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5 Tips To Help Your Loved One Post-Rehab

One in ten people in this country suffer from some type of dependency on drugs or alcohol. Today, that equals to approximately 23.5 million Americans. People who have suffered from an addiction and sought help through rehabilitation services have only just begun their journey as a clean and sober individual. Once they leave the privacy and intensive care of a rehab facility, they must learn to adjust to everyday life that can be filled with challenges. Here are 5 tips to help your loved one begin their journey sober, post-rehab.

1. Adjusting Requires Help

  • Returning to their lives requires the help of those who are closest, such as friends and family. The stronger their support system, the more likely they will maintain their sobriety.
  • Knowing there are people to lean on when times are tough gives people battling addiction hope. They know they have people to rely on when they need someone to talk to or to assist them with steps in their recovery.

2. Focus On Positive Things In Life

  • Focusing on positive parts of life and healthy habits can help make the process of recovery much easier. Having something else to focus on is really an excellent method to help adjust right after their rehab.
  • Taking up new hobbies and doing volunteer work are also excellent options for people who need to fill their calendars with worthwhile activities.

3. Remove Any Drugs And Alcohol From Their Everyday Environment

  • If you are helping someone with their recovery, you must be sensitive to their issue. Avoid keeping alcohol or drugs around you to remove the temptation that may pose directly after a rehab facility stay.
  • Sticking to this plan after the first several months post-rehab will make coping much easier for your loved one.

4. Help Them Join And Attend Support Groups

  • Encourage them to attend support groups, which can really help a person who may feel like they are alone in their battle. Seeing and talking to others openly about issues that affect victims of addiction can give people the feeling of kinship and understanding they need to tackle daily life with their newfound sobriety.
  • Offer to give them a ride to and from the meeting to give them the extra push they might need to attend.

5. Encourage Them To See A Recovery Specialists

  • After a patient is released from rehab, they will likely require some post-rehab care overseen by an experience recovery specialist or recovery coach.
  • Recovery takes time and effort, and a substance abuse counselor can help make their transition to sober life easier.
  • Help your loved one keep their appointments and encourage them to continue treatment even if they feel better shortly after release.

Contact Pathways Real Life Recovery in Utah Today to Learn How We Can Help!

Do you know someone who needs help overcoming addiction post-rehab? If so you can offer them support by following these tips and helping them seek after rehab care from a caring, professional facility like Pathways Real Life Recovery. Their approach is an individualised treatment for each patient from knowledgeable and compassionate staff who are ready to help them get control of their life again. Pathways Real Life Recovery takes most insurance and even offer financing. Contact us today to get more information or to schedule an appointment.

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Why We Should Provide Treatment Versus Punishment to Addicts

Approximately 66% of Americans believe that addicts need treatment and not jail sentencing, according to a study conducted by Pew Research Center Statistics. The study shows that the way citizens view addiction is turning over a new leaf. The White House also supports the idea. In 2015, they proposed the drug mitigation strategy aimed at setting aside funds for treatment and prevention. The approach notes, “substance abuse is not only a criminal offense but also a public concern.” Past researchers have shown that addiction is both treatable and preventable as any other disease.”

Despite the growing support for the compassionate approach in combating drug addition, there is a strong need to change how we treat addicts. In most cases, we focus on what meets the eye, judging them as weak and immoral instead of identifying real problem behind their actions.

The following are three wrong approaches we use to punish addicts that need to stop.

Defining Addiction as Criminal Behavior

Addiction is a health issue, not a criminal one. When we put an addict in jail for minor crimes such as possession, much less for getting a felony for minor crimes, we inhibit their resources toward finding employment and housing in order to lead a successful life. Addicts commit crimes because they have no other resources available to treat their addiction, certainly not because addicts themselves are inherently criminal in their behavior. Jail time drains the taxpayer instead of helping addicts recover, and jail is not a good environment to find help. The funds used for incarceration and criminal activity if used to treat them could save billions. Moreover, it makes them accountable for their actions reducing their chances of going back to drugs.

Treatment Paradigms

A popular treatment program is the 12 Steps approach. For some people, it does treat the symptoms of addiction, but it also leads to a false conclusion as to how the illness itself should be approached. The problem with 12 Steps is it forces the addict to relinquish personal responsibility rather than allowing them to understand what the disease entails and learn appropriate measures to deal with it.

Disallowing Social Benefits

Most states still implement the Clinton welfare reform that banned drug convicts from getting Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits. Other than being unfair, the policy adversely affects drug users striving to rebuild themselves. The situation gets worse for single parents, young unemployed couples, and those with disabilities. Undoubtedly, the policy increases their problems increasing the chances of falling back to addiction.

Disallowing social benefits is the worst possible solution to drug addiction, assuming we are trying to find the safest way for people to live in a cultured society. Addicts are strong, resourceful, and can likely find a place to sleep in which you and I would not find to be acceptable. However, they still must eat. Proven throughout history is that someone who is hungry will find a way to feed themselves, taking away formal means of finding income does not justify allowing prosecution for someone who finds a way to sustain themselves outside of legislative barriers.

Stop the Cycle of Addiction – Contact Pathways Real Life Recovery for Treatment in Utah

The conclusion is that drug addicts are treated unfairly for aspects of their life outside of their control. There is no doubt substance abuse is a problem in society but penalizing the people who suffer such an illness is not the best way to address the problem. Pathways Real Life Recovery in Utah is a facility dedicated to digging down to the root of the problem to help addicts. Schedule an appointment with us today!

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Teen Suicide Prevention

Per the Center for Disease Control more than 5,000 young people between the ages of 15 and 24 took their own lives in 2015, making it the second most common cause of death in that age group. It was also the third most common cause for people aged between 10 and 14. High teen suicide rates mean that young people of all social backgrounds and ethnicities are at risk, and these tragedies are also indiscriminate to gender. Although boys are more likely to succeed in taking their own lives, the evidence shows that girls are at least as likely to attempt to do so.

In a time of increasing social and economic pressures, and ever-present social media, it may seem more difficult than ever to protect the mental health of our young people, but fortunately there are a number of ways to prevent teen suicide which are very effective if the necessary steps are taken when the first early warning signs become visible.

Attention:

If you are in crisis, call the toll-free National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255), or text TALK to 741741. Available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

How to Recognize the Warning Signs

Verbal Clues  – If a teen, or anyone, talks directly about suicide or death, then, of course, it should be an immediate cause for concern. Such direct references may include discussing the methods which might be used, as well as how to obtain drugs or weapons. But there are also less obvious verbal signals that you should be aware of. Phrases such as “if anything happens to me”, or “always remember that I love you”, may well be innocuous, especially if said as a one-off, and signal no more than a passing mood. But if they are repeated often they may be an early warning of a developing problem. Young people who are beginning to experience mental health problems may also express a persistent feeling of worthlessness, hopelessness, and despair for the future, of an intensity which goes far beyond normal “adolescent blues”.

Frequent complaints of tiredness, head or stomach aches or muscular pains from individuals who appear physically healthy are another common indicator of potential problems.

Behavioral Cues – But even more important, perhaps, than what emotionally troubled young people say, are the behavioral changes they may display. It is very common for potentially suicidal teens to become socially withdrawn. So previously happy, outgoing and sociable young people with many friends may begin to turn down invitations, refuse to participate in family, social or sports activities and be resistant or even hostile when encouraged to do so.

Other signs may include:

  • declining performance at school or work, and problems with attendance
  • Teens who begin to use drugs and/or alcohol, or whose eating, sleep and exercise habits change without explanation
  • neglect of personal appearance and hygiene
  • Unpredictable and extreme mood swings and apathy being followed quickly by anger, rebellion, deliberately disruptive behavior or even violence.
  • Driving at excessive speed and other deliberate high-risk behaviors are also warning signals to look for.

Why it’s Hard to Tell if a Teen is at Risk

One of the main difficulties in preventing teen suicide is that many of these symptoms or behavioral issues are of course quite common in adolescents. And thankfully, most “moody” teens are simply going through a normal phase of their development and are not and never will be suicidal. So even the closest of families or friends may find it difficult to determine when a loved one’s behavior is departing from the norm and should be a cause for concern. “Better safe than sorry” is a wise approach in these circumstances. You don’t need to try and deal with this on your own. Trust your instincts and seek the advice of a suitably qualified professional if you’re in any doubt at all.

How to Talk with Someone You’re Worried About

First, be aware that if you’re worried that a teen close to you may be thinking about suicide, it’s ok to ask them directly about it. Many parents and friends worry that by doing so they may risk somehow creating the idea in that young person’s mind. But all the evidence suggests that talking openly about suicide reduces the risk that a person will act on the idea. If someone is displaying the signs discussed above, but is not talking explicitly about suicide or self-harm, a warm empathetic approach is important. Acknowledge and validate the feelings of the person in a non-judgmental way. Demanding that they “pull themselves together” or “start shaping up”, is seldom, if ever helpful. If a teen is resistant to engaging in conversation and unresponsive to questions, try to avoid showing any frustration you may feel. Staying close by as a silent but comforting presence can also be helpful.

Suggesting Treatment or Therapy 

However difficult it may sometimes be, it’s crucial to keep lines of communication open. Talk regularly to the person you’re concerned about, however unresponsive they may be, and make sure they know that you’re there to support and help in any way they need. If you believe the person may have formed a definite plan to harm themselves or if they have begun to behave erratically or irrationally, you should seek immediate help, including calling 911 in extreme cases. But even in less urgent situations, don’t be afraid to ask for professional advice. You need it for your own good as much as for that of the person at risk, and their safety and welfare should outweigh any guilt you may feel about breaching their confidence.

Helping Suicidal Teens

  • Offer help and listen. Encourage depressed teens to talk about their feelings. Listen, don’t lecture.
  • Trust your instincts. If it seems that the situation may be serious, seek prompt help. Break a confidence if necessary, in order to save a life.
  • Pay attention to talk about suicide. Ask direct questions and don’t be afraid of frank discussions. Silence is deadly!
  • Seek professional help. It is essential to seek expert advice from a mental health professional who has experience helping depressed teens. Also, alert key adults in the teen’s life — family, friends and teachers.

 Youth Suicide Prevention – What You Can Do

Probably the most important thing for parents and friends to do, at least in the early stages of a developing problem, is to be as aware and supportive as possible. This means encouraging and rewarding positive social interactions such as sports, arts or music activities. But you also need to try to be as aware as possible of your teen’s environment. This may mean monitoring social media use, as un-intrusively as possible, talking to their friends and the parents of their friends, and developing close relationships with teachers and coaches. You will also want to monitor alcohol and other substance use, including any prescription medications, and if necessary try to restrict access to them in a non-confrontational way. These kinds of tactics often prove successful in helping teens through difficult but normal phases of development. But if you feel at any time that you cannot cope or are risk of losing control of the situation, you need to consult an experienced professional as soon as possible.

Professional Therapy for Teen Suicide Prevention

A wide range of different therapies is available depending on an individual’s particular needs.

A teen who is diagnosed with a specific mental health condition such as depression, anxiety, substance abuse, alcohol addiction, or schizophrenia may respond well to appropriate medication. For others, psychotherapy (talk therapy) may be indicated. This can involve cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), which aims to help individuals modify their behavior through a better understanding of their particular emotional triggers; or dialectical behavior therapy (DBT), which has proved particularly effective for people with borderline personality disorder, proneness to mood swings and self-image issues.

It’s important to find a therapist and treatment center that both you and your teen are comfortable with and have confidence in. Any program should begin with a comprehensive assessment of the individual’s overall health and medical history, identifying any previous learning or behavioral problems, which may be relevant. A good therapist will also take into account the individual’s personal preferences regarding treatment while bearing in mind the seriousness of the threat of self-harm.

Therapy may be conducted either through one-to one sessions, group family meetings or a combination of both. Sessions will normally be conducted in the home or on an out-patient basis, but in rare, more extreme, cases residential care or even hospitalization may be indicated.

Pathways Treats Depressed and Suicidal Teens in Utah – Get a Free Consultation

At Pathways Real Life Recovery, we take a holistic approach to treatment based on our deep conviction of the value of every individual who comes through our doors. We offer experienced therapists in a wide variety of specialties, including medical doctors, psychotherapists, addiction specialists and licensed counselors. We will draw on as many of these experts as necessary to put together a personalized treatment program based on a detailed assessment of a person’s history and current needs And our care doesn’t stop there. At the end of the formal treatment program, we will stay in touch to advise and monitor progress for a further three years. We accept all major insurances and financing is also available.

Suicide in teens is not only a huge social problem but also a devastating and avoidable tragedy for thousands of families every year. If you have any worries or concerns at all about someone close to you, please get in touch with us right away.

Additional Resources

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10 Tips for Parents to Prevent Teen Suicide

It is sad to lose a child and even more heartbreaking to suicide. As a child develops, it may get difficult for parents to know their feelings and thoughts. Adolescence has its high and low moments. However, a parent may not know when a teen is depressed. It’s essential to learn the possible factors that could cause severe depression to your kid that they contemplate committing suicide.
Here are some tips on how you could avert your child’s thoughts from suicide:

1. Avoid Ignoring Suicide Threats

Do not underestimate early suicidal signs. Teens may indulge in substance abuse or merely isolate themselves from other family members. At times, the teenager issues verbal or written statements declaring their intentions to commit suicide. As a parent, you should take them seriously.

Often, kids mulling over suicide repeatedly inform their guardians and parents about it. Scientific studies reveal that such people don’t intend to kill themselves. Instead, the threats are usually a plea for urgent help and attention.

When your child starts issuing death threats, try to keep cool. Avoid displaying shock or scolding them. Spare some time to tentatively listen to your their concerns as you reassure them of your love and commitment.

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5 Ways to Change Negative Beliefs

Sometimes the enemy within can be much more dangerous than outside forces. In fact, struggling with negative beliefs about yourself makes it all too easy to lapse into self-destructive patterns. That’s why breaking that no-win cycle of low self-esteem — and the bad choices related to it — is the first step to a more peaceful, productive life. Here are a few methods to help you get there.

Consider the Source               

A loving family does not inflict harsh judgment on young children, nor do truly responsible teachers and coaches insult impressionable young people. If you were told you were lazy, unintelligent or homely as a child, remind yourself that those characterizations reflect badly on the adult who said them, rather than on you.

Assignment: Write a letter to a person from your past who damaged your self-esteem. You don’t have to actually send the letter but focus on describing that person’s unrealistic standards or constant judgment. The act of writing the letter will help you understand how those unfair words shaped you.

Remember That “Comparisons are Odious”

It’s a centuries-old saying, but one that still resonates today. Comparing your life or personality to the success of a friend or colleague is one of the surest ways to spiral into self-loathing.

Assignment: Each day, make a note of something positive about yourself. Whether it’s a kindness you did for a co-worker, a new skill you’ve mastered, or even something “vain” like a flattering new hairstyle, it’s important to make note of these good things. Periodically reading this self-positivity journal will help you understand your own self-worth.

Name Your Unhealthy Beliefs

It’s one thing to know in general that a bad self-image will bring you down — and another to identify some specific faults. Once you identify those supposed flaws, you can start to learn how to break that cycle of self-doubt.

AssignmentBelief-restructuring therapy can be an essential tool on your road to well-being. Customized treatment sessions help you identify, then address, these core beliefs about yourself that are weighing you down emotionally.

Interrogate Your Fears

It seems logical that if we have something we dislike about ourselves, then we’d do anything to change it, right? Yet lurking within many of us is the suspicion that what we don’t like is so intrinsic to our personalities that it can’t be changed — or that even if we solve or disprove that one trait, even worse ones will be lurking. Therefore, it’s easier to complain about what we don’t like about ourselves, rather than to do something which might fail.

Assignment: It may seem silly, but the question “What’s the worst that could happen?” is an essential one to ask. Often, naming your fear makes you realize that it’s either unlikely or easily solved. And if you find that this simple, self-directed exercise isn’t doing the trick, there are other options. Professional sessions specially designed to treat anxiety are excellent tools in your quest to banish those negative beliefs and their surrounding fears.

Envision a Brighter Future

Once you do begin to overcome your fear of failure and explode some of those self-doubting myths, it’s time to expand your horizons. If you’ve always told yourself you weren’t creative, for example, what can you now accomplish, after accepting that you might have an artistic bent after all?

Assignment: Now comes the fun part. Brainstorm ways to catch up on what you’ve been missing all those years when you decreed yourself not good enough for a certain pursuit, be it hobby, career or even romance! Make a list of all you’ve been missing and concrete steps you can take to achieve the goals you once believed you weren’t good enough for.

A Way Forward

Ready to stop the self-destructive cycle? We’re always here to help you learn more about our testing, therapy and treatment services.

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Anti-Anxiety Drugs Most Commonly Abused by People Under 30

Did you know the rate of overdose deaths from anti-anxiety drugs alone increased fourfold from 1996 to 2013? And there’s a common misconception that anti-anxiety medication is safe because it’s prescribed by a doctor?

But that’s not always the case.

Let’s take a look at a few anti-anxiety drugs most commonly abused by people under 30.

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Why is Heroin So Addictive? - Pathways Real Life Recovery

Why is Heroin So Addictive?

Heroin is one of the most extremely addictive drugs on the planet, and its use by Americans is rising.

According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the number of total heroin overdose deaths rose from 2,089 in 2002 to 13,219 in 2016. That’s an increase of 533 percent — a shocking number.

Naturally, the first question that arises from statistics like these is why heroin is so addictive? It’s obvious that those who try the drug have trouble getting off of it almost right away. What’s going on?

Before delving into the science of why heroin is so addictive, let’s first discuss what exactly heroin is.

What is Heroin?                      

Like morphine, OxyContin, codeine, hydrocodone, and methadone, heroin is a drug derived from opium. In fact, heroin actually comes from morphine, which itself comes from the seed pod of the opium poppy. Opium poppies grow naturally in countries like Colombia, Mexico, and Southwest and Southeast Asia.

Heroin is an illegal drug, but it is still readily available and sold on the black market. It generally comes as a brown or white powder, but it may also be distributed as “black tar heroin,” a sticky black substance that is actually black because it is processed improperly and full of impurities.

Heroin is usually injected into the muscles, veins, or beneath the skin, but it can also be sniffed, smoked, or snorted. On the streets, the drug is often called the following:

  • Horse
  • Smack
  • Hell Dust
  • Big H

The Addictiveness of Heroin

Heroin addiction starts almost immediately after someone uses the drug. In fact, just one or two “hits” can set an individual on the road to addiction right away.

That’s because humans already have opioid receptors in the brain, and remember that heroin is a form of an opioid. When someone takes heroin, the drug enters the brain quickly and binds directly to those receptors. This enhances their power many times over to decrease pain and worry. It also slows down breathing and heart rate.

These short-term effects coincide with a rush of euphoria and contentedness in the user, and all of these seemingly positive effects tell the brain and the body that “heroin is great,” setting in motion severe addictive patterns.

For those with depression, bipolar disorder, or other mental disorders or personal struggles, this is a recipe for disaster. As those struggling with addiction to continue to use heroin on a regular basis, the addiction only grows stronger. Any attempts to stop using the drug result in extremely uncomfortable and painful withdrawal symptoms, making it nearly impossible to stop using the drug without professional intervention and help.

Contact Pathways Real Life Recovery Today

Are you or a loved one struggling with heroin abuse? If so, know that you’re not alone. As you can see, becoming addicted to this illicit drug is not something that people usually do by choice. The good news is that by choice, you can choose to kick your heroin addiction and achieve a sober lifestyle.

The only way to completely stop abusing heroin and achieve sobriety is to attend a professional drug rehab center like Pathways Real Life Recovery.

Pathways Real Life Recovery in Utah offers full addiction recovery treatment for individuals who are struggling with heroin addiction, depression, and related mental health issues in Utah. Through intensive counseling and mental health assistance, we can help you or your loved one break through the cycle of shame and guilt in order to dig deep and find the core reasons for your addiction.

Our process of recovery does not abide by a one-size-fits-all approach to care. To the contrary, we work closely with each one of our patients to come up with a personalized program that will meet their unique needs. Your success is our success.

To learn more about the treatment programs that we offer, call us today at 801.895.3006. One of our treatment specialists would be happy to speak with you about your treatment options.

Remember, it’s never too late to get help for heroin addiction. Call today.

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Tips for Overcoming Pornography Addiction - Pathways Real Life

3 Tips for Ending a Pornography Addiction

As with any addiction, the first step towards recovery is an admission that you have a problem. It’s always difficult, and may even be embarrassing or even shaming to acknowledge, but if you find that a compulsive need to access internet pornography and is interfering with your life, then it may be time to seek help. With the right counseling, these self-destructive habits can be replaced by more positive behavior patterns, and fortunately, this advice is now widely available. But there are also practical things you can do to help yourself.

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Steps to Overcoming Pornography Addiction & Signs of Pornography Addiction Utah

Steps to Overcome Pornography Addiction

At a certain point, pornography viewing ceases to be merely a bad habit and becomes an obsessive-compulsive addiction. Those caught in this cycle can recognize the stages in their pornography viewing habits. From the initial sexual thoughts, a feeling of fear and a desire to avoid watching are triggered; despite these feelings, the compulsion to watch pornography is too great, leading to a sense of shame and guilt after watching. While a person trapped in this cycle will vow to never watch pornography again, sexual thoughts recur and lead to another round of this pattern.

If you recognize these symptoms of pornography addiction in yourself, here are the steps you can take to overcome your addiction.

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5 Tips To Help Your Loved One Post-Rehab

One in ten people in this country suffer from some type of dependency on drugs or alcohol. Today, that equals to approximately …

Why We Should Provide Treatment Versus Punishment to Addicts

Approximately 66% of Americans believe that addicts need treatment and not jail sentencing, according to a study conducted …

Teen Suicide Prevention

Per the Center for Disease Control more than 5,000 young people between the ages of 15 and 24 took their own lives in 2015, …