Addiction: Disease or Decision?

If you drive down the streets of Los Angeles, Denver, Seattle, or almost any other major city around the country, you are more than likely to notice masses of homeless people who look like they’ve been through hell and back. Unfortunately, a majority of these people are not only homeless, but many of them also tend to be addicts. As professionals in the addiction field, one of the most controversial questions that we come by almost daily is, whether we believe that addiction is a disease or if the addict made a choice to “be this way.” According to the U.S. Surgeon General, the American Medical Association (AMA) and the American Psychological Association (APA) addiction is in fact a disease.

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Getting help for addiction can improve other aspects of your life.

What Makes It A Disease?

Dr. Kevin McCauley, who is also a recovering addict, offers this definition of addiction: “Addiction is a genetic and stress-induced defect in the midbrain and prefrontal cortex dopamine/glutamine reward-learning system resulting in symptoms of decreased functioning, namely:

  • Loss of control.
  • Craving.
  • Persistent use of drug/behavior despite negative consequences.”

Generally, the first time time a person uses a substance or alcohol it might have been a choice, but depending on the substance, there are effects on the circuitry of the brain and internal organs of the body which might have a lasting effect.

While some substances might not immediately cause an addictive reaction, others can immediately hook the unsuspecting soul who thought they would “just try it once”. Even legally prescribed medications can lead to addiction. For example, you most likely already know, there is a terrifying opiate epidemic that is going on today. In fact, due to this epidemic, many health providers have been asked to take the pledge not to prescribe addictive medications unless absolutely necessary.

A person’s genetic inheritance can also have a great deal to do with their likelihood of becoming an addict. Other factors include: metabolism, weight, amount of a substance used, components in the substance being used and several other things that can attribute to whether someone might become addicted or not.

Addiction Revealed.

Having the unfortunate task of hearing several heartbreaking yet necessary stories everyday is just part of what needs to be done in order to figure out how to help a suffering addict. Some people are addicted to porn from websites such as tubev. It can come from a variety of sources. One part of almost all of the stories we hear is the need to maintain. What does that mean?

10 Acre Ranch’s very own Jeffery Burke, Certified Addiction Counselor, explains that neurotransmitter receptors in our brain are developed by different sensations within different environments. Depending on how these neurotransmitter receptors are developed, there can be an increased or decreased likelihood of someone becoming an addict. In other words, when someone is using, their genetics may render their usage involuntary. Some addicts feel the necessity to continue their normal regimen of usage or else they feel they would not be able to function. Bodily functions could literally shut down, they feel it. This is not a myth, but a reality.

For example, if someone was an avid alcoholic and then they decided to quit cold turkey, there is a 50 percent chance that they could experience severe withdrawal symptoms. Alcohol withdrawal syndrome (AWS) could lead to seizures, dehydration, delirium tremens, and even death.

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If you or someone you know is struggling with addiction, don’t wait to get help! Call us today.

Our System.

The sad reality is that an addict today has more of a chance winding up in jail than getting into treatment. A majority of the time, our legal system seems to choose punishment over treatment. Would you condone throwing someone in jail because they have diabetes?

Without changing the public perception on addiction, this epidemic will not get better any time soon. We need good doctors to stop prescribing bad medication. We need good officers to stop seeing addicts as criminals. We need good substance abuse rehabilitation facilities to take in addicts and give them the care they deserve. And, we need the politicians to step up and make it easier for people to get help.

We are playing our part and doing everything we can to help as many people as possible. It’s your turn, if you know a struggling addict, don’t wait, call us at (877) 228-4679 and our treatment specialists will assist you on your road to recovery.

Recovery: Setting Goals for 2018

With the New Year upon us, many people in recovery are undoubtedly considering what they’d like to accomplish in the upcoming 365 days. While “future tripping” is frowned upon in recovery, that doesn’t mean you can’t set goals. In fact, writing down a few things that you hope to alter, amend, or add to your life is healthy as long as one is realistic about what you wish to bring to fruition.

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Setting goals for recovery from addiction.

Those who work a program of recovery learn right away that they can no longer have illusions of control. They realize that trying to play God did not have the intended outcome. We must keep in mind that letting go, and allowing one’s “higher power” to preside over the course of your life is a vital component of achieving lasting recovery. We only have the power to make choices and hopefully our decisions today are conducive to addiction recovery.

Your life today consists of doing the next right thing, which you accomplish by being open and honest with not only ourselves but with others too. It’s often said that most anything is possible in recovery, and individuals find that things are made possible through living by the principles of recovery. With that in mind, if there are things you would like to see changed or bring into your life, just keep attending meetings and following directions. Good things happen in the lives of people who stay the course.

Realistic Resolutions In Recovery

Just to be clear, working a program doesn’t mean that your higher power will grant everything you want. However, if you set goals for yourself and go about achieving them by honest means, there is an excellent chance you will see your dreams realized. While people who have been around for a while might set more ambitious goals than someone in early recovery, the vehicle used for progress in one’s life is the same.

If you are in early recovery, maybe you’d like to have cravings disappear. Even though everyone’s desire to use drugs or alcohol dissipates at different times, those who continue to do the work eventually find that their sporadic insatiable urges to use wane. Every time you resist the yearning to get high or drunk, it gets easier. At first, it’s a mental battle; down the road, however, you just brush the yen to use off your shoulder. People in their first year of recovery may have had to resist scores of times in 2017; if you keep doing what you’re doing, you might find it occurs less or not at all in the coming year. Please keep in mind that cravings are normal, not acting on them is progress, and that is a remarkable achievement. A realistic resolution in early recovery is endeavoring to not act on cravings and praying that they one day will be nonexistent.

Resolve to Help Newcomers

Individuals who’ve been around a bit longer might consider talking to more newcomers a goal for 2018. In the hustle of everyday life, we can lose sight of the importance of newcomers, and how vital it is to support their recovery. When we reach out to people who are fresh in recovery, we strengthen our recovery.

Everyone in the program was a newcomer at one point. People introduced themselves to you and made you feel less alone. They invited you to be a part of something life-changing and lent their support to you. Now that you have been around a bit, perhaps you might consider asking a newcomer if they need a ride home or to the meeting. In 2018, consider making it a point to introduce yourself to a newcomer at every meeting you attend. Such a selfless resolution will have a positive effect on your program; you never know what will come from relationships you foster in the program.

Whatever you decide via resolutions, please be realistic about them and emphasize the importance of having one’s motives in the right place. If you do, it will have a positive effect on your life. All of us at 10 Acre Ranch would like to wish you and your loved ones a safe and sober New Year’s Eve and a productive 2018 in recovery.

Smart Resolutions for the New Year

If you’re planning to make a New Year’s resolution this year, it’s important to be smart about it. This means staying away from any big and broad resolutions that will just set you up for failure. Instead, to reach your goal and enhance your recovery, you’ll need to pick a resolution that’s specific and realistic. Here are some examples of some common resolutions – and what works and what doesn’t, according to the experts at Men’s Health:

Don’t: Resolve to “take control of your health.”
Do: Resolve to “make an appointment for a yearly physical.”
Why it works: Did you know that nearly one in four men haven’t seen a physician in over a year, according to a report from the National Center for Health Statistics. By vowing to scheduling a visit to your doctor, you’re take a doable and actionable step toward taking control of your health.

Don’t: Resolve to “eat healthier.”
Do: Resolve to “eat two pieces of fruit per day and a salad before dinner.”
Why it works: This works in two ways: For one, it’s easier to focus on one or two things than to overhaul your diet completely. And it eliminates the idea of restricting food, which can lead to binge eating.

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Can food help cure addictions? In the field of drug rehabilitation and recovery from addiction, nutrition is an important part of treatment.

Don’t: Resolve to “exercise every day.”
Do: Resolve to “get moving two or three days a week.”
Why it works: “Going from zero to 100 just isn’t realistic,” obesity specialist Spencer Nadolsky, DO, told Men’s Health. What’s more, if fitness isn’t part of your daily routine, you can easily burn yourself out after a month.

Don’t: Resolve to “save money.”
Do: Resolve to “create and stick to a budget.”
Why it works: Again, saving money is too broad and you need to take small steps to reach this goal. Creating and sticking to a budget gives you the tools to save more, Ted Braun, a certified financial planner, told Men’s Health.

Don’t: Resolve to “stress less.”
Do: Resolve to “incorporate relaxation techniques into your daily routine.”
Why it works: Whether you meditate daily or practice breathing techniques, these actionable steps will bring results that will motivate you to stick with your resolution.

Helping You Achieve Your Goal
Are you a man 18 or older who has resolved to get sober this year? At 10 Acre Ranch, we have the treatment and support to help you make it happen. Call 877-228-4679 to verify insurance coverage and start the enrollment process, or to speak with a member of our team about your sobriety goals.

Recovery Support This Christmas

recoveryIt’s Christmastime, and for those working a program of addiction recovery, it’s a time for extra vigilance. People who are working a Program must double their recovery efforts to ensure relapse isn’t a part of one’s holiday. This weekend may be the first sober Christmas for some of our readers; as a treatment provider, we’d be remiss for failing to share some helpful advice for making it through the holiday dry.

Truthfully, it really doesn’t matter how much sobriety time you have, important holidays can wreak havoc on anyone’s program. Being around friends and family for extended periods of time can be too much for some. Not having family in one’s life can be extremely difficult for others. Emotions run high this time of year, but that doesn’t mean we have to react to such feelings in unhealthy ways.

The program teaches us to live one day at a time, staying present is vital to the goal of lasting recovery. If we are having a rough day, we know that “this too shall pass;” we know that drinking alcohol or doing drugs will not help us feel better about our current situation. If malaise comes over you this Christmas, you know what you need to do—get to a meeting, share with the group, and call your sponsor.

Staying Close to Recovery Support

Programs of recovery are jeopardized during the high holidays, more times than not, because individuals do not have their finger on their recovery pulse. Some convince them self that their program is stronger than it is, and as a result, they decide to go to a holiday gathering. Once there, such people are usually OK for a little while, and then other party goers start offering them beverages. If one’s program is healthy, a simple “no thank you” should suffice. If a person’s Program is fragile, the temptation may prove too much.

Keep in mind, those in their first year can take part in holiday festivities, but preparations are in order. While the safest course is to stay close to your recovery support network this weekend, we know that some people will attend parties due to a sense of obligation. Please note, you don’t have to attend Christmas parties, rather than risk relapse just don’t go. If you feel you must go to a party, then maybe you can bring a friend who’s in the program. Have your phone charged so you can call someone in the program if you get shaky, such as your sponsor. Go to a meeting before the gathering, and one afterward; even if you don’t feel it’s necessary—go anyway. Better to be safe and sober, than drunk and sorry. If you are planning to go to a party, and you’ve discussed it with your sponsor and home group, here are a few tips:

  • Get a nonalcoholic beverage immediately upon arriving and keep it by your side at all times. People are less likely to pressure you to drink if they think you are already drinking.
  • If someone notices you are not drinking alcohol and inquires, simply inform them that you have to drive; everyone agrees DUIs are not worth the risk.
  • Have a way home from the party, either in your car or have somebody to pick you up. You never want to be beholden to another partygoer in these kinds of situations.
  • Again, if not going to the party better protects your sobriety, strongly reconsider not going to the party at all. If you don’t hang around the pool, you won’t get wet.

A Sober Christmas to All

Everyone working a program of recovery has a lot to be proud of, and you can use such feelings to empower your resolve. Our future depends on continued spiritual maintenance and practicing the principles of recovery in all our affairs. Take stock of the progress you have made, doing so may help you ward off the temptation to drink or drug this Christmas. A relapse-free holiday is the best Christmas present of all.

All of us at 10 Acre Ranch hope you have a sober and safe holiday and if a problem arises, remember, you are not alone.

5 Self-Care Strategies for the Holidays

Are you on your holiday list this year? If not, you should be. Self-care isn’t selfish; it’s an act of love and a crucial part of staying sober. Here’s how to maintain your personal health and wellness while managing the holiday season.

1. Just breathe. It’s easy to get swept up in the season and to forget to slow down and breath. Deep breathing is a great relaxation strategy that you can do anytime, anywhere.

2. Set boundaries. Take a minute to slow down and ask yourself: What do I want to gain this holiday season? What traditions are most important to me? What do I value most?

3. Tap into your senses. Our senses are an important yet oft-overlooked part of self-care Think of ways to include sight, smell, taste, touch and hearing in order to rejuvenate your body and mind. Some ideas:

  • Take a bubble bath and light some scented candles.
  • Wrap yourself in a snuggly blanket and watch a holiday movie.
  • Play your favorite music while sipping a cup of soothing tea.

4. Strive for moderation. It’s easy to overindulge this time of year – over scheduling, eating too much, staying up too late and spending too much, for instance – but excessive behaviors can be risky for your recovery. Do enjoy yourself, but don’t overdo it. Remember: Your recovery and overall health comes first.

5. Let go of expectations. One of the best ways to take care of yourself during this emotionally trying time is to give up your expectations of the perfect family with the perfect tree with the perfect gifts. This type of thinking is extremely damaging to your recovery. Letting go of these unrealistic ideals will help you to experience greater joy in the reality of the moment.

May health and happiness be yours this holiday season and throughout the year!

Begin Recovery at 10 Acre
Just because it’s the holidays, it doesn’t mean you need to hold off on beginning your recovery journey. If you are a male ready to discover the miracles of addiction recovery, please contact 10 Acre Ranch today. Call: 877-228-4679.

Addiction Recovery in The Music Industry

addictionWith each year that passes, it seems like another talented musician falls victim to addiction and other forms of mental illness. For some people that may feel commonplace; after all, genius is often accompanied by psychological turmoil. On the other hand, most of the general public is shocked when they learn about the passing of a beloved musician. Who can forget the confusion in many people’s mind upon learning of Prince’s death last year, a megastar who was known to rail against substance use and abuse only for Prince to die of a fentanyl overdose!

What we imagine the lives of celebrities to be like is usually miles off the mark. All of us are accustomed to thinking that fame, fortune, and success are impervious to despair; we say to ourselves, ‘how can a person who has everything throw it all away for a high.’ A line of thinking that just goes to show the paradox of addiction; the disease does not care who you are, how many friends you have, and what your financial standing is presently. Everyone has some level of propensity to get caught up in the cycle of substance use when the factors and conditions are just right.

With the year coming to a close, we should all consider the number of people who seemingly had everything, but still could not escape the consequences of untreated mental illness. Some of you were probably saddened to learn of Soundgarden’s Chris Cornell’s suicide after struggling with addiction. A short time later Linkin Park’s Chester Bennington followed suit. Just last month, Lil Peep, a young rapper with a promising future ahead of him died of an overdose, he was 21.

Addiction Doesn’t Need to Be The End

It might come as a surprise to learn that there are some mental health resources available for musicians. In fact, it’s not uncommon for meetings of recovery to take place backstage before a concert. The Recording Academy’s charity MusiCares, helps people in the industry get assistance for mental health conditions, such as addiction. The foundation has helped struggling artists get into treatment, and in some cases covers the cost.

“I actually used MusiCares’ Musicians Assistance Program to get sober,” MusiCares board chairman, Michael McDonald, tells Billboard. “They provided two group therapy sessions a week. Eighteen years later, I’m sober.”

It’s also worth pointing out that a significant number of famous musicians have given up drugs and alcohol, adopting a path of addiction recovery. Including, but not limited to Trent Reznor, Billy Joel, Elton John, Flea and Anthony Kiedis of Red Hot Chili Peppers, Pete Townshend, Ringo Starr, Eric Clapton, Smokey Robinson, U2 bassist Adam Clayton, Billy Idol, Slash, and the late David Bowie. The list goes on, but you get the idea; recording artists can recover from mental illness, too.

“During the past 13 years, the organization [MusiCares] has provided close to $10 million in ­assistance to nearly 3,000 people in need of help,” said Harold Owens, who assists The Recording Academy’s MusiCares ­foundation address ­substance abuse, addiction and ­recovery in the industry.

You Are Eligible for Addiction Recovery

Alcohol and substance use disorder can affect the lives of anyone, and we can say the same for recovery. It’s sad to learn that the disease wins from time to time, but the list of musicians above is testament that working a program of recovery saves people’s lives. If you are a male struggling with addiction, musician or not, please contact 10 Acre Ranch. We can assist you in realizing your dream of recovery.

Ideas for Sober Holiday Fun

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For men with a substance use disorder, especially if you’re new to recovery, this time of year can be extra challenging. It may even feel like the only way to survive is to hide away and wait it out. Yet isolating yourself is certainly not the answer. In fact, addiction experts agree that the holiday season is the perfect time to step up your efforts by attending more 12-step meetings and being among your recovery peers as much as possible.

And you should indulge in a little sober fun, too. Try one of these festive and joyful holiday activities:

  • Go caroling. You don’t have to be a trained singer to spread holiday cheer one song at time. It’s bound to become a sober memory you’ll cherish for years to come.
  • Decorate cookies. A cookie decorating party is a great holiday tradition to share with your friends and family. And it doesn’t matter if you make the goodies from scratch or pull them from the freezer aisle; the fun is in the frosting!
  • Lend a helping hand. Giving back is an important part of moving forward in your recovery. And it’s a great reminder to be grateful for your sober life. Volunteer at a soup kitchen, participate in a toy-drive or make holiday cards for patients at your local hospital — all time is well spent.
  • Get active together. Gather some friends and go bowling or ice skating together at an indoor rink. Or, if weather permits, bundle up and play a game of flag football or take an invigorating group hike. It’s the perfect opportunity to exercise and have some clean fun!
  • Plan a sober party. If you’re not ready to attend festivities where alcohol is served, why not plan your own sober party? Make it a potluck and ask everyone to bring a gift for a white elephant gift exchange.
  • Host a holiday movie night. Pop some popcorn and cue up some classics — like “It’s a Wonderful Life” or “A Christmas Story.”

Relapse Prevention at 10 Acre Ranch
As part of a comprehensive approach to outpatient addiction recovery, clients at 10 Acre Ranch learn important relapse prevention strategies, including anger management, handling social pressures, handling high-risk situations and long-term sobriety planning. Whether you are seeking help for you or a loved one, our all-inclusive residential facility offers one of the industry’s highest recovery success rates. To learn more, call us today: 877-228-4679. 

Alcohol Use Disorder Treatment, Not Jail

alcohol use disorderIf you are an alcoholic or are in recovery from alcohol use disorder, you are probably familiar with the “drunk tank.” For those of you who are not familiar with a cold cell at 3 AM, we’ll take a moment to explain. Drinking alcohol is not illegal in any amount; however, drinking too much alcohol in public and behind the wheel is a threat to personal and public safety. When a person who has over-imbibed comes face-to-face with the Law, the net result is usually a stay in the drunk tank. Drunk people go into holding cells at police stations until they sober up, the definition of sober varies by state and country.

In the field of addiction medicine, naturally we are averse to imprisonment for substance use of any kind. If you drive drunk, it makes sense that you do some time in jail to stress the point that you put your life and the lives of others at risk. Heavy fines usually help in cementing the point in one’s skull, but more times than not drunk drivers are repeat offenders—especially alcoholics. Hopefully, one’s DUI ends up being the catalyst that brings about change and lasting recovery; for that to occur, treatment is the best course.

Setting aside DUIs, those who drink too much and find themselves behind bars have the opportunity to sober up and reflect on making better decisions in the future. However, the drunk tank isn’t necessarily the safest place to promote circumspection.

Drunk Tanks Put People At Risk

Alcohol poisoning is a frequent recurrence among heavy drinkers, a condition that can be lethal. Whenever somebody crosses a threshold based on each person’s unique factors (i.e., tolerance and body weight), they are at risk of severe health consequences. Those who do not receive medical supervision can quickly lose their lives. What’s more, the symptoms of alcohol poisoning vary from case-to-case, meaning a police officer is probably ill-equipped to spot the signs. Merely throwing someone in the drunk tank for a brief lesson in civility is a slippery slope.

Last year, Corey Rogers (41) died in a Halifax, Canada, drunk tank, CBC News reports. Rodgers’ mother decided to make it her mission to end the practice of drunk tanks, examining various policies and procedures. Jeannette Rogers’ (Corey Rogers’s mother) cause has the support of addiction recovery and street health workers.

“People who are highly intoxicated don’t belong in jail,” said Rogers, a retired psychiatric nurse.

In other parts of Canada, police bring intoxicated people to “sobering centers,” according to the article. Once there, people high on drugs can get assessments, shelter, food, and access to other services. Law enforcement should opt to release a drunk person to a sober adult or a treatment center, before resorting to drunk tanks, said Archie Kaiser, a law professor at Dalhousie University.

Alcohol Use Disorder Treatment

If alcohol use has led to legal difficulties, it’s possible that you have an alcohol use disorder. Treatment is the most efficient way of breaking the cycle of addiction and learning how to work a program of recovery. Please contact 10 Acre Ranch for a free consultation.

Finding Courage During Recovery

courageIt takes courage to seek treatment for addiction. It takes courage to face the unknown and do the hard work of rehab. It takes courage to avoid triggers, overcome cravings and urges and prevent relapse. It takes courage to commit yourself to a new, healthy life.

Although courage is crucial for all stages of recovery, it’s not always easy to muster the strength and courage you need; sometimes you just need a little encouragement. It may take practice, but with a few steps you can continue to build the courage, confidence and strength you need to get and stay sober.

  • Identify your fears. Are you afraid of losing your family or friends? Are you scared that you can’t withstand temptation or that you don’t know how to act when you’re sober? Be honest about your true feelings and then work with your addiction counselor to come up with attainable strategies to best overcome your worries and fears.
  • Be patient with yourself. Recovery takes time and your emotions will ebb and flow; one day you’ll feel like you can conquer the world and the next you may fear getting out of bed. Just know this: You will get stronger with each passing day.
  • Practice positive thinking. Sometimes we all need a little self-talk to get started in the right direction. For example, if you wake up feeling nervous about meeting a recovery goal, tell yourself that it’s okay to have these feelings but that you have what it takes to move forward with your recovery plans for the day.
  • Celebrate small wins. Each recovery victory – whether big or small – is a step in the right direction. Be proud of your accomplishments and let this pride give you the strength and courage to keep going.

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.

Men and Anxiety Disorder

anxiety disorderAddiction and anxiety disorders often go hand in hand – and this goes for men, too. Although many men suffer from anxiety, they often suffer in silence. In fact, studies show that men have trouble disclosing mental illness symptoms, even thoughts of suicide. Stigma is obviously to blame, as is the mistaken ‘male code’ that says you can’t show weakness, sadness or vulnerability.

But ignoring anxiety or self-medicating – about 20 percent of Americans with an anxiety disorder also have an alcohol or other substance use disorder (SUD and roughly 20 percent of those with an SUD also have an anxiety disorder – is certainly not the answer. Men don’t have to (nor should they) tough out feelings of anxiety alone.

Becoming better educated about anxiety can be a great first step toward seeking support for you or a man in your life. For one, it’s important to understand that there are several types of anxiety disorders (both minor and major), including:

  • Generalized Anxiety Disorder
  • Panic Disorder
  • Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
  • Phobias
  • Social anxiety disorder

While symptoms may vary depending on the type and severity of your anxiety disorder, some common physical signs to watch out for include:

  • Pounding or racing heart
  • Excessive sweating
  • Muscle tension
  • Restlessness or agitation
  • Dizziness and vertigo
  • Shortness of breath or choking sensations
  • Insomnia
  • Panic attacks

We all feel anxious from time to time, whether from a high-pressure work situation or family conflict, but for men with anxiety disorder, these feelings will become excessive and interfere with daily life. Luckily, you don’t have to live with the symptoms if you admit your anxiety and start on a proper treatment plan.

Anxiety Treatment at 10 Acre Ranch
Having anxiety and a substance use disorder can turn into a vicious cycle, as the symptoms of one disorder can exacerbate the symptoms of the other. While many men mistakenly turn to alcohol or drugs to temporarily dull anxiety, this type of self-medicating actually worsens symptoms of anxiety. Let our trained professionals help you find a personalized path of recovery. To learn more, call today: 877-228-4679.