then nothing will change. Good fitness goals involve setting a daily time to exercise, attending a certain number of classes each week, using a fitness app on your phone, or trying different exercise styles before committing to the one you like the most.

Have fun: Exercising should not be a burden. To keep exercise fun, you have to develop a mindset that exercise really is fun. You need to be an active participant so you can enjoy not only the endorphins you get, but the socializing and other benefits, too. When you look forward to exercising, you are more likely to show up and get healthy.

Stick to your schedule: As you move through your day, you might have times that you would prefer not to exercise. If you stick to your schedule, you will not give up on yourself and your goals. Treat your exercise schedule like you would anything else related to work or self care and you will reach your goals quickly.

Stay patient: Reaching fitness goals takes time. When you set your first fitness goals, it is a good idea not to set a specific time to reach them. You might think that losing ten pound in two months is a good fitness goal, but it can be too much all at once. With regular exercise, you will see changes, in your strength, flexibility, and body tone. It might take time, but you will see the changes as they occur.

Keep track: This does not mean that you need to invest in an expensive app, but you should find something to track. Maybe you give yourself an “X” on a calendar so you can see how many workouts you completed each week. Maybe you keep track of the cups of water you drink each day. You might want to track the calories you eat. At first, it is best to keep your tracking minimal and after you become comfortable with the idea, you can add to your recording. Tracking your work can help keep you motivated to keep showing up.

As with any physical change, it is always a good idea to discuss your plans with your physician especially since you are in recovery. If you have any questions, feel free to contact us at Towards Recovery Clinics 905-527-2042.

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  • Individuals using/abusing street narcotics (e.g. heroin).
  • Patients abusing prescription narcotics(i.e., Codeine, Talwin, Percocet/Percodan, Dilaudid, Morphine or Demerol, et cetera).
  • Individuals displaying any of the following behaviours: Compulsive drug use or drug seeking/craving.
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