Tag: Lighthouse Recovery

Studies Dive Into Driving Forces Behind Drug Addiction

lighthouse recovery instituteThe opioid epidemic that has devastated the United States has directly impacted more than 2 million people. Addiction does not discriminate. Gone are the days when individuals were stereotyped into one category based solely on their socioeconomic status or skin color. Is it safe to assume there is more to this problem than simply poor behavior, wrong choices, or rebellion — to name a few? There have been numerous studies on the topic of addiction and how much of a role genetics actually play. Many people believe it’s 50-50, meaning 50 percent genetics and 50 percent poor coping skills or lack of willingness to stop using drugs and living a destructive lifestyle after entering a drug and alcohol treatment center.

Others believe that someone’s environment and social upbringing can have a lot to do with whether a person engages in experimental drug use, thus leading to full-blown addiction. In cases like this, immersing yourself in inpatient rehab may be the best way to escape surroundings and change your life. Also, the whole theory of genetics playing a role in an opioid or addiction, in general, makes it easier for many to understand when addiction is recognized as a “brain disease.” The debate between addiction being a choice or a disease continues to stir up controversy in America and scientists hope to alleviate some of that confusion with the studies they are completing.

Scientific Proof

Society tends to like facts. Society also likes science: Black and white, easy to understand and logical information. Addiction is anything but easy to understand, black and white or logical. In terms of science, according to CNN, researchers have identified a gene that may play an important role in the risk of opioid dependence. This only adds to the theory that genetics plays a very important role in figuring out who would — or would not — develop an addiction within their lifetime. In one study, more than 5,000 people who were exposed to opioids were studied, looking at the differences between those who actually developed independence and who didn’t. The subjects within this study consisted of African Americans as well as European Americans. There was a genetic variance on a chromosome that was associated with dependence, in both the African American individuals as well as European American subjects. The gene that was studied, called RGMA, has also been linked to psychiatric disorders like schizophrenia or autism — both being disorders linked to some genetic factors.

Researchers and scientists also utilized the brains of mice in order to do some scientific testing.  This specific gene is very significant when it comes to cell signaling that travels to the brain. This gene could potentially interfere with other networks in the brain during the cell signaling.  The difference between this specific gene and others is that the signal is sent out in the frontal cortex is correlated with greater opioid dependence, which was realized a long time ago within a different study on addiction and the impact on the human brain. There is still much research that needs to be done to make sure this information is completely accurate before stating that this gene, RGMA, is most likely responsible for specific types of people developing an addiction.

A factor that confuses many people when it comes to genetics playing a role in addiction is whether or not a child or teenager is being brought up in a household with other addicts, using drugs and drinking alcohol around them and engaging in an unhealthy and dangerous lifestyle that the child or teenager may grow up learning and imitating. When one or more person in the household is addicted to any kind of substance, the chances of this child or teenager growing up to live the same lifestyle increases. When both parents and an older sibling, aunt, and uncle, are all addicted to drugs and alcohol, this may look like genetics on the outside, but is it really a social or environmental factor?  Is it both? The science revolving around this very topic continues to emerge and more details involving genetics are becoming clearer.

Finding the Fix

Regardless of the reasoning behind the development of addiction, one thing society as a whole can more than likely agree on is the fact that the opioid crisis must be fixed one way or another. Whether this be through treatment at an outpatient rehab or finding drug treatment programs, it’s clear that far too many families are having to attend their loved one’s funerals. Too many children are being left without parents due to the devastating effects of this horrible epidemic. Too many unhealthy and dangerous activities are being committed by people under the influence of these drugs that create a higher crime rate in many cities across America. It is a shame that death is becoming a common factor and many are desensitized to the issue altogether — especially when drug and alcohol rehab could help turn lives around.

The good news is that addiction does not have to be a death sentence and that recovery is a way of life for anyone who chooses to adopt certain elements into their way of daily living. After seeking out rehab centers in Florida, the appropriate counseling and learning more about addiction, their family system and themselves, most addicts can resume a normal life without relying on old behavior to cope with negative emotions.

Alcohol Treatment: Alcoholism in the Family Impacts Children

lighthouse recovery instituteThere are many correlations between adult alcoholism and the effects it has on the early childhood development in children. Currently, one out of four children are living in an alcoholic environment and will be negatively impacted throughout their upbringing. These children are approximately four times more likely to develop issues with drinking and drug use in their lifetime compared to other children who have not been exposed to parents or parental figures with alcoholic tendencies.

By exposing a child to the dysfunction that is caused by alcoholism, you are exposing a child to extreme danger and setting the foundation for the child to mimic unhealthy patterns of thinking and behaviors. Chaos, irrational thinking and beliefs, denial, instability, unhealthy attachments, co-dependency, and unhealthy living environments are all small pieces that work together to build an unsteady foundation for a child. According to Nadine Burk Harris, “There is a direct correlation between childhood trauma and stress to mental illnesses and addiction in adulthood.” If, for example, the child is not exposed to therapy or other healthy life coping skills, the child may experience symptoms of bipolar, eating disorders, self-harm, high-risk behaviors, depression and even turn to drugs or alcohol to manage life. Children that are exposed to this kind of upbringing tend to believe that they themselves are the cause of their parents drinking often leading to rejection of self and self-hatred. Adults may not be in the position to realize that they may benefit from alcohol treatment in Florida, but children reading this article should know that it’s an option available to them.

alcoholism effects on kids and familyChildren who struggle with a lack of strong parenting tend to take on their parent’s role and become the caretaker of the parent. By exposing a child to this role, it is likely to see some form of rebellion in teenage years and avoidance of their own self-care. These individuals become comfortable living with secrets, have a lack of resilient interpersonal relationships and even isolation will become comfortable. The child becomes so used to broken promises, missed activities, and disappointment that they will send the unspoken message that people can’t be trusted and giving up is an option. Children learn what they live and will mimic the behaviors until the cycle is broken. Parents should be the main caregivers for children and provide a healthy, stable, and safe learning environment for children. Without this protection and security, it is likely that the child will revert and develop a sense of anxiety or fear of the world.

Alcoholism doesn’t just affect the alcoholic; it affects the entire family and the outcomes of their lives as well. Some damage may be irreversible if the proper help is not introduced in time. Alcoholism can be life-or-death and it is a race against the clock to change the internal programming. Most children of alcoholics, if lucky, can attend support groups and or ACOA (Adult Children of Alcoholic) meetings. In these meetings held at alcohol treatment centers, the individual will learn healthy life skills and healthy patterns of thinking that they did not learn when growing up and identify beliefs that can be processed in terms of their family system.

They will receive love and support until they can learn to do so on their own. If your loved one is struggling with alcoholism or drug addiction, there is a way to receive the necessary help. Going to a drug or alcohol rehab center can help with stabilizing the parent and allowing them the time to work on themselves so they can resume their standing in the home and vital place in society. Oftentimes, heavy drinking goes un-noticed for a long period of time due to the easy access of the substance and the normalizing of consuming it. However, the impact of extreme drinking and alcoholism on children is profound. The good news is that with proper alcohol treatment in Florida, there is a way to work through the cycle and stop the pain caused by addiction.

Learning to Love Yourself in Addiction Recovery

Loving Yourself in Addiction Recovery

Learning to love yourself is an acquired skill – one that many men and women will go their entire lives without truly learning. Unfortunately, self-loathing tends to go hand-in-hand with active addiction – and addiction is frequently brought on by low self-esteem and deep-seated feelings of inadequacy (at least in part). It is a vicious cycle – we use drugs and alcohol to escape feelings of worthlessness, futility, and lack of purpose.  Being high and drunk makes us even less capable of performing expected daily functions. We fail repeatedly; we harm the ones we love, and we engage in morally compromising acts in order to get what it is we need. We seek self-love inside of other people – men or women, whatever it is. We hate ourselves so much that we can’t stand to be alone with ourselves, and we hate that we sometimes have to be. We think that maybe we can find self-worth somewhere else, inside of someone else; forgetting that everything we need is tucked away neatly inside of us. The darkness we fight is within us, the light we seek is within us. It is all right there. But we don’t remember, we can’t remember – we have become so jaded and faded and shredded that the concept of tapping into any sort of power seems so… it just seems so exhausting. How can we possibly learn to love something that we hate to the very core?

loving yourself - addiction recovery

How Do We Learn to Love Ourselves?

First of all, it is crucial that we understand that what we did while active in our addictions does not make us who we are – not at all. Addiction is a disease, one that alters the actual chemical make-up of the brain. Over time and with repeated and excessive use, the reward pathways within our brains begin to physically change. There is a lot of factual evidence to support this, but for now we’ll try and keep it simple – the part of our brain that keeps us tuned in to our basic and innate human needs (food, water, sex, shelter) is overpowered by chemical substance, and obtaining and using drugs becomes our top priority. We have no say in this process; it simply happens. Our corrupted brains tell us that if we do not use, we will die; or suffer a pain greater than death. We have been psychologically beat. We have lost all power of choice in the matter. We can go on this way for months or years, but eventually we will come to realize that our lives are passing us by in a harshly disturbing way. We check in to a drug rehab in Florida or California or Arizona and begin our journey of addiction recovery. We sober up and the weight of what we have done over the course of the past 5, 10, 28 years comes crashing down upon us. Heavy. We did a lot of bad, and we feel it. And it hurts us.

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What We Did Does Not Define Who We Are

We forget that we are innately good, and that all we have to do is tap in to the light that dwells within us. Some of us become preoccupied with making amends to those we have hurt. Some of us can’t move past the things we have done, and we keep drinking and getting high because facing reality is just to difficult. Fear drives us back. Fear of who we really are. What if we are bad, after all? What if that is who we really are? It isn’t. We are good. Each one of us is instilled with the unique and essential capacity to help another human being. Once we sit down with someone we trust and do the work we need to do thoroughly and honestly, we will slowly start to appreciate ourselves once again. It’s a long process, but it is true what they say; we build self-esteem through estimable acts. The better we do, the better we feel. Once we have walked through the 12 steps and are able to help others along, the feelings of self-worth and self-love are only intensified.

Loving Yourself Is Possible

love yourself addiction recovery

I love myself so much that I avoid painful situations today. It seems simple, doesn’t it? I used to seek them out. I used to cause my self pain intentionally, or simply disregard consequences because I could handle them and I deserved them, and it was hard to care. For the first time in my life, I recognize that I have something substantial to offer. I care for myself today. I love myself, in fact. I love myself because I worked hard for it. I love myself because I checked myself into one of the best rehab centers in Florida and took my recovery seriously. I sought treatment for alcohol dependency and I not only stopped drinking, but I took the necessary strides to better myself thoroughly, from the inside out. Loving yourself is possible. Give us a call today – you deserve to begin living a better way of life… whether or not you recognize that now.

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Lighthouse Recovery Institute