Questions to Ask Before Selecting a Drug Treatment Provider

Posted on :  September 30th, 2016  |  By :  towardsrecovery

People who are looking for a drug treatment provider usually take very little time to research their options. They spend more time researching their next car, mobile phone, or handbag. To make it easier to investigate drug treatment providers, these are questions that you should ask. If you do not get the answers you want, then you should move on until you find the facility that is right for you.

  1. Ask about accreditation and licensing. These are important factors for every facility has the correct licensing as required by the location’s governance. Without licensing, you run the risk of malpractice or risky procedures. You also run the risk of having your loved one relapse very quickly.
  2. Ask about credentials. The program should be credentialed and so should the people who are working in the facility. The drug counselor should be license, so should the nurses and physicians who work in the program. Psychologists and psychiatrists will have different credentials and so will the people who work with co-occurring disorders.
  3. Ask if the methods the facility uses have been researched and found to be effective. The best treatment facilities use only methods that are proven effective through extensive research. The research should be done by organizations that are independent and scientifically based. The method that the facility uses should be scientifically proven and it is also helpful if the facility has their data evaluated to show their own effectiveness.
  4. Ask about how many patients each counselor works with. It is easy for counselors to get overwhelmed with too many patients. Each patient requires unique care, so the counselors need to have a limited number of patients to provide proper care.
  5. Ask if the treatment is the same for men and women. Men and women often need different types of treatment. Counselors should understand why you are asking about treatment for men or women. If the counselor does not have an idea what you are talking about, then it might not be right for you.
  6. Ask about medical detox. The process of detoxification can be painful and difficult, especially if it is conducted without any medication. With medication, addicts are able to better manage the symptoms that come with detox. The counseling staff should be able to explain the benefits of using medication and their possible side effects.
  7. Ask if the programs are customized to the unique needs of the addict. This is a must-have for any treatment. There is not a one-size-fits-all treatment program, so it is vital to the addict’s success that the program is unique for the addict. There should be intake questions that help the counselor customized the treatment for the addict.
  8. Ask if the whole person is included in the treatment. Along with a customized treatment program, each addict should have a full program. It should include more than just detox. The program should include the whole person, which should include the medical aspect of detox, as well as the psychology aspect that can include social and vocational help. It should also include spiritual assistance, if this is appropriate to the addict. Many programs will also include an aspect about wellness and maintaining health, too. The program should continue long after the addict leaves the facility.
  9. Ask about the role of families in the treatment. Families often need help, too. This is why so many treatment facilities will include therapy for families and close friends so they can heal, too.
  10. Ask to see the inside of the facility to see the environment. You will want to know where your loved one will be spending time, so you should be able to take a tour. You might not be allowed in private areas, but you should be able to garner a feeling for the facility.

Seek help by contacting Towards Recovery.


Facts about Drug Abuse and Treatment: What You Should Know

Posted on :  September 26th, 2016  |  By :  towardsrecovery

Treating drug abuse is not a subjective experience. Even though people often require customized programs, there is real science behind the choices that physicians and counselors make. There are many facts about drug abuse and treatment that are unknown outside of the circle of addicts and their caregivers. Drug abuse continues to grow as more and more substances are available. In order to prevent drug abuse and to understand why it happens, knowledge truly is power.

These are some important facts to understand regarding drug abuse and treatment:

  1. Drug abuse is technically classified as a disorder. The condition is defined by the use of a substance that creates a pattern of self destruction as well as serious distress that could also create tolerances and problematic withdrawal issues.
  2. In North America, close to 10% of the population has a recognized problem with drugs and has been diagnosed with a drug use disorder.
  3. Drug abuse disorder can happen to anyone at nearly any age.
  4. Drug abuse disorder can be paired with a mental health disorder. This is called a dual diagnosis.
  5. If a substance creates a high when ingested, it can become a drug of abuse. Some of the most common substances are household cleaners.
  6. Nearly all substances that are abused can create devastating changes in the lives of the people who ingest them and their circle of people. This occurs despite the fact that abused drugs have different effects on the body and the mind.
  7. The cause of drug abuse cannot be narrowed down to one reason. In fact, the causes are actually combined with social, psychological, and biological reasons. And, those reasons do not have to be from all three categories with every single person. Some people might simply have a social risk factor, while someone else could have a biological and psychology factor.
  8. Drug abuse symptoms vary based on the drug of abuse. But, many people who abuse drugs have some similar issues. They usually end up having legal issues, life-threatening experiences, troubles holding jobs, extreme tolerances to the drug of abuse, and the constant goal of obtaining the drug at all costs. Drug abuse becomes the way of life.
  9. Most addictive drugs that create strong highs affect the cognitive areas of the brain.
  10. The majority of people who are addicted to drugs still do not get the help they need, despite the fact that most communities have available programs.
  11. When an addict enters a treatment program, the steps include stopping the use of the drug, preventing any relapse, getting back into a healthy lifestyle through rehabilitation.
  12. For many addicts who are in treatment, the first stage of treatment often includes a medical detox program, like methadone, because withdrawal symptoms can be painful.
  13. The mental struggles with addiction also create difficulties with all aspects of treatment. The mind really does want the user to get back to the drug, even at the end stages of the treatment program.
  14. Dual diagnosis can make treatment more difficult, so the mental health issues are often incorporated into the addiction treatment program. Recovery is more difficult with a dual diagnosis, but many people have success.
  15. Most people who are involved in drug abuse treatment programs will continue to have moments when they feel the need to relapse. Some do and there is nothing wrong with returning to the treatment program to get back on track.

Understanding basic facts about drug abuse and the difficulties that come with treatment make it easier for everyone involved with an addict to understand what is really happening. If more people understand the truth about drug abuse treatment, then more people will be able to have successful recovery and lives away from those harmful substances.

If you have questions, please contact us at Towards Recovery Clinics.


Drug Abuse Treatment Methods: Traditional and Alternative

Posted on :  August 22nd, 2016  |  By :  towardsrecovery

When people get involved in drug abuse treatments, they often have no idea what they are getting involved in. Since treatment programs are varied for individual patients, no two programs are exactly the same. There are a wide variety of drug abuse treatment methods, from the more traditional methods to the more unusual, alternative ideas. Therapists and drug addiction counselors will help find the right method for you.

Outpatient treatment is one of the most common types of treatments, because it offers high levels of support and high levels of flexibility. It is not a good choice for addicts who are not thrilled with the idea of treatment. It is, however, a good method for men and women who are willing to work to get better.

Inpatient treatment is another common type of treatment. This is a medically supervised program that offers support 24 hours per day, 7 days per week for as long as the patient is in the program. People who suffer from addiction and other disorders like anxiety, depression, or other behavioral disorders do much better when they are given ‘round-the-clock treatment. This type of treatment program tends to be more successful than any other type of traditional treatment program.

Bridge programs are also successful traditional treatment programs. These are inpatient centers that allow patients to get out into the real world. This transitional type of program is beneficial because it reinforces healthy behaviors, but in an environment with continued support. Not every community has this type of program, but those who do find it to be beneficial for recovering addicts.

Another useful traditional method is the support group. These can be found in a variety of places, from hospitals and churches to treatment centers and community centers. While this is not the best option for people who are just beginning their treatment, it is useful for people who are finishing up their outpatient treatment program and getting back into society.

When it comes to the traditional treatment methods, there is a typical procedure that is used. The first step is detoxification. This is usually done in an inpatient facility because there are often painful and challenging side effects. It is helpful to have medical supervision because there are some prescription medications that can reduce the symptoms. After detoxification is finished, the addict is then put into a rehab program that fits their needs. This could be the inpatient or outpatient programs. After the rehab program is completed, the recovering addict then has lifelong program – it could, of course, change as time goes on. These usually include regularly scheduled counseling or group therapies.

There is a growing collection of alternative therapies that are being used frequently. These treatments use different methods that are based on research. These may not be ideal for every addict, but they are worth a try.

One of the useful methods is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, which is often used in talk therapy with addiction counselors. This type of therapy is designed to help people work through the troubles that make them want to relapse. It also helps with managing other behavior issues like depression, OCD, and anxiety.

Holistic therapy is an interesting method that is being used more often. Interestingly, it is becoming popular in the criminal justice system to help inmates manage their withdrawal and mental health. Many holistic programs include guided meditation, yoga, music therapy, and more.

Biofeedback is a physical form of therapy that involves electric sensors that provide information about the patient’s bio signs. The feedback gives the recovering addicts a little extra psychological help. These sessions are about 45 minutes in length and they are rather relaxing – which is what recovering addicts need.

Another unusual form of therapy is the motivational enhancement therapy. This is another form of talk therapy, but it works more with changing thought patterns rather than behavioral patterns. This type of therapy works well with addicts who have eating disorders. This is often used in inpatient therapy.

Dialectal behavior therapy is designed for addicts who have several mental illnesses. It helps them recognize the triggers so they can better react to stressful situations. It helps improve self-esteem. Learning life-skills is another important aspect of DBT.

Finally, another alternative treatment method is for men and women who have a strong belief in spirituality. Faith-based treatment is used at faith-based recovery centers so addicts can use a higher power and those who believe in the same higher power to work together to get better.

Contact Towards Recovery at 905-527-2042 or email at info@towardsrecovery.com for more information.


Methadone Treatment Withdrawal Symptoms

Posted on :  June 24th, 2016  |  By :  towardsrecovery

While methadone maintenance treatment is one of the most successful and beneficial ways to treat harmful opioid addiction, there could come a time when the former addict has to stop taking methadone. Since methadone is an opioid, stopping the therapy can create unwanted withdrawal symptoms.

Even though methadone does have its own withdrawal issues, the drug helps those who are addicted to opioids live a healthier life away from the dangers of heroin and prescription opioids. It is still a viable option for men and women who want to get away from the forceful cravings that come with opioid addiction.

How Symptoms Will Differ

Men and women who use methadone can develop a dependence on the drug, even though it does take a long time. Unfortunately, there are always some people who take their dependence too far and will abuse the drug that helped them fight the original drug of abuse. The problems come when people try to go “cold turkey” off of methadone. There are withdrawal symptoms that can appear just a few hours after the last dose was taken. Those who are dependent on methadone will need to work with a health care provider who understands the proper method for detoxing from the prescription drugs. With the right program, those with dependency to methadone can overcome the dependency safely and effectively.

The methadone withdrawal symptoms will vary from patient to patient. The symptoms are dependent on the dosage the patient has been taking and what other drugs the patient is also taking. If the patient has other medical issues, like mental health disorders, the withdrawal symptoms can be different than people who do not have other issues. The symptoms can also change depending on whether or not the patient was actually working in a methadone maintenance program or just buying methadone off of the street.

Easy Symptoms to Manage

The symptoms can be easy to manage, like having a runny nose, watery eyes, and restlessness. The symptoms can also become more difficult to manage, like having diarrhea and stomach cramping along with vomiting and nausea. Along with the digestive issues, those who are detoxing can also experience a lack of appetite.

More Uncomfortable Symptoms

Some of the more uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms include having dilated pupils, goosebumps, as well as sweating and shaking. These symptoms are also usually accompanied with the chills and aching muscles. It is also common to have insomnia as well as a noticeable increase in sensitivity to pain. These physical problems are often accompanied by anxiety and irritability. Most people will notice a combination of these symptoms, as well as the lighter symptoms in less than a day after the final dosage of methadone. In many cases, the symptoms will last for a few weeks or months.

Using Buprenorphine as an Alternative

The length and severity of the withdrawal symptoms are the reason why so many people will seek assistance to ease them. Those who are addicted to opioids often take methadone to avoid the painful symptoms that come with opioid withdrawal. They take the drug in a controlled setting with clinicians who follow the maintenance therapy closely. Some physicians will suggest an alternative to methadone called buprenorphine. This drug will help relieve withdrawal symptoms so the former addict has an easier time becoming 100% free of drugs.

Medications to Ease Withdrawal Symptoms

Physicians who are helping patients withdraw from methadone might prescribe some medications that help with specific withdrawal symptoms. If a patient is having difficulty sleeping, a physician might prescribe a safe sleep aid. If a patient is experiencing excessive nausea, there is medication to help keep food down. While medications may not curb all of the withdrawal symptoms, they will help reduce the discomfort of them for a while.

If you have any questions or concerns about methadone treatment options for recovery, please contact us at 905-527-2042 or email at info@towardsrecovery.com.


Tips for Recovery: Ten Ways to Stay Healthy

Posted on :  April 18th, 2016  |  By :  towardsrecovery

Once an addict decides to recover, the fight is not over. Throughout the recovery process, addicts are tempted to return to their drug-filled lifestyle.

In order to stay healthy, every drug addict needs to have some tools to use. These can be physical and mental, but they all need to help addicts stay away from the triggers that can bring the craving for drugs. While there are hundreds of things that recovering addicts can do to stay healthy, these are ten that most recovering addicts find useful:

  1. Commit to recovery. During the tenuous times of recovery, it is important to listen to your mind and body. In most cases, recovering addicts need to put themselves first for a significant amount of time. Taking second to work, family, or friends can create a stressful existence from the lack of control people have over other people. If an addict can put recovery first, they will stay away from drugs.
  2. One breath at a time. Literally. Nothing happens except what is happening now, so recovery is only as strong as the moment. These moments occur one breath at a time. The popular phrase “one day at a time” is a helpful mental tool for recovering addicts, too. Addicts who can make it through each day tend to be successful on the next day.
  3. Make time to build a support system. It is important for recovering addicts to have a support system outside of their therapists, physicians, and counselors. The support system can include family and friends who are not drug abusers. It can also include people in support groups. The support group should be people who know what you are struggling with so they can help when you need it the most.
  4. Get away from bad habits. Those bad habits tend to trigger the cravings for drugs, so it is a good idea to get away from them. This might mean that addicts need to change their environments so they do not run across the triggers. Changing the environment could mean that recovering addicts might need to move or find new things to do.
  5. Find healthy friends. Recovering addicts tend to have friends who are drug abusers, too. In order to fully recover, addicts need to find new friends who are not users. With a strong social support group, addicts will not relapse because they do not have anyone to relapse with. Healthy, supportive friends can be found in support groups and in healthy places like churches and exercise facilities.
  6. Exercise regularly. Many addicts do not exercise at all when they are on drugs. It is just too hard to be physically active and high. On the flip side, people who exercise regularly are less likely to do drugs, simply because their healthy bodies do not crave unhealthy things. Exercise activates endorphins, which make the mind and body feel amazing. It is a good idea to exercise every day, even if that means simply going for a 30 minute walk in the neighborhood.
  7. Eat healthy food. Keeping the body healthy by eating nutritious food will keep the drug cravings away. It can be helpful to work with a nutritionists or a personal trainer to make the change to a healthy diet.
  8. Find a support group. Most communities have AA groups, which are incredibly supportive for recovering addicts of any kind. This is a good place to learn about other tools for success.
  9. Volunteer. This is a way to keep busy and avoid drug relapse triggers. People who volunteer tend to have a positive self-esteem. It is important to volunteer somewhere that will not trigger drug relapses.
  10. Stay strong. There will be moments that drug addicts will want to relapse, but with a strong support network and a healthy lifestyle, those moments will be few and far between.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact us at 905-527-2042 or email at info@towardsrecovery.com.


Self-Esteem and Recovery: What Works

Posted on :  April 14th, 2016  |  By :  towardsrecovery

Recovering from drug addiction can be a debilitating experience. After being released from a drug program, many recovering addicts feel worthless and low. This lack of self-esteem can actually become a trigger to relapse, which is exactly what recovering addicts do not need in their lives. Instead, they need to recognize that what they are going through during recovery is normal and that there are methods to build self-esteem. These boosts in self-esteem can make the recovery process easier and more successful.

Here are some tips to build self-esteem when recovering from addictions:

  1. Recognize the recovery takes time. There is no magic pill to make recovery happen immediately. Simply being sober one day at a time should be good enough. Most recovering addicts are hard on themselves, while people on the outside are actually very proud of the recovering addict’s accomplishments.
  2. Highs and lows will occur. Life is not a straight line. It is full of ups and down. There will be moments when great things occur and there will be moments when not-so-great things occur. No one can control what happens around them, but they can control their reactions to those occurrences. Accepting the ups and downs are part of recovery; sober people have them, too.
  3. Boosting self-esteem cannot be done with outside forces. Of course, people feel good when they receive compliments, but self-esteem should not come from outside sources. It can only come from within. Those compliments will only last a brief moment, but self-esteem needs to happen when ups and downs occur. Recovering addicts need to know they have everything they need on the inside is the key to boosting self-esteem.
  4. Enjoy the small things. Reaching sobriety is not a massive moment. It comes in little moments, much like life itself. If triggers occur, recovering addicts should look to the little successes so they do not succumb to fallbacks. Each breath in sobriety is a good thing and breathing is about as small as it gets.
  5. Emotions are not failures. While the good days feel great, the bad days can be devastating for recovering addicts. It is ok to feel bad about things and it is important not to treat bad feelings as failures. Emotions occur and recovering addicts need to learn how to recognize them, accept them, and move on. Dwelling on negative emotions only creates more bad feelings.
  6. Look for the good things. Recovering addicts often find themselves in a painful state of mind. Instead of staying there all of the time, it is helpful to find a way to look at the positives. Instead of focusing on the problems with recovery, it is important to look for the good things occur. Those small good things can make a big difference in success and sobriety.
  7. Avoid negative self-talk. This is a guaranteed way to feel horrible, so it is a good idea to avoid it all of the time. To avoid self-talk, it is helpful to recognize it and then stop thinking about it.
  8. Reset mindset. This is a relatively new topic in the world of recovery. The most helpful mindset is the growth mindset, which helps people learn from experiences. Curiosity can build self-esteem because learning can be exciting. A stagnant mindset can create negative thoughts, simply because there is no desire to move away from them.
  9. Find positive people and spend time with them. Being surrounded with positive people will change the way a recovering addict thinks about life. Seeing positivity creates positivity. Self-esteem will increase simply because the addict learns how to be positive by the people who are caring, loving, and supportive.
  10. Get moving. Self-esteem boosts when people get active. The endorphin rise is a sure fire way to feel great.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact us at 905-527-2042 or email at info@towardsrecovery.com.


Music Soothes the Addicted Brain

Posted on :  January 6th, 2016  |  By :  towardsrecovery

When it comes to fighting addiction, there are several tools that the recovering addict can use for therapy.

Of course, methadone and talking therapy can help addicts on a basic level, but there are other tools that can help soothe discomfort and troubling emotions. One of the most surprising tools is music.

Music draws emotions to the surface, so addicts can use it to manage the emotions and trauma that comes with detoxing and withdrawal.

Therapists can use it during sessions to help recovering addicts understand what to do when those emotions surface outside of therapy. Even though scientists do not know exactly what music does to trigger emotions, they know that it does create physical and mental responses.

Scientists are busy trying to figure out how music affects the brain.

During brain scans, researchers are able to see different areas of the brain become excited and active when listening to music. The brain interprets the words in one area and then the sounds are broken down by several areas. The brain quickly processes it and then synthesizes the processes to affect the emotional centers. This all happens so quickly that people do not realize how complex the work is.

The human body can have positive and negative emotional reactions to music. Usually those responses are connected to prior experiences with similar sounds.

For example, scary movies use similar sounds to show that something bad is going to happen. That type of music then creates a negative emotional response in the human mind. But, when people hear songs like “Happy Birthday” they will have positive responses, especially if birthdays were traditionally positive experiences. When you watch movie previews, notice the type of music played, because the sounds used in previews are selected to create emotional responses in the viewers.

Due to the emotional nature of music, therapists are using it to help addicts with their recovery fights. In most cases, therapists will play certain songs during sessions so the therapist and patient can discuss the lyrics and the emotional response the sound and the lyrics bring.

Some therapists will ask their patients to move to the beat of the music. Others will ask their patients to actually write or perform music as a form of therapy.

The sounds from the music can help addicts manage their negative feelings. These emotions will arise during recovery, because fighting an addiction is difficult to do. Patients will want to give up and give in, especially when they are bored or someone talks about their drug of choice. Instead of giving in, addicts can listen to music to change their emotions and drown out the thoughts about getting high.

Music can also help people fight the depression and anxiety that can accompany the emotions connected to fighting an addiction.

Therapists need to choose music that will not make the addict want to go back to drugs, because there are several songs about drinking and getting high that have positive sounds and lyrics. It is also a good idea for therapists to help their patients build a playlist that does not include songs about depressing topics and lyrics. There are music therapists who are trained to help patients with this very thing.

The therapists at Towards Recovery Clinics can help patients with a wide variety of special techniques to fight addictions to heroin and other opioids.

We are dedicated to making the communities we serve healthy and free from addictions.

We encourage addicts, as well as their friends and family members to contact us for answers to questions. It is easy to reach our main office via telephone at 905-527-2042 or email at info@towardsrecovery.com.


Insomnia: A Real Problem for Recovering Addicts

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

Men and women who are working through their addictions often suffer from insomnia. This common issue is a sleep disorder that prevents people from falling asleep and/or staying asleep. Some people have it occasionally, but there are others who have it nightly as a chronic disorder. Fighting an addiction is tough on its own and adding insomnia to it makes it even worse.

Insomnia can be caused by people who are taking medications like methadone or buprenorphine. As the brain learns to function without heroin or other addicting drugs, it needs to adjust to the new lifestyle. There are other physical issues that can also create insomnia, including chronic pain and problems that come from aging. People who are living with their addictions can have altered sleep-wake cycles, due to the chemicals that prevent the brain from falling asleep in a natural way rather than by passing out. Just like babies need to learn to sleep, recovering addicts do, too.

When it comes to sleep hygiene, the best thing to do is try to develop a sleep routine so you do not need to rely on meds to fall and stay asleep. Instead of asking for prescriptions to help you fall asleep, you can do it yourself with a few patterns and routines. At Towards Recovery Clinic, we work with people who have troubles with insomnia relating to their addictions. Here are some of our regular suggestions:

  1. Avoid caffeine after a set time. Caffeine is one of the most harmful substances for people who have insomnia. It will keep you awake, especially if you consume products that contain it in the evening and late afternoon. It is best to avoid coffee, caffeinated sodas, and energy drinks. Instead, drink water, decaffeinated tea or coffee, or natural fruit juices.
  2. Make your bed into a restful haven. You can do this by using comfortable, high-quality sheets and blankets. You should keep busy children, pets, and activities out of the bedroom, so it becomes like a sanctuary of peace to you. The room should be completely dark when you are ready to fall asleep, so turn off the television, darken your smartphone, and turn your alarm clock away from your face.
  3. Develop a set time to go to bed and wake up. The human body wants to get on a schedule, but we often destroy that schedule by having different sleep and wake times on different days of the week. Your weekend sleep schedule should be the same as the weekday schedule. It will not only help you develop a good routine, but it will help with headaches, chronic pain, and mood swings, too.
  4. Stop hitting snooze. The snooze button does not create good sleep. The human body needs REM sleep, which can be interrupted with the alarm clock repeatedly ringing in the morning. Simply set your alarm for the latest time you can get up in the morning and get up.
  5. Avoid naps. When you take a nap during the day, you trick your body by telling it that it does not need to sleep all night. Instead of taking a nap, go for a walk or just sit and think. Even if you love taking naps, fight them. Your body will appreciate it at night.
  6. Stay away from sleep aids, like liquor. You might think that a big alcoholic beverage will make you sleepy, but it does not. Booze interrupts the sleep cycle by making you fall asleep unnaturally faster; but, it will make you wake up sooner.
  7. Get good exercise every day. This means that you should try to get at least 20 minutes of relatively vigorous (for your fitness level) every day. This could be walking as fast as you can. It could be riding a stationary bike. It could also be doing simple calisthenics at your house. When you do exercise, do not do it right before bed. It will not make you tired, it will get your heart rate going and deliver energy to your body.

If you have any questions about treatment options, please contact us at Towards Recovery Clinics.


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.


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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