Telling Loved Ones What Helps (And What Hurts) 

photo of a sad mother holding daughter in living room telling her what Helps and what hurts

Addiction recovery is certainly tough on you – but it’s no walk in the park for loved ones either. In fact, it can be hard (and even downright impossible) sometimes to know what to do or say to help. One way you can help yourself and your family and friends is to communicate your needs. In other words, don’t be afraid to be vocal about what you need them to say or do (or not say or do) when you’re having a particularly hard day or trying your best to fend off a craving.

To get you started, here are some ideas adapted from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. Read the list and then make your own. You may even consider asking your recovery peers and addiction professionals for some do’s and don’ts that have worked for them. Just remember: The more honest and specific you are with your loved ones, the better they’ll be able to support you and your recovery.

What You Can Do to Help Me…

  • Listen without judgment, advice or criticism.
  • Sit next to me and hold me firmly.
  • Let me walk around or pace.
  • Encourage me to exercise or exercise with me.
  • Guide me through a breathing exercise or meditate with me.
  • Offer me supplies like paints and crayons to express my emotions creatively.
  • Cook me a healthful meal.
  • Cue up my favorite funny movie or YouTube clip.
  • Give me a little time and space and let me come around.
  • Play music that makes me happy or relaxes me.
  • Reassure me that I’m doing the right thing.
  • Peer counsel with me.
  • Don’t talk to me (or do talk to me).

What I Don’t Need You to Do for Me…

  • Lose your patience or force me to do anything.
  • Judge, criticize or scold me.
  • Talk at me or down to me.
  • Take away my coffee or cigarettes.
  • Cover up for me or try to do my recovery work.

Family Counseling at 10 Acre Ranch
Our Southern California rehab for men is built around a social treatment model that helps residents hone in on healthy interaction patterns. Developing greater trust and better communication skills with your family can be critical to your long-term sobriety. To learn more about our family therapy sessions, call us today: 877-228-4679.

Addiction Treatment Funding Cuts

woman taking post-surgery pain medication

In the wake of an opioid addiction epidemic more Americans than ever see the value of use disorder treatment. It doesn’t matter where you come from, the color of your skin, or your socio-economic standing — survival is contingent upon getting help. When people can’t access addiction treatment they remain in a vicious cycle; substance use disorder has the power to cut one’s life short. This is why we need to make sure our los angeles addiction treatment centres are properly funded!

When taking addiction into consideration, it’s easy to think that the problems in the U.S. are unique. It’s an opioid addiction epidemic, after all, not a pandemic. However, alcohol and substance use disorder is a severe problem in other parts of the western world. Many countries face obstacles similar to our own regarding getting people the help they need.

Addiction is deadly. Treating such conditions usually comes at a steep price; a bill that in many cases falls on the Federal and state governments to foot. Logically: Investing money into addiction treatment service saves lives. The data overwhelmingly supports the above conclusion; something that the United Kingdom had to learn the hard way.

Cutting Addiction Treatment Funding

In recent history, countries in the western world have been forced to address opioid use disorder. Again, the U.S. may have the most severe problem with such drugs, but others have been affected as well. While it’s hard to compare our staggering overdose deaths rates to other countries, any number of deaths is not right, and precautions should be taken to mitigate.

The U.K. has witnessed a trend from which we can all learn something — funding addiction treatment is a must. Wherever funding for addiction treatment gets cut, more people die from an overdose in England, The Guardian reports. Areas with heightened mortality rates directly correlate with treatment spending reductions.

In 2016, there were 3,744 overdose deaths compared with 2,640 a decade ago. That may not seem like much when compared to the 64,000 overdose deaths in America U.S. last year. Those were 3,744 mothers and fathers, and they were somebody’s children. Directing the necessary funds toward addiction treatment might have prevented some of those deaths.

“Funding cuts are reducing the ability of drug treatment services to reduce the risk of death among people using heroin,” said Alex Stevens, criminal justice professor at the University of Kent. “The government is fully aware that drug-related deaths are highest in the places with the highest levels of deprivation and that they are cutting budgets the deepest in areas with deepest deprivation.”

Treatment Is Worth the Investment

When it comes to addressing addiction, treatment is the most effective way to prevent future overdose events. Life in recovery is possible, but without help, it is challenging to break the cycle of addiction. The United Kingdom is not alone, here at home public addiction treatment services require much more significant investment than currently exists.

If you or a loved one is in need of addiction treatment, please contact 10 Acre Ranch. Our affordable program is for men who are ready to take specific steps for a better life. We can help make your recovery a reality.

Staying Motivated in Recovery: Questions to Ask Yourself

handsome young man smiling

The recovery process is hard work and you’ll likely need a few strategies along the way to keep you motivated. Here are some questions to help you stay the course and serve as a reminder of why you made the decision to get sober in the first place.

  • How can I keep going even when I feel uncomfortable? The recovery process is going to be uncomfortable with a lot of emotional and physical changes along the way. Have patience and remind yourself that with time and consistency, it will become easier.
  • How can I allow others to support me? Now isn’t the time to isolate yourself but to surround yourself with peers, friends and family who support your recovery. After all, it’s much easier to walk the road of recovery with someone alongside you than on your own.
  • What is one mini-goal I can set today? Consider using the popular goal-setting strategy called “SMART,” which stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Timely or Time-sensitive. For example, a SMART Goal might be to walk for 30 minutes, every day, for six days a week, starting on Monday.
  • What qualities make me a unique and special person? A big part of recovery is learning how to rediscover yourself and your identity apart from drugs or alcohol. Start by writing three things about yourself that you’re proud of – and add to the list regularly.
  • How will life be better without drugs and alcohol? If you hang in there and do the work, you’ll come out the other side with better health, hope and happiness. Some things to look forward to: more energy, more meaningful relationships and more self-confidence.

The Journey of Recovery Starts With Treatment
Your journey begins with detox and/or addiction treatment. If you are a male ready to discover the miracles of addiction recovery, please contact 10 Acre Ranch today. Call 877-228-4679.

Recovery: Newcomers Learn About Fun

photo of young people during an addiction treatment

When people contemplate the decision to seek addiction treatment and recovery, there are several false perceptions. Individuals have ideas in their mind about what they think recovery is, and perhaps more importantly—what it is not. Misconceptions keep people from beneficial pursuits; unfamiliarity is often a roadblock to recovery.

If much of a person’s life has been about substance use, it’s hard to imagine having a good time without drugs or alcohol. Thinking that fun is contingent upon substance use means that without drugs or alcohol there will be no enjoyment, logically. However, that is a faulty line of reasoning for the simple fact that fun can be experienced clean and sober. You only need to ask people working a program to find out that they’re not sticks-in-the-mud.

Walking into a meeting for the first time is usually an eye-opening experience. Newcomers witness the unexpected, people smiling without chemical encouragement. In the rooms, laughter is heard before, during, and after the meeting. People are happy to see one another, and plans are made to extend the socialization outside of the meeting hall. If you are new to the program, quickly you’ll come to understand that fun in recovery is more than possible. Fun in recovery is a requirement!

Enjoying the Fruits of Your Labor In Recovery

Working a program of recovery is hard work; one must engage in significant reflection, processing, and spiritual maintenance. While working the Steps with a sponsor one has to confront aspects of one’s life that is troubling. Recovery lifts the curtain on your life revealing “your” part in the misfortunes that your disease brought you. An enormous effort to be sure, emotionally draining to the point of some newcomers leaving before the miracle happens. To put it another way, people were not ready, to be honest with themselves and others. Hopefully, such individuals find their way back to the rooms, sooner rather than later.

Newcomers who are willing to do whatever it takes to recover will learn the joy that comes with self-discovery. The process takes time, but it will be worth it, and that will become clear in short order. Along the way, you will develop lasting friendships with people who will be there when the going gets tough. Such people will be there during the rough times and, equally valuable, during the good times. When we get our house in order, we can enjoy ourselves; both inside the rooms and out. On page 132 of “The Big Book” of Alcoholics Anonymous, it states:

“But we aren’t a glum lot. If newcomers could see no joy or fun in our existence, they wouldn’t want it. We absolutely insist on enjoying life… We think cheerfulness and laughter make for usefulness. Outsiders are sometimes shocked when we burst into merriment over a seemingly tragic experience out of the past. But why shouldn’t we laugh? We have recovered, and have been given the power to help others.”

The Promise of Recovery

Every day, people around the world committed to working a program find ways to enjoy themselves in recovery. Many of those people would probably tell you that they couldn’t ever imagine having sober-fun before recovery.

Life in the Program is not without difficulty, but it’s a balanced life. Rough weather always passes, and the sunshine always returns; because we manage our problems spiritually not chemically, today. If you are ready to experience the joys that accompany a program of recovery, please contact 10 Acre Ranch. We place great emphasis on showing you that fun in recovery is possible.

Mental Health: Anxiety and Depression’s Toll

Photo of a Pretty Depressed Young Woman, Looking Down by a Window, Worried or Sad.

Taking time off from work to address your mental health is of the utmost importance. If people typically don’t go to work with the flu, then should they go to work when experiencing a depressive episode? They shouldn’t, but more times than not they do because they fear repercussions from their employer. A trend that affects both individuals and society; hopefully, employers will start encouraging their staff to put their own needs first.

Society looks at mental illness as being something that the afflicted can control. If people changed their perspective, they would feel better. As if people choose to be depressed, anxious, and manic; why would anyone want that type of existence? The truth is, they wouldn’t.

Mental health disorders are real, treatable, and recovery is possible. More people would recover with encouragement from society via empathy. Everyone benefits when people who need help are empowered to seek it, but far too often such people are not. Individuals with mental health conditions feel as though they must hide their symptoms. They fear what might happen if their peers found out, or worse, their boss. In many cases, people forgo treatment because of that fear.

Mental health in the Workplace

On this blog, our primary focus is use disorders, a mental illness that affects millions of Americans. Without treatment, people with substance use disorder typically have three outcomes: jails, institutions, and death. The same can be said for other forms of mental health conditions, as well. It’s also worth reminding readers that mental illness often comes in pairs, a dual-diagnosis. When a person meets the criteria for substance use disorder and another condition like depression, they have a co-occurring disorder.

People around the world who have been touched by mental illness (first or second-hand) observed World Mental Health Day on Tuesday. The World Health Organization (WHO) chose the theme of mental health in the workplace in an attempt to encourage employers to show more significant compassion. WHO provided data to show how prevalent mental illness is around the world, allowing people to understand the gravity of the situation.

More than 300 million people battle depression each year, and more than 260 million have anxiety disorders. Employers might be wondering why these figures matter. The answer: Depression and anxiety disorders together cost the global economy US$ 1 trillion/per year in lost productivity. If people with these conditions were empowered to get the help they need, then everyone wins. WHO writes:

“Employers and managers who put in place workplace initiatives to promote mental health and to support employees who have mental disorders see gains not only in the health of their employees but also in their productivity at work. A negative working environment, on the other hand, may lead to physical and mental health problems, harmful use of substances or alcohol, absenteeism and lost productivity.”

Dual Diagnosis Treatment

At 10 Acre Ranch, we hope that employers around the world will pay heed to the stark statistics provided by WHO. Doing so could lead to millions of people finding recovery. If you are struggling with a co-occurring disorder, please contact us to discuss your treatment options. We can help you get on the road to long-term addiction and mental health recovery.

3 Common Anger Myths

photo of young angry and upset man

Everyone gets angry; it’s a normal emotion and one that’s likely to surface as you embark on your new sober life. If your anger becomes intense or prolonged, however, it can jeopardize relationships, employment and your recovery. Anger is among the biggest relapse triggers.

A crucial step in managing anger is to understand it – and this includes the many myths surrounding the negative emotion. Here are some common misconceptions, according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).

  • Myth #1: Anger is inherited. A common misconception is that the way you express anger is inherited and can’t be changed. On the contrary, studies show that people are not born with set and/or specific ways of expressing anger. It’s a learned behavior, which means you can learn healthy ways to express anger.
  • Myth #2: Anger automatically leads to aggression. Aggression is not a good or the only way to express anger. Instead, SAMHSA recommends learning assertiveness skills, changing negative and hostile “self-talk” and challenging irrational beliefs.
  • Myth #3: Venting anger is always desirable. Holding in your emotions is not healthy nor is always displaying anger in an aggressive manner; for instance, screaming or beating a pillow. While once thought of as therapeutic, this type of aggression has been found to just reinforce aggressive behavior. In other words, the more you act angry, the better you get at being angry.

Your Anger Control Plan
According to SAMHSA, an effective set of strategies for controlling anger should include both immediate and preventive strategies. Here are some ideas:

  • Taking a time out (formal or informal)
  • Talking to a friend (someone you trust)
  • Exercising (take a walk, go to the gym, etc.)
  • Attending 12-step meetings
  • Exploring primary feelings beneath the anger

Relapse Prevention at 10 Acre
Let us help you learn how to identify and cope with stress, anger, self-pity and other emotions that can harm your recovery. To learn more about our relapse prevention program, call today: 877-228-4679.

For the Caregiver: Good Mental Health Habits

photo of a health care giver

If the man in your life is struggling with addiction, you know all too well the toll it can have on your physical and mental health. And while it’s normal to want to put his needs in front of yours, caring for yourself is a crucial part of your caregiving duties.

By maintaining your physical and mental health, you’ll be more resilient and more able to weather hard times and enjoy good ones, according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI).  In honor of Mental Illness Awareness Week, which takes place the first week of each October, the NAMI put together a few tips for caregivers to mind their own mental health.

Here are a few good mental health habits to start practicing today:

  • Don’t’ get weighed down by guilt. “A better person wouldn’t be annoyed with their spouse.” While this type of thinking is normal it’s also unproductive and untrue, according to the NAMI. To dial down stress and feel more in control, try taking note of your feelings without judging them as good or bad.
  • Do take note of the positive. The NAMI suggests the following activity: Write down one thing each day (or each week) that was good. And it can be tiny — “It was a sunny day,” for example – as long as it’s real.
  • Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Being willing to accept help isn’t easy, but it is a necessary life skill when caring for a loved one with addiction. So stop thinking that you can (or should be able to) solve everything yourself. Often, the people who seem like they know how to do everything are actually frequently asking for help, notes the NAMI.
  • Do keep up social ties. Who has time to meet a friend for coffee? Being a caregiver is an important part of your life, but it’s not everything. If you can meet up with a friend once a month, or go to a community event at your local library once every two months, it still helps keep you connected, says the NAMI.

Family Night at 10 Acre Ranch
Every Wednesday night, we offer family night where families and clients are educated together on the disease of addiction. When the family has a full understanding of the disease, and the client understands how their actions affect the family, the healing process is greatly enhanced begin. To learn more about our family therapy, call today: 877-228-4679.

E-Cigarettes Could Save Millions of Lives

woman using e-cigarrette

Nicotine is a highly addictive drug that keeps tobacco users coming back for more. If you are in recovery, then you know that many of your peers are still smoking cigarettes. You may still be a smoker yourself. Perhaps you have tried quitting in the past, but were unable to manage the difficult task at that time. Those of you who are regular readers of this blog might remember a post from several months back. One that discussed the risks of smoking to your recovery. Hopefully, the post struck a chord and made you reconsider your relationship with nicotine.

While quitting smoking is difficult, it is possible. There are a number of methods that can help mitigate the likelihood of starting again after quitting. All such products you are undoubtedly aware of. In recent years there has been a lot of talk about electronic cigarettes, or e-cigarettes. Health experts have been trying to get a grasp on the risks and benefits of using the devices. Both for smoking cessation purposes and/or replacing one nicotine vehicle for another. If you are trying to quit smoking and this is something that interests you, then you should take a look at a website like Vaping360. Hopefully, this might be the thing to help you quit smoking for good.

If you have been following the news about such research, then you know that there isn’t a real consensus. Some argue that e-cigs are worse than traditional cigarettes. But, not necessarily for the reasons that traditional cigarettes are bad for you. Others debate whether they are an effective way to quit smoking altogether. Again, the research is both new and relatively inconclusive in that regard. However, a cursory review of the available research indicates experts tend to agree on one front. Traditional cigarettes are worse than e-cigarettes for one’s health.

E-Cigarettes Might Save Your Life

Vaping is what e-cigarette use has come to be called. And in the rooms of recovery there are many-a-vaper. Perhaps you use an electronic cigarette? If so, there is some new research that you may find of particular interest. Researchers from Georgetown Lombardi Cancer Center contend that e-cigarettes can save millions of lives, according to a GMUC press release. In fact, as many as 6.6 million cigarette smokers will live substantially longer by making the switch. The research showed that smokers could gain 86 million years of life if they switch to vaping. So if this is something that you are interested in, then one thing that you take a look at buying would be buying something like these vape & dab pen batteries.

“In addition, there would be tremendous health benefits including reduced disease disability to smokers, reduced pain and suffering, and reduced exposure to second hand smoke,” says the study’s lead author David Levy, PhD, professor of oncology at Georgetown Lombardi. “Even the gloomiest analysis shows a significant gain in years of life if nicotine is obtained from vaping instead of much more deadly amount of toxicants inhaled with cigarette smoke.”

The team of researchers believe that e-cigarettes should become an important part of the U.S. tobacco prevention policy. The status quo isn’t going to cut it. Smokers should be encouraged to make the switch to e-cigarettes. The findings were published in the journal Tobacco Control.

Protecting Your Recovery

Ideally, everyone dependent upon nicotine would give it up all together. But, reality dictates a common-sense approach. If e-cigarettes are the lesser of two evils with regard to one’s health and longevity, smokers should consider switching. What’s more, it may be possible to step back one’s reliance on nicotine by using e-cigarettes. Given that you can get varying degrees of nicotine strength, with the goal of working your way to nicotine-free vapor.

At 10 Acre Ranch, we encourage all of our clients to give smoking cessation serious thought. We can help you break-free from tobacco while learning how to live a life in recovery. Please contact us if you are ready to take steps toward recovery.