Losing a Loved One: Grief and Addiction Recovery

grief and addiction recovery

Grieving is a normal process that occurs when experiencing the death of a loved one, or even just a person you knew. When experiencing & talking about grief, it’s important to note that it is different from chronic depression. Grieving in general can be difficult, and especially difficult when trying to maintain recovery from addiction. We understand that grief can cause issues in maintaining sobriety and we want to help provide our clients with different resources that can help them overcome those temptations and obstacles. When life gets tough, it’s imperative to know that sobriety is still maintainable. 

What Is Grief?

Grief is the description of the cognitive, emotional, functional, and behavioral responses to death. It can also be used to describe different types of losses such as the loss of opportunities, the loss of someone’s youth, and the loss of functional abilities. There is not a simple answer to describe what constitutes ‘normal grief’. There are different forms of grief: uncomplicated grief and complicated grief/ bereavement-related depression.

Grief varies in duration and intensity.  The intensity and duration of someone’s grief is determined by many different variables, including things such as an individual’s personality, their attachment style, their genetic makeup, their unique vulnerabilities, etc. 

It is important to realize that:

  •  Grief is not a state, but it is a process
  •  The grief process typically starts with the attention to the loss, and then  precedes with the painful reality of death (this can come in fits)
  • There is a broad spectrum of emotional, cognitive, social, and behavioral disruptions of grief 

Sometimes professionals will label grief as a pathological disorder instead of understanding that grief can be a period of time and not actually depression. Grief exists on a spectrum. On one side, there is bereavement. Bereavement can be one of the most painful experiences that an individual will ever face. It comes with things such as shock, guilt, regret, anxiety, anguish, anger, etc. 

On another side of the spectrum grief is not always about pain, as you may experience some positive feelings such as relief, joy, and happiness (please note that it is not bad to feel these things but it’s just another form of grieving. 

Tips for Managing Grief in Addiction Recovery

Like stated previously, we should understand that grief is a process and there are many different stages that a person goes through to help them accept the loss and significantly reduce the risk of relapse.  These different stages of grieving include:

  •  Denial: Sometimes we may just try and dismiss the reality of our loss. It can be painful  and can be accompanied by feelings of shock, numbness, and disbelief.
  •  Anger: We may try to blame ourselves, something, or others for this loss or the situation that we are in. We may even feel guilty because of this. It is important to understand that we are not the reason for this loss or situation. Guilt is a powerful feeling that can lead to relapse  within our sobriety.
  •  Bargaining: We may start to use statements such as “What If….?” or “If only I had….,”  this can lead us to once again feel guilty. It can also make us relive the past instead of being within the present.
  • Depression: Feeling worrisome about reality, work, family, friends, Etc. We start to fill out heartbreak and sadness for the loss that we have encountered. We may even start to feel empty, physical and emotional pain, etc. 
  •  Acceptance –  This does not mean that you agree with the death, and this may not even be a sign of happiness, but a time where we can start to accept reality and develop new adaptations to our life. This is when we start to move on. This doesn’t mean you forget your loved one, but it means that you start to accept the loss that you have experienced.

Grief can be a major trigger of a relapse. It is important to try to reduce as much guilt as possible.  Going through these different stages within the grieving process may be difficult, but it’s important to realize that this situation is not your fault.  Instead of blaming others for the situation, it is important to lean on them and to support one another throughout this grieving process.  

We understand that this feeling of loss can be completely overwhelming, so it is important to seek medical help or a counselor when feeling like you may relapse or that life is getting too hard.  Finding how your heart can heal is so important and it looks different for everyone (such as crying it out, praying, seeking out support, etc). Relapsing is not a way for your heart to heal, the only thing that relapsing will do is take you back a few steps on your recovery process and it’s not worth it. Seek out a loved one or  a professional if you are feeling  like you may relapse again  to get the help you need.

Let Atlanta Recovery Place Can Help You

Here at Atlanta Recovery Place, we want to help walk our clients through the grieving stages while helping them through the addiction recovery process. We pride ourselves on being able to best support anyone seeking treatment for addiction. Please give us a call today to learn more about our services and how we tackle substance abuse head on!

What Is the NA Program?

what is the na program

An addiction can be overwhelming. It can also feel like no one understands quite exactly what you were going through, no matter how hard they try. Here at Atlanta Recovery Place, we understand that you may be experiencing this feeling, and we want to help you find a community that helps you feel understood, and that you can be around other like minded people. You’ll be able to see that you aren’t alone when in recovery from addiction. Within this article we discuss the peer led support group, Narcotics Anonymous, and how it can help with overcoming an addiction and maintaining long lasting sobriety. 

What Is Narcotics Anonymous?

Narcotics Anonymous is an international community based organization. This program provides support for all types of people in all walks of life. NA is multilingual and multicultural. Narcotics Anonymous was founded in 1953 and has grown into the organization that it is today. Narcotics Anonymous holds around 67,000 meetings a week in 139 countries. This program helps to offer recovery from the effects of addictions through a 12-step program. Within this 12-step program, NA is offered within a group atmosphere. 

Narcotics Anonymous does not focus on a particular drug but takes the approach that there’s no distinction between drugs including alcohol. This helps to provide a support group where every individual feels like they are on the same level. Meaning that one addiction is not necessarily worse or necessarily better than the other. The only requirement for joining NA is a willingness to stop using drugs. They say addiction is a self-diagnosed disease. 

How Does Narcotics Anonymous Help With Addiction?

Narcotics Anonymous helps with addiction by creating a group atmosphere that provides support. This group atmosphere is made up of peers who are going through the same addiction issues that you may be going through. This is a good way to take responsibility, and receive accountability for your addiction. The NA program also provides an outlet for each individual to receive help from people that understand what you are actually going through. This support group also allows the ability for each individual to pursue a drug-free/sober lifestyle, while getting the help from many sober peers. Like stated previously, Narcotics Anonymous follows a 12-step program. These 12-steps include: 

1. We admitted that we were powerless over our addiction, that our lives had become unmanageable.

2. We came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.

3. We made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.

4. We made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.

5. We admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.

6. We were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.

7. We humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.

8. We made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.

9. We made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.

10. We continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.

11. We sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out.

12. Having had a spiritual awakening as a result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to addicts, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.

The 12 Traditions of NA include:

1. Our common welfare should come first; personal recovery depends on NA unity.

2. For our group purpose there is but one ultimate authority a—loving God as He may express Himself in our group conscience. Our leaders are but trusted servants, they do not govern.

3. The only requirement for membership is a desire to stop using.

4. Each group should be autonomous except in matters affecting other groups or NA as a whole.

5. Each group has but one primary purpose—to carry the message to the addict who still suffers.

6. An NA group ought never endorse, finance, or lend the NA name to any related facility or outside enterprise, lest problems of money, property or prestige divert us from our primary purpose.

7. Every NA group ought to be fully self supporting, declining outside contributions.

8. Narcotics Anonymous should remain forever nonprofessional, but our service centers may employ special workers.

9. NA, as such, ought never be organized, but we may create service boards or committees directly responsible to those they serve.

10. Narcotics Anonymous has no opinion on outside issues; hence the NA name ought never be drawn into public controversy.

11. Our public relations policy is based on attraction rather than promotion; we need to always maintain personal anonymity at the level of press, radio, and films.

12. Anonymity is the spiritual foundation of all our traditions, ever reminding us to place principles before personalities.

Because narcotics anonymous is an all inclusive group, most Narcotic Anonymous groups may follow the 12 traditions of Narcotics Anonymous instead of following the 12 steps of Narcotic Anonymous. You do not have to observe a certain religion to be a part of NA. 

How Can Atlanta Recovery Place Help

At Atlanta Recovery Place, we are a full service outpatient rehab with various programs and housing offered to all of our clients. Part of our addiction treatment program incorporates 12-step support groups, which are essential in maintaining long term sobriety. If you or someone you know is struggling with addiction, please reach out to us today! 

What Is Neurofeedback Therapy in Addiction Treatment?

neurotherapy

Sometimes addiction treatment may seem like it’s traditional and boring. When looking for a rehab, it’s not surprising to see the same old kinds of treatments amongst all of the facilities. At Atlanta Recovery Place, we work hard to incorporate new and innovative addiction treatment modalities to help our clients find lasting recovery from addiction. Today we’d like to discuss neurofeedback therapy. 

What Is Neurofeedback Therapy?

According to the National Institute of Health, neurofeedback is a sort of biofeedback. Biofeedback teaches self-control of brain functions. It does this by measuring the brain waves and providing a feedback signal. Neurofeedback can provide audio and video feedback, and is a concept that assists people to control their brain waves consciously. There are seven different types of neurofeedback for treatment: (1)  frequency/power neurofeedback, (2) slow cortical potential neurofeedback, (3) low energy neurofeedback system, (4) hemoencephalography neurofeedback, (5) live z-score neurofeedback, (6) low-resolution electromagnetic tomography, and (7) functional magnetic resonance imaging.

How Is Neurofeedback Used in Addiction Treatment?

Below is a breakdown of what the seven types of neurofeedback are: 

  •  Frequency/Power Neurofeedback (surface neurofeedback) – This is the most frequently used neurofeedback and usually includes the use of 2 to 4 surface electrodes. This neurofeedback is used to change the amplitude or speed that specific brain waves  move within particular parts of the brain. Aside from assisting with addiction, this is used to treat ADHD, anxiety, and insomnia.
  • Slow Cortical Potential Neurofeedback (SCP-NF) –  This improves the direction of slow cortical potentials. It is used to treat ADHD, epilepsy, and migraines.
  • Low-Energy Neurofeedback System (LENS) – This type of neurofeedback delivers a low energy magnetic signal to change the brain waves within a patient while they remain motionless with their eyes closed. This has been known to treat traumatic brain injury, ADHD, insomnia, fibromyalgia, anxiety, depression, restless legs syndrome, and anger.
  • Hemoencephalography Neurofeedback – This provides feedback on cerebral blood throw. This is used to treat migraines.
  •  Live Z-Score Neurofeedback –  This introduces the continuous comparison of variables within brain electrical activity. This comparison is then put into a systematic database to provide continuous feedback. This neurofeedback is used to treat insomnia.
  • Low-Resolution Electromagnetic Tomography –  This neurofeedback involves the use of 19 electrodes. These electrodes are used to monitor phase, power, and coherence. This is used to treat addictions, depression, and obsessive-compulsive disorder.
  • Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging –  This is the most recent type of neurofeedback. It is used to regulate brain activity based on the activity feedback from within the deep subcortical areas of the brain. 

When it comes to using neurofeedback in addiction treatment, studies have shown that repeated sessions were linked to long term abstinence from drug and alcohol use. During treatment, the addict was taught to use success imagery during the sessions. For example, they were told to imagine themselves being sober, refusing offers of alcohol, living confidently, and happy, etc. When neurofeedback is paired with other types of therapies, it may be useful in enhancing certain outcomes of therapy. So although neurofeedback is not a cure for addiction, it certainly helps when treating it. 

How Can Atlanta Recovery Place Help With Addiction?

Here at Atlanta Recovery Place, we want to provide our clients with options and different ideas for addiction treatment. Our staff consists of dedicated individuals who work hard to help our clients gain sobriety. We also know that all of our clients are different and there is no one kind of addiction treatment that suits everyone. We emphasize individualized treatment plans. We want to help our clients succeed in their recovery and we want to help them maintain their sobriety. Reach out to us today to find which treatment best suits you and to start your recovery process. 

Drug Addiction Therapy: All You Need to Know

drug addiction therapy

Drug addiction is complicated. It can be exceptionally difficult for some to find resources for themself or a loved one. At Atlanta Recovery Place, we hope to make drug addiction therapy as accessible as possible for people in the Atlanta area and beyond. Today, we’d like to spend some time sharing some resources regarding drug addiction therapy and how it affects the drug user and people around them.

What Is Drug Addiction?

The National Institute on Drug Abuse states that an addiction is a chronic disease that is characterized by compulsive drug use that can be difficult to control, even with harmful consequences. This addiction and repeated drug use can cause changes within the brain. These drugs and substances seem to affect the brain’s reward system. This can cause the addict to need the drug to not only feel an euphoric feeling, but to also need the drug to feel normal. Pretty wild, right? This will also motivate the individual who is addicted to the drug to repeat their negative behaviors. Using drugs or alcohol can lead to long-term changes within the brain which can cause problems in functioning. These changes affect things such as:

  • Learning
  • Judgment
  • Stress
  • Decision making
  • Behavior
  • Memory

Keep in mind that although addiction can be more common in certain individuals depending on their genetics, their development, and their environment, technically anyone is vulnerable to developing an addiction.  

How Is Drug Addiction Treated?

Drug addiction can be treated through many different things, including therapy and replacement therapy. Drug addiction can also be treated within rehabilitation facilities and through recovery groups. There’s an abundance of ways to treat an addiction and truly depends on the individual addict. Some people find success getting & remaining sober by attending AA meetings, others get sober by going to an addiction treatment center. Below are different methods we use to treat addiction at Atlanta Recovery Place. 

Types of Drug Addiction Therapy

There are many different types of therapy for drug addiction. The treatment of drug addiction can best take place in a facility. Here Atlanta Recovery Place, we offer different options when it comes to drug addiction therapy and treatment. Our programs include partial hospitalization, an intensive outpatient program, outpatient program, and sober living. We incorporate various types of drug addiction therapy into these programs: 

  • Individual counseling – This is very important in the rehabilitation of our clients.  This gives our clients opportunities to work with certified professionals that use therapeutic methods such as cognitive behavioral therapy, dialectical behavioral therapy, and even standard talk therapy.This can help pave the way for learning new skills and coping with an addiction.
  • Group Therapy – Group therapy for clients can also be a crucial aspect in maintaining sobriety. It provides an experience for clients to express their emotions and listen to others’ emotions who are going through the same thing.
  • Meditation –  During meditation/mindfulness practices, our clients find peace of mind and also find a healthy mental state.
  • Nutrition and exercise – We find that physical health can also create a healthy space for our emotional and mental health. Having good overall health habits is important for maintaining sobriety and continuing healthy habits.
  • Dual-diagnosis – Some clients may experience co-occurring disorders. This is when someone suffers from mental illness AND an addiction. By treating both the mental illness and the addiction the same time, this helps with maintaining sobriety and a simpler recovery process. 

How Atlanta Recovery Place Can Help

Here at Atlanta Recovery Place, we help our clients to be at ease when becoming sober. The goal is for each and every client to overcome their addiction and maintain long term sobriety. Reach out to us today to find the therapy and treatment that best fits your needs.

How To Treat Mental Illness

how to treat mental illness

We understand that life isn’t always easy, and that there are stigmas against substance abuse disorders and mental health disorders that can bring more stressors into an individual’s life. We strive to help our clients relieve some of the stress caused by these stressors by not only walking along with our clients throughout their recovery process, but working with our clients to help them with their mental health goals as well. At Atlanta Recovery Place, we want to help our clients overcome their addiction, and find comfort and success in living with a mental health disorder. We are here to help provide information about mental illnesses and give some treatment options that our clients may have. 

What Is Mental Illness?

According to the National Institute of Mental Health, mental illnesses are very common, and include many different conditions and have a range of severity. A mental illness is a mental, emotional, and behavioral disorder that has a range of impairment (from no impairment at all to an extreme impairment). The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration says mental health and substance abuse disorders often go hand and hand. Mental Health disorders can affect the choices and behaviors that people have, also known as co-occurring disorders.

Different Types of Treatment for Mental Illness

There are many different ways of treating mental illness and types of treatment for mental illness. These treatments come in a variety of different things, whether it being therapy or medication. Some of the different types of treatment can include:

  • Therapy – Psychotherapy is a treatment of mental illness that explores an individual’s thoughts, emotions, feelings, and behaviors. This therapy can be paired with medication to help provide the most effective way with the promotion of recovery. Examples of Psychotherapy are Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Exposure Therapy, Dialectical Behavior Therapy, etc.
  • Support groups – Within a support group there are group meetings where members guide each other to achieve their shared goal of recovery and sobriety. Support groups are often composed of peers who have suffered from similar experiences. 
  • Medication – Medication is used for the management of symptoms, but it does not outright cure mental illness. Medication, when paired with therapy, is one of the most effective ways to promote recovery.
  • Hospitalization – In some cases hospitalization might be necessary depending on the severity. This can help the clients be closely monitored and help to provide an accurate diagnosis for the individual. This time being hospitalized may include therapy sessions, support group sessions, medications, etc., and will be adjusted depending on the severity and recovery time.

Getting the treatment you need for your mental illness is very crucial, not only for your wellbeing, but also for your recovery process within your substance use. Substance abuse and mental illness can both be life long battles. Although it may sound daunting to have to work at both everyday, there are many types of treatment options that can help you learn the right kind of coping skills to successfully do so!

Get Treatment for Mental Illness in Atlanta

Here at Atlanta Recovery Place, we want you to receive the help that you need whether it being a substance abuse disorder or a mental health disorder. There are many different resources within Atlanta to help individuals in overcoming a mental illness and their substance abuse disorder. We want to help you find the right resources for you and your unique, individualized needs in regards to the recovery process. According to the Georgia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities, services within Atlanta include things such as:

  • Assessment and Recovery – This would help individuals identify their recovery goals.
  • Therapy – This could be individual, family, or group counseling/therapy. 
  • Physician and Nursing Services – This could help monitor health issues and the amount or dosage of medication given to the clients.
  • Support with the Community – This resource provides in-home support. This resource helps clients gain support from those around them. This resource also provides a way for clients to build different skills and access different resources within their community.
  • Psychosocial Rehabilitation – A service that helps individuals develop skills such as, health management, monetary management, life/lifestyle skills, and receiving resources. This service helps clients find wellbeing within their life.

Reach Out to Us Today

Contact us today at our facility to receive guidance in figuring out the next step within your recovery process. We want to provide you with unique and individualized options in developing the perfect approach to recovery, sobriety, and wellbeing. We look forward to hearing from you! 

Substance Abuse in College Students

substance abuse in college

Here at Atlanta Recovery Place, we understand the peer pressures of college. It’s a new place, a new experience, somewhere where you want to fit in and make new friends. This may cause you to engage in behavior you normally would not behave in. We want to provide more information about substance abuse in college students, drug abuse in college students, and how to receive help.

Partying Is Common in College

When you embark on the journey of college, finding oneself is common. Whether the finding is in regards to your major, the activities you enjoy, the friends you make, etc, college is definitely a time of self exploration. This may cause or be correlated with the experimentation that takes place in college, when it comes to drugs, alcohol, and other substances. This usually, but not always, occurs within the party scene in college, and can be a result of peer pressure. This peer pressure can include the involvement with toxic substances, toxic places, toxic behavior, and even toxic relationships.

Commonly Abused Drugs in College

According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, the substances listed below are some commonly abused drugs in college:

  • Alcohol – This is the most commonly abused substance across all college students and college campuses. 
  • Marijuana – This is also a very commonly abused substance in college students and is widely used across college campuses.
  • Cocaine
  • Hallucinogens
  • Heroin
  • Inhalants
  • Methamphetamine
  • Illicit Drugs

The report (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Service Administration), provides facts about the use of substances among college students (18-22) using combined data from the 2011 to 2014 National Survey on Drug Use and Health.

  • During a normal day in the past year, 1.2 million full-time college students drank alcohol, and 703,759 full-time college students used marijuana, in comparison to the 9.0 million full-time college students in the United States.
  • During a normal day in the past year, 239,212 part-time college students drank alcohol, and 195,020 part-time college students used marijuana, in comparison to the 2.0 million part-time college students in the United States.

How to Know If You’re Suffering From Substance Abuse in College

According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, college is usually when young people start to engage in substance or drug abuse. On an average day, alcohol and marijuana were the substances most frequently used by college students, whether full-time or part-time students. These students typically engage in binge drinking and in heavy alcohol use. Because using drugs and alcohol is so common in college, it can be difficult to distinguish the difference between experimentation and addiction. There may be signs or symptoms to know if you are abusing a substance, but these signs will vary across substances. Below are some signs of a potential substance abuse issue: 

Physical Symptoms

  • Difference/problems with your eyes. – The eyes can be bloodshot or glazed, and they can also have dilated or constricted pupils. 
  • Changes in weight. – This can be weight gain or weight loss.
  • Changes in sleep patterns. – This may involve sleeping too much or not sleeping enough.
  • Changes in hygiene.
  • Problems with your teeth/dental issues.
  • Problems with your skin/skin issues.

Behavioral Symptoms

  • Changes within personality or attitude. – This may include increased aggression or irritability. 
  • Co-occurring disorders. – This might include anxiety, depression, etc. The substance abuse can contribute to this disorder. 
  • Sudden changes within relationships. – You may change who you surround yourself with, or your friendships/relationships may end depending on how they feel about your substance use.
  • Changes within your habits and your priorities. – You may find yourself valuing parties, substances, or other things, more than you value your relationships, core values, or schoolwork. 

How Can Atlanta Recovery Place Help?

Here at Atlanta Recovery Place, we want to help college students be able to determine if they are suffering from addiction or substance abuse, and to ultimately overcome these obstacles. We understand the pressures and the stressors of college and want to help before your addiction gets out of hand. Reach out to us today to start your recovery process and your journey to sobriety.