Wednesday, June 22, 2016

How Addiction Affects Women and Men Differently

addiction affects women differently men
Today in the United States, women are the fastest-growing portion of the population dealing with substance abuse. The Federal Center for Substance Abuse Prevention estimates approximately 2.7 million women in the United States abuse alcohol or drugs.

No Longer Ignored 
Traditionally, research on substance abuse and addiction used to focus on men. It has only been during the past two decades that there was a shift after U.S. agencies made it a requirement to include women in federally funded studies. Addiction treatment facilities once used research based on men to create their programs, but this has now changed and differences in gender are taken into account.

The Facts
In 2008 it the U.S. National Survey on Drug Use and Health reported that 11.5% of men and 6.4% of women are addicted to substances. Despite the fact that men are more likely to have substance dependence or addiction problems, women tend to become dependent on addictive substances more quickly, can find it harder to quit using and are more likely to relapse.

Although both men and women deal with addiction, females face unique challenges. Here are five things you might not know about women and addiction:

Women and men metabolize substances differently. Because women are, on average, smaller than men one alcoholic beverage has about twice the impact physically that it does on a man, especially on the organs—potentially doing serious damage to a woman’s body much more quickly than it would on a man.

Women are less likely to seek treatment. In addition to financial challenges and social stigma, childcare responsibilities often keep women from seeking the help they need.

Women’s body chemistry can make them more susceptible to addiction. While more research is necessary, some studies have suggested that estrogen may influence the feeling of pressure in the brain that occurs while using substances, potentially making women more likely to experience intense cravings and become addicted to drugs or alcohol.

Women are more likely to relapse. Because women are biologically more vulnerable to addiction, they can be prone to falling back into substance abuse.

Women can be at risk for abusing prescriptions. While men may experiment with prescription opioids to get high, women tend to keep unused medications or even use sedatives to enhance the efficacy of pain killers. Due to the fact that they are more prone to suffer from chronic pain conditions, women are more likely to receive prescription pain relief, which can lead to opioid abuse.

Moving Forward
Women may deal with many trials while battling addiction, but there is hope. Finding the right 12-step program that is specifically designed for women’s needs can help you heal. Rising Roads Recovery has created a program that is dedicated to helping women get and stay sober. Contact us for more information at 1-866-746-1558.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

The Art of Recovery

art therapy addiction recoverySeeking inpatient treatment for addiction is one of the most important decisions you’ll make for your recovery. But verbally expressing your feelings about the issues in your life that led you to substance abuse can be difficult. Psychologists understand that sometimes seeking an alternative form of communication can be helpful in the healing process and art therapy can help many work through their emotions in a healthy manner.

It has helped patients for decades
Art therapy has been used in addiction treatment since the 1950s. By using the creative process, patients can express themselves in non-verbal ways. They can make incident drawings, which recreate an image of an instance that happened while they were using drugs or alcohol, as well as sculptures or even an art journal. Painting during times of anxiety can be extremely helpful in relieving stress.

Over the years, research has suggested that art therapy offers many benefits, including helping patients work through feelings of denial and shame, as well as reducing their resistance to addiction treatment, all while giving them a healthy outlet for communication. Sometimes art therapy can motivate patients to take an active role in their recovery.

It’s beneficial to women
Art therapy has been shown to be helpful when treating women who have addiction, and with adolescents as it is theorized that women’s social roles and psychosocial needs often respond well to less traditional treatment options. It may help with depression and reduce feelings of anger and stress.

It’s a stress buster
Creating art also reduces stress hormones according to research. After as little as 45 minutes of making art, cortisol levels can lower significantly. Using art therapy often works well within 12-step programs. 

It’s not just one size fits all
Just like art comes in many forms, art therapy can go beyond drawing and painting for patients who express themselves better in other mediums. Music is often part of these programs, as is creative writing, journaling, creating collages, dramatic role play and even sometimes basic construction or woodworking projects. You can try different forms until you find the one that suits you best.

It can help you heal
Creating and completing a work of art – whether it is a sculpture, portrait or short story – can give a patient a sense of accomplishment and this boost of confidence can sometimes ignite the initiative to move forward in the healing process.

So don’t worry if you aren’t Pablo Picasso and can barely draw a straight line – the act of creating and expressing yourself can help soothe your anxiety and lift your mood, allowing you to open up and release some of the tension that holds you back.

Rising Roads Recovery offers art therapy as one aspect of its treatment program for addiction. We understand that art has the potential to be a powerful tool to use for emotional growth and we encourage our patients to use it to express themselves. Please inquire at 1-866-746-1558 to start your recovery today.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Using Yoga to Help Heal the Suffering of Addiction

yoga for addiction treatment

When starting out on the road to recovery from addiction, finding ways to manage the stressors in your life while staying healthy and active can be an overwhelming challenge. But for many women going through treatment, taking up yoga in a 12 step program can offer complimentary help to them in getting back on the path to living a fulfilling lifestyle.

Yoga has been aiding people with handling the physical and mental complexities of life for centuries. Although it originated in Northern India more than 5,000 years ago, it started to gain attention in the West during the late 1800s when Indian yoga masters introduced it to other cultures while traveling abroad. Today it is estimated that over 20 million Americans now practice this ancient discipline. 

Beyond Deep Breathing 

While to non-practitioners it may at first appear to be a lot of stretching and breathing and intricate poses, yoga enthusiasts enjoy it for the sense of emotional and physical equilibrium that it brings them. And as more and more people embrace this custom, we have learned that humans benefit from the many advantages derived from this ancient practice:

It helps reduce stress and anxiety – By learning to relax and breathe through the practice of yoga, you can start to develop healthy coping mechanisms during difficult times. The mechanisms provide a lasting alternative to unhealthy coping skills established during active addiction.
It’s exercise – Research has shown that much like aerobics, yoga can increase your energy level, flexibility, strength and even help with weight loss.
• It’s good for your physical health – Yoga can help repair your body from the wrath of addiction by helping you maintain a balanced metabolism, improve your circulation, increase muscle tone and potentially decrease your risk for cardiovascular disease.
• It’s a natural mood lifter – Yoga can aid you in releasing aggression, anger and tension in a constructive manner, which is key for those who previously turned to substances to relieve uncomfortable emotions.
• It can help with pain relief – While it can provide a reprieve from back pain, yoga can also potentially protect you from some forms of injury. Yoga has been used as an effective pain management alternative to addictive opioid medications.

 Rehabilitating Your Mind and Body 

By calming the mind and toning the body, yoga can help you get back in touch with yourself while you heal. In addition to how beneficial yoga is to the mind and body, it can help you obtain a level of self-discipline, if you practice it regularly, and it integrates well into a 12-step recovery program. 

Rising Roads Recovery helps women address their addictions and build skills to move forward in life. From transitional residential care and post relapse care to specialized care, Rising Roads Recovery offers nutritional guidance, art therapy, cooking and yoga classes, 12 step groups and educational and employment assistance services that allow women to move toward a brighter future. Learn more by calling 1-866-746-1558.