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What Is Narcotic Anonymous

Relapse prevention is an ongoing activity for anyone who is recovering or has recovered from substance use disorder. There are various approaches to help individuals sustain their sobriety. Examples include continued family therapy, individual therapy, and group therapy.  Group therapy entails meetings with your peers or individuals facing similar struggles. It is a place where you can motivate one another towards long-term sobriety. Furthermore, you will find activities to engage in here to keep your mind of substances.  People over time have come together and formed various groups with various goals and to help various individuals. One of them is Narcotics Anonymous.

What is Narcotic Anonymous

Narcotics Anonymous, better known as N.A., is a non-profit organization where men and women recovering or have recovered from substance use disorder meet and motivate one another to stay sober.  You need to meet only one requirement for you to join Narcotics Anonymous. This requirement is simply the desire to quit substance use. There are no upfront fees, pledges, promises, or affiliations to anyone or organization. Furthermore, they are not interested in your past, but how they can offer help to help you overcome substance use disorder.  man sitting in front of his laptop working, recovery homes in santa monica, halfway house los angeles

A little History on Narcotic Anonymous

Narcotics Anonymous is a spinoff of Alcoholics Anonymous. It was created to try and mirror the success of Alcoholics Anonymous. It was officially founded in 1953 in Los Angeles, California. Currently, Narcotics Anonymous is available in more than 129 countries.

Narcotic Anonymous Meetings

Meetings facilitate giving and receiving help. They offer a place to learn coping skills and to get help regularly. There will be meetings with your peer’s counselor sponsor or even a guest speaker.  The meetings usually take place in a rented facility in most cases owned by churches, NGOs, the government, and more. Moreover, you can have fun while keeping your sobriety as you can engage in activities to help you maintainer light mode and avoid stress or depression. These meetings are free.  There are two types of Narcotics Anonymous meetings. You need to identify which meeting works for you best. You should try out a few meetings and groups to identify one that is best for your needs in terms of aspects like personality disorder problem schedule and more.  The NA meetings can either be open or closed. 
  • Open meetings are the ones that are accessible to anyone. The main purpose of public meetings is to include interested parties such as families and even future Narcotics Anonymous members.
  • Closed meetings are NA meetings, which are only accessible individuals recovering from use disorder.

What to Expect from a Narcotics Anonymous Meeting?

1. 12 Step Meetings

Twelve steps meetings are borrowed from Alcoholics Anonymous. They are set of guidelines or principles but help you overcome substance use disorder. Narcotics Anonymous uses these steps to help individuals struggling with various types of substance use disorder. However, Alcoholics Anonymous only used it to help individuals struggling with alcohol use disorder.

2. Non-Judgemental Meetings

Narcotics Anonymous meetings are non-judgemental. This helps to create an environment that is safe for members to share their personal experiences with addiction. Members of NA are welcoming and caring to each other and two new members. You will feel comfortable to share and also get to learn from what others share.

3. Anonymity

Some individuals failed to attend as the hair social with legal repercussions. However, Narcotics Anonymous has high regard for anonymity. The anonymity not only protects each individual but also creates an atmosphere that promotes equality. In case you join the organization is new to uphold the anonymity. This includes:
  •  You should not acknowledge our members by name or through photos to show they are NA members. 
  • You should not describe the details of any member’s circumstances that could reveal his or her identity.

4. Non-religious 

Some meetings may take place in buildings owned by churches, but this does not mean Narcotics Anonymous belongs to that religion. However, they do focus on grounded spirituality, which involves reference to a good orderly Direction or higher power. This ‘Higher Power’ is simply a guide of strength and morality rather than an acknowledgment of any religion. This encourages you to focus on individual understanding.

5. Meeting Terminology

You need to familiarize yourself with some of the terminologies as you attend these meetings. Some of the common Narcotics Anonymous terminologies used and their meanings include:
  • Sponsor. This refers to an individual with experience in the 12-step programs and helps others advance through them.
  • Sharing. This means offering other members your personal experience with substance use disorder.
  • New Comers. Refers to new members.
  • Basic Text. This is the Narcotics Anonymous book that covers their core ideas. 
  • IPs. These are Information Pamphlets that cover more on NA.
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Get Help at Riviera Sober Living

Riviera Sober Living is a wellness center that has two locations one in Pacific palisades and the other in West LA. We offer various services to help you overcome substance use and co-occurring disorders. Examples of these services include:
  • Transportation to 12 step meetings and back 
  • Weekly mentor meetings 
  • Random drug testing 
  • Weekly social activities 
  • Sponsor contacts 
  • Referrals to outpatient programs 
  • Nutritionist meetings and more. 
 carefree concept of a woman doing a jump shot, recovery homes in santa monica Our facilities have amenities that make us one of the best addiction treatment centers in Century City, Los Angeles. Examples include private and semi-private suites, a self-help library, a grocery card, weekly family meetings, and more. We offer all levels of treatment which include:
  • Recovery homes in Santa Monica 
  • Affordable sober living in Los Angeles 
  • Alcohol rehabilitation in Hollywood Hills Los Angeles and; 
  • Addiction rehab in LA 90067.
Our treatment centers and programs are also pet friendly, which lets you bring your pets, which could be useful for a stable recovery.

Conclusion

Narcotics Anonymous can be part of aftercare treatment for individuals on the recovery path or those struggling with substance use disorder. It is a non-profit organization which was founded in 1953 in Los Angeles. This organization was formed after the success of Alcoholics Anonymous. However, unlike Alcoholics Anonymous that helps individuals with alcohol use disorder Narcotics Anonymous allows individuals who are struggling with substance use disorders. It is absolutely free to join Narcotics Anonymous, just like with Alcoholics Anonymous. You only need to bring one requirement, which is your desire to stop using it. Narcotic anonymous helps individuals through various meetings. It can be an individual meeting with a counselor, group meetings, or meetings with a speaker. These meetings can either be open or closed. An open meeting is where the Narcotics Anonymous meeting is accessible to interested parties like family members. A closed meeting is a Narcotics Anonymous meeting, or that is only accessible to individuals struggling with or recovering from substance use disorder.  There are various aspects of these meetings you should know or anticipate before you attend. They include:
  • There are 12-step meetings 
  • The meetings will be non-judgmental 
  • Members are Anonymous 
  • Narcotics Anonymous does not favor any religion 
  • There are some meeting terminologies you should know, for example, sponsor, which refers to an individual who helps others advance through 12 step programs.
  • Narcotic Anonymous meetings are accessible for you during your treatment. You can get help from Riviera Recovery, which is one of the top recovery homes in Santa Monica and Los Angeles. We offer various treatment programs and services, for example, inpatient treatment, outpatient treatment, and sober living.
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Money Addiction. Does it Exist?

Money is essential in life. You need it to stay afloat in life. However, is it possible for a person to develop an unhealthy dependency on cash? Some money addiction habits are obvious to notice while most are not. It is easy to spot some of these obvious manifestations, such as a money gambler or one who flashes their designer clothes or new luxurious cars. However, the challenge comes in noticing the hidden signs that even you could be having.  Anything can get you addicted. However, money addiction is easily dismissed since there are addictions that are considered worse, such as substance dependence. While money addiction is not as bad as substance dependence, the consequences are equally dire. Dependency on money can undermine integrity and honesty, ruin relationships, destroy careers, and even trigger depression. Let’s break this down to signs of money addiction and how you can beat money addiction.

5 Signs of Money Addiction

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1. You Are Obsessed With Obtaining Money

Your mind is ever preoccupied with the idea of obtaining money or getting more money. Consequently, even your behavior revolves around acquiring money. Such acts may include gambling or buying lottery tickets with the hope of winning and also overworking.

2. Being in Denial

When you are in denial about money addiction, you will tend to be unclear about your earnings, savings, expenditure, and debt. It is common for people to live in an obscure financial situation where you do not know the sum of money in your bank account or the total debt you owe your credit card company. You can also be in denial about your financial status, which may cause you to overspend and live a lifestyle you cannot afford. This will make you get into more financial debt and bankruptcy. Lack of financial goals, such as a retirement plan or saving for rainy days, is also a form of living in denial.  In such cases, you tend to think that a solution will come up when the problem arises, which is unrealistic. Denial does not only happen to irrational spenders and chronic debtors. It can easily happen to people who save excessively and hardly spend the money they have. Such people tend to worry about the numbers in their accounts and believe that the more the money, the happier and more satisfied they will be, but in most cases, the amount in their accounts will never be enough. Denial keeps people from seeking help, even as these behaviors continue to destroy their lives.

3. Self-image Tied to Money

People who have an addiction to money tend to believe that their self-image and self-worth is determined by the amount of money they earn, the money in their bank accounts or how much they spend. The hoarders go to the extent of missing events or social gatherings where they are expected to spend money with the fear of losing it.

4. Involving Yourself in Dangerous Behaviors

This is a common trait in people who are obsessed with money.  You tend to engage in risky behaviors such as gambling, overindulgence in the stock market with the hope of making more money and overspending. This occurs even if the gambler or the over spender cannot afford to make potential losses. However, this behavior of involving yourself in risky behavior to earn more money does not apply to all people who can be termed to be addicted to money.

5. Inability to Change Your Money Habits

You lack control over your money, and you cannot change your money habits despite the horrible consequences that come with your money dependence.  You have probably tried to change, but no solution is working, no matter how hard you try.  You have probably made decisions such as using cash instead of your credit card, but you end up carrying and using your credit card instead or you take some more money from your family savings to hit the casino one last time and swear you will return the money, but this never happens. If this is the case, then you have little to no control over the financial aspect of your life.

Effects of Money Addiction

People who are addicted to money require money to feel happy and satisfied, but the feeling is short-lived, and you end up brainstorming on other ways to make more money. You may also feel the need to keep your destructive behavior private due to the shame that comes with it, and this may cause more impulsive gambling or shopping. The consequences could be as bad as getting divorced, losing all your property, or bankruptcy.  You may lose self-confidence due to these recurring habits and begin to doubt your inherent abilities. Eventually, all of this will trigger depression.

3 Strategies for Beating Money Addiction

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  1. Be Honest With Yourself. If you identified with the signs listed above, you likely have money addiction. Admit it to yourself that you have a problem, and you need to seek help. This is the first step in dealing with money addiction.
  2. Have a Genuine Desire for Change. Consciously and willingly admit that you want to change and make inventories on your spending and study the patterns. This will help you see where your negative money habits are at.
  3. Seek Professional Help. Most times, you are too deep into the addiction and negative habits that you need professional help to help you begin your sober living.

Getting Help from Riviera Sober Living

Riviera is a health and wellness community helping men and women recover from substance use, mental health, and co-occurring disorders. We, at the Riviera Sober Living, have a unique and holistic approach to establishing long-term recovery. These programs also include couples sober living. The Riviera team provides the necessary guidance to support successful recoveries.  people standing on sandy beach, recovery homes in santa monica, halfway house los angeles, sober living homes in los angeles Our personnel dedicates their time to ensure you’re comfortable and have a friendly stay at our homes. Our therapists work with you to identify where the problem stems from and how to help you recover. Our services include treatment and therapy activities. Residents can also come and go as they please, and this creates a balance between the inpatient facility and the real world.  Riviera Sober Living has two facilities. The Palisades House and the Barrington House. The Palisades House is located at Pacific Palisades. It is co-ed with separate bathrooms for each gender and is a short walk to the beach with amazing views of the Pacific Ocean. The Barrington House is in West Los Angeles. The location is all male and a walking distance to various parks and a couple of shops. It is also close to schools such as UCLA, USC, SMC, LMU, and other schools.

Conclusion

Money addiction is an unhealthy dependence on money. Some signs of money addiction are gambling, overspending, or excessively saving.  The signs of money addiction are living in denial and obsessing over obtaining more money. These signs can also portray themselves in habits such as the inability to change unhealthy money habits, the self-image and self-worth of the person tied to the amount of money they have, and involving yourself in risky behaviors to get more money. The effects of dependency on money are undermined integrity and honesty, ruined relationships, destroyed careers, and can even trigger depression. You can cope with money addiction by being honest and coming into terms with your problem, open up to those closest to you and ask for their help. You should also make strong and intentional plans to beat the negative spending patterns you have and by seeking help from health and wellness communities such as Riviera Sober Living. The primary reason to work for money is to be able to purchase your tangible needs. This is the traditional way of thinking about money. Nevertheless, human beings don’t tend to behave in that way. Sometimes getting money only further fuels your urge to get more money. This behavior of human beings tends to be highly influenced by the situations they are in and environments from which they come from. At Riviera Sober Living – West Los Angeles Home, we are a sober house in Los Angeles, and we provide support to people dealing with alcohol and drug use, mental health, and co-occurring disorders. Our personnel and therapists work to ensure a holistic approach to establishing long term recovery. Contact us today and let us help you live a healthy, fulfilling life. Protected by Copyscape
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Addiction Treatment and COVID-19: Sobriety in Isolation

The COVID-19 disease has resulted in turmoil all over the world. The economy has dipped and continues to decline each day; industrialization has drastically come to a halt, and it’s no longer normal to be outside in some parts of the world. It’s easy to look at the effects of the virus on major aspects of human life like the economy and forget about the small extra battles that people have to face as a result of COVID-19. It’s easy to assume that ‘Everyone is fine as long as we’re all at home’ or that ‘It’s nice that everyone finally gets a break from the daily hustles of life.’ One of the main directives from the World Health Organization (WHO) is that people should maintain social distancing at all times, wash their hands frequently and practice self-isolation as much as possible to reduce the spread of COVID-19 a man washing his hands as a coronavirus preventive measure, recovery homes in santa monica, halfway house los angeles While directives from the WHO are in everyone’s best interests, people suffering or recovering from addiction have to deal with a whole new set of problems. Addiction treatment has been proven to be most successful when conducted together with other members of the community battling the same addiction.

How to Stay Sober During Self-isolation 

1. Talk to People 

A lot of people are going through the same harrowing experience just like you. Call your loved ones and tell them exactly what you’re going through, and you’ll feel better by the end of the phone call. Most addiction treatment centers also have on-call professionals who are available 24 hours a day, every day, for over the phone counseling services.  People on social media platforms have even formed forums for people recovering from addiction where they talk just like they would during the support group meetings. It may not compare to face to face interactions, but it’s a great place to start.

2. Seek Help Online 

With everything coming to a halt, organizations such as Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous have made most of their services available on the internet. Alcoholics Anonymous has made use of applications such as Zoom and Google Hangouts, where you can browse through and find options that are best for you. Narcotics Anonymous also has a similar website. Being able to talk to someone is better than just sending a text as you end up feeling better and stronger from an encouraging and soothing voice rather than just a text with emojis. It’s just like one on one meetings but over the Internet.

3. Try Something New 

It’s easy to get into your head during self-isolation. Boredom is the ultimate breeding ground upon which addicts who have been sober for years, suddenly relapse. Find a new hobby, like reading books or painting. Adopt a pet so that you have someone to take care of and think about other than yourself. Whatever it is, don’t be alone with your thoughts. woman reading a novel, recovery homes in santa monica, halfway house los angeles, sober living homes in los angeles

4. Design a Structured Recovery System 

A recovery system is a set of activities that you take part in to ensure that you remain sober. This focuses more on sobriety as a journey rather than a goal. Everything you do from the point you wake up should be geared towards remaining sober. An efficient system is one where every part of your day is planned, such that you know exactly what you’re going to be doing at 6:59 pm on Tuesday. It also ensures that there is no room for boredom or zero activity.

5. Consider a Sober Living Home 

This is a sure method of ensuring you avoid relapse, especially if you’ve just left rehab recently. It is a residential place where individuals who are in recovery reside and live normal lives but in a more controlled environment. It reduces the chances of coming across triggers, and you have support from people just like you. Living with people going through the same thing as you encourage especially during stressful and tempting times such as these. Most sober living homes have requirements such as you should pay rent just like a normal home, no drugs, support meetings are generally encouraged, and you just do your share of household chores.  Visiting numerous homes is ideal for you to find a place that is exactly like your actual home.

Riviera Recovery Sober Living

Riviera Recovery is not only a sober living facility, but it’s also a community. Our facilities are found all over the coast so that you can practice sober living in Los Angeles and sober living in southern California. They are designed to meet everyone’s preferences with numerous services and programs available for everyone who walks through our doors. We realize that home, or at least an environment like home, is the best place for recovery, and thus we have designed our facilities for the best sort of upscale sober living just like home. Our sober houses in Los Angeles include:

Barrington House

This is a high-end facility for sober living in West Los Angeles. Barrington house was specially made to make patients undergoing drug and alcohol treatment in the Los Angeles area and its environs. It is truly made to suit the home environment with social amenities found within a walking radius of the facility. You are sure to be in a cozy environment where you can relax on the facility’s outdoor patio or play ping pong indoors as you recover. The 12 step community is also found in numerous neighboring areas with meetings taking place both during the day and at night. There are also gyms and schools nearby plus a farmer’s market once a week!

Palisades House:

This facility is a co-ed residential sober living house in Los Angeles found in an affluent neighborhood between the Santa Monica mountains and the Pacific Ocean. There’s nothing quite healing like the sound and feel of the ocean, making it the perfect location. Men and women here have different bathroom facilities and can live normal lives, all the while getting treatment. Activities such as hiking and swimming at the beach will probably make up most of your time here, and what’s not to love about that?  This facility also allows you to take part in 12 step recovery programs found in the Malibu and Santa Monica area. woman doing yoga exercise on a beach, recovery homes in santa monica, halfway house los angeles

Final word 

While the treatment and prevention of COVID-19 are top on the list of priorities in the health sector, addiction treatment isn’t any less important. In any case, you’re more likely to suffer to a greater extent if you keep an addiction problem to yourself.  Reaching out to those who are going through the same thing will always go a long way in encouraging you. Addiction treatment in isolation may not be an easy task, but it can be done with discipline and determination. Things are probably going to change once this virus has passed; don’t let it be the only thing. Protected by Copyscape
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Facebook and Social Media Addiction

As much as social media has made the world a global village, a section of individuals is engrossed on social media exceedingly. However, companies, politicians, Non-profit organizations, and other people use social media platforms to convey messages to their target audiences. A section of social media users has managed to amass huge followings on the platforms and therefore earning through them by monetizing their activities. This is through promoting and advertising company products and several market brands.  The desire to be influential on social media and commercialization of brands has been on the rise in the recent past. This has resulted in a few millennials feeling pressurized, thus seeking to imitate the lifestyles of celebrities and other online influencers. Since millennials come from all walks of life, they end up living fake lifestyles by posing in posh places in photos, attending high-end events to get affiliated to a certain social class. They end up spending a lot of time on the platforms without realizing they are getting addicted. Approximately 10% of Americans are social media addicts, according to psychologists.

What Extent Is Regarded as Addiction?

As an Individual, if you are greatly concerned about what is happening in various social media platforms or you have a compulsive urge to log onto them, thus spending a lot of time on them, you are considered to be an addict.  Social media addiction can be significantly attributed to the provision of ‘feel-good‘ chemicals such as Dopamine and Serotonin. Social media platforms such as Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, Twitter, and Snapchat release a similar nervous speedway that recreational drugs and betting give to users. woman taking photo of pizza, sober house los angeles, affordable sober living in los angeles, addiction treatment centers Research studies have shown that the brain centers that are triggered by drugs like Cocaine are responsible for the compelling urge for social media addiction. Social media use has also resulted in poor decision making, whereas social media addicts portray behavioral signs, thoughts, and attitudes similar to drug-addicted individuals. When you post something on social media, and you get appealing responses, the brain releases dopamine a ‘feel-good’ chemical thereby perpetuating a habitual social media behavior.

Using Social Media Networks as a Coping Technique

Some individuals use social media to receive the recognition which they are not accorded in life. Other people use social media to deal with inner battles such as loneliness, depression, and stress. The frequent use finally causes problems like scorning work, school, poor physical health, and irritability, and mood changes. This makes you turn to use of social networks to relieve themselves, thus increasing dependency.

How to Detect Social Media Addiction

Using various social media platforms has become a norm for everyone, and therefore it’s advisable to be cautious not to fall into the cycle of addiction. As an individual, you are therefore encouraged to practice digital detoxification, which comprises a period of spending time away from electronics such as smartphones and laptops. This involves enacting easy steps such as deactivating one or more social networks, logging onto them once or twice every couple of hours, leaving your gadget on in a different room when going to sleep, and self-discipline by not holding your device during mealtime. These self-made rules and regulations enable you to be focused on physical relations, thereby reduction of dependency on social networks. Social media addicts portray nervousness and anxiousness after being away from social media platforms. You may also isolate yourself from your peers and family and a loss of enthusiasm in hobbies you once treasured.

8 Tell-tale Signs of Addiction:

1. Lying on the Duration Spent on Social Networks

The majority of social media addicts tend to feel guilt and shame as you spend a lot of time on social platforms. To cover this up, you opt to lie to your peers and family on time spent on networks since you can’t moderate your behavior as much as you are aware of its wrong.

2. Isolation from Peers and Family

Gradually, social media addiction increasingly consumes your time as an individual. Due to this, you may isolate and withdraw from your loved ones and participate actively in social platforms. man in red crew neck sleeping on a laptop, sober house los angeles, affordable sober living in los angeles

3. Loss Of Enthusiasm In Activities You once Loved

As social media participation progresses, as an addict, you increase your duration spent on social networks. This overindulgence takes up the time that you pursue other interests and hobbies you once loved.

4. Scorning Work and School to Spend Time on Social Networks

Since social media addicts over indulge on social networks actively, you may tend to abscond duties like work and school assignments. This is because you are unable to moderate your time and energy and prioritize other important key areas.

5. Feeling Stressed and Finding Life Meaningless

As an addict, at a certain point, you may feel as if life is meaningless due to boredom. Take into consideration that whatever you see on the social networks by the influencers and celebrities is barely a third of their lives. Also, they mostly highlight spectacular events in their lives, and they also have tight schedules of social networks. Most importantly, keep in mind that you have to work to maintain your lifestyle as well as learn and step out to experience the beauty of life.

6. Interruption of Talks to Log Onto Social Networks

As an addict, you are compelled by social platforms to the extent that you become restless and have difficulty concentrating during conversations with friends and family. Many a time, you may seem distracted and frequently check your smartphone for updates and notifications.

7. Anxiousness, Irritability and Mood Changes

Due to the inability to control your feelings, as an addict, you tend to feel anxious when you can’t regularly check your devices for updates and notifications. As much as you feel guilt afterward, you still do that over and over again.

8. Interferences in Professional and Personal Activities

As an addict, if you are schooling, you may experience poor grades, and missing out deadlines may be shown in the workplace. If you experience the specified signs, it is advisable to consult mental health services to be assessed and get individualized treatment.

Riviera Sober Living

Riviera Recovery is a health and wellness center that helps men and women recover from drug and substance use, mental health disorders as well as co-occurring disorders. Our team of expert health professionals is available 24/7 as needed, and our clients can participate in mandatory house meetings and other social activities. We have a sober living house in Southern California and sober living in West Los Angeles. At our sober living house Los Angeles, we offer services such as couples sober living as well as upscale sober living facilities. Riviera sober living has two house locations that are Pacific Palisades house and the Barrington house.  The Pacific Palisades house offers serenity with beautiful ocean views under the Santa Monica Mountains. It is also co-ed and has separate bathrooms for every gender. The Barrington House is an all-male facility with close proximity to several parks and shops. It has a cozy lounge area and a BBQ at the outdoor patio.  Clients can visit museums, gyms, yoga, and meditation classes since it’s centrally located to Beverly Hills, LAX, and Santa Monica.   men and women at the beach, sober house los angeles, affordable sober living in los angeles At our sober house Los Angeles, we also provide treatment for alcoholism. Alcoholics seeking help for alcohol treatment Los Angeles, 90067, can turn to us to begin your recovery journey. Our medical team of experts facilitate sober living in Los Angeles and is there with you throughout your journey, and they monitor your progress over time. Reach out today to get our help.

Conclusion

As much as anyone can suffer from food addiction, genes play a significant role in an individual’s likelihood of addiction. Factors such as ethnicity and gender also increase food addiction risks. Environmental factors like peer pressure, lack of parental guidance, and economic status also increase addiction likelihood.  Just like any addiction type, food addiction can be mitigated and treated. To increase the chances of full recovery and reduce relapse after some years, a twelve-step program and abstinence from the addictive foods should be considered by medical experts.  Since addicts react differently, even upon using similar foods, medical experts use personalized treatment plans for each person. As an addict, consult your medical service provider for help as soon as possible and start the recovery process
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Does Drinking Affect My Child?

When parents drink, children learn

It’s well-known that parenting is perhaps one of the most difficult jobs. It is a 24-7, around-the-clock, life-changing responsibility that requires adjustments on all fronts. For those who have a complicated relationship with alcohol, the stakes are even greater. When that “complicated relationship” becomes a pattern of drinking and avoidance, the necessities of parenting can begin to take a backseat to that next drink, and missed opportunities for connection become engrained ways of relating with one another. Remember what it’s like to be a small child, to look up to the adults of the world, especially your parents, to learn from them, and to expect them to have all of the answers. Your child’s identity and sense of security is deeply entwined with yours: with the way that you live your life day-by-day, and how you carry yourself. However, getting drunk around them, spending the next day hungover, or glorifying that lifestyle passes along several important messages to your children throughout their formative years, like the lessons outlined below:

Lesson 1. They’re Second

It is a basic aspect of healthy development for children to learn that they can rely on their caregivers for all of their basic needs: food, water, shelter, touch. However the list does not stop there, children require constant engagement in their world, including the provision of experiences that create the foundation for healthy relationships and formulate a sound perspective.  If you’re not spending adequate time with your child, they will learn that they are not worthy of your care and attention and that they will always be second to the drink in your hand. Developing a healthy sense of confidence and self-worth won’t come quite as easily, as the most important person in their life did not treat them as a priority.

Lesson 2. Their Feelings Are A Burden

Childhood is a time fraught with many new experiences and difficult challenges, each an opportunity in learning how to self- regulate. From the time they begin sleep training, to when they need to learn that tantrums are not the way to get what they want, it is the role of the parent to teach them how to identify their feelings and work through them. They rely on you to learn emotional regulation, to be able to cope with the difficulties that life throws their way. If you’re drinking to excess, there is a good chance that you never learned these lessons yourself, and not to mention, your patience with them is likely to be thin.  Learning these skills is an important part of recovery from addiction, if not only for yourself but also for your children. 

Lesson 3. Alcohol is the Answer

As your children look up to you and learn from the world around them, it would be difficult to imagine them forgoing incorporating your favorite coping mechanism into their repertoire. They likely see your reaction to a stressful day, the “I need a drink”, and believe it quite literally is the answer to life’s difficulties.   Remember that your children are soaking up life lessons by watching you: when you are upset, happy, angry, or drunk, they learn that this is how adults move through the world. Make sure not to normalize the need of an external substance to regulate internal states, or this is exactly what the children will learn, and lend way to a lifetime of their own complicated relationship with alcohol. 

Lesson 4. They Can’t Count on Anyone

With little evidence to the contrary, children may generalize their experiences of turning to their parents for support, help or counsel and finding rejection to all others in their lives. They learn easily enough that people aren’t reliable, can’t be trusted, and will just let them down. 

Show them a different way.

The truth is quite simple, facing life’s difficulties with healthy coping strategies isn’t an option for children who aren’t being taught them. As adolescents, these lessons become paramount to how your child constructs their reality, cementing patterns that they may carry for the rest of their lives. Remember, if your child thinks that avoiding responsibility is easier than avoiding it, they will likely take that option.  Make the hard choice now, so your children can learn that they too can do the hard thing. Give us a call today to learn where to begin your recovery journey, and how we can help you to do what you need to do to be the best parent possible.

Smart and Sober Living

One’s discharge date from residential or inpatient treatment is likely a day that has been highly anticipated and fought for with blood, sweat, and tears. It represents the end of one key phase of treatment. However, for many individuals, that much sought-after date also represents one of fear and uncertainty related to what they may face once they return home, and how they will be able to put their learning into practice. Individuals may be concerned about their ability to stay sober once they’re back in their old environment, or once they face those old triggers. While facing them is inevitable, there are some smart ways to go about this transition and some key benefits to enlisting supportive housing to facilitate the process. 

Adjustment to Daily Life

Many individuals choose to seek supportive housing as the step in-between residential treatment and coming home, due to an awareness of the stark contrast between the level of support available to them at home and anticipation that they may require more than is currently available. This solution offers them the opportunity to slowly adjust to life outside of a residential center, to the unplanned and unstructured. In this adjustment, individuals can live in the middle ground, still actively working their recovery, while also experiencing aspects of the real world that they may have been sheltered from while in active treatment. 

Accountability in Daily Practices

Living in a sober house offers an opportunity to live in a community of individuals who are pursuing similar goals. Finding others at a similar stage in recovery once back home is absolutely still possible, however, takes commitment and follow-through in order to do so. For those transitioning home right away after treatment, this may not rank as high on the list once all of those real-world concerns come flooding back, despite its importance in sustaining recovery. Seeing others you respect successfully manage the transition to sober living in the real world can offer inspiration to work with equal vigor, to create a sense of structure for yourself, with daily routines and practices, and the accountability of others who believe in your ability to follow through. Once you learn that you can be successful in a less structured environment, you will likely be more inclined to believe in your abilities to do so once you return home. 

Opportunity for Daily Compliance

With those daily routines and practices, you have the opportunity to develop confidence and establish a greater sense of self-esteem regarding your own ability to handle your affairs and sustain recovery. Each day that you follow through with a self-directed routine or accomplish a goal (no matter how small) and you allow yourself to feel proud of your behavior, you are one step closer to being ready to face the triggers that will present themselves once you return home. Again, once you are able to feel confident in your ability to thrive in the less-structured but supportive environment of a sober living house, your likelihood of putting those very same skills into practice once you return home is much greater. 

Transitional Periods

Sober living is a perfect fit for transitional periods of all kinds, but especially when leaving inpatient or residential treatment. Namely, by offering an adjustment period back to reality, and a place for an individual to focus on creating community and establishing daily practices of their own, sober living is truly the smart way to ensure a lasting recovery. Tour our sober living home online now, and see for yourself why Riviera Recovery is right for you!

5 Great Books on Addiction

The quality of life you enjoy now has a lot to do with the books you read in the past. The information you got through such books put you on the path to the career you have and helped shape your beliefs on life. The same can be said of great addiction books. They can not only help you overcome addiction but also give you insights to help family members faced with the disease. Even fiction novels based on dependence can give you new ideas and a better understanding of substance abuse. Here are some of the best books on addiction.

1.The Shining by Stephen King

What better way to get into the mind and experiences of someone fighting alcoholism than to read a book written by someone who had his battles with alcohol. In The Shining, Stephen King brings out the struggles of an ex-alcoholic, which is perhaps made all the more captivating by the author’s personal experiences. In the book, Jack Torrance, an ex-alcoholic is employed as a caretaker of the Overlook Hotel. It’s winter in Colorado, and he hopes to enjoy the warmth of his family – his wife, Wendy, and son, Danny – away from his latent alcoholism. But it’s not long before he’s pulled back in by a ghostly bartender serving him gin, depicting the struggles many recovering alcoholics face in kicking the habit. And soon Jack goes insane to the extent of attacking his family.

2.Johann Hari’s Chasing the Scream: The First and Last Days of the War on Drugs

One of the most startling revelations you get from Johann Hari’s Chasing the Scream: The First and Last Days of the War on Drugs, is that drug addiction is far more dependent on your childhood and quality of life than the actual drugs or your genes. This, among other incredible insights, puts a stark contrast between the United States’ war on drugs and how drug addiction could be handled better. The book takes you through a heart-wrenching journey of the moving human stories in the disastrous war on drugs. The reporter himself took a two-year, 20,000-mile journey to discover the real-life stories of people affected by the poorly implemented war on drugs. Even the author shares the personal experience of witnessing a close relative and ex-boyfriend bottoming out on heroin and cocaine.

3.Scar Tissue by Anthony Kiedis & Larry Sloman

This book delivers such an authentic narration of heroin addiction experience that it’s not recommended to someone in early recovery or treatment. For the general public, it gives illuminating insights on the downright heart-wrenching experience of heroin addiction, a far cry from the glamorous hype. The fact that it’s a memoir about Anthony Kiedis, the Red Hot Chili Peppers frontman, makes it deeply touching. The author doesn’t spare readers of the raw sadness and deep despair accompanying heroin addiction. He shows just how strong the hold of addiction is such that Anthony Keidi couldn’t kick off the habit even after the loss of Hillel Slovak, his best friend, and bandmate, to overdose. The real-life experiences show the extremely depressing state that an addict falls into.

4.Codependent No More: How to Stop Controlling Others and Start Caring for Yourself by Melody Beattie

This is one of the best books for families of drug addicts and alcoholics. Many families end up bearing the burden of caring for drug addicts/ alcoholics. This goes to the extent of such family members losing sight of their own lives while tending to the drug addict/ alcoholic. Such codependency is dangerous and hinders good addiction therapy. No wonder this book is incredibly valuable. It gives you deep insights to understand codependency and helps you unlock the hold it has on your life. It’s not merely instructive lessons, but also illuminating life stories with personal reflections, self-tests, and exercises to help you take practical steps towards a life of freedom. It helps you realize that you deserve happiness, healing, and hope, especially when faced with the challenge of a family member addicted to drugs/ alcohol. And it helps you achieve that.

5.Rewired: A Bold New Approach to Addiction and Recovery by Erica Spiegelman

What better person to understand your struggles than an addiction counselor who has had her struggles with addiction and alcoholism. That person is Erica Spiegelman, a respected addiction counselor. She wrote this addiction recovery book to present a different way of thinking about embracing recovery and living clean. In the book, she goes beyond drug and alcohol abstinence and ventures into a holistic approach in the recovery process. She tackles the attitudes and beliefs accompanying and fueling the disease. The insights in this book are aimed at changing your focus, so your mind, body, and spirit will follow. Best of all, it gives you practical action-oriented positive affirmation and intentions to achieve this.

Conclusion

Reading such books can inspire you to consider addiction therapy seriously so you can take back control of your life. If you or a loved one are struggling with addiction, do NOT be afraid to reach out. Contact us to get more information and to speak to an addiction professional.

The Dangers of Replacement Addictions

When recovering from an addiction, it is an all-too-common phenomenon for one to replace their primary reported problematic behaviors (usually compulsatory dependence on illicit substances) with other destructive, perhaps thought to be less severe, problem behaviors. Whether only temporary or permanent, a shift towards these replacement addictions are a sign that the person is still caught up in their addictive tendencies. An addicted person may believe that while in recovery, switching to legal substances, such as alcohol or nicotine, or taking up new behavioral patterns, termed “process addictions”, is a step in the right direction. These behaviors may include vigorous exercise, new eating habits, or even spending newly acquired free time online shopping, etc. however all of these options pose potential problems to the recovering addict. While many who struggle with addiction will make justifications for these new behaviors, the key is in understanding the function and role that they may play in the addicted person’s life, as this is the primary way to know when a seemingly innocuous or even healthy new habit may be the cause for concern. Dangerous Habits A good understanding of the definition of addiction is imperative in considering the effects of this phenomenon and remains useful to shed some light as to why an individual might employ the use of a substitute addiction. The three common characteristics of addiction can be understood as:
  1. The disruption of the reward center of the brain that finds pleasure in everyday activities.
  2. Minimal distress tolerance that leads to a compulsion to use or engage in problem behavior (cravings)
  3. Impairment in brain structures meant to facilitate decision making, impulse control, and self-regulation, placing the individual at greater risk for relapse
When engaging in a substitute or replacement addiction, it is clear to see how one or all of these characteristics are present, indicating that true or complete recovery has yet to take place. Common Replacement Behaviors Substitute addictions refer to a variety of behaviors that, when repeated compulsively and in excess, activate the same reward circuits of the brain once triggered by the former drug of choice. Whether legal drugs, or others thought to be “less severe” (i.e. cannabis) or process addictions, one’s relationship with food, exercise, gambling, shopping, love, sex, and even religion can become problematic.  Although the resulting problems vary, is clear that drug substitution is no less dangerous than addiction to a single main substance. Alcohol: Although the study is still required on the subject, a review of the relevant research supports the hypothesis that the use of alcohol post-treatment leaves the individual vulnerable for a relapse of their primary drug. This understanding is founded on two principles: first, that alcohol is used by these individuals as an attempt to manage cravings, and second, that alcohol has a negative effect on the decision-making capabilities and impulse control of individuals. Nicotine: Often times, in the same way that one’s primary drug is triggered by experiencing uncomfortable or negative emotions through repeated use of the drug to cope with the feelings, legal addictions such as cigarette smoking (or alcohol use) become equally paired with the experience and typically increase cravings or can be thought of as a “slippery slope”. Whether smoking cigarettes does eventually lead back to the primary addiction or not, it is still a problem when it functions as a means for the individual to deal with their stress. Excessive Behaviors: With the category of behaviors labelled as “excessive”, problems occur when, as mentioned previously, the behaviors do not increase an individual’s distress tolerance, or ability to deal with uncomfortable negative emotions, and operate only as a means of distraction. These behaviors include: Work or Exercise Shopping Overeating or Controlled Eating Gambling Sex or Love Addiction Some of these behaviors present their own unique health concerns (i.e. increased risks of contracting sexually transmitted diseases as with sex addiction), and the ability to evaluate these behaviors openly and honestly is the beginning to understanding how they might be working against you in recovery. Lasting Recovery Recovery is absolutely possible for you or your loved one, as is maintaining long-term sobriety long after treatment has finished. At Riviera Recovery, we believe the key is to begin your journey with some accountability, and with trusted professionals who have the knowledge to help, and to set you up for success. Contact us today to find out more.  

Is Addiction a Disease?

A Brief History Although it is now widely accepted by the American Medical Association and the American Society of Medicine that addiction is in fact a disease, this understanding has not always been the case. At one time (and still today to some extent) a stigma around addiction exists, and there are those who believe that addiction signifies nothing but poor choices and a lack of character. However advances in technology have rapidly shaped our present view of addiction, and point towards an educated understanding of addiction as a disease of the brain, just as there are diseases of the heart and kidney. This framework of viewing addictive behaviors considers both genetic and environmental factors in the role that they play in their contribution and perpetuation of addictive cycles in families and in society as a whole. Defining Addiction Due to its vast reaches and complexities, it can be difficult to settle upon a common definition for addiction that spans all levels of impairment and contexts. However in 2016, Volkow, Koob, and McLellan suggested three primary characteristics of addiction:
  1. Desensitization of the reward circuits of the brain that allow us to feel pleasure and motivation which eventually leads to needing the drug/ behavior to feel “well”
  2. Increased conditioned responses to turn to the vice when experiencing stress in our environment or a range of other emotions, which leads to increased experiences of cravings
  3. Declining functions of brain regions that facilitate decision making, impulse control, and self regulation that leads to repeated relapse
When taken into consideration, it is not difficult to see the cards stacking up against an addict who does truly want to get better, and the ways that their brain is actively working against them. Changes in the Brain Scientists have long studied the effects of Dopamine, the neurotransmitter responsible for flooding the system with a pleasurable response when someone is in the midst of their “high” from engaging with their desired drug. However, this is the same neurotransmitter to blame for the consequence defined in the first characteristic listed above. Slowly, an erosion of the individual’s ability to feel pleasure while completing any other task occurs, as the body comes to rely on the drug to provide the dopamine“fix”. Specific dopamine receptors have additionally been linked with the task of creating motivation to deny instant gratification from a stimulus, and to work towards a rigorous, but more rewarding end. These too, are subject to the laws of supply and demand, and once the outside supply stops, the body has already adapted to no longer produce its own dopamine, and these crucial functions remain lacking. But Isn’t it their Choice? It may seem easy to point the finger all the way back to someone’s first experience with their addictive habit and argue that their initial choice to solve their problems in that particular way was the first in a string of dominoes that led them to today. However, many biological, genetic, and environmental factors are at play in determining one’s unique susceptibility towards addictive patterns. Factors making someone more at-risk for falling prey to addiction initially, continuing in their use, and their resulting brain chemistry consists of things largely out of their control, including family history, early exposure to drug use, exposure to high-risk environments, and co-occurring mental disorders. Under this logic, where you grew up (high socially stressful environments, or where there is easy access to drugs) and how you grew up (unsupportive parenting practices, permissive attitudes towards substance use) have much greater influence on one’s vulnerability. Culminating in the decision to turn to addictive substances or behaviors is much less a one-time judgement, and more like a series of generational choices leading to the moment of decision. Overcoming Addiction At Riviera Recovery, we understand that addiction is a disease like any other, and requires specialized and informed approaches to treating it. We have the knowledge and expertise to help if you or a loved one is struggling with an addiction. Call us at today 1-866-478-8799 to get connected to the support you need.

Is A Recovery Coach Right For You?

Rehab can be rough, but what happens when you leave? Your return to everyday life can be filled with familiar triggers and stressors that might be overwhelming. The first ninety days out of treatment have proven to be the most challenging for recovering addicts. So why not hire some extra help to keep you on track? Recovery coaches provide support for those trying to overcome destructive behaviors. They help clients navigate the tricky path of early sobriety and provide a bridge between the safe world of treatment to the real world. Similar to a “life coach,” a recovery coach helps clients make smart decisions to better their life and avoid engaging in addiction. Recovery coaches provide accountability and support on a daily basis to help clients establish healthy habits to reinforce a recovered lifestyle. They’ll also help you reconnect with your local community, find resources to bolster sobriety, encourage ways to get active, and build a strong support system. Just like a personal trainer, a recovery coach will help you develop an individual program of recovery that is uniquely suited to you. Your coach will help you figure out what steps you need to take to achieve the future you want, incorporating the tools you’ve learned in treatment into your daily life. They help with non-clinical issues like housing, finances, employment, hobbies, and relationships.  Recovery coaches teach you how to create healthy boundaries, how to improve communications, and how to take care of your own needs.. Your recovery coach is there to offer encouragement, guidance, and support as you navigate sobriety. Think of your coach as your own personal cheerleader! They’ll help you carve out your own niche in the recovery world and encourage you to find fulfilling activities and relationships that are healing.  They won’t do the work for you, but they’re there to make sure you do the work for yourself. A recovery coach can be your biggest advocate and greatest asset in early recovery. They’ll do more than just help you stay sober – they’ll help you learn to thrive! A recovery coach is an adjunct to traditional treatment, not instead of. Remember, recovery coaches are not therapists – they don’t provide clinical help. It’s important to keep seeing a therapist to address the underlying issues of your addiction while working with a coach on practical ways to avoid relapse. Unlike a therapist, your coach is available to you 24/7. If you feel like you might use at 2 o’clock in the morning, your coach will be there to help you cope. A recovery coach is also not an AA sponsor. Sponsors are volunteers in recovery who support you through the 12 step program. Their work with you is mutually beneficial, as helping you out helps reinforces the lessons they’ve learned on their own recovery journey. A recovery coach is a trained professional who works for you. Their first and only priority is helping you adjust to your new life. How can you find a recovery coach? Ask your treatment center. Chances are, they can recommend a good coach with whom they have previous experience. There are also numerous online resources for finding a coach, including professional services that specialize in coaching. Compatibility is of the utmost importance when selecting a recovery coach. Look for someone who “gets” you. Your recovery coach is going to be intimately involved in your life and it’s important to pick someone you click with. Recovery coaches aren’t afraid to get their hands dirty. They’ll work with you on a daily basis to address problems as they arise and help you to make strong choices moving forward. They’ll help you change addictive behaviors, develop strategies to continue abstinence, and make practical changes to your life. Your coach will help you develop crucial life skills like managing finances, coping with stress, improving communication with friends and family, and holding down a job. They’ll help you uncover what your passions in life are and help you find ways to pursue meaningful goals. A recovery coach may be the best insurance you can have in avoiding relapse and creating long-lasting abstinence.