myths about alcoholism

5 Myths About Alcoholism

Today more than ever, we know much more about the disease of addiction than we ever have in the past. However, there are still myths about drinking that leads to misconceptions and unhealthy decisions when it comes to alcohol consumption. It’s important to learn the truth about alcohol abuse to help you make healthy decisions. Let’s get started!

Myth #1: Drinking alcohol only on weekends does not cause any harm to the body.

Fact: The damage caused by alcohol depends on the so-called “consumption pattern,” that is, on the amount (the higher the amount, the greater the injury) and the intensity (the same amount concentrated in less time is more harmful). When you continually choose to make drinking the center of your social life, therein lies the risk of your drinking becoming a habit, to the point where you are unable to have fun without it, and eventually, unable to feel well without it. Excessive alcohol consumption can put you at risk of health problems such as heart disease, stroke, liver disease, sleeping problems, and some types of cancer. You may be at risk if: You’re a man, and you consume more than 4 glasses a day or more than 14 drinks a week. You’re a woman, and you consume more than 3 glasses a day or more than 7 drinks in a week. (Here, a glass is defined as 12 ounces (355 ml) of beer, 5 ounces (148 ml) of wine, or 1 1/2 ounces (45 ml) of liquor).

Myth #2: Alcohol is good for your health.

Fact: While true that several studies have shown that moderate alcohol consumption appears to decrease the risk of heart attack, stroke, or peripheral vascular disease, these beneficial effects do not appear in all people or in all cases. The dangers associated with alcohol are vast, and perhaps outweigh the positives, as drinking in excess is known to damage the liver and heart, increase the chances of developing breast cancer (among other types), contribute to depression, incidences of violence, motor vehicle accidents, and interfere with interpersonal relationships.

Myth #3: Alcohol doesn’t affect older people

Fact: Most people believe that issues associated with alcohol intake start early in life. In fact, some people develop problems with drinking when they are older. Some people become more sensitive to alcohol as they get older, probably due to the intake of medications that make the effects of alcohol stronger, as well as the loss of muscle mass that affects how alcohol is absorbed by the body. Older adults facing difficult life challenges may start drinking more because they are bored or feel lonely or depressed. However, even if you didn’t drink a lot when you were young, you may still have problems with drinking as you get older.

Myth #4: Drinking is a good way to calm chronic pain

Fact: People with chronic pain sometimes use alcohol to help them manage the pain, studies show that as many as 28% of people turn to alcohol to alleviate their suffering. However, there are many reasons why this might not be a good choice. Alcohol and pain relievers do not react well together. Taking alcohol while on painkillers may actually increase the risk of liver problems, stomach bleeding or other problems. In fact, chronic alcohol consumption can actually increase pain. If you have symptoms of alcohol withdrawal syndrome, you may be more sensitive to pain. Also, excessive alcohol consumption over a long time can cause a certain type of neural pain.

Myth #5: Alcohol consumption helps to get out of depression, overcome fatigue, and be more lively and fit.

Fact: Although it may appear at first like you are gaining control over your life, abusing alcohol causes you in actuality to lose control over emotions and feelings. The initial apparent feeling of calmness and happiness is short-lived. You’ll end up feeling more depressed and sad, or perhaps guilty about what you did or said while under the impulsive influence of alcohol. It’s important to note that alcohol tends to worsen one’s mood and never truly solves any psychological issues. Rather, it is an avoidance technique to keep from dealing with the root issues. Also to further prove the point, there is often greater physical fatigue associated with alcohol use due to lost sleep and sleep quality, which affects nearly every other aspect of life or pursuit of well-being. If you allowed any of these reasons to fuel your alcohol use or addiction, it is time to correct those misbeliefs and douse them with a healthy dose of truth. In pursuing health, well-being, or sobriety, alcohol is not your friend, but the staff at Riviera Recovery is. We offer residents a safe and supportive environment, and the chance to embark on a healthy and vibrant sober lifestyle in the heart of Malibu. Request a call back today to learn more!
adjusting to life online

Adjusting To Life Online: How Technology Can Help and Hinder

COVID-19 has made us all aware of how essential our social connections are for our health and well-being. Many of us are now facing a reality where we are disconnected from our support system and even our daily routines have been disrupted. Technology has been the proposed answer to help us overcome and cope with the social distancing that is needed to control the spread of COVID-19. Technology can indeed help us stay connected to our family, friends, and support networks during this time. However, technology also has its downsides in that it can also make us feel more isolated and when we allow it full rein, we may become consumed with fear. While of course, social media platforms have numerous benefits, especially now, they have also been linked to a number of challenges including contributing to an increase in anxiety, depression, and addiction. Although technology may be our ‘savior’ during this time, it is also important to remember its place in our lives, and the balance needed for optimal mental health.

A Social Creature

As humans, we are wired for connection. We depend on others from the moment we are born to the day we die. In our evolutionary past, being separated from our community could actually lead to death and thus understandably, the idea evokes great anxiety and depression, the roots of which remain in us today. However it seems at times that we live in a culture that willingly denies this need for connection in favor of individualism and the belief that the way to happiness is through materialistic wealth.

We continue to try to fill the hole that results from a true disconnect from our tribe.

How does this relate to technology? Technology allows us to believe in a fictional world. We may have connections through social media on platforms like Facebook and Instagram but often we have no living connection to the people whom we “like” and “follow”. This connection is constructed in a false reality and thus does not actually fill the hole we feel inside. Not surprisingly, we try to fill it with substances and possessions.

A Wake Up Call

COVID-19 has made us even more aware of our need to connect as many of us are no longer afforded the opportunity to overlook its presence and power in our lives. There is a way that we can utilize technology during this time to form true relationships, but it takes being willing to be vulnerable and reach out to connect. We are all suffering right now from social connection deficiency, and the antidote is fostering genuine connections.

Here are some ways you can use technology to form genuine connections which will help you reduce feelings of anxiety, depression, and the desire to numb.

Gain Inner Knowledge:

Whether it’s watching a new TED talk, or re-watching your favorite, use the time you have to invest back into areas of interest or self-discovery.  This is especially important while you may have this time to consider your role in many relationship conflicts, and to practice new ways of being with one another.   Instead of scrolling through fear-mongering news, harness the power of the internet to enlighten yourself with courses on mindfulness, health, and well-being, or even seek out a therapist to begin online sessions.

Reach Out:

Take this time to connect to people either online or on the phone. Send them a message inviting them to connect. Send this message to people you know in real life or would like to get to know.  Often we are all waiting for the other person to make the first move, as it takes a great amount of vulnerability to suggest something so courageous. Reach out to people not just through text messages, but move to have a conversation either on the phone or through a video chat platform. They even have apps now that allow you to have a “house party” with different people with technology. 

Have an Actual Conversation:

Challenge yourself to call a few old friends or maybe work to connect with some acquaintances you would like to get to know better. Work up to an actual conversation topic about something of interest to you both, rather than re-hashing the latest breaking news about the virus.  It’s important to know how those in your life are reacting and feeling about what’s going on, but it’s equally vital to try to break out of the monotony of day-in and day-out. Perhaps share the knowledge from your online class, or share about what you’re gaining from your new mindfulness practice.
online addiction recovery

Online Addiction Recovery Resources

COVID-19 has made us all aware of how essential our social connections are for our health and well-being. Many of us are now facing a reality where we are disconnected from our support system and even our daily routines have been disrupted, and online addiction recovery is now a necessity.

Technology has been the proposed answer to help us overcome and cope with the social distancing that is needed to control the spread of COVID-19. Technology can indeed help us stay connected to our family, friends, and support networks during this time. However, technology also has its downsides in that it can also make us feel more isolated and when we allow it full rein, we may become consumed with fear.

While of course, social media platforms have numerous benefits, especially now, they have also been linked to a number of challenges including contributing to an increase in anxiety, depression, and addiction. Although technology may be our ‘savior’ during this time, it is important also to remember it’s place in our lives, and the balance needed for optimal mental health.

Finding Connection in Online Addiction Recovery

As humans, we are wired for connection. We depend on others from the moment we are born to the day we die. In our evolutionary past, being separated from our community could actually lead to death and thus understandably, the idea evokes great anxiety and depression, the roots of which remain in us today. However it seems at times that we live in a culture that willingly denies this need for connection in favor of individualism and the belief that the way to happiness is through materialistic wealth. We continue to try to fill the hole that results from true disconnect from our tribe. How does this relate to online addiction recovery? Technology allows us to believe in a fictional world. We may have connections through social media on platforms like Facebook and Instagram but often we have no living connection to the people whom we “like” and “follow.” This connection is constructed in a false reality and thus does not actually fill the hole we feel inside. Not surprisingly, we try to fill it with substances and possessions. COVID-19 has made us even more aware of our need to connect as many of us are no longer afforded the opportunity to to overlook it’s presence and power in our lives.

What To Do To Find Connection

There is a way that we can utilize technology during this time to form true relationships, but it takes being willing to be vulnerable and reach out to connect. We are all suffering right now from social connection deficiency, and the antidote is fostering genuine connections. Here are some ways you can use technology to form genuine connections which will help you reduce feelings of anxiety, depression, and the desire to numb. Gain Inner Knowledge: Whether its watching a new TED talk, or re-watching your favorite, use the time you have to invest back into areas of interest or self-discovery. This is especially important while you may have this time to consider your role in many relationship conflicts, and to practice new ways of being with one another. Instead of scrolling through fear-mongering news, harness the power of the internet to enlighten yourself with courses on mindfulness, health, and well-being, or even seek out to a therapist to begin online sessions. Reach Out: Take this time to connect to people either online or on the phone. Send them a message inviting them to connect. Send this message to people you know in real life or would like to get to know. Often we are all waiting for the other person to make the first move, as it takes a great amount of vulnerability to suggest something so courageous. Reach out to people not just through text messages, but move to have a conversation either on the phone or through a video chat platform. They even have apps now that allow you to have a “house party” with different people with technology. Have an Actual Conversation: Challenge yourself to call a few old friends or maybe work to connect with some acquaintances you would like to get to know better. Work up to an actual conversation topic about something of interest to you both, rather than re-hashing the latest breaking news about the virus. It’s important to know how those in your life are reacting and feeling about what’s going on, but it’s equally vital to try to break out of the monotony of day-in and day-out. Perhaps share the knowledge from your online class, or share about what you’re gaining from your new mindfulness practice. Despite there being dangers to technology there are also great benefits that exist when balanced appropriately. Online shopping will not fill the hole inside you called ‘loneliness’, but reaching out to form genuine connections will.

Utilizing Technology in Sober Living

Allow this time to be an opportunity to step out of your comfort zone in a different way, and connect with people who you will be able to see in real life once this has passed us by. Use this time with technology to boost your knowledge about yourself and the word in a positive way. Riviera Recovery offers structured sober living in West LA and utilizes a number of online addiction recovery programs. Located near a bustling city of employment opportunities, Universities, and support groups, we help individuals achieve a life of freedom. Call us now at (855) 207-9708
steps to recovery

Back to Basics: What Are the Steps to Recovery?

Recovering from addiction is a continuous process of not only maintaining sobriety, but pursuing overall wellness and creating a life worth living.  Although the path may feel unclear, it’s important to acknowledge where you are at in your journey, and focus on the next step to recovery ahead.

Steps to Recovery

For those in active addiction, recovery may seem impossible. Many do not know where they can receive help, or feel they have failed by not being able to remain free from substances on their own. While recovery will require help, hard work, and overcoming many challenges, it is possible and worth the effort.  The following steps to begin recovery include:

Recognize Addiction Exists

It is important to accept the reality that alcohol or drug use has become out of control, life has become unmanageable, and you are suffering from addiction.  Of course, the first step to solving any problem and receiving help is to acknowledge that there is a problem. This might come from a moment of clarity, criminal or child protective services involvement, or loved ones intervening on your behalf to show you the harmful effects of addiction.

Learn About Addiction

Addiction is not a moral failing. It is not easily explained away as a choice of substances over all other priorities: family, friends, work, and life. It is a disease of the brain where the brain is quite literally hijacked by the substance, and in the process, you become physically, emotionally, and mentally dependent on them. This rewires the brain so that the substance is interpreted as the primary need for survival – more than food or water.  While the first step begins with understanding that there is a problem, the next steps require you to educate yourself on the choices that you are making that support your habit, and what you could be doing instead to support your recovery. 

Prepare for Recovery

This includes sharing with trusted individuals about your difficulty with addiction and asking for support, researching treatment options, and coming up with some goals for recovery. This can also include finding a new place to live, changing employment, and cutting off potentially detrimental relationships.

Seek Treatment

There are multiple pathways to recovery and various treatment options to address addiction. Typically, treatment may progress through a series of stages, beginning with detox to allow the body to safely withdraw from substances, and create a clear-headed foundation upon which to build your recovery. You may be appropriate at this point for some combination of residential treatment, partial hospitalization (PHP), intensive outpatient programs (IOP), as well as daily or weekly support groups like Alcoholics Anonymous. Your recovery will involve therapy (both individual and group), medication management (or medication-assisted treatment), and help getting set up with community supports. As you move throughout treatment, you’ll gain new insights about yourself and learn how to create a life for yourself that is supportive of your ultimate goal: recovery. 

Sober Living in West LA

While you’re in IOP or PHP or transitioning to even fewer hours of treatment a week, you may want to take advantage of a sober living community such as Riviera Recovery As a sober house in Los Angeles, we provide support to those dealing with alcohol and drug use, mental health, and co-occurring disorders. We offer holistic services such as nutritionist meetings, weekly mentor meetings, sponsor contacts, weekly social activities, and more to help you find long term recovery.  Call us today at (855) 207-9708 and let us help you live a healthy, fulfilling life.