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No More Reactions: Learn to be Proactive Instead

Posted on :  June 5th, 2015  |  By :  towardsrecovery

One of the most common problems for people who are fighting addictions is being reactive. While trying to change behavior, it is easy to get overwhelmed and let negative emotions and reactions take over. Instead of getting angry, frustrated, or confused, you can respond in a way that allows you to not lose your cool. These tips are designed to help you be mindful about your behaviors so you can pause before you explode. While not all of the responses are appropriate for every moment, you should be able to use these tips in some way that can help you.

Count to Ten: The pause is a tool that can help save you from saying or doing something you could regret. Any time that you start to feel anger, the best thing to do is to pause and count to ten. This will give your mind the time to calm down so you can address the situation without losing your cool.

No Conclusions: Many people suffer from their thoughts about other people. When we start to worry about what people think about us, we lose awareness of the world around us because we are so caught up in our thoughts. Instead of jumping to conclusions about other people, it is better to only focus on the facts about your relationship with that person. Assumptions are not real, they are only thoughts that can cause unnecessary suffering.

Walk in the Shoes of Others: Like drawing unnecessary conclusions, when you look at the facts surrounding the people around you, you can think about the facts that those people are dealing with. Instead of worrying about what those people are thinking about you (because you do not know), look at their real struggles. Maybe they are dealing with a loss of a loved one, changes at work, family problems, or health issues. People are generally reactive because they have too many stressors in their lives.

Not Knowing is OK: If you need to make a decision and you are unsure of your answer, it is perfectly fine to say that you are, ¨Not sure, yet.¨ If you are being pressured, this answer will relieve the pressure. It is better to leave the situation open then to answer in a way that can create more stress. There is nothing wrong with thinking about an answer before giving it so you do not regret the choice you made in a reactive situation. You could always say ¨No,¨ too.

Experience Your Emotions: Your emotions are perfectly human, so it is better to experience them when they arise. However, when they have served their purpose and the body no longer needs them, do not return to them by thinking about them. Thinking about past emotions can create stress and cause unwanted reactions. Your body will feel the emotion when it is needed, then will send off the emotion when it the time is right.

Feed Your Body: What you put into your body will help with your reactions to stressful situations. One of the most beneficial foods that helps reduce stress is green tea, especially if it is decaffeinated. If you do not like the flavor of green tea, it is best for your body to avoid any caffeinated beverages because they increase feelings of nervousness.

Exercise: Raising the heart rate is good for the body. As your body becomes stronger, more flexible, and fit, your self-esteem will increase. You will notice how good you feel and this will help you avoid reacting in negative ways. Whether you go for a walk, lift weights, or attend a yoga class, adding regular exercise will do wonders for you inside and out.

Contact us at Towards Recovery Clinics at 905-527-2042 for more information.

How to Be Productive

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

There are plenty of ideas about productivity, but Franz Kafka seems to say it all: Productivity is being able to do things that you were never able to do before. This idea is never more true than for people who are managing their lives while overcoming addictions. Learning to live life without addictive substances is like doing things you were never able to do before. Productivity is a key to success. Here are some tips to be successfully productive:

Being busy is not being productive: Those who are busy tend to be overwhelmed, so they do not get much done. It can be tricky to identify a productive person, because they are not overwhelmed with busyness.

Important is greater than urgent. Many people are distracted from what they really need to do with what they think they have to do. If something comes up at the last minute, you do not always need to get it done. Your priorities are usually more important than anything that is extremely urgent. Weigh the urgency and whether getting it done is worth giving up getting something else done. There are only 24 hours in the day.

Time management is controlled by you. Time goes very fast. When you choose to waste it, you are making that choice. Be aware of what you are doing and make sure that it is a useful and productive. And yes, even relaxing can be productive!

Your priorities can be managed by the 80/20 rule. This rule involves the idea that 20 percent of our activities include 80 percent of important tasks. If you can stay on top of the most important things, your productivity levels will rise. You will feel like you have accomplished more by the time you go to sleep which will make you feel less stress. When you know the 20 percent, then you are less likely to waste your time on the other 80 percent of useless things.

Get a planner. Many of the most productive people have taken courses on using day planners. When you learn how to incorporate a day planner into your life, you will be able to better manage your day. You will learn to organize your life and make a habit out of filling in and checking your planner. You then take charge of time rather than letting it take charge of your day.

Manage your time like you manage your money. When you properly manage your money, you designate some of it to bills, to savings, and to discretionary funds. You can do the same with your time. Some of your time needs to be dedicated to obligations, like work. Some of it can be given to free time and that is the time that you need to manage because it is easy to waste that extra, discretionary time.

Make and use lists. People who are productive use their planners and they also use lists. When you are just starting out being aware of your productivity, the list should be a short one and should include what you would like to do on that day. As you get better control of your time, you can increase the tasks. Remember, that you do need occasional relaxation so that you do not get overwhelmed.

Work with your list. To make your list and planner more manageable, you can color-code or label the activities. Highlight the must-do activities in green. The activities that are not top priorities can be labeled in yellow. The other activities that can be done at any time should get a red highlight. If you can break up the big tasks into smaller tasks, you will notice the big tasks get done faster.

If you have any questions about addiction and becoming a productive citizen, do not hesitate to contact us at Towards Recovery Clinics at 905-527-2042.

Could Journaling Help You Manage Your Addiction?

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

Journaling is a regular habit of several well-known celebrities. From Oprah Winfrey to Lady Gaga, celebrities use their journals to help them in a variety of ways. Journals help these people analyze their thoughts and dreams while also realizing possibilities. Sometimes, the celebrities will even share their deepest, darkest struggles, like the pop singer Fergie who shared information about her addiction to crystal meth.

Benefits of Journaling

Experts believe that journaling is a tool that offers several benefits. Taking a short amount of time each day to look at life helps keep people balanced. Addictions are tough to defeat and in many cases, recovery is a day-to-day process that can last for many years or even a lifetime. Journaling offers recovering addicts the place to remind themselves of their strengths, goals, and positive relationships, too.

Thinking on Paper

Writing is simply the act of thinking on paper. When recovering addicts write, they do it for themselves. They learn to process their emotions by reflecting on situations. They can use the journaling time to dig into those emotions. Addicts who are involved in therapy sessions can use their journals to work with their therapists or with their groups in a safe, judgment-free zone.

Writing Begins Now

If you want the most out of journaling, you actually have to journal. You only get the benefits if you actually write, rather than plan what to write. You should not censor yourself. Instead, take the topic and write. Use the valuable time to get thoughts out and free up your mind for other things.

Positive Support from Studies

There have been several studies conducted on the benefits of journaling and most found that regular writing is actually therapeutic. One of the most beneficial types of journaling involves writing about thankfulness. People who wrote about thankfulness ended up with better health than people who did not write. The indicators included feeling less fatigue and enjoying better moods. Researchers also found that regular journaling even improved heart health. People who write regularly describe it as being cathartic because they can unload their emotional baggage and begin to heal. This is why journaling is so helpful for people who are battling addiction and other health problems.

Decrease Health Problems

Journaling not only improves sleep and decreases stress, but it actually has been shown to improve the strength of the immune system, which in turn improves health. People who are out of work, managing addiction, or working through health problems will see better results when they write in their journals on a daily basis.

Get Started Now

The process of journaling is quite easy to begin. All you need is a notebook – you do not need to invest in a fancy journal – and a writing tool. Many people will write for 10 minutes, but you might need to build endurance before you commit to that time or a longer period of time. When you write, you do not need to make corrections to your spelling and grammar – you just write. When you are building your writing endurance, it is important that you write without stopping. Some people get so involved in their journaling that they forget the time. If you feel like this could happen to you, there is nothing wrong with setting an alarm. You can also use your smartphone or computer to journal. Using a smartphone gives you access to your thoughts at anytime and the work you do can be added to a computer to save it. There are plenty of apps for people who want to journal electronically.

If you are looking for support with journaling through addiction, just give Towards Recovery a call at 905-527-2042.

Develop Long-Term Habits

Posted on :  May 28th, 2015  |  By :  towardsrecovery

Whether you want to build a good habit or a bad habit, the process is exactly the same. While it would be nice to just be able to do everything we want, it is too easy to get distracted or to turn back to habits we have developed over time.

When you are working on rehabilitation from a drug addiction, it is important to know what you need to do to develop habits that keep you away from the thoughts and actions that typically brought you to your addiction. Here are a few ways to get the good habits started so they really do stick:

Make a 30 Day Commitment: Habits are generally built in approximately three or four weeks. We condition ourselves and the start of the month is the perfect time to start the process. It works with starting a habit and ending a habit, so if you want to break your social media habit, stay off of the sites for a good month and you will no longer feel the need to update your status.

One Day at a Time: When you are trying to build or break a habit, you have to work on it every single day. Those first 30 days are vital to your success. If you want to add exercise to your daily routine, you need to exercise every day for those 30 days. Once you have committed to that time frame, you will build that habit into your daily routine and keep it up indefinitely.

Easy Does It: The famous saying ¨Rome wasn’t built in a day¨ applies to building habits, too. You cannot change your life right away, so start slowly and work your way up to your eventual goal. If you want to run every day, you might have to start running for 15 minutes and add time as you build stamina.

Consistency is Key: It does not matter if you are trying to build a homework habit, exercise habit, or another type of habit, you should designate a time and place. When you do this, every time you see that desk or see the time on the clock, you will feel the urge to do your homework or start exercising. Consistency will eventually trigger the behavior, so you do not have to really think about it much.

Find Friends: Support will help you build the habit or break the habit. It is helpful to have friends who are involved in the same habit so you look forward to seeing them when it is time to run, do homework, or stop smoking.

Fill in the Blanks: All too often, we try to replace bad habits with other habits. This means that you might have to replace something that you need. Maybe you are trying to give up social media. This could result in less time communicating with people you know. To replace that need, you might need to schedule time to talk to your friends during your free time.

Accept Your Flaws: Everyone will make mistakes along the way, so you should not punish yourself if you skip a day of exercising or you forget to complete your homework. You might need to start over another month or you might fail completely. This is ok, because you are human and you will make mistakes. Your failure might lead you to a different type of exercise or to a new way of spending time with friends that you would have missed otherwise.

Butt In: If you start to hear yourself use negative talk, butt in with the word ¨But.¨ Let’s say you are having a difficult time staying off of social media, so you think that you will not be successful in establishing your new habits. Instead of getting down on yourself, say ¨But, I will keep working at it¨ so you can redirect your thoughts and stay positive.

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

Are You Addicted to Work?

Posted on :  May 26th, 2015  |  By :  towardsrecovery

When people are fighting one addiction, it can be easy to develop another one in its place. One way that people who are addicted to substances can help themselves is developing an addiction to something like work or gambling. Working might not seem like a common addiction but with the ease and popularity of the Internet work addictions are easier than ever to develop. People can work all of the time – which is a sign of addiction.

Working Hard to Keep Your Job

In the United States and Canada, workers are often concerned with losing their jobs. Instead of being replaced, employees will take the work with them on vacation and they will work long after they officially left the office for the night. One of the first signs of addiction to working is not being able to relax and enjoy leisure time.

Time is Money

Since work is directly correlated to money, workers will spend all the time they can, earning money (or trying to earn money). They do not enjoy leisure time because they feel like they are missing out on the opportunity to earn more money. The idea of ¨Time is Money¨ has made workaholism one of the most common addictions in North America today.

Break Down the Issues

Being able to distinguish between people who work hard and people who are addicted involves a few simple questions. A group of researchers created a workaholics scale so they can analyze whether or not the employee would benefit from interventions from therapists. These are statements that people need to agree or disagree with in order to determine if they have an addiction or not. Here are a few of the statements:

  1. You can find ways to release more free time so you can work harder.
  2. You are working on things more often than you are actually in class.
  3. Working keeps you busy so you do not have time to focus on negative emotions like fear, guilt, nervousness, and anger.
  4. Friends, family, and colleagues tell you not to work so much.
  5. Working keeps you from feeling stressed out.
  6. Work gets in the way of your favorite social activities.
  7. Your health suffers because you work so much.

These seven statements are simply part of the battery of statements that help therapists determine whether or not their clients are working too much. People who are always or often feeling these emotions need help breaking them. Most countries report that nearly 10 percent of their population has issues with working too much.

Addiction is Addicting

People who are addicted to working tend to have similar personality traits. Those who are quick to agree tend to be modest, giving, and compliant. Those who are a bit neurotic tend to be angry and hostile when addicting to work becomes real. People who are imaginative dreamers use down time to create ideas to make their workplaces better. Young workers are usually the most likely to get influenced by work so they can develop an addiction.

Creating Unnecessary Emotions

Developing an addiction to work can create excitement and nervousness. New employees might try to impress their new employers by working harder than everyone else. When you work over 50 hours each week, you can rest assured that your addiction will develop and can have both physical and mental problems stem from the quick out.

Don’t Hide From Your Addiction

Being a workaholic might sound like a fairy tale way to experience the world. Instead, you consistently think about work, so you are constantly thinking about work and making money. You probably check your email, call clients, and work online to get work done after hours. Many times, workaholism comes with poor communication, too. The problems come from lack of communication – which can be the quick death of any large employment organization.

Let Toward Recovery Clinics Help

If you are starting to feel stress about how much work you do, one of the best things you can do is find a self-help group or a good counselor. A self-help meeting will help you work through any of the issues you have with addiction. If you do have other questions or comments about developing a replacement for your addiction to drugs and medications, Towards Recovery Clinic can be reached by phone at 905-527-2042.

The Troubles with Prescription Drugs

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

While the general public recognizes the dangers of illicit street drugs like heroin, meth, and cocaine, they are often unaware of the dangers of drugs that are deemed to be safe enough to be given in prescriptions. Over the past few decades, it has been a regular occurrence that celebrities die from overdoses caused by prescription drugs.

Popular Celebrities with Sad Endings

Some of the recognizable names include Elvis Presley, Judy Garland, Marilyn Monroe, Bruce Lee, Brian Epstein, and more recently Anna Nicole Smith, Joan Rivers, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Heath Ledger, and Michael Jackson. Many of these celebrities turned to prescription drugs for problems with chronic pain or to manage other addictions. In most cases, the prescription drugs were not obtained illegally, but were actually prescribed by physicians who knew the celebrities well.

Awareness Comes from Death

Every time that a celebrity dies from a prescription overdose, it should bring more awareness to this problem that affects not only the rich and famous, but the everyday citizen, too. In North America, deaths from overdoses have tripled in the past 30 years and at least 100 people die from overdoses daily. The annual death rate is close to 40,000, just from prescription drugs alone. These deaths come from the fact that some prescription drugs have more dangerous qualities that the illegal street drugs and prescriptions drugs result in more deaths than all street drugs combined.

Commonly Abused Medications

Two of the most commonly abused prescription drugs are Vicodin and OxyContin. These two painkillers are so addicting that people will break into pharmacies to get their hands on these pills. The increase in prescription drug overdose deaths follows the increase in the prescriptions of these two drugs. Both are narcotics, so after a few weeks of taking these painkillers, they both develops a tolerance which is why the body begins to crave higher doses.

Following the Trends

Abuse of prescription medication is so common that only a few years ago, almost 500,000 emergency room visits were triggered by abuse of drugs like Oxycontin, Percocet, and Vicodin. Just a few years before that, the number of emergency room visits caused by prescription drugs was less than 150,000. Could this be because over 10 million people use prescription painkillers without a prescription? Probably.

Look for Ethical Physicians

Despite the fact that there are many prescription drugs that are extremely dangerous, physicians prescribe them on a regular basis. In many cases, they prescribe them without providing any warning to their patients about the potential of addiction. This results in a large percentage people who abuse the drugs, because they take them the wrong way, with alcohol, or in too large a dosage. In many cases, prescription narcotics, tranquilizers, and sedatives should be taken in specific ways and especially not with alcohol or other drugs.

Learn from Michael Jackson’s Death

While there are many ethical physicians who take time to educate their patients about the risks of prescription medication, there are physicians who write prescriptions without any care in the world. When Michael Jackson died, the world was able to see what happens when a physician abuses the right to prescribe. Michael Jackson’s physician was found guilty of negligent manslaughter due to his mishandling of Jackson’s prescriptions. The physician, Dr. Conrad Murray, was giving Jackson a powerful anesthesia, called Propofol. This medication is most commonly used in surgery, where patients are monitored throughout the procedure. Dr. Conrad gave this medication to Michael Jackson, but did not monitor him with an EKG or any other device. When Jackson’s body was examined, signs of Oxycontin and Demerol, both prescription drugs, were found. In his home, drugs like Methadone, Vicodin, Percocet, and nearly 20 other types were found, too. All of them were prescription pills.

The mistake came from Michael Jackson himself, who paid his physician to prescribe pills and take care of only him. A star-struck physicians receiving a big paycheck from a high profile client would have difficulty turning down any request. This situation is rather common in the world of celebrities, who have the money, time, and desire to relax in a painfree way.

Hopefully, no one else will ever die from an overdose of a controlled substance that can be obtained via prescription. But, we all know this will not happen.

If you or someone you love is abusing prescription medications, we encourage you to contact us at Towards Recovery Clinics. Our main number is 905-527-2042. We also receive emails at

Talk to Your Children about Drugs

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

At Towards Recovery Clinics, we enjoy helping people recover from harmful addictions. However, we would enjoy seeing no one ever become addicted to heroin or other narcotics every again. We have learned that when parents talk to their children about the real dangers of illicit drugs that those children are less likely to become addicts when they become adults. When parents talk to their children about drugs more than once the odds of them developing addictions decreases even more.

The Power of Friends

Even though parental involvement is a key to reducing the likelihood of addiction, your children’s friends are an even bigger factor. Parents who are involved in their children’s lives and get to know their children’s friends can make a big difference not only in the lives of their children, but in their friends’ lives, too. Parents should learn to listen and be ready when their children want to talk. They should avoid being judgmental, because that can turn children away from approaching you again.

Starting with Young Children

It is never too early to begin talking to children about drugs. Children as young as preschool age through second grade are ready to listen to their parents about medications because they are aware of the situations that require them. If you have to give your child a dose of children’s Tylenol, you can talk to your child about what the medication does and how to be responsible with it. Your child might ask about other medications that he has taken or that he has seen you take. This is an important time to listen and answer honestly.

You can also take advantage of moments that arise when you are out and about town. You might see someone vaping or smoking, so you can talk to your child about what that is and what it does to the body. Your child will begin to notice other people engaging in smoking or vaping and will talk about what you taught her. Since children between the ages of 3 and 7 have a young vocabulary, it is best to keep your vocabulary developmentally appropriate when you share information. You can be realistic and provide real effects, so your child can learn about the dangers. At Towards Recovery Clinic, we can help answer questions or your child’s pediatrician can do the same.

School-Age Children

Young school age children will benefit from more conversations about the dangers of drugs. They will hear more about them from their teachers and their classmates, so you need to be able to address questions they will have. Again, being honest and free of judgment will keep your children coming back to talk to you. Because young school-age children are more likely to talk to their parents, it is wise for parents to use this time to talk about things that can be uncomfortable. Once children become middle-school age, they are less likely to talk openly about their feelings.

By being available, you will continue to reinforce that you really are always there. You might not have long discussions each time, the fact that you are willing to listen is a good thing. At this age, children might start to ask about steroid use or about drug abuse they see on television and in the movies.

The Teen Years

During the teen years, children will be exposed to peers who use drugs or alcohol. They will also know people who have driven will high or drunk, too. Many teens are still willing to trust in their parents when it comes to questions about drugs and alcohol, especially if they have been able to talk to their parents in previous years. During the teen years, parents should discuss the dangers, legal issues, monetary problems, and physical problems that come from being under the influence.

Many parents will use contracts with their teens, especially when it comes time for their teens to drive. These contracts can be about promising not to get into cars with friends who may have been drinking. You could also talk about how friends should not drink in your teen’s car. With open conversations, you can make your expectations clear and your rules understandable.

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

Improve Self Esteem to Recover From Addiction

Posted on :  March 23rd, 2015  |  By :  towardsrecovery

Working through any type of addiction can throw a monkey wrench into anyone’s self-esteem. People who are working through addictions often have specific themes in their lives that they need to address. Most are looking for a reason for living, a place where they can be sober, and some need to get back to work. Others need to work on their relationships with loved ones. When people who are working on their addictions, these themes are difficult to manage until they have worked on their relationships with themselves – which is often called Emotional Competence. Instead of taking care of external issues, people who have emotional competence will work on themselves first. Without working on themselves, they cannot work outside of themselves.

Emotional competence involves self-awareness, -regulation, and -motivation. People who are looking for this should ask themselves about their feelings and thoughts, as well as their personal understanding of strengths and weaknesses. They should be able to control their own responses to stimuli so they are not impulsive. They are also usually looking for results through their commitment, initiative, and optimism. For people who have been torn apart by addiction and recovery, achieving a sense of emotional competence takes time and energy.

Low self-esteem is caused by several reasons, but those who are recovering from addiction do not necessarily need to know why their self-esteem is low. There are usually several reasons that cause low self-esteem; but since the past cannot be changed, it is better to focus on the present and future. Here are a few ideas to focus on improving self-esteem:

  1. Write about yourself. In a journal, you can begin improving your self-esteem by writing about yourself. You should write sentences about all of the things you like about yourself and all of the things you could like about yourself. You can make lists of these sentences or you can write in any other way that works for you. Only write positive things about yourself.
  2. Talk to yourself. When you do this, you give yourself affirmations about the good things. Your affirmations should be said in the present time about realistic things. You should say them to yourself in a mirror or record them on your phone. This makes them more realistic and meaningful. After you have said them aloud, add them to your journal.
  3. Give back. One sure way to improve your self-esteem is to share with others. This can easily be done by volunteering your time. Volunteering is a good thing and you will feel so good about helping people without asking for anything in return.
  4. Meditate. This might sound “new-agey” and difficult to do, but simple meditation just involves the breath and a thought. Meditation begins by focusing on the breath. You can then think about something you really enjoy. It is important to not judge yourself, because meditation takes time to do well, so start by meditating for two minutes or less and slowly build up in time.
  5. Get help. You obviously care enough about yourself to recover from your addiction, so you should also care enough to work on your mental health. A licensed therapist is a good option for working on your own self-esteem. The gentle, non-judgmental ear and supportive voice of a well-trained therapist can do wonders.
  6. Build a hobby. This could be something new or something that you have done in the past. If you love to knit, knit more. If you find that you enjoy volunteering, volunteer more. The time you spend doing what you love will keep you feeling good and help you build your self-esteem without having to think too much about it.

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

Marijuana: Taking a Toll

Posted on :  March 19th, 2015  |  By :  towardsrecovery

At Towards Recovery Clinics, we work mostly with clients who are struggling with addictions to narcotics like heroin or prescription medications. We understand that heroin is not the only street drug that people are using in Canada. Marijuana is a commonly used drug and it comes with a plethora of problems that affects the users and the community as well.

Legalized, but Still Not Safe

Many people believe that marijuana is a safe drug to use and with legalization efforts in the United States; that belief is growing. While it is legal to grow cannabis in Canada, it is only with licenses from Health Canada. What people do not realize is that people who use marijuana have health problems related to car accidents and dependence of the drug. These two issues have been a financial burden on the people of Canada. The health problems related to psychosis and lung cancer due to marijuana use have also created a financial burden on Canadians, too.

Categories of Problems

Researchers have found that there are particular problems that are connected closely to the use of marijuana. In Canada, cannabis is used more than any other drug. Researchers used data relating to health problems, drug use, and death to come up with honest numbers about the real problems that stem from cannabis usage in Canada.

Car Accidents

When it comes to car accidents, close to 10 per cent of fatal or injurious car accidents were caused by drivers who were high on marijuana. It is a scary thought that one out of every ten car accidents happened to people who were under the influence of this drug. Imagine if one of your loved ones was hurt or killed by a driver who was high on marijuana.


The Canadian health care system estimates that about 80,000 people each year receive health care services based on their dependence to using marijuana. The number of people who actually abuse or are dependent on cannabis is nearly 400,000. This means that nearly 1 out of every 100 people in Canada has a dependency on marijuana. The odds are good that you know someone with a dependency to the popular street drug.

Lung Cancer and Smoking

Lung cancer is a problem that is being tied to marijuana use. While proving that lung cancer and marijuana use is connected is difficult for researchers, there are signs that point to a strong connection. Many people who smoke marijuana also smoke cigarettes, which can lead to lung cancer, too. Since lung cancer takes a while to develop in smokers, researchers do look closely at health histories before blaming cannabis use. But, despite the struggles finding cause, researchers were able to say that about 2 per cent of cannabis smokers suffered from lung cancer. This relates to about 250 deaths per year in Canada alone.

Psychosis and Schizophrenia

Psychosis is another problem that develops in the mind of cannabis users. Psychosis is a medically treatable mental illness where patients have difficulty with thoughts and emotions. They lose touch with reality. Schizophrenia is a form of psychosis. Researchers have found a connection between marijuana use and schizophrenia, especially with men and women who have a genetic predisposition towards psychosis. The researchers found that in Canada about 175 schizophrenia diagnoses were related to marijuana use.

Learn from the Numbers

With these findings, the Canadian health care service can be better prepared to help people with their addictions. Families in Canada can do a better job educating their children about the dangers of marijuana use, especially with secondary effects like car accidents and health problems. With the right steps, families can help their loved ones avoid using marijuana.

Contact us at 905-527-2042 with any questions about drug addiction and recovery.

Addiction Recovery: How to Break the Habit

Posted on :  March 17th, 2015  |  By :  towardsrecovery

Towards Recovery Clinics are dedicated to helping people who are struggling with addictions recover so they can enjoy a healthy and happy life.

During our talks with patients, we frequently discuss the differences between habits and addictions. We understand the difficulty of breaking an addiction, especially those to opiates and other narcotics. We also understand that habits can be difficult to change, too. Fortunately, there are several steps that people can take to change habits so they can improve their lives.

  • The first step is to pick one habit to change. If you try to tackle more than one, you will most likely fail.
  • Begin with something small. We want to see success when we try to break a habit, so we need to pick one that we can really change. Maybe you want to exercise every day. Instead of trying to get 90 minutes in everyday, you can start with 10 or 15 minutes.
  • Try a challenge. For many people, it takes between 14 days and 30 days to change a habit. This is one of the reasons why there are so many 30-day challenges all over the Internet. If you can commit to doing something, like drinking a fresh fruit smoothie, everyday, you are more likely to stick to habit after the challenge is complete. Many people will post their daily progress on a blog or a challenge chat room as a way to keep themselves honest.
  • Start writing. When you can write your commitment down and look at it, you are better prepared to be successful. Share your written commitment with people who will support you.
  • Create a plan. It is better to prepare yourself in advance rather than dealing with setbacks as they occur. Think about your triggers and obstacles. Think about who you want to support you and what you will do each day.
  • Pick a start date. It is best to think about your plan and pick a day to start. If you really want to make a change, you need to be serious about it and not just start willy-nilly. You will develop motivation through anticipation if you force yourself to set a start date.
  • Look at your triggers. Everyone has triggers. If you are trying to stop eating late in the evening, you should look seriously at what makes you want to eat. Are you bored? Are you thirsty? Do you just want something to do? Once you identify the triggers, you can create an alternative plan, like getting a glass of water, or reading your favorite book to take your mind off of wanting to snack.
  • Ask your family and friends to help. Let them know what you are doing and when you plan to start so they can truly be there for you. Give them ideas to help support you and help you recognize your triggers. For example, if you are trying to avoid snacking at night, your loved one could stop buying your favorite snacks.
  • Watch your inner dialogue. You can be your own worst enemy, so be prepared to stop your negative thoughts. If you can have a mantra, you can use that to stop thinking about snacks.
  • Give yourself rewards. The rewards should not be related to the habit you are trying to break. If you go a week without snacking, you could buy yourself a new piece of jewelry or something else that you really like.
  • Realize that failure does happen. If it does, learn from it. Take a short break and then try to break the habit at another time. If you really want to break it, you will do it when you really are ready.

Contact us at 905-527-2042 with any questions about drug addiction and recovery.

Who We Serve ?

  • 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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