All posts by Tom Rohrer

Treatment Paths

Treatment Paths

Treatment is a term used when working with an experienced addiction recovery professional – individually or as part of a program. With quality support, your journey will be easier and quicker, and your results will likely be stronger, deeper, and last longer. Look for and use the resources in your community. No matter the resources available, if you are committed to your recovery, you can be successful.

Use trusted others to help clarify your best options!

Those in treatment are more likely to stop abusing, engage in personal growth activities, and develop a healthy, happy, and successful life. But many addicts try to recover on their own and fail. If you decline treatment, set goals and be very honest with yourself. Consistently and frequently re-evaluate your progress! If you fail, or even fall short, choose to go into some type of treatment.

Types of addiction treatment include:

  • Private work: Coach, counselor, or therapist
  • Individual and group
  • Inpatient: Professional (in or outside your area)
    • Hospital: Up to 28 days
    • Residential: 28 days, 3 months, or longer
  • Outpatient: Professional
    • Day treatment
    • Evening and weekend programs

Investigate different addiction treatment options until you are certain that you’ve found a workable one. Recovery options need to allow you to determine the pace and direction of your recovery. A careful evaluation with a competent, impartial mentor is a good approach. When you and your mentor have selected your best options, act immediately; do not wait for even an hour!

Your best approach is the one you'll accept and meets your needs.

If you believe that you do not need a hospital, residential setting, or even an outpatient program, consider starting with a less intense approach. First, try one session or more a week in a group, a self-help meeting, or with a professional.

Along the way, review your progress with the help of your mentor or professional support. It’s essential to accept more intensive treatment if you’re progressing poorly. Notice your mental-emotional signs of relapsing, such as negative attitudes, emotions, and behaviors. Ask your support group for feedback and for help if needed.

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PHASES OF RECOVERY – PHASE TWO AND THREE

Phases of Recovery

Phase Two: Intermediate Recovery

Intermediate recovery starts after the building of your foundation has begun and takes at least one to two years. The goal of Phase Two is to adjust to living in recovery and facing life on life’s terms, all while completing your foundation and becoming comfortable. This includes finishing all tasks, goals, and milestones; dealing with all current issues; and developing and using important tools and strategies.

During Phase Two, you’ll settle into your new recovery patterns, experiences, and relationships, and they will become familiar to you, even easy. But your past temptations are not that far behind you, and you must stay aware of this. Your concerns about maintaining a positive attitude, stability, and inner strength during early recovery gradually lessen and become only occasional concerns.

The quality of your program shapes the pace of your recovery.

Phase Three: Continuing Recovery

Phase Three, continuing recovery, will begin after you’ve built a solid, quality foundation; consistently dealt with immediate issues; started processing your deeper personal issues; and established a period (6 months minimum) of crisis-free, stable recovery. This will likely take at least one to three years beyond intermediate recovery to complete, extending through your fifth year of recovery. During this phase, childhood, adult, and other major life issues at your deeper core will begin to be fully explored, addressed, and hopefully (at least partially) resolved. These issues are ongoing, so don’t get discouraged! You have all the time you need to deal with them! Just do your best.

Let Go ~ Apologize ~ Forgive

You can move past your history,  live fully, & thrive in the present!

It's in Your HANDS: Have all needs deeply searched. Learn to keep a child-like curiosity.

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PHASES OF RECOVERY – PHASE ONE

Phases of Recovery

Recovery does not happen at once. It occurs in phases. There are many theories regarding the correct number of phases and their length. Each theory is an opinion and is meant to act as a guideline. In general, the length of time it takes to complete each phase is mostly based on your efforts. Completing specific tasks doesn’t necessarily end a phase. Recovery can’t just be computed. It also has to be felt. Rather than completing tasks like a robot, attempt to sincerely connect with your full emotional experience and the spirit of recovery. This approach will give you a greater chance of success.

To achieve and maintain quality recovery, do whatever it takes, for as long as it takes!

Phase One: Primary Recovery

Phase One, the primary recovery phase, starts the day you commit to your recovery and extends for about six to twelve months. The goal of Phase One is to develop the foundation you need to be successful in recovery. In this early recovery period, it’s vital to open up your mind and build a support team. Listen to trusted others, work with a mentor, and, if required, seek the advice of a MD. Work within a recovery structure, completing needed tasks and goals.

Withdrawal from drugs and sugar occurs during the beginning of the primary recovery phase. Your initial treatment program is completed during this phase. The supportive treatment that follows primary care, is usually called continuing care or aftercare. This aftercare is very valuable. Make use of it!

It’s essential that you stay actively involved in your recovery throughout Phase One and beyond. It is widely believed that you should maintain a solid recovery structure for at least two years; however, you need to be involved in your recovery for as long as is necessary to be successful. Many people stop participating early and relapse.

Phase One: 6-12 months building a foundation - Listen, learn and follow.

The Three Major Stages of Primary Recovery are:

Withdrawal: During the initial period of physical and emotional withdrawal, you need to focus on taking care of yourself. Consume quality nutrition, drink water, and exercise; be around supportive people and attempt to do small but positive and productive tasks. Stay focused on necessary and immediate needs and issues you can do something about. Initial drug withdrawal will take between a few days to a few weeks (six or more for marijuana). For some medications, it takes years for full withdrawal.

High-quality nutrition reduces withdrawal symptoms and cravings.

Honeymoon: As you start to become healthier, you may feel overly happy with your newfound recovery. The return of your health, energy, and brain chemistry may make you feel ready to go. You may have thoughts of ending treatment. Be very careful! This sense of well being isn’t entirely whole. You aren’t healthy yet. It takes time to heal, so don’t take on things that are unnecessary. Focus on building your recovery. Usually, this honeymoon feeling will last about three months, but it varies according to the person and the addiction.

Always remember your negative using history! Especially if early recovery is easy!

Facing Reality: The truth of your reality at this point may be more about the wreckage than the rewards, and that’s hard to deal with. You’ll come down from the honeymoon period and remember that parts of recovery are hard, not just positive and happy. This becomes a risky period. At times, you may feel like going back to old, familiar situations that provided a false sense (even briefly) of happiness. Because early using memories may be pleasant, they can easily be romanced. Remember, this is a relapse symptom. Breathe and face reality. It is the only way you can move past the wreckage.

Always remember your negative using history! Especially if early recovery is easy!

During Phase One, many people will feel better quicker than expected. This may lead them to question if they were as sick as they thought. Always remember your past. Your recovery process should follow a proven approach that works for you, and then add personal aspects to meet your unique needs.

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Immediate Recovery – Part Three

Going Crazy

Going Crazy

Change can make you feel as if you’re going crazy. It’s more likely you’re just very stressed out, fearful, or need better structure. If you’re working a quality program, things will get better, day-by-day. These negative feelings will go away within a few months. If not, seek additional help.

A mentor-type person brings vital knowledge, intelligence and support.

Mentor Role

A mentor, sponsor, or coach is a guide who has experienced a similar journey to the one you need to go through or has a lot of knowledge about how to successfully approach recovery. They’ll be there for you in hard times, ready to answer any questions you have. This approach can develop into a solid friendship, but at the first hint of sexual or romantic interest, immediately get a new mentor, as your relationship with your mentor should be undiluted. This shouldn’t be an issue with a professional, due to ethics. Choose a mentor you can trust, but feel free to re-evaluate their efforts month-by-month to confirm they are well-suited for you. When re-evaluating your relationship, ensure you are basing your assessment on actual conduct, and not your own fears or biases.

Reality Testing

Your internal map is your image of outer reality. Although it’s true you create your own reality, there are some limitations. A table is a table, no matter what you choose to believe. Develop and use your observing self.

To ensure your internal map is in-line with actual outer reality, check your internal map against the internal maps of trusted others. Ask for their feedback regarding their perceived outer realities, and compare it with your own. Get a second or a third opinion. This will give you valuable perspectives regarding reality that may be difficult to develop on your own.

Spiritual reality testing can come from praying, meditating, and talking with your Higher Power. Trust your spiritual experiences and allow yourself to follow the guidance that comes from them, but reality test all important decisions.

Check your reality with your

Note: Be careful of extreme people and extreme beliefs. This is a difficult part of life, but in general, go with moderation. Extremes tend to cause more problems than they solve, and sometimes they cause big problems. It’s difficult to have perspective in extreme situations. Instead, ask several trusted, emotionally uninvolved others for feedback.

Thriving Beyond Addiction Workbook

It's in Your Hands: Habitually Advocate for Nourishing the Disciplines for Success!

The companion to my book, the Thriving Beyond Addiction Workbook, gives you an opportunity to explore yourself, your addictions, and your issues in-depth. Use it to develop strategies and tools for recovery and to help clarify what Your Recovering Future will be. The worksheets cover most aspects of recovery. Using the workbook is a positive commitment. It’ll help you work through problems, clarify goals, and set up a solid foundation. The quality of your recovery will be equal to the amount of effort you make. The people that achieve and maintain quality recovery do whatever it takes, for as long as it takes, to achieve it.

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Immediate Recovery Work – Part Two

Thriving Beyond Addiction Support Groups

Support Groups

At first, you’ll be in a state of neediness and find the support of your core group of friends and family invaluable. Along with normal needs, you will have new recovery needs. Assume your using acquaintances and even using friends will disappear.

Your support group is your lifeline; stay in close, daily contact!

Seven is a good number of people for a core support group. It’s good to be in contact with at least one person everyday. Early recovery is a time to affirm current positive friendships and renew old ones, especially people who understand recovery and with whom you can share feelings and talk through difficult situations. Very likely, during addiction, substances and behaviors replaced people, numbing your needs in an attempt to overcome personal pain. Now you will want to have supportive people around you to meet your emotional, social, and physical needs.

Accountability Partner

You and your accountability partner will support, encourage, and carefront (a loving type of confronting) each other about achieving tasks and goals. Your accountability partner may be the only one you can rely on for the truth. You both must be totally honest with each other.

See yourself in the future, engaging with your closest friends.

Connecting With Others

In recovery, you will need to replace the friends with whom you practiced your addiction. With new friendships that support your recovery, you can begin to heal and learn how to be emotionally available. You’ll want to listen and open your heart to the needs, wants, and experiences of others. Ask questions, listen, and have a dialogue. Show your interest, understanding, and empathy through your response to them. Then share your experiences and pay attention to their feedback. Do they show interest and match your deep level of sharing?

Observe how people relate to each other. You may want to adopt some of their relational styles. If you still have trouble with relationships, pay attention to how you interact with others. Ask yourself why you shy away from relationships, and listen for the answers. It might be your fear of being embarrassed, ridiculed, or rejected. Choose to move past your negative feelings and take positive action.

Emotional Support

Recovery is about change, which takes emotional energy. Feelings will need to be felt, understood, and dealt with. It’s important that you have friends who are understanding of your ups and downs, as emotional support is vital to your healthy development.

Buddy System

A buddy system is when a pact is made between addicts to help each other through recovery. This can be very valuable, but it can also be destructive. If using the buddy system, team up with a motivated person(s) you are connected to (non-sexually) in a personal or emotionally way. Be clear with each other about expectations and limits. Set up specific agreements for dealing with and responding to difficult situations, such as style differences, personal issues, and the possibility of relapsing.

Social Support

You’ll benefit from a support group or fellowship to motivate you and provide you with healthy activities, especially when you’re easily triggered. Recovering communities (12-Step, your treatment program, a professional support group, or an Internet group) are some of the best social networking resources available to help you work through general and practical issues of addiction recovery. For example, you can take a person from a support group with you when you must attend an activity where triggers are expected, such as a food addict going to a restaurant or a drug addict visiting a neighborhood where drugs are easily available.

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IMMEDIATE RECOVERY WORK – PART ONE

Road to Recovery

 Relax, Gain Balance and Feel Stronger

After initiating recovery by addressing urgent issues, like detoxification and beginning abstinence, focus on the next level of tasks. As you move into each task, you’ll gradually relax, gain balance and feel stronger. Remember to breathe!

The Void

The Void

When you refrain from the behaviors you practiced in your addiction, a natural void will be created. To fill this void, load your life with positive experiences, like new people, places, situations, and activities. Don’t leave your voids empty, or it’ll fill up with whatever comes along, good or bad. Positive experiences will override the negative ones. Happy people need 3 positive experiences to every one negative one. Stay away from the negative, embrace the positive!

Your Approach

First, breathe and pay attention to your thoughts, feelings, and behavior, and what’s going on around you.

Second, keeping breathing and ask “Are my thoughts and behaviors supporting my recovery? What are my most important needs and how can I meet them?”

The effectiveness of your approach to recovery will be greatly affected by three factors:

  • Your beliefs about yourself, life, and recovery.
  • The level of your motivation and commitment.
  • The structure and strength of your approach.

Your awareness will help you build and strengthen your approach. Are your beliefs and thoughts about recovery accurate, healthy, and helpful? Are you connected with your motivation and commitment for recovery?

Recovery Contract

A contract is your commitment to do what is needed to be successful in your recovery and to rebuild your life. Signing a contract with yourself can finalize your motivation and commitment to starting and pursuing your recovery. Make your contract (tasks, goals, or milestones) clear, specific, measurable, and dated (start and end). Sign it in front of a support person. Keep it visible!

Consistent Recovery Focus

Consistent Recovery Focus

Throughout the day you need to remain focused on your personal reasons for recovery and on the positive aspects of life in recovery. This is vital to get you through triggers and cravings. A reminder strategy, such as the Red DOT Reminder Check-In System, can be quite useful in overriding negative triggers with positive cues to refocus on your recovery.

Daily Recovery Activity

From the moment you wake up each day, you want to visualize and act on your desire to build the quality life that you want, which is Your Recovering Future.    A daily recovery activity keeps you occupied and on track with your goals. Daily recovery activities include spending quality time with healthy family and friends, church, classes, sober dances, conferences focused on health and growth, and any other positive experience that offers you support in your recovery. Your daily recovery activity gives you a clear reason to stay clean. Plan a week in advance and don’t go to bed without having your next daily recovery activity confirmed.

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MAINTENANCE & ABSTINENCE ADDICTIONS

Maintenance & Abstinence Addictions

There are two categories of addictions:

  1. Maintenance Addictions: those behaviors that are necessary to sustain and enjoy life but have led to compulsions and obsessions. These can include food, relationship, and sex addictions.
    • The best approach to recover from maintenance addictions is to learn to engage in these behaviors without allowing them to become excessive.
  2. Abstinence Addictions: those behaviors that are life-hindering and not sustainable, such as drugs, gambling, dieting, tanning, etc.
    • The proven recovery method from life-hindering addictions is to abstain from all related substances and activities.

Both maintenance and abstinence addictions can cause physical cravings that are combined with rituals and other obsessive-compulsive behaviors. Knowing whether recovery from an addiction requires maintenance or abstinence is only the starting point. It isn’t recovery in itself.

Prove you can maintain by keeping your using limited for 6 months

Maintenance Addictions

Maintaining control of how often you engage in potentially addictive behaviors can be a struggle, especially when what you desire is unavoidable. For some of your life needs, like eating, intimacy, or working, abstinence is unrealistic. Therefore, you may need a lot of structure and support in controlling your cravings. If you’re unable to achieve moderation, find additional support and structure, and disengage from the behavior when possible. A good structure for moderation is:

  • A moderate level is one that is normal and healthy. Discover what a moderate level is for eating, shopping, sex, etc. Practice maintaining this moderate level with balance and consistency.
  • Just before you use, take a breath and ask yourself:
    • “What am I feeling?”
    • “What need am I trying to meet?”
  • Count and chart your daily use, and discuss any issues and your progress with your support group.
  • Continue practicing moderation until it feels really easy, usually after six months. Restart if you relapse.

Maintenance strategies do not only pertain to maintenance addictions. They can also be used in recovery from abstinence addictions.

Harm Reduction is a medical model maintenance strategy where the goal is to reduce the harm of using until abstinence is achieved. Relapse and even regular using is acceptable, yet total abstinence is the desired goal. This is a viable approach if you can’t, don’t want to, or won’t abstain – a decision that true addicts will usually regret.

Participation in an addiction moderation program for unnecessary addictions like alcohol is very questionable. Yet, if a person is rejecting recovery, moderation is better than full-scale use. However, harm reduction is not recovery, only a step towards it.

Abstinence/Maintenance is necessary to recover, but it isn't recovery

Abstinence Addictions

Abstinence is a no tolerance, black and white approach to addiction recovery and the easiest one for most people to achieve. Abstinence means giving up all undesirable or harmful substances and behaviors. In the beginning, this may be threatening and difficult for an addict, at least for the first six months. Avoid white knuckling it (toughing it out). You have support to help you through it. Use your resources to go after what you need and want.

A big benefit of abstinence from all addictive substances and behaviors is you stop chasing a reward that will never be satisfied (high, pleasure, energy, relaxation, relief, etc.). Remember, like maintenance, abstinence is necessary for recovery, but it isn’t recovery in its entirety.

 

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DETOXIFICATION – PART TWO

Medical Drugs to Aid Addiction Recovery

Alternative Methods

These additional tools are useful, of which a search can be conducted online:

  • Acupuncture appears to be helpful in treating the withdrawal symptoms of some addictions, especially when relaxation is needed, but the benefits of acupuncture only last a day. It is theorized that bigger needles are more effective.

Acupuncture

Cranial Electrical Stimulant (CES)

Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy

  • A sauna aids in the detoxification of fat soluble drugs, such as marijuana or PCP, from the body.

Sauna

Medical Model

The medical model is the use of medical drugs as a means of recovery. Medical drugs can also be used for detoxification, as prescribed by a physician. Ask for specific information from the physician regarding the type of medical drugs available. For health and legal reasons, you must be in the care of a MD to use the medical model.

Medications: Some medications directly reduce negative symptoms, while others lower the potential of returning to your addiction. Ask about the addictive properties of these medications, which should only be taken when needed. Some people consider these medications to be just another crutch. That’s true only if you don’t really need them.

If, during drug detoxification, your physical symptoms become significant or prolonged, get medical help immediately. Seniors need to be extra careful.

When using medications that stimulate neurotransmitters, your nutritional intake must be good for them to work.

Detox Medications

The following medications will help stop withdrawal symptoms and reduce cravings. They are also used to treat chronic pain. Yet, it can be very difficult to stop taking them if they are used for more than a few months.

  • Benzodiazepines are commonly used in detoxification; they are effective but very addictive.
  • Methadone is the purest, most addicting opiate. It should only be used for a brief detox from other opiates.
  • Suboxone is a highly praised detox medication, but it contains an opiate that’s pure and very addicting.

Support Medications

  • Antabuse blocks the digestion of alcohol after it’s in an acid state, but it causes a lot of stomach pain.
  • Baclofen appears to reduce the brain’s “Go” response from being activated by triggers.
  • Campral is known to reduce the craving for alcohol.
  • Naltrexone blocks any “high” from opioids and alcohol that is above normal.
  • Vivatrol, an injection, is an extended release naltrexone.
  • Zyban (Wellbutrin) reduces the desire for nicotine.

Medications for Emotional Withdrawal Symptoms

Anxiety: Non-addicting anti-anxiety and anti-depressant medications can help suppress racing thoughts. Benzodiazepines, also used as a detox medication, are potent, making them both effective and very addicting. The newer, shorter acting benzos are harder to get off than the older, longer acting formulas.

Depression: There are several groups of anti-depressants. Most increase the level of the neurotransmitters serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine in the brain, but none work as well as promoted. They work for the long-term about one-third of the time, with minimal side effects, but the withdrawal symptoms from some can be severe

Physical and emotional pain: Benzodiazepines and opiates are effective, but very addicting. There are several non-addictive medicines for physical and emotional pain, but all medications have toxicity.

Note: Some research questions the benefits of anti-depressant medication and Tryptophan. Abuse of over-the-counter and prescription medications is common, monitor your use.

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DETOXIFICATION – PART ONE

Detoxification

The period of physical withdrawal from all substances – drugs, medications, and sugars – is called detoxification, or detox for short. If you have been putting an addictive substance into your body on a daily or reoccurring basis, abstaining from that substance will cause some level of physical withdrawal symptoms to occur.

Detox Safely

Your body (mainly your liver, lungs, and skin) will detox you naturally. Toxins leave the body at varying rates of speed, and depending on the type of toxin, can cause a range of physical complications. Commonly during a hard detox, symptoms vary from mild physical discomfort to those similar to a severe flu. It’s best to be under a physician’s care when detoxing, especially when abstaining from drugs like alcohol, barbiturates, opiates, and benzodiazepines, which due to their chemical properties, require monitoring by a medically trained professional. Detoxing is a necessary stage of recovery, but be careful to follow medical guidelines, especially if you’ve had a history of seizures, cardiac issues, or other complications related to detoxification. Get evaluated for conditions such as hyperglycemia, hypoglycemia, diabetes, and high blood pressure.

Most people detox at home or in a hospital. There are private programs or publicly funded detox centers that have medical backup. Contact your physician, local treatment program or hospital, or look for “Addiction. . .” “Alcoholism. . .” or “Drug Abuse. . .” in your phone book or on the Internet.

 Note: It can be dangerous to refrain from all drugs, especially if you’re on medications for a severe mental illness or a physical condition. Ask for advice from respected and informed professionals and follow it during early recovery.

Relief of Withdrawal Symptoms

All methods discussed below are effective in relieving physical withdrawal symptoms in the detox recovery stage. Each method can be used alone or together with other options.

Not all withdrawal symptoms are physical. There are also emotional withdrawal symptoms. Addicts build an attachment, or affection, to a particular substance or behavior. Letting go of the substance or behavior can prompt a sense of loss, causing emotional pain. Both emotional pain and physical withdrawal symptoms can be alleviated through the methods below.

Nutrition

Nutritional supplements are a prime option for relieving physical withdrawal symptoms due to their immediate and effective results, minimal side effects, and no potential for abuse. For optimal results, it’s best to work with a nutritionist, whose knowledge will be helpful and sometimes necessary. Many physicians do not have an extensive knowledge of nutritional supplements. If possible, talk to your physician regarding your desire to try alternative approaches, or at least keep him or her informed of the alternative approaches that you are taking.

Amino Acids

Most people can experience powerful symptom relief from basic amino acid supplements. An amino nutrient blend is even more effective, but costs more. Amino acids can relieve physical and emotional pain, and they can reduce or stop cravings, anxiety, and depression. They also stabilize blood sugar and promote the rebuilding of your brain and body to a healthier state. Amino acid supplements are sold over-the-counter; the higher the purity (in the mid 90% range), the better. But ensure your source for nutritional supplements are from a reliable supplier!

When it comes to the dosage, be cautious. Test with 1⁄4 of the suggested dose and wait 30 minutes to see how you feel. The only way of knowing the exact amount you need is with a blood test, which is expensive, trial and error should also work well to help you decide what dosage works best for you. The body’s response to amino acid supplements is rapid. Some people claim to have taken higher than recommended dosages of amino acids with no serious side effects, but to begin, do not exceed the recommended dosages listed on the package. Powdered Vitamin C can eliminate side effects.

An intravenous amino acid drip is known to be effective for extreme withdrawal of difficult substances, but at this time, there is limited documentation and availability of the procedure in the US.

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Getting Started on Your Immediate Recovery

Start Your Journey into Your Recovering Future

Take appropriate action. Plan, build support for, or start a treatment program! You will benefit from reading my complete book – Thriving Beyond Addiction – but reading it without taking action only gives you facts, not results. Recovery is an emotional experience. You’ll need to open up and recognize your feelings, and allow them to guide you. Once you understand what you need to do, take action as soon as possible.

IMMEDIATE TASKS

Finding Support

Every recovering addict needs help and encouragement. Even if you decide to use only my book as the basis for your recovery (not recommended), you’ll want an active core support group. Consider friends and family as part of you support group, ideally who are in recovery and can relate, but only accept help from those who’ll give you quality support and good direction, who’ll be there for you in the hard times. Trust those you have chosen to work with, unless you discover you shouldn’t.

Eliminating Cravings and Neutralizing Triggers

Addictions occur because of excessive behavior, like the abuse of substances, that overstimulates the neuropathways in the brain, causing cravings that can be difficult to suppress. Cravings do not go away overnight. All addicts in recovery have cravings, which can cause a range of issues, from occasional discomfort to an addict’s return to using. Though cravings can develop on their own, they are also caused by triggers, environmental cues that initiate the rapid fire of neuropathways, such as when a smoker sees a cigarette. To be successful in recovery, it is mandatory to minimize or eliminate these triggers.

There are effective techniques for neutralizing triggers. Cravings can also be reduced or eliminated with options such as: awareness of your desire for recovery (called Your Heart Trigger); distractions like fun and humor, nutritional supplements (Vitamin D, Omega 3, and L-glutamine), and a high-quality diet. Always check with your M.D.

Reduce Cravings

Stress is a major cause of triggering. Reducing stress will neutralize triggers or at least lower the likelihood of being triggered and succumbing to relapse.

Other methods to deter cravings include acupuncture, meditation, progressive relaxation, and sleep.

Medical Exam

Medical Exam

A physical examination by a medical doctor is highly recommended, especially when abstaining from drug and food addictions. Be honest with your MD about your situation and issues. For instance, sex addicts need to get tested for STDs. Ask about vitamin, mineral, amino acid, and nutritional supplements. Medication for relief of physical withdrawal symptoms may be necessary. If possible, work with a physician who specializes in addiction medicine (or at least one who understands addictions) and who will consult with an addiction nutrition specialist. Ask for a referral through the association, American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM).

 

 

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