Life Transformation Recovery Vlog #2: Getting Started In this episode, our office manager Brian talks about the admissions process, and how Life Transformation Recovery overcomes a lot of the misconceptions about joining a recovery program. www.lifetransformationrecovery.com "My name is Brian, I am the office manager here at Life Transformation Recovery, and I handle a lot…
In this episode, our Founder and Executive Director David Sanchez talks about the philosophy of Life Transformation's Christian Rehab Center. www.lifetransformationrecovery.com "Hi my name is David, I'm the founder and executive director at Life Transformation Recovery. I'm here today to talk about our philosophy, at Life Transformation, which is very unique. Basically we believe that…
Are You an Alcoholic? Signs of Alcoholism You Shouldn’t Ignore
Do you love drinking but don’t fit the stereotype of an alcoholic? You could still have a drinking problem and won’t know it. Here are signs of alcoholism you shouldn’t ignore.
Did you know that one in every 12 adults suffers from alcohol abuse or alcohol dependence in the United States? That’s over 17 million people.
But for many people, it can be hard to know whether or not they have a drinking problem.
That’s why we created this guide to help. Keep on reading to learn more about the signs of alcoholism you shouldn’t ignore.
The first sign of an alcoholic is when you experience withdrawal symptoms. This includes a wide variety of symptoms, but they all happen when the body can’t function without alcohol.
These often come in the form of shakes in the morning. Because of this, many alcoholics start to drink in the morning, which only makes the problem worse.
Some other common symptoms include:
- Uncontrollable shaking (the shakes)
When these things start to happen, you know that your body is addicted and that you should take action. Remember that when someone is addicted to alcohol, the chemistry of their brain has literally been changed, especially with regard to their serotonin and dopamine levels.
Also note that people’s symptoms differ from one another. Some people will experience only some of the symptoms and they can happen at different levels of intensity. Your biological makeup is a big factor.
Delirium tremens is the most dangerous withdrawal symptom because it can lead to death. It’s an intense mix of seizures, confusion, and uncontrollable shaking.
Only 5% of those hospitalized for alcohol withdrawals develop this condition, but it’s very serious.
Another sign of alcoholism is irresponsible drinking. Basically, this means that someone drinks without considering the consequences because they are so dependent on it.
Often times, this can interfere with their safety. For example, someone might drink and still drive. This is obviously a terrible decision all too common among alcoholics.
In other cases, people will drink and still take their prescription medications, even if the label says not to. Have an important work meeting or presentation? Alcoholics often will still drink beforehand which can negatively affect their professional performance.
When an alcoholic is looking to get their fix, they tend to not think about the consequences.
You Hide Alcohol around Your Home
Do you tend to hide your alcohol around your house? This is another sign of alcoholism.
This usually happens because the person is ashamed and is trying to conceal their habits. Another reason is because they want to be able to access alcohol anywhere in the house.
Think about it. Do you have bottles in closets? Under your bed? Behind cabinets?
If so, this is a common sign of alcoholism and you should consider getting help.
Add This to Your List of Signs of Alcoholism: You Make Excuses to Drink
When someone is in the early stages of alcoholism, it’s common to see them making excuses to drink.
Have a rough day? It must be time for a drink.
Did you get some great news at work? Let’s celebrate by drinking!
See the pattern here? No matter what happens, an alcoholic tends to go to drinking to cope or deal with the situation, both in positive and negative moments.
The Drinking Starts Earlier
As someone is becoming more and more dependent on alcohol, their drinking begins to start earlier and earlier in the day.
Perhaps a drink or two at night after dinner was the norm a few months ago, but now it seems like you’re drinking around lunch time or even right when you wake up.
The truth of the matter is that this is a common sign of alcoholism. This is because if they don’t drink, their symptoms tend to start happening. And so to avoid the negative symptoms, they drink.
It’s a vicious cycle.
You Avoid Events that Don’t Have Drinking
Has this happened to you? You get invited to a party or event and you know that alcohol won’t be served, so you decide not to go.
On the other hand, a friend reaches out to you and invites you to a party that definitely will include drinking, and you immediately accept.
If you notice that this has happened multiple times, it’s probably a sign of early alcoholism. How come? Because what we learn from this is that when alcohol’s involved, you’re excited and when it’s not, you’re not.
In other words, alcohol is controlling your life instead of you being in control.
Often times, this leads people to stay home and drink by themselves. Many alcoholics will disappear for days on end and drink alone. These are obviously negative and unhealthy habits.
Your Drinking Affects Your Relationships But You Won’t Stop
Alcoholism doesn’t just affect the drinker. It also can hurt anyone close to them.
Many times, a relationship will be having serious issues and might end. A significant other will bring this up and mention that drinking is part of the problem, but the alcoholic won’t stop their drinking.
If this is happening to you, it’s time to make a change. If you need help, check out our wide range of treatment options.
You Get Defensive
This is a classic sign of alcoholism. But when someone dealing with alcoholism hears that term, they tend to tense up.
There’s a lot of stigma around the word alcoholic and no one likes to admit they are in the wrong, especially when first confronted with an issue.
In many cases, when people bring up alcoholism with someone who’s struggling with it, they react in a physical or verbal way. And it’s often in a very angry manner.
But the truth of the matter is that these signs are very common and are often proof of a deeper issue. The way to get over it is through professional help, which we offer at our treatment location.
Now that you’ve read through these signs of alcoholism, it’s time to think about your situation. Do these apply to you?
If so, don’t worry. There is hope and help available!
Our team of experts can help you overcome your addiction and get back to your normal life. Contact us today to get started.
How to Help an Addict, Even If It’s Your Lover
Drug or alcohol abuse runs deep and affects your relationship. If your lover has a substance abuse problem, you can’t stand to see them suffer. Here’s how to help an addict.
Love is patient, love is kind. Love does not keep a record of wrongs. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
As a Christian, you are no doubt familiar with this verse, from 1 Corinthians 13. If your partner, lover, or spouse is addicted to drug or alcohol, however, you may have difficulty putting these words into practice.
Drugs and alcohol can wield incredible power over the individual who uses, abuses, and is addicted to them. Although it may seem as though you are powerless to help your loved one, there are ways you can be supportive and loving. Read on to learn how to help an addict.
Signs That Your Partner May Be Addicted
When you first began dating, you and your partner probably went out for drinks or maybe shared a bottle of wine while having heart-to-heart conversations. At the time, you never dreamed that she was an alcoholic. But as the months went by, you began to realize that alcohol had taken control. Or maybe you are just starting to realize that your loved one’s relationship with alcohol or drugs isn’t healthy.
Here are some signs that you may be living with an addicted person:
- Secretive behavior or even outright lies about their use
- Changes in appetite, weight loss, or unexplained weight gain
- Frequent symptoms of illness (which may be attributed to hangovers or the ill effects of drug use)
- Calling in sick to work or skipping classes
- Financial difficulties
- Emotional changes, particular becoming distant or seeming distracted
- Irritability and mood swings (which may be signs of withdrawal)
- Continued drinking or drug use despite negative consequences
- Risk-taking behavior (such as driving while intoxicated)
It is easy to explain away some of these changes and behaviors, and your loved one likely has an excuse for why she’s doing what she’s doing. It may also be difficult for you to face facts, and therefore you may make your own excuses for your partner’s behavior.
Taking a step back and trying to view the situation objectively can help you see clearly what’s going on.
A Few Things To Understand About Addiction
Most major medical associations consider addiction to be a disease. In other words, the individual who is addicted can’t simply “quit” — any more than they could quit having diabetes or stop their cancer from spreading.
Of course, your lover — and everyone else who uses drugs or drinks to excess — did initially make a choice to try the drugs or accept the drinks. Moreover, they continue making those choices, every time they use. The fact that free will does play a part in how your addicted loved one got to where they are today can complicate matters.
Addiction has both physical and psychological components. Asking a user to “go cold turkey” is not only likely to be an ineffective approach, it may even be detrimental to their health. If your partner is ready to tackle her addiction, make sure that she has the necessary medical and therapeutic resources — rehab may be the way to go.
Another important component of addiction? The addicted individual has to be ready to make the change herself. You can’t force anyone to go through rehab.
What Not To Say
It’s understandable that your fear, frustration, and anger may occasionally get the better of you. You may be tempted to say things like, “If you really loved me, you’d quit drinking,” or “It’s either me or the drugs; you have to choose.”
Don’t give your partner an ultimatum unless you are truly prepared to follow through with it. And remember that quitting drinking or drugs simply isn’t that easy at this stage of addiction. It isn’t about loving you more than loving the high.
Using guilt, blame, or shame won’t work to get your partner to stop using, either. In fact, these negative emotions are more likely to have the opposite effect, and drive your loved one further into the waiting arms of addiction.
Ask Yourself If You Are Enabling
If you find yourself lying to cover up your partner’s behavior, making excuses for her, or stepping in to take care of her responsibilities when she can’t meet them, you are enabling the addicted behavior.
Are you paying more than your share of the household expenses, because your loved one is squandering money on drugs or alcohol — or has incurred expenses due to legal troubles? It might be time for some “tough love.”
Learn the difference between support and enabling. Your support is absolutely necessary for your partner’s recovery, but enabling is only making the situation worse. The concept of “love the sinner but hate the sin” isn’t a Bible verse (in fact, the quote comes from Mahatma Gandhi), but it does personify the Christian approach to supporting addicts.
How to Help an Addict
So what should you do? There are many ways how to help an addict. First, keep reiterating your love and support. Addicted individuals may have a hard time believing that you love them in spite of their problems, so be prepared to reassure them as they go through treatment — and beyond.
Should you hold an intervention? This is a tricky topic, and ultimately the decision will depend on your situation, the extent of your lover’s addiction, and whether or not you can persuade other friends and family to join you.
If your partner decides to enter a treatment program, that program might very well offer resources, such as support groups, for families and friends. Meeting others who are in similar situations, and getting advice from qualified professionals, can be incredibly helpful. Your participation will also demonstrate to your partner that you are committed to their recovery.
Addiction doesn’t just affect the individual who is drinking or drugging. It’s very stressful for spouses or partners, too. Recognize that the addiction may be taking a toll on your mental health, and don’t hesitate to get help for yourself even while encouraging your loved one to get the help she needs.
There’s no denying that addiction can ruin lives — and it has a ripple effect that goes far beyond the individual who is using drugs or drinking excessively. However, there is hope. When you take the time to find out how to help an addict, you are better prepared to accompany a partner, girlfriend, or boyfriend on their recovery journey.
Would you like to learn more about our faith-based recovery program? There’s no obligation. We’re happy to help. Use our contact form or give us a call for a compassionate, Christian approach to healing.
Parents of Addicted Adults: How to Handle Your Child’s Addiction
Parents of addicted adults struggle. Even though your children are adults, their addiction takes a toll on you. Here’s how to handle your child’s addiction.
As the parent of an addict, we know that watching your child self-destruct is one of the most painful things that you could possibly go through.
But there’s also no denying that their addiction is having a severe impact on your own well-being.
You just don’t know how to help them — or yourselves — anymore.
In this post, we’ll tell you healthy and effective coping mechanisms, thought patterns, and things to remember if you’re parents of addicted adults.
Then, we’ll let you know where you can find help for parents of drug addicts as well as for children who are struggling with addiction.
1. Stop Playing the Blame Game
Many parents of addicted adults can blame themselves for their child’s addiction.
Maybe you feel like you should have seen the warning signs earlier. Perhaps you often feel torn between enabling your child and ensuring that they don’t end up out on the street — or worse.
Whatever the reasons, you just can’t stop going over how you raised your child, how you handled tough moments in the past, and trying to figure out what you did wrong.
It’s time to stop putting the blame on yourself.
At the end of the day, no one is a perfect parent.
And even if you feel like you did everything right, ultimately, you cannot control — nor are you responsible for — the choices that an adult child makes.
Instead of hating yourself, you need to clear your head so that you can figure out how best to help your child. You also need to understand that the feelings of anger and frustration that you sometimes can’t help but feel for your child are normal.
Attempting to curb the way you judge yourself is the first step in getting help for parents of drug addicts.
2. Look into Al-Anon and Other Support Groups
Once you’re ready to begin to accept the fact that you’re not to blame for the choices an adult child makes, it’s time to move onto the next step in your healing process.
Sometimes, nothing is more helpful than connecting with other people who are currently in your situation.
Groups like Al-Anon exist in order to help parents and other family members/friends of addicts to process their emotions, vent, and support one another.
You can learn healthy coping mechanisms, consider ways that you can help your child, and speak freely in a nonjudgmental environment. You can understand the steps to an intervention, work on developing healthy boundaries with your child, and connect with people that you can call when things get especially rough.
3. Get Real about Enabling
One of the most difficult things for parents of addicted adults to deal with is determining whether their own behavior is helping or hurting their child.
For example, if you’re trying to understand how to deal with a drug addict son, you might think that it’s better for you to drive him to meet with his dealer yourself.
Yes, you don’t want him to be using drugs in the first place.
However, if he’s going to no matter what you do, you at least want to make sure that he doesn’t get attacked when he’s buying drugs. You’ll just feel better if you can drive him there on his own and wait in the car, watching him.
The hard truth is that, when you love your child as much as you do, you can accidentally end up enabling them. Sometimes, that enabling can even include giving them a place to stay — and use.
You need to meet with a counselor, family therapist, or addiction specialist to help you to identify these enabling behaviors.
You can also work with a professional to help you to set up clear expectations and rules for your addict child. Most importantly, you need to set clear consequences for the violation of these rules.
Yes, it’s incredibly difficult — even painful.
However, it may just be the thing that ends up pushing your child to get the help they so desperately need.
4. Focus on the Positives
As the parent of an addict, we know that it can sometimes feel impossible to see the good in the current situation you and your child are both in.
However, you need to remember that, underneath it all, they’re still the same child that you cradled in your arms, bounced on your knee, and laughed in the park with.
And they’re still craving that love and acceptance from you.
When you speak to your child, make sure that you keep your tone as positive as possible. Instead of accusing them of ruining your life, tell them that you miss the things you used to do together.
Instead of telling them that drugs are wasting their life, remind them of the many talents they possess.
You might even try praying together or relying on spiritual counseling and support for help.
For Parents of Addicted Adults, Help is Possible
We know that some of the points in this article can be difficult to read and accept.
You might still blame yourself in addition to feeling extreme sadness and fear for the safety of your child.
The good news?
Our amazing team at Life Transformation Recovery is here to give it to both parents of addicted adults and their children.
Spend some time on our website to learn more about the spiritually-minded recovery process and support systems that we work to create.
When you’re ready to get help for yourself and your child, reach out to us.