A woman sitting by a Christmas tree, struggling with holiday stress.

Healthy Ways to Cope with the Stress and Anxiety of the Holidays

Stress around the holidays is as typical as Santa and his sleigh. From the expectations of buying the perfect gifts to all the social gatherings and holiday parties, finding time to breath and decompress can seem like an impossible task. Add the stress of managing a substance use disorder and the holidays can become the perfect recipe for an unexpected relapse incident.

While experiencing stress and anxiety around this time of year is a common occurrence, finding a way to avoid a setback along your recovery journey is achievable with the proper planning and preparation. Having a plan in place to address the temptation to relapse before it occurs is the perfect way to enjoy the most wonderful time of the year.

Ways to Deal with Holiday Stress

The reason so many people living with addiction find themselves facing the temptation to relapse around this time of year is because, as human beings, we tend to fall back into comfortable habits when we are faced with personal stressors.

For someone who lives with a substance addiction, the holidays can provide an easy excuse to pour an extra drink or get high to ‘calm the nerves’ and help them ‘make it through the season.’ The key is to find healthy ways to keep cravings at bay and stand strong in your sobriety.

Holiday Stress Tips

  • Take a Break from Mandatory Family Time
    Making the most of holiday time spent with your extended family and friends is usually everyone’s goal during this time of year. However, finding moments to calm your mind alone is essential. Perhaps you can grab a tea or step outside to breath in the fresh air. That quick break from the group can be just what you need to reset your mental and emotional self and provide perspective.

While the holidays are typically a very social time of year, don’t feel the pressure to put too much on yourself all the time. Your social skills and mental health need a rest sometimes, so take one.

  • Actively Practice Being Grateful
    Try not to take anything for granted because there is always something or someone to be grateful for in your life. Even if you are missing someone this season, being grateful for the people who are still with you is a great way to reframe somber moments.

A great way to change a down mindset is to have something to look forward to at the start or end of each day. That could be a specially prepared latte, a soothing shower, listening to your favorite band, taking a mindful walk outside or even working on a hobby.

It is simply important to find enjoyment while you’re doing it. This is because when you engage in something you enjoy, you dramatically reduce the stress you may be feeling.

  • Take Time to Invest in Your Wellbeing
    It’s common to experience an increase in obligations and events during the holiday season. Planning, shopping and preparations routinely take up a significant amount of time and can cause a fair amount of stress. In addition, it’s normal to increase your focus on others and it becomes easy to neglect yourself in the process.

If you want to be able to genuinely enjoy your time with friends and family, it’s essential that you take care of yourself. Investing in your well-being will allow you to be more present, engaged, energized, helpful and healthy. This can mean scheduling time to work out or finding moments to practice mindfulness. Whatever it is, the key is to purposefully focus on your physical and mental health, so you can manage your stress and appreciate time with those around you.

How to Manage Holiday Stress When Addiction is Already in the Picture

If you are already finding yourself feeling stressed out and overwhelmed, it is important to acknowledge those emotions and reach out for help. It is common for co-occurring disorders to flare up when stressful times set in. This can drive someone with addictive impulses back toward the very drugs or alcohol that exacerbates the problems being experienced.

This is because mental health issues – like anxiety and depression – routinely drive people to self-medicate, thinking they are helping themselves when, in reality, they are significantly compounding the problem. Fortunately, there are holistic treatment options that can help. These options are rooted in proven clinical techniques and trainings, which can address your mental health issues and addiction in a safe and secure environment.

The key is to not wait until the problem grows out of control, but to face your disease early on with the help of a clinically trained treatment staff. This will enable you to gain the support and guidance you need to get your life back on track for all the celebrations and holidays to come.

Holistic Drug and Alcohol Addiction Treatment at Ranch Creek Recovery

From all of us at Ranch Creek Recovery, we wish you a safe and truly wonderful holiday season. If you’ve struggled with addiction in the past, always remind yourself of how strong you are and how far you’ve come.

Should you find yourself in a situation where your substance of choice has crept back into your life, you need to get back on track as soon as possible – and we’re here for you. At Ranch Creek Recovery, we address addiction recovery and relapse prevention head on through our non-12-step, individualized, holistic addiction treatment programs.

Our team of treatment experts will work one-on-one with you to create a custom treatment and recovery plan that will help you feel confident and ready to re-enter your sober life. Have questions? We’re here to help in any way we can. Contact us today.

CALL NOW: (877) 293-8607

A depressed man dealing with co-occurring grief and an alcohol addiction.

The Connection Between Grief and Addiction Use

Grief, in any form, can be a massive weight on your shoulders. After all, having to process and manage the loss of a friend or loved one is difficult to even put into words. Grief is unique for everyone and typically varies in the time it takes to process the loss and move forward. It is not uncommon to suffer a wide array of emotional reactions when dealing with grief – from depression to anxiety and everything in between.

Even more common is falling into toxic habits like alcohol use to try to numb the pain and feel better. Unfortunately, this can lead to a vicious cycle of alcohol addiction that doesn’t actually help you overcome your grief.

Can Grief Cause Addiction?

According to recent studies, 37 percent of Americans have reported experiencing some form of significant grief due to the loss of someone close to them over the past three years. These individuals have had to find a way to manage these emotions in order to continue on with their lives.

Unfortunately, addiction is far too often the result of someone experiencing grief and having no real way to process their emotional experience in a safe and healthy manner. Self-medicating to drown out difficult feelings may seem like a viable option for someone living with the pain of loss. However, the temporary relief that substance use provides can quickly spiral into a full-blown addiction that destroys the mind and body.

Does Alcohol Make Grief Worse?

As previously stated, alcohol is often a form of self-medication for people experiencing grief. The flood of energy that drinking alcohol can provide is often a welcome relief against the depression or hopelessness experienced after a loss.

However, people who frequently use alcohol to self-medicate are typically more likely to also experience increased feelings of depression once the alcohol wears off. This is because excessive alcohol consumption negatively affects important mood-regulating chemicals in the brain. The more these chemicals are thrown out of homeostasis, the more your overall health will significantly deteriorate.

If you decide to keep drinking to manage your grief, the neurotransmitters in your brain will struggle to achieve a natural balance – this will result in an ongoing, and severely depressed state of being.

Can Grief Cause Alcohol Addiction?

The short answer to this question is yes, grief can cause alcohol addiction. Imagine using alcohol to not only manage your grief, but to also erase and mute any feelings associated with the pain you are feeling.

Initially, the effort may seem valid. Unfortunately, the fact is that alcohol can quickly attack everything within your body – from your heart to your brain – leaving you physically depreciated and emotionally unstable.

At this point, the only way to manage is to keep drinking more and more to maintain your composure and stave off the negative consequences of drinking too much. When you hit this level of consumption, your grief has triggered a diagnosable alcohol addiction.

What We Know about Grief and Alcohol

What studies and research have shown us about the connection between grief and alcohol is significant. Drinking alcohol in excess on a consistent basis can result in:

  • Depression of the brain and nervous system
    Alcohol is a known central nervous system depressant. This is important to understand because alcohol effectively blocks stress hormones, or corticotropins. These are the chemicals your body releases to cope with difficult scenarios. When you consume too much alcohol, you deplete your cortisol levels, and this can cause your mood to go down while your irritability steadily increases.
  • Significant feelings of fatigue
    Drinking in excess can make you feel sluggish. That is because your body is trying to repair itself from all the harmful effects your drinking has caused. It is commonly known as going through withdrawal. Over the course of time, fatigue has a way of driving your mood downward. This can prove extremely difficult to manage because you don’t have the ability to do the normal things you used to – like working out and spending time with friends.
  • Increased feelings of anxiety
    One of the ways alcohol makes your grief worse is by causing you to also become anxious. It doesn’t typically happen from casual drinking, but, instead, from chronic alcohol consumption. What is important to understand is that alcohol stimulates the automatic nervous system. In turn, this can make you feel more animated and anxious because what goes up must come down; meaning, your mood will eventually decrease significantly.

There is Life-Changing Help That Can Address Both Your Grief and Addiction

A co-occurring disorder refers to a scenario in which you are dealing with both mental health issues and substance addiction. Focusing on one area or the other leaves a major part of the problem unresolved, which is no way to achieve sustained health and happiness.

That is why it is so important to find a treatment facility capable of treating both your emotional struggles and your substance use disorder to help you achieve long-term healing and recovery. This allows you to repair every area of your mind and body, leading you to greater success and a more effective method of sustained sobriety.

Holistic Co-Occurring Disorder Treatment at Ranch Creek Recovery

The cycle you’re caught up in doesn’t have to rule your life forever. You can face your grief and substance abuse head-on with individualized support at Ranch Creek Recovery.

Learn more about our dual diagnosis treatment program. You can also contact us today to get your questions answered and find out how to get your treatment started at our luxury treatment center in Murrieta, CA.

CALL NOW: (877) 293-8607

A woman sitting with her head in her hand with alcohol on the table in front of her.

The Unique Challenges of Addiction for Women

It is no secret that women who struggle with addiction face noticeable different roadblocks and difficulties along their recovery journey than their male counterparts. The origins of their substance use disorders can range from biological traits to experienced traumas, and the therapeutic interventions they seek can require a specialized approach in order to help them achieve sustained sobriety.

That is why the unique challenges facing women living with addiction are best addressed by clinical treatment providers who are specifically trained to address those challenges and provide guidance that is tailored to their individual needs.

Finding a treatment facility capable of this therapeutic approach requires both research and understanding into the specific roadblocks impacting women who are living with a substance use disorder. This ensures that the potential for success is both viable and longstanding.

Why Women Use Drugs

There are a variety of reasons why women use drugs. Some may be dealing with severe traumatic experiences, while others may be attempting to manage mental health issues through self-medication.

Some of the more notable issues impacting addiction among women include:

• Feelings of loneliness
• Body image issues
• Loss of self-esteem
• Personal stress
• Relationship issues

While these are not the only reasons influencing addiction among women, they do provide some insight into what may spark a substance use disorder or perpetuate a bad habit that already existed.

Why Women Struggle with Addiction

The specific factors influencing addiction among women are more common than you may think.

Studies show that over the past decade, the use of alcohol among women in the U.S rose nearly 20 percent. Over that span of time, the percentage of women who consumed four or more drinks on a given day each week skyrocketed by nearly 60 percent.

Additionally, opioid addiction among women has continued to rise exponentially with hospitalizations increasing 75 percent over that same time period. Some influencing factors include:

• Needs of their kids
• Pressures associated with their careers
• Aging bodies
• Various traumatic experiences
• Financial pressure

While these were just a small sample of the unique stressors experienced by women struggling with addiction, they do highlight a variety of stressors that women endure on a consistent basis.

How Addiction Affects Women

Finding a way to both confront your addiction and receive the help necessary to overcome its grip on your life is no simple accomplishment. It requires not only understanding how your disease has impacted your life, but also why it has been so difficult to defeat.

Being aware of how addictive patterns develop is key to identifying their existence and beginning your journey back to a sober state of being.

Some ways in which addiction affects women include the following:

  • Women face unique social pressures and influences
    Consider the marketing of alcohol to women and the “mommy needs wine” mentality blasted on social media. Popular Facebook groups like “Moms Who Need Wine” have tens of thousands of fans and one company even calls wine “Mommy Juice.” Drinking is celebrated with memes and photos of cocktails as a way to cope with the stress of motherhood. All of this targeted media directly influences personal drinking habits and the increasing drinking trends among women.
  • Experiencing pain is a common driver of addiction among women
    Several studies have shown that women suffer more frequently and more intensely from pain and they may require more medication to achieve relief. In one study, women required at least double the morphine needed by males to achieve comparable pain relief. They also are more likely to have chronic and inflammatory pain conditions, such as fibromyalgia and osteoarthritis.
  • Women are more often exposed to certain types of trauma that can fuel drug abuse
    Interpersonal violence can play a significant role in how and why women fall into addiction. A history of violent trauma is more common among women with drug addiction, placing them at high risk for post-traumatic stress disorder. They’ve also had more exposure to incest, sexual abuse, and family violence, and are often more vulnerable than men to physical attacks.

How Addiction Treatment Can Help

The benefits of substance abuse treatment, regardless of your specific gender or identification, is important to consider. Getting the best care possible when seeking therapy and treatments requires you to find potential treatment centers that offer clinically qualified services by licensed and trained staff.

Some benefits of treatment focused on women’s substance abuse issues are that it allows women a safe place to open up without fear or embarrassment while focusing on their specific needs. Additionally, treatment of this nature is developed with women’s problems in mind and helps women form friendships with other women who are in a similar situation, fostering a sense of safety throughout the entire treatment experience.

At a luxury treatment center like Ranch Creek Recovery, the belief that women can receive the treatment they need in a safe and compassionate environment is at the forefront of every interaction. Through dual diagnosis treatment, we specialize in addressing emotional or psychiatric issues that may be contributing to their addiction problem.

This comprehensive approach ensures that your time in treatment highlights all your specific concerns and ensures your therapeutic experience is second to none.

Addiction Recovery Programs that Cater to Women’s Needs at Ranch Creek Recovery

You can quit your addiction and lead a thriving life. Our individualized treatment programs are gender-specific, allowing us to address your unique challenges and needs as a woman. Learn more about our addiction treatment programs or contact us today to start your journey toward recovery.

CALL NOW: (877) 293-8607

A doctor buries his head in his hands as he deals with stress and addiction.

Do Healthcare Professionals Have a Higher Risk of Addiction?

For most healthcare professionals, managing the needs of other people is an everyday responsibility. While some focus on the physical ailments impacting the lives of their patients, others turn their attention to the internal workings of the mind. The manner in which healthcare professionals help carry the burdens of the patients they serve is far reaching and constant.

In doing so, the actual needs and problems that impact a healthcare professional personally can sometimes get neglected and overlooked, leaving that provider to ignore their own issues until they become too hard to handle.

In those cases, it is not uncommon for an individual to turn to unhealthy means of stress management, such as self-medicating with drugs or alcohol, to manage their struggles. If you’re a nurse, doctor, EMT or another healthcare professional struggling with addiction right now, understanding what you’re going through can help.

Addiction in Medical Professionals

Being a medical professional doesn’t make you immune from substance abuse. The stress that you experience can not only become overwhelming at times (especially with COVID-19), but it can also force you to cope with your daily emotions through less than healthy methods of stress management.

Recent research has indicated that nearly 40 percent of all medical professionals reported experiencing emotional, physical, and psychological burnout at times from their job, leading to increased instances of substance use and addiction within the profession.

Making the situation worse is the fact that medical professionals typically have easier access to certain prescription medications, including pain killers and antidepressants. This not only increases the potential for prescription drug abuse, but it also can put patients they’re caring for in danger due to the addictive behavioral patterns they are living with.

Addiction in Doctors

Due to the stressors and high stakes associated with the medical profession, 69 percent of doctors reported that they had abused prescription medication to relieve stress and physical or emotional pain at some point in their careers.

While access to prescription medications is readily available to most physicians, a nationwide study indicated that alcohol is the most commonly abused substance among doctors in the U.S.

Considering that the national average of alcohol abuse among the entire United States population is 6.2 percent, it is concerning that 12.9 percent of male physicians and 21.9 percent of female physicians admitted to abusing alcohol to the point of meeting the qualifications of a diagnosable substance use disorder.

Addiction in Nurses

Just like their medical counterparts, nurses have reported significantly higher rates of substance abuse and addiction. People within the profession reported increased levels of prescription pill abuse, as well as, more frequent instances of binge drinking.

These instances of self-medicating have been attributed to:

  • The stress of dealing with patients on a daily basis
  • The lack of support nurses tend to experience from the doctors within their facilities
  • The potential for case management overload

These personal stressors – combined with the physical toll that is associated with common nursing duties, like bending, lifting heavy patients, being on their feet all day, etc. – create a scenario where addiction can not only originate, but it can actually flourish.

Medical Professionals and Addiction: Break the Cycle You’re Caught Up In

Working as a healthcare professional is a commendable occupation. However, having the bravery and fortitude to admit you are struggling with a substance use problem is not only a personal achievement; it is another way you can safely and effectively care for the patients that you have committed your life to protecting.

That’s because it is imperative to take care of yourself before you can actually take care of those around you. For any healthcare professional struggling with a substance addiction, there is no way to provide for the needs of others if your personal health and overall wellbeing is compromised.

Fortunately, there are clinical treatment providers who have committed their lives to helping people overcome their substance addiction through therapeutic techniques and interventions rooted in healing the mind, body and soul.

Because, after all, doing no harm is not only a phrase used to guide the medical practices you provide, it is a mantra that reinforces the importance of maintaining self-care and achieving personal wellbeing.

Holistic Addiction Treatment at Ranch Creek Recovery’s Tranquil Rehab Center

With customized treatment plans that fit your unique recovery needs and offering an alternative to the traditional 12-step program, Ranch Creek Recovery’s holistic treatment services will help you stop abusing drugs or alcohol and forge a fulfilling, clean future.

Our treatment programs have a six-client max. This allows us to provide you with complete, individualized care and 24/7 support. Through every treatment program, holistic mindfulness and addiction recovery walk hand-in-hand, helping you center your mind, body and spirit as you begin to forge your new, sober life.

Learn more about our addiction treatment programs. Have questions? We’re here to help in any way we can. Contact us today.

CALL NOW: (877) 293-8607

A depressed woman sits with a glass of wine in front of her.

Why Women Abuse Alcohol

The unique pressures that women within our society experience on a daily basis can sometimes seem endless and overwhelming.

From the constant barrage of beauty expectations to the varying roles woman embody – like mother, wife, partner, career woman and more – finding validation and comfort can sometimes prove rather elusive. That’s why it’s no wonder that some women begin self-medicating to manage the stress and pressure they experience.

The idea of masking negative emotional experiences and personal stress with alcohol is never a realistic long-term plan to manage those issues. However, in the moment, simply drowning sorrows or perceived shortcomings in alcohol may be the only thing that makes sense.

Common Reasons Why Women Drink

From 2001 to 2013, the prevalence of alcohol use among women living within the U.S. rose nearly 16 percent. During that same time period, the percentage of women who consumed four or more drinks on a given day, on a weekly basis, shot up 58 percent.

The reasoning behind this trend was marked by the significant pressures placed upon women, including:

  • Career pressure
  • Financial pressure
  • Needs of their kids
  • Needs of senior parents
  • Aging bodies
  • Adjusting to an empty nest
  • Trauma (especially sexual abuse)1

While these were just a snapshot of the unique stressors experienced by women, they highlight the wide variety of stress that women endure on a consistent basis.

Signs of Alcoholism in Women

Recognizing the warning signs of an alcohol use disorder is so important when addressing the issue and beginning the process of recovery. While the actual signs of alcoholism in women can vary, some of the more common indicators that a genuine issue exists are easy to spot if you know what to look for.

Common signs can include:

  • Drinking takes place in every area of life – If a person is drinking when they are happy or sad, celebrating or unwinding, feeling up or feeling down, then the issue is probably larger than they think. Using alcohol to cope with life is a recipe for disaster, and that much drinking can quickly result in a full-blown alcohol addiction.
  • Consuming alcohol impacts her personality – If your loved one is known to “change” when she’s drinking, it’s a good sign that her alcohol use has taken on a mind of its own. She may go from being a kind, sweet person to being mean and verbally abusive after just a few drinks. Or, she could change from being shy and quiet to being loud and aggressive. She could become overly emotional when drinking, while – when sober – she rarely expresses any emotions. However, the transformation takes place, if there is a noticeable shift in her personality and demeanor, consider it an obvious warning sign.
  • Forgetting details and “blacking out” is not uncommon – Alcohol disrupts activity in the hippocampus, a region of the brain that plays a key role in the formation of new memories, and the more you drink, the more impaired your memory becomes. Blacking out can happen if you drink on an empty stomach or you down several drinks in quick succession. But when it’s a regular occurrence, this is a significant indicator that a deeper issue exists.2

These are far from the only warning signs that indicate an alcohol abuse issue exists, but they are common among women who struggle with alcohol addiction.

The important thing is to make yourself aware of any obvious changes in your loved one’s actions and personality when they are drinking. This enables you to identify concerning patterns of behavior and intercede when necessary.

Women and Alcohol: What You Need to Know

The fact of the matter is alcohol abuse is significantly different for women. It can result in a wide variety of physical health issues and regularly increases their problems. Understanding how alcohol abuse impacts your loved one’s overall well-being is essential to helping them address their addiction and begin their path toward recovery.

Some of the more concerning health issues specific to women dealing with alcohol addiction include:

  • Liver Damage
    Women who regularly misuse alcohol are more likely than men who drink the same amount to develop alcoholic hepatitis, a potentially fatal alcohol-related liver condition. This pattern of drinking can also lead to cirrhosis (permanent liver scarring).
  • Heart Disease
    Long-term alcohol misuse is a leading cause of heart disease. Women are more susceptible to alcohol-related heart disease than men, even though they may consume less alcohol over their lifetime than men.
  • Brain Damage
    Research suggests that alcohol misuse produces brain damage more quickly in women than in men. In addition, a growing body of evidence shows that alcohol can disrupt normal brain development during the adolescent years, and there may be differences in the impact of alcohol on the brains of teen girls and boys who drink.3

Luckily, you have the ability to provide the support and guidance needed to help your loved one deal with their alcohol addiction and begin helping them make strides toward a healthier lifestyle.

However, you go about discussing your concerns with your loved one, making it a priority to initiate the conversation and address their addictive behaviors is the first step. Take the time to research quality treatment facilities with clinically trained and licensed staff that can best address your loved one’s addictive behaviors.

This enables them to confidently begin their process toward recovery, knowing they’ll have the full support of their family along the way.

Holistic Alcohol Addiction Treatment at Ranch Creek Recovery

Alcohol has no power over your loved one, and from the moment they take their first step toward sobriety, we will be with them throughout the entire journey and into sobriety. At Ranch Creek Recovery, we provide holistic detox and alcohol recovery treatment that delivers personalized and long-lasting care.

Learn more about Ranch Creek Recovery’s alcohol addiction treatment program and rehab approach or contact us today to get your questions answered.

CALL NOW: (877) 293-8607

Resources:

1 Center for Disease Control and Prevention. Excessive Alcohol Use and Risks to Women’s Health. Accessed March 5, 2020. https://www.cdc.gov/alcohol/fact-sheets/womens-health.htm.

2 National Center for Biotechnology Information. Converging Patterns of Alcohol Use and Related Outcomes Among Females and Males in the United States, 2002 to 2012. Accessed March 5, 2020. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26331879.

3 National Center for Biotechnology Information. Sex and gender-related differences in alcohol use and its consequences: Contemporary knowledge and future research considerations. Accessed March 5, 2020. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26371405.

A recovering addict and a female therapist talk during a dialectical behavior therapy session.

Outcomes of Practicing Dialectical Behavior Therapy

Overcoming an addiction requires strength and commitment to confront the disease and properly address the addictive behaviors that have plagued your life. While much of the responsibility of achieving a happier and healthier lifestyle is yours to shoulder, finding a qualified clinical facility to guide your path is just as essential.

Taking the time to research the types of treatment available enables you to not only choose the one that best fits your personal needs, but it also empowers you to align with the therapeutic approach before beginning the program.

From cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) to dialectical behavior therapy (DBT), the numerous options available can sometimes feel overwhelming. Fortunately for you, this article breaks down the basics of DBT to give you a better understanding of the treatment approach to identify if it may be a good fit for your recovery.

What is Dialectical Behavior Therapy?

DBT is a form of talk therapy that implements a cognitive behavioral approach during the therapeutic process. It encourages people to address personal deficits in their lives to develop skills and abilities to improve their negative personal behavioral traits.

A key focus of DBT is to help an individual improve their ability to use skilled behavior when necessary through positive emotional regulation and better decision-making. This helps to develop effective coping skills and encourages an individual to not only identify their addictive impulses, but to also implement the necessary skills to avoid instances of relapse.

What are the Benefits of Dialectical Behavior Therapy?

While most forms of cognitive behavioral treatment have been shown to be effective in treating addiction, the specific benefits of DBT revolve around the relationship component of the therapeutic approach.

The therapist and patient work to establish attainable goals, and they engage in weekly treatment sessions to develop a viable game plan and implement accountability throughout the course of treatment. Learning to work through your negative emotions allows you to normalize your experiences and develop better ways to overcome instances of temptation to attain sustained sobriety.

In order to achieve personal success in DBT, four specific skills are generally focused on. These include:

  • Distress tolerance – When someone is experiencing a distressful situation, it is common to want to relieve that feeling immediately. For those struggling with addiction, this typically includes taking drugs or drinking to avoid the negative feeling, but DBT teaches you to accept and tolerate those feelings instead of trying to escape them.
  • Mindfulness – Learning to be completely present in the moment and aware of your surroundings is a skill that requires practice and patience. Dealing with an addiction can force you to avoid people and isolate yourself while you continue to indulge your addiction. Training to peacefully live in the moment allows you to confront your disease and overcome the grip it has had on your life.
  • Emotional regulation – This typically includes learning to properly identify the emotions you are experiencing to find effective ways to change them into positive experiences. By identifying the obstacles impacting your addiction and the emotions driving your addictive impulses, you learn to process those feelings in a healthy manner before they result in a relapse.
  • Interpersonal effectiveness – When you are unable to interact with people effectively or maintain healthy relationships, you tend to experience increased stress and conflict. Learning to say “no” when necessary, or to communicate with people to avoid unhealthy relationships and interactions, is vital to achieving a healthier state of mind.

Bad behaviors typically develop when you are trying to cope with bad experiences or negative emotions. For someone struggling with addiction, developing healthier decision patterns and ways of thinking is essential to achieving success in therapy.

By learning to accept yourself and embrace your faults, you begin to heal the emotional scars that have impacted your addictive behaviors for far too long.

Outcomes of DBT: What is the Effectiveness of DBT in Addiction Rehab and Recovery?

Cognitive behavioral treatment and cognitive restructuring are two of the more proven methods of achieving long-term success in addiction treatment and recovery. DBT takes these concepts and introduces effective communication to develop a plan to help you achieve success and provide a clinical guide during your recovery journey.

Recent studies have reinforced the fact that DBT is an effective method of addressing substance addiction by teaching a person to identify and develop the necessary skills to not only achieve sobriety, but to also avoid unnecessary instances of relapse.

The key is to not simply participate in treatment but to engage with your therapist – entrusting them with your emotions to learn better ways of experiencing both the good and bad moments in your life.1

Life-Changing Holistic Addiction Recovery and Relapse Prevention at Ranch Creek Recovery

Ranch Creek Recovery offers dialectical behavior therapy from an individualized approach with world-renowned licensed therapists and addiction recovery experts. We are a luxury, non-12-step rehab and holistic treatment center where a large component of our treatment programs is focused on cognitive behavioral therapy and dialectical behavior therapy.

At Ranch Creek Recovery, our team of treatment experts will work one-on-one with you to create a
custom treatment plan that includes therapy sessions and holistic, experiential treatment. This treatment can help you center your mind, body and spirit as you begin to forge your new, sober life.

Learn more about Ranch Creek Recovery, including what we offer and what we treat.

CALL NOW: (877) 293-8607

Resources:

1 National Center for Biotechnology Information. Dialectical Behavior Therapy for Substance Abusers. Accessed February 12, 2020. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2797106/.

Is Addiction Contributing to Homelessness in California?

Does homelessness or addiction come first? Find out the connection between homelessness and addiction in California.

 

We live in a world that is quick to judge. Every day, we see people around us and immediately make snap decisions on their place in society and what type of personality attributes they possess. For example, when most people see a homeless person they immediately think, “drug addict” and turn the other way.

In most major cities, you see these individuals standing on the side of the road asking for donations or job opportunities, but the predominant perception is that they are deviants or addicted to some substance.

The truth is that a high percentage of homeless people do struggle with substance abuse, but addictions should be viewed as illnesses that require a great deal of treatment, counseling and support in order to successfully overcome.

Substance abuse is both a cause and a result of homelessness, often arising after people lose their housing or some other stabilizing factor in their lives. Understanding the prevalence of homelessness and how it interacts with substance addiction is essential to helping those living in destitution better their situation and address their addiction.

Homelessness in California by the Numbers

According to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, 151,278 individuals are currently homeless in California. That’s the highest number since at least 2007 and represents a 17 percent uptick since 2018.

It has become so bad that the United Nations recently compared the tent encampments in San Francisco to the slums of New Deli and Mexico City. Los Angeles’ Skid Row is now home to nearly 5,000 homeless people living within a half square mile, highlighting the ever-expanding issue.

While homelessness has been something that most in California have ignored due to its isolated locations, recent trends suggest that won’t be possible much longer. In recent years, homeless people have begun appearing in areas where they hadn’t typically been visible, causing the entire state to begin forming government funded initiatives to address the concern.1

How Does Addiction Impact Homelessness within California

Substance abuse is often a cause of homelessness due to the toll that substance addiction can have on a person’s life. In California, certain factors have impacted the surging numbers of homelessness, including:

  • Substance Abuse
  • Mental illness
  • Physical Disabilities
  • Cost of Living

Recent studies found that about 67 percent of the state’s homeless population had either a mental illness or a substance use disorder. Individually, substance addiction affects 46 percent of those living on the streets — more than three times the rate previously reported — and mental illness, including post-traumatic stress disorder, affects 51 percent of those living on the streets, according to the analysis.

And there’s more that’s impacting the homeless population. Statistics indicate that substance abuse negatively impacts up to 75 percent of the current unsheltered population.

These facts, and the rising number of people experiencing homelessness in California, directly identifies the overwhelming need to provide qualified substance addiction therapy to those looking to begin their recovery journey.2

Steps California is Taking to Help Those in Need

Los Angeles’ homeless initiatives, along with most initiatives across the state and the nation, emphasize what’s known as a “housing first” strategy. The primary focus is on getting chronically homeless individuals off the streets and into permanent housing, where they can access services to address their substance addiction and mental health issues.

While this is commendable, ignoring the underlying issues of addiction or mental illness is a recipe for failure.3 This is why qualified treatment facilities capable of housing individuals while they receive comprehensive therapy and care is so important.

Substance addiction is both a cause and a result of homelessness, so addressing both issues simultaneously is the only way to achieve sustained success. Results suggest that stable housing during and after treatment greatly decreases the risk of relapse because of the emotional support and stability that a person feels when they are not worried about where they will sleep every night.

You Can Begin Again

Regardless of how you ended up homeless or if your addiction began before you were in a stable living environment or on the street, deciding to begin your recovery journey is the best decision you will ever make.

There is hope and help for individuals wanting something better out of life. Having the courage to seek assistance and admit that you need support to overcome your addiction is the first step toward a happier and healthier lifestyle.

Life-Changing, Holistic Co-Occurring Addiction Treatment at Ranch Creek Recovery

There’s no need to feel shame or embarrassment because of the disease you are struggling with. Instead, you should feel proud that you’ve faced your demons and found the strength and bravery to overcome them.

At Ranch Creek Recovery, we address addiction recovery and relapse prevention head on through our non-12-step, individualized, holistic addiction treatment programs. Our team of treatment experts will work one-on-one with you to create a custom treatment and recovery plan that will help you feel confident and ready to enter a new, sober life.

Learn about our addiction treatment programs or contact us today. We’re here to help in any way we can.

CALL NOW: (877) 293-8607

Resources:

1 U.S. Department of Housing. HOMELESSNESS TICKED UP IN 2019, DRIVEN BY MAJOR INCREASES IN CALIFORNIA. Accessed January 22, 2020. https://www.hud.gov/press/press_releases_media_advisories/HUD_No_19_177.

2 California Policy Lab. Predicting and Preventing Homelessness in Los Angeles. Accessed January 22, 2020. https://www.capolicylab.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/12/Predicting_and_Preventing_Homelessness_in_Los_Angeles.pdf.

3 The Los Angeles County Homeless Initiative. The Action Plan. Accessed January 22, 2020. https://homeless.lacounty.gov/the-action-plan/.

The Long-Term Effects of Domestic Violence

Domestic violence causes both physical and emotional trauma. For victims of domestic violence, their physical scars may be visible to those around them, but the emotional scars that cut even deeper are oftentimes more difficult to see.

As a society, we empathize with someone who has been physically injured in an accident or who has experienced something physically debilitating. But we routinely minimize the effects of emotional damage and traumatic stress.

While there are continued efforts to better understand the long-term effects of traumatic experiences like domestic violence, the need to continue working toward improved treatment and support is very necessary.

This rings even more true for people who are struggling with addiction that is directly tied to, or the result of, experienced domestic violence. The relationship between trauma of this nature and the development of a diagnosable substance use disorder is very real.

Working to better understand their connection can not only help process the emotions you may be experiencing, but also determine the best course of action toward a happier and healthier life.

Short-Term Effects of Domestic Violence on Victims

For someone experiencing domestic violence for a short time, the effects they typically experience can include:

  • Constantly having their guard up
  • Minor injuries associated with physical confrontations
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Loss of appetite
  • Substance use as a means to control emotions

These effects may vary from person to person, but the emotional stress associated with domestic violence tends to negatively impact the victim in some way.1

Long-Term Effects of Domestic Violence

While the short-term effects of domestic violence typically resolve rather quickly once a person removes themselves from the abusive situation or relationship, the long-term effects can last for years and even decades if the experienced violence persists. These effects can include:

  • Severe depression and anxiety
  • Sustained substance addiction
  • Damaged relationships with family members and friends
  • Inability to establish trust and problems with intimacy1

What Statistics Tell Us About Substance Use and Domestic Violence

Research shows us that substance use and domestic violence are intricately connected. In multiple studies, people who admit to using or being dependent on a substance consistently reported high rates of experienced domestic violence.

Some of the more telling statistics include:

  • In a study of women in substance abuse treatment, 47 percent reported experiencing victimization by an intimate partner at some point in their lives
  • Approximately 67 percent of women accessing substance abuse treatment services reported experiencing domestic violence at some point in the past six months
  • A study of women who use injectable drugs found that 31 percent reported experiencing physical and sexual domestic violence over the previous year
  • A study of women who attend methadone clinics found that 90 percent had experienced domestic violence at some point in their lifetime

In all of these studies, both the past year and lifetime rates of experienced domestic violence among people who use substances is considerably higher than those found in national surveys.

Building off of these concerning trends, many additional studies have identified that women who have been abused by an intimate partner are more likely to use or become dependent on substances, as opposed to women who have not experienced domestic violence.

Additional facts regarding the connection between substance use and domestic violence include:

  • A community-based study of low-income women found higher rates of substance use among domestic violence survivors (26 percent) as compared to those who had not experienced it (5 percent)
  • A national cohort study of 11,782 women found that, compared to those with no history of domestic violence, women with a recent history had nearly six times of problematic alcohol use
  • Results of a large national study indicate that domestic violence survivors are two times as likely as those who have never been victimized to participate in alcohol treatment

However you view it, experiencing domestic violence dramatically increases the likelihood of developing a serious substance addiction. For anyone who has gone through a traumatic experience of this nature, having the courage and bravery to overcome that scenario and ask for help is the best decision they can make.

If you experience an emotional trauma, it is imperative to have a clinical professional diagnose the trauma and help you identify the best way to heal.2

Domestic Violence and Addiction: There is Real, Life Changing Help

Just like any physical trauma can heal, emotional trauma can improve over time, as well. The key to finding that inner peace and renewed happiness resides in the effort you put into your healing, as well as, the clinical professionals who guide the process.

Imagine for a moment that you were diagnosed with a serious illness, like cancer. Would you decide to forgo treatment and try healing the illness on your own or seek out the best medical interventions available in order to fight the disease and reclaim your life?

Overcoming a substance use disorder is no different. There is real help available that can aid in addressing your addictive impulses while also treating your past trauma. Finding a treatment facility to help with your co-occurring disorders requires a commitment to recovery and a genuine desire to want something better for your life.

When you are ready to start your journey, make sure to contact a treatment facility that not only specializes in co-occurring disorders, but also one that has a positive track record and qualified clinical staff.

There’s no time like the present to begin life anew, so don’t wait another moment to reclaim your happiness and health.

Life-Changing, Holistic Co-Occurring Addiction Treatment at Ranch Creek Recovery

The self-perpetuating cycle you’re caught up in doesn’t have to rule your life forever. You can face your domestic violence and addiction hurdles head-on with professional help and individualized support at Ranch Creek Recovery.

Learn more about our dual diagnosis treatment program or contact us today to get your questions
answered and learn more about our all-encompassing approach to co-occurring disorder treatment.

 

CALL NOW: (877) 293-8607

Resources:

1 National Center on Domestic Violence, Trauma & Mental Health. The Relationship Between
Intimate Partner Violence and Substance Use. Accessed January 14, 2020. http://www.nationalcenterdvtraumamh.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/IPV-SAB-Final202.29.1620NO20LOGO-1.pdf.

2 Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. Complex Connections: Intimate Partner Violence and Women’s Substance Abuse and Recovery. Accessed January 14, 2020. https://www.samhsa.gov/sites/default/files/programs_campaigns/women_children_families/relationships-matter-complex-connections-presentation.pdf.

Toxic Masculinity and Addiction

From the day we are born, the concepts of being feminine and masculine take center stage. Whether it be fathers telling their little boys to toughen up or mothers encouraging their little girls to wear dresses and play with dolls, gender roles define and drive how children are raised.

That’s why it’s no wonder these same concepts play such a significant role in our lives as venture out into the world as adults.

Think for a moment about how many gender-specific advertisements you see every day. From your phone to your computer to your television, we are constantly bombarded by the notion of being masculine or feminine.

In the case of toxic masculinity, this idea of gender focus has taken on a mind of its own, amplifying the negative aspects of manhood and perverting it to a point of being toxic.

So, what exactly is toxic masculinity and how can you avoid succumbing to this negative cultural influence? Making yourself aware of its properties and the telltale signs of the terminology is a great place to start.

What is Toxic Masculinity?

The concept of toxic masculinity refers to harmful attitudes and behaviors that are commonly associated with being a man, such as the need to act out in an aggressively dominant way or the need to repress emotions.

Most researchers have traditionally defined the term toxic masculinity, or traditional masculinity ideology, as a set of behaviors and beliefs that include:

  • Maintaining an appearance of hardness
  • Suppressing emotions or masking distress
  • Violence as an indicator of power

Simply put, toxic masculinity is what can come when young boys are taught that they have to be tough all the time or that they can’t express their emotions openly. This jaded idea of what “being a real man” really entails is outdated and emotionally dangerous to men of all ages.

Signs of Toxic Masculinity

While the signs of toxic masculinity may differ between social circles and geographical regions, the predominant warning signs tend to be similar.

Being taught to be a leader is fine, but being taught to be the dominant voice or presence in every situation and scenario can cross the line and becomes more of a toxic expectation. Additionally, one of the ways that toxic masculinity sometimes manifests is through behaviors that ultimately end in violence, and that violence either is enacted on men themselves, or on other people who challenge them socially.

Other warning signs may include:

  • Viewing stereotypically feminine traits, such as being emotionally vulnerable, as weak or unacceptable
  • Thinking the only way to command respect is to act in a dominant manner
  • Using violence as a primary means of addressing conflict
  • Refusing to discuss personally sensitive topics due to an inherent inability to define emotions

The fact of the matter is these negative social roles are a major reason why men and boys are at a disproportionately higher risk of experiencing academic challenges, receiving negative social sanctions and experiencing serious health concerns such as cardiovascular problems and substance addiction.

Men and Addiction: Why Do Men Abuse Drugs?

According to the CDC, men are more likely than women to use all types of illicit drugs. This has been attributed to increased social pressures and peer expectations that men experience from a young age. Because of these maladaptive social roles, men are encouraged to experiment and participate in drug use at a much higher rate than women.1

Men and Addiction: Why Do Men Drink?

In the US, about 20 percent of all men have an alcohol use disorder, as opposed to between 7 and 12 percent for women. This has been attributed to men’s inability to consistently process emotional stressors, as well as, increased pressures from male peer pressure and social expectations.2

Gender Differences in Substance Use Disorders

Regardless of gender, addiction is a nightmare for anyone who is struggling with the disease. But today, we know that there are a number of biological differences between men and women that impact the development of addiction.

For instance, women develop alcohol dependence faster and with a lower amount than men do. This is because women generally have more body fat and lower volume of body water to dilute alcohol.

By contrast, men use alcohol and drugs more frequently and in greater quantities than women. For many young men, male institutions and social rites of passage (sports, fraternities, etc.) encourage the use of alcohol.

Men generally start binge drinking at an earlier age and more frequently than women, which is more likely to result in alcohol-related problems. Due to higher frequency, quantities and binge drinking habits, men are five times more likely to develop a substance use disorder over the course of their lifetime.

While these facts and statistics can be overwhelming, beginning your recovery journey doesn’t have to be. Taking the time to find the right treatment facility to help you address your addiction and overcome your substance use disorder isn’t gender specific. It only requires courage and a desire to live your best life.

Transformative, Individualized Treatment Programs at Ranch Creek Recovery

Trying to overcome an addiction on your own can prove to be an act of futility, especially if you have or are experiencing toxic masculinity in your everyday life.

Our individualized treatment programs address gender-specific issues and tackle addiction recovery through a life-changing, personalized, holistic approach.

Learn about our addiction treatment programs or contact us today. We’re here to help in any way we can.

Resources:

1 National Institute on Drug Abuse. Sex and Gender Differences in Substance Use. Accessed January 13, 2020. https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/research-reports/substance-use-in-women/sex-gender-differences-in-substance-use.

2 National Center for Biotechnology Information. Sex Differences in Drug Abuse. Accessed January 13, 2020. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2235192/.

LGBTQ Substance Abuse

Why Addiction is Higher in the LGBTQ Community

The disease of addiction does not discriminate. It can prove to be a debilitating disorder for any person, regardless of race, gender or sexual orientation. However, for those individuals identifying within the LGBTQ community, dealing with the weight of a substance use disorder can prove to be even more difficult to process.

While their struggles can be attributed to a number of identifiable reasons, taking the time to better understand your loved one – and the individual experiences impacting their substance addiction – can play an intricate role in helping them face their substance use disorder and begin their road to recovery.

LGBTQ Substance Abuse Statistics

Within our society, it is no secret that substance use and substance addiction has grown to epidemic proportions.

A recent study conducted by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, or SAMHSA, reported that 18.7 million people age 18 and over had a substance use disorder within the United States.1

While the sheer number of individuals dealing with a substance use disorder seems staggering, the manner in which substance addiction impacts the LGBTQ community is even more concerning.

Some of the more noticeable statistics include:

  • People who identify as gay or lesbian are more than twice as likely as those who identify as heterosexual to have a severe alcohol use disorder.
  • Those who are unsure how to identify their sexual identity are five times as likely to have a substance use disorder than heterosexual people.
  • People who identify as bisexual are three times as likely to have a substance use disorder.
  • Transgender students were about two and a half times more likely to use drugs, like methamphetamines and cocaine, than their cisgender peers.3

These concerning statistics highlight how substance addiction impacts the LGBTQ community. They reinforce the need your loved one has for your emotional support and encouragement when facing the disease of addiction.

LGBTQ Substance Abuse: Other Important Facts and Insights

Understanding that addiction as a whole impacts the LGBTQ community at a higher rate is important, but breaking down the types of substances used provides greater insight into the struggles that your loved one may be facing.

Some of the more problematic substances among the LGBTQ community include:

  • Amphetamines
    Members of the LGBTQ community are over twelve times more likely to struggle with amphetamine use.
  • Heroin
    Members of the LGBTQ community are nine and a half times more likely to use heroin than heterosexual individual.
  • Alcohol
    20 to 25 percent of the LGBTQ community have a moderate to severe alcohol dependency.2

These facts further work to identify the struggles that your loved one may be facing with addiction and the importance of engaging them in conversation to identify their addiction before it becomes catastrophic.

But why are substance use rates so much higher in the LGBTQ community?

Some of the identified factors impacting this concerning trend include:

  • Limited treatment services for LGBTQ individuals – A national study found that of the 854 treatment programs that reported to have specialized treatment services for LGBTQ people, only 62 confirmed these services actually existed during a telephone follow-up. This means that about 70 percent of the addiction treatment services noted as specialized for LGBTQ people were really no different from those provided to non-LGBTQ people.5
  • Increased stress among those living within the LGBTQ community – While we have made great strides in gay rights over the last 20 years, many LGBTQ individuals still have endured a long, personal history of social prejudice. This can include discriminatory laws and practices in employment, housing, relationship recognition and health care, as well as stigma and challenges with their family and friends. This type of stress can lead to higher levels of anxiety, fear, isolation, depression, anger and mistrust, which can increase the risk of self-medicating with tobacco, alcohol and other drugs.4

Factors such as these directly impact the higher rates of substance addiction within the LGBTQ community and reinforce the necessity for greater understanding and support from the loved ones within their lives.

LGBTQ Substance Abuse Treatment: There Are Life-Changing Treatment Options that Can Help Your Loved One Achieve Sustained Sobriety

Being there for your loved one to support them through their trials and tribulations is no small feat. It requires patience and kindness to empathize with their experienced hardships and work with them to overcome their addiction.

One of the most important things you can do to help a loved one address their substance use disorder is work with them to find a facility that is capable of working with them – personally and professionally – to provide them culturally competent and qualified therapeutic services.

This ensures that they can safely and confidently assimilate into treatment and focus solely on overcoming their addiction.

Holistic LGBTQ Substance Abuse Treatment at Ranch Creek Recovery

We understand you are your loved one’s biggest advocate, and we know how imperative it is for you to help your loved one get clean and stay sober.

If they are ready to get help, or you are seeking insights from addiction recovery experts, Ranch Creek Recovery can help. We are a renowned drug and alcohol addiction treatment facility that is set in a serene and tranquil area in Murrieta, CA. At Ranch Creek, your loved one will enter into a healing environment that’s free of judgement and distractions and supported by an expert team.

Have questions? We’re here to help in any way we can. Contact us today.

CALL NOW: (877) 293-8607

Resources:

1 Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. The National Survey on Drug Use and
Health: 2017. Accessed November 16, 2019. https://www.samhsa.gov/data/sites/default/files/nsduh-ppt-09-2018.pdf

2 Center for Disease Control and Prevention. Sexual Orientation and Health Among U.S. Adults: National Health Interview Survey, 2013. Accessed November 16, 2019. https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nhsr/nhsr077.pdf

3 California Survey System. School Climate, Substance Use, and Well-being Among California Students 2013-2015. Accessed November 16, 2019. https://calschls.org/docs/biennial_state_1315.pdf

4 American Psychological Association. The minority stress perspective. Accessed November 16, 2019. https://www.apa.org/pi/aids/resources/exchange/2012/04/minority-stress

5 National Center for Biotechnology Information. Do specialized services exist for LGBT individuals seeking treatment for substance misuse? A study of available treatment programs. Accessed November 16, 2019. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17366131