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Monday, February 18, 2019

How a Balanced Diet Can Help You Stay Sober

We all know the phrase “you are what you eat” – the concept that good nutrition helps support your body and mind. But you may not have realized a balanced diet can be your most powerful tool in your recovery process.

There is a common misconception that people who are battling to overcome a drug or alcohol addiction should be able to “reward” themselves by indulging in any sweets or fatty foods they may crave. After all, junk food is nowhere near as dangerous to consume as drugs and alcohol…right? A growing body of evidence suggests exactly the opposite: that these unhealthy, careless eating habits could be doing more harm than good along your journey to recovery.

Addicts Face a Nutritional Dilemma

Of course, it’s important for everyone to develop healthy eating habits. But we now know that’s especially true for people who are working on maintaining their sobriety. Recovering addicts face a one-two punch when it comes to nutrition. First, habitually ingesting drugs or alcohol wreaks havoc on the body. Prolonged alcohol use impedes your body to break down and assimilate the nutrients in your diet, resulting in nutritional deficiencies. Meanwhile, severe vomiting and diarrhea, which can lead to nutrient depletion, are common withdrawal symptoms with drugs such as opiates.

The second factor that results in poor nutritional habits for addicts is their lifestyle. People with substance abuse disorders are less likely to eat a healthy diet. Some drugs stimulate the appetite, while others suppress it. For many people, their craving for the addictive substance takes a higher priority in their life than eating foods that are rich in high-quality nutrients.

Nutrition’s Role in Sobriety

Eating a healthy diet helps recovering addicts feel better because proper nutrition gives people more energy and strength. Drug and alcohol abuse usually leads to some degree of organ damage, but a balanced diet provides the nutritional building blocks people in recovery need for their bodies to begin restoring damaged tissues.

Eating right can also help boost your mood. Research has shown dietary changes can influence your behavior by altering brain structure both chemically and physiologically, leading to mood-enhancing neurotransmitters like serotonin.

Food is a tool for recovering addicts that can help them feel both physically and mentally stronger. Often, following a healthy and nutrient-dense diet plan will reduce the risk of relapse.

Learn More About Nutrition and Addiction Recovery

Nutrition is a cornerstone of addiction recovery. Regaining and maintaining overall health requires a commitment not only to abstaining from drugs and alcohol, but by practicing healthy eating habits. If you or someone you know is struggling with an addiction and the negative health effects related to it, Canyon Crossing is here to help. Our admissions coordinators are standing by to answer your questions about seeking women’s-only addiction care in Prescott, AZ. Contact us today to get the help you need for yourself or a loved one.

Monday, February 11, 2019

Alternative Therapies That Can Help You Heal

Seeking help for a substance misuse disorder can be a little intimidating when you realize how many treatment centers and options there are. To achieve your goal of lasting sobriety, you’ll want to find a treatment program that takes your individual needs into account.

Treatment centers and therapists that take a one-size-fits-all approach to recovery are often less effective because they fail to address the unique traits that make up your personality, as well as the underlying issues that caused you to develop your substance dependency. It’s essential to find a treatment center that respects your needs and that offers holistic care that addresses you as an individual. Fortunately, alternative therapies that complement traditional behavioral approaches have been gaining widespread acceptance in the field of addiction care and recovery.

Types of Alternative Therapies

A wide range of alternative therapies are beneficial for people in recovery from drug and alcohol addiction. As you search for a treatment program that is a good fit for you, consider these options that take your mental, physical, spiritual and social needs into account.
  • Equine therapy is a unique approach that fosters feelings of competence and trust, and helps you learn how to set healthy boundaries by caring for a horse. Learning how to recognize and take care of the needs of another living being provides a safe way for you to explore your emotions in the calming presence of a horse. Through this process, the relationship you develop with the horse will help strengthen your interpersonal skills by teaching you how to relate to others in a healthy way.
  • Adventure therapy is an ideal approach for anyone who enjoys being outdoors or who likes participating in physical activities. This form of treatment encourages people to challenge themselves with activities such as a ropes course or a backpacking excursion. Like equine therapy, adventure therapy puts you in deeper touch with your emotions. It also teaches you several important life skills such as problem-solving, teamwork and how to cope with stressful situations. Being in nature has many health benefits, in addition to getting you outside your comfort zone and away from dangerous addiction triggers that can increase your risk of succumbing to a relapse.
  • Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing therapy, or EMDR, is an approach that has proven to be especially effective in helping people work through conditions like trauma, grief, phobias, anxiety and body dysmorphia. With this interactive technique, your therapist will ask you to relive traumatic or triggering experiences while directing your eye movements. Recalling distressing events is often less emotionally upsetting when your attention is diverted, which allows you to retrain your brain to work through those memories without having a strong psychological response.
  • Yoga and Meditation: People who have been locked in a struggle with addiction are often unable to live in the moment, engaging in self-destructive habits that disrupt their mind-body connection. Activities that involve mindfulness, such as meditation and yoga, can help you become more self-aware and bring you a greater sense of clarity and inner peace. For many, practicing yoga and meditation can also put your spirituality into sharper focus, helping you process the feelings of loneliness and guilt that often accompany addiction.

Discover the Benefits of Alternative Therapies

These alternative therapies address the whole person at the mental, emotional, physical and social levels. They may also be more accessible and approachable to many people who find traditional addiction treatment intimidating, increasing your chances of success.

You will be more motivated to seek recovery when you find a treatment center that is the right fit for you. At Canyon Crossing, we offer a variety of programs in our integrated approach to addiction therapy. To learn more about our women’s-only rehab facility, contact our Prescott, AZ recovery center today.

Monday, February 4, 2019

Personal Thoughts, Stories & Reflections From People In Early Recovery: Part 13

recovery reflectionMy story. The short version. 

So basically I was born in a small town right outside of Chicago to my mother and father. My parents got divorced when I was 4, my dad was, or maybe still is in active addiction. We moved to Arizona and that is where I was raised. I lived in a small town for awhile then moved to a city. Things were great. I moved to a new school, my mom was in school, and she met a guy. They were together for a while. He had me drink every now and then to “prepare me for parties so guys wouldn’t take advantage of me.” When in all reality he was taking advantage of me. I was 12. That’s when it started and lasted till I was 15. During that time I was living a double life. Playing sports at school, acting like everything was ok at home. At home I was being abused by my moms ex boyfriend and no one knew about it. My freshman year I took a trip to the psychiatric hospital and got diagnosed with some mental illnesses and got on meds. I was still drinking at this time. Fast forward a bit, he left my sophomore year. I was relieved. But it was still weighing me down. Still, I didn’t tell anyone. That next summer I tried to commit suicide and went to the psych hospital again. Junior year came and I went again. Then told my mom what her ex had done to me. Called the cops to get that sorted out. After that I “ran away”. I OD’d and was found on a bathroom floor in a little tiny apartment. Not long after I went again, another attempt. Finally court started to happen, he got arrested. Fast forward. Senior year I started do drugs more often, every day. Fast forward. My freshman year of college. One night, which was Halloween, I drank and used a lot. Went home completely drunk, showed up to a therapy appointment hung over and my therapist said I needed help - so that’s why I did. To this day I am still sober. My sobriety date is 11-1-2017. Recovery is hard and I went through struggles but I am doing pretty good now! Sobriety has brought me a lot. I will have 15 months sober this Friday, 2-1-2019. Amazing. Never thought that would happen and I am actually happy now and love myself. 

Client K

Recovery is a blessing that I once thought was impossible. I wish I could say that it is easy, but it’s just not. It’s hard facing the root causes of where my addiction started. I can say that the further and further I get into recovery the easier it is to look at myself in the mirror. I can honestly say I love myself and that my opinions and needs matter. To me - that’s a huge change. I’m so grateful for everything that I have learned and discovered on this amazing road of recovery that I am traveling. 

Client M

I am not responsible for my disease but I am responsible for my recovery. As a little kid, I never knew how to appropriately express myself. My emotions were out of control. I always felt inadequate to my peers and I always felt like I never fit in with my family. When the teachers at school use to ask us what we wanted to be when we grew up – being a drug addict wasn’t on my vision board. I knew I felt different and I hated the way I felt on the inside, but I never planned for this to happen to me. Yes, drugs worked for a little while, but ONLY for a little while. Once it stopped being fun and “cool” I had no choice other than to continue to live a life centered around getting loaded. I stole from the people I loved. I lied to everyone. I abused people. Just so I could get loaded. I was very lost before I used drugs and when I picked up, I never did find myself. I neglected myself and I never thought that I could possibly live a better life. I was going to die using drugs and I was okay with it.. Then, one day I just didn’t want to live like that anymore. It took a lot of drug overdoses and arrests. Being humiliated time and time again. It took a lot of events to get willing to try to get sober.

Client A

So far early sobriety for me has been a big change from the life I lived before I went to treatment. I used to not have many responsibilities and little structure, manipulating people and doing what I wanted or not doing things. Now, in sobriety, I have many more responsibilities and structure. I can’t get away with the bs I used to manipulate people into letting me do. Also, I am finally really actually healing. Before, I thought I was processing as things went on and was healing, but in reality I was just reacting and not actually working through my hardships and problems. I feel better now than I have in a long time. There are still struggles I deal with daily and being away from home and my loved ones is one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. But I know when I finally get to return home I will be stronger and healthier for the better.

Client E

I am not responsible for my disease but I am responsible for my recovery. As a little kid I never knew how to appropriately express myself. My emotions were out of control. I always felt inadequate to my peers and I always felt like I never fit in with my family. When the teachers at school use to ask us what we wanted to be when we grew being a drug addict wasn’t on my vision board. I knew I felt different and I hated the way I felt on the inside, but I never planned for this to happen to me. . Yes drugs worked for a little while and they do, but ONLY for a little while. Once it stopped being fun and “cool” I had no choice other than to continue to live a life centered around getting loaded. I stole from the people I loved. I lied to everyone. I abused people. Just so I could get loaded. I was very lost before I used drugs and when I picked up I never did find myself. I neglected myself and I never thought that I could possibly live a better life. I was going to die using drugs and I was okay with it.. and then one day I just didn’t want to live like that anymore. It took a lot of drug over doses and arrests. Being humiliated time and time again. It took a lot of events to get willing to try to get sober

Client B

I moved from San Diego, CA to Prescott, AZ one month ago and it is very different here, but I have already grown to love it. I have been in recovery in treatment centers since last year and at one point had 5 months clean, but after relapsing 4 months ago I couldn’t seem to get more than a week clean again until I came here. I was beyond hopeless. Tomorrow I will have 30 days clean again and I cannot describe how good it feels to be back on my path of happiness and purpose that I thought I would never be able to attain again. I have found the thorough care and structure that I need to conquer my disease of addiction and I am very grateful to have found myself here. The process of recovery is a very rigorous lifelong journey and it will not be easy, but nothing worthwhile should be and I am willing to do anything to reach an existence of freedom.

Client K

My time in sobriety has taught me many things over the last 11 months. The greatest thing sobriety has taught me is how to love myself. How to do what makes me feel good about myself in the long term has been the most difficult and the most rewarding lesson and journey. Today I feel like a whole and complete person on my own. I don’t need drugs or people or any other addictions to feel complete. I am complete on my own. As my favorite quote from the Big Book sums it up: “The rewards of sobriety are bountiful and as progressive as the disease they counteract.”

Client M

The Role of Meditation in Recovery

The disease of addiction affects every aspect of a sufferer’s life – not only physically and mentally, but also spiritually. Because addiction is a chronic illness, its symptoms require ongoing management. Even after you have successfully transitioned out of a qualified rehabilitation program, you must commit to your ongoing recovery journey every day to reap the long-term rewards of your sober lifestyle.

Alongside traditional therapies and support meetings, meditation can be a powerful tool as you work to restore a healthy mind-body connection, regain your equilibrium and embrace a tranquil mindset. What are the benefits of pursuing a meditative practice, and how can it benefit you in recovery?

Common Meditation Myths

Many misconceptions have arisen around the practice of meditation, including that only people who are willing to retreat from the world can succeed at establishing this habit. However, that couldn’t be further from the truth. Meditation can benefit anyone from any walk of life.

You may have tried to meditate before, only to give up in frustration when you couldn’t successfully rid yourself of all thoughts. The idea that meditation involves the absence of thoughts is another myth surrounding the practice. Successful meditation involves recognizing and learning to accept thoughts and ideas when they arise, and becoming a better observer of your thought patterns. In other words, it’s a way of retraining your mind.

Benefits of Meditation

Scientists now know there are many advantages to practicing meditation regularly, including lowered levels of stress and anxiety and improved sleep and self-awareness. Meditation can also help you establish the habit of mindfulness, or the ability to “live in the moment.” While mindfulness has multiple practical applications for any meditation practitioner, it can play a highly specific role for people who are working on recovering from substance misuse disorders.

Meditation and mindfulness can teach you healthy methods for handling stressful situations and triggers that may have previously led you down the path to relapse. Discovering mindfulness can teach you to recognize the various factors begin a chain reaction of negative thought and unhealthy coping mechanisms. Fine-tuning your thought processes through meditation gives you the opportunity to reevaluate your behavior with a calm, nonjudgmental attitude. As you advance in your meditation practice, your triggers will become less daunting and more manageable.

How to Meditate

Meditating is deceptively simple on its surface, but takes some dedication to master. The good news is, you can meditate anywhere, anytime, without any special equipment.

Begin by sitting or lying in a comfortable position. Make sure you are not holding tension anywhere in your body. If you want, you can close your eyes. Then, focus on your breath. Take slow, deep breaths and pay attention to each inhale and exhale. Try to maintain this for at least two minutes. After this exercise, come back and note how long it was before you allowed your mind to wander away from your breath.

The benefit of this exercise is that it trains you to recognize when intrusive thoughts arise. As with other exercises, consistency is key to establishing a habit. Once you have repeated this daily for a few days or weeks, you’ll begin to notice when you’re not being mindful, so you can remind yourself to come back to the present moment.

Women-Only Recovery in Prescott, AZ

If you have been exploring meditation and are seeking a recovery center that takes a holistic approach to drug and alcohol rehabilitation, contact Canyon Crossing today. Our programs include spiritual retreats that help women reconnect with their spirituality and discover an inner peace.

Friday, January 25, 2019

The Link Between Anxiety and Addiction

Anxiety is a short word fraught with heavy connotations, both for people who struggle with its symptoms and the people who care about them. While most people can easily grasp what anxiety entails, its ramifications can be surprising, particularly the connection between anxiety and substance misuse. For people who suffer from anxiety and addiction as co-occurring disorders, a vital part of recovery includes grasping the full scope of anxiety and what it means for people who have developed an addiction.

What Is Anxiety?

The dictionary definition of anxiety is a feeling of dread or worry about the future. Short-term anxiety is a normal and healthy response to stressful situations such as a job interview or an important exam. In medical terms, however, anxiety refers to excessive and prolonged episodes of fear and nervousness. Physical symptoms such as sweating, shaking, nausea and elevated blood pressure may manifest on top of the emotional response.

Someone who often has recurring or intrusive periods of anxiety may have progressed into a fully fledged anxiety disorder, which can disrupt their daily life. Anxiety disorders become mental health conditions when the person experiences symptoms that are beyond their ability to prevent or control. In other words, people with anxiety disorders can never let go of their stress, and are powerless to stop the effects of their anxiety.

Anxiety disorders cause insomnia, as well as the inability to focus or relax. Even a minor problem can feel like an insurmountable hurdle to someone suffering from an anxiety disorder because their reactions to obstacles are disproportionate to the scope of the situation.

The Cycle of Drugs, Anxiety and Addiction

In stressful situations, people with anxiety disorders often turn to drug and alcohol use in a misguided attempt to self-medicate. The euphoric high drugs and alcohol can create can seem like a temporary respite from the high levels of stress, worry and fear that have become their constant companion. But these effects eventually wear off, leading the user to seek more of these dangerous substances to try to recapture the feeling.

Ironically, the same drugs that provide short-term relief can also deepen anxiety symptoms, since chemical substances can disrupt emotions that are already imbalanced. Anxiety also inhibits people’s judgment, making them less able to recognize when they are endangering themselves with their behavior, or that they have genuine mental health problem that requires professional treatment and therapy, not more drugs and alcohol to dampen their feelings.

Helping a Loved One Who Has Anxiety and Addiction

Helping someone with the co-occurring disorders of anxiety and drug addiction begins by leading them to accept the extent of their problem, and encouraging them to enter treatment and begin the recovery process. At Canyon Crossing, we are a qualified women-only recovery center in Prescott, AZ. If someone you care about is locked in the cycle of anxiety and addiction, contact us to learn more about seeking help. Achieving recovery and freedom from these burdens is possible with our caring, compassionate approach.

Friday, January 18, 2019

Learning to Let Go: Why Forgiveness Matters

People who enter addiction recovery programs often learn to make specific goals as part of their healing process. Setting goals can help you manage your progress as you work toward achieving each milestone. Learning to forgive is one of the most common goals for recovering addicts, but why is forgiving others so important?

Moving On

If you find yourself unable to reconcile unresolved feelings of anger and hurt in your life, you may be eroding your physical and emotional health. One study from experts at Johns Hopkins University suggests the act of forgiveness can calm stress levels and lower heart rate and blood pressure, among other benefits.

Some people are naturally more inclined toward forgiveness than others. However, the good news is that you can learn to become more forgiving. Just as with other life skills, you can make a conscious effort to hone your ability to forgive others and let go of past grudges.

Forgiveness in Recovery

Forgiveness is integral to the recovery process, especially when you consider how emotional burdens can weigh you down, causing self-destructive behaviors that may eventually contribute to a relapse. While it may take a significant amount of time, effort and even counseling on your part, letting go of past hurts and making amends are critical for long-term sobriety.

Abuse, trauma and harmful behavior from others can all make people more vulnerable to developing an addiction. Once you have identified the root causes of your addictive behaviors, you may understandably feel unwilling to forgive people who have caused you such significant pain and suffering. It’s critical to move on from these feelings in favor of greater well-being and acceptance in your life.

Many addicts also bear the burden of bad decisions that make them unwilling to forgive themselves. However, holding on to anger or frustration about your past actions can be even more toxic than begrudging others. The recovery journey will inevitably remind you of some of the lowest points of your addiction, which may raise emotions of guilt, anxiety or shame. Maintain a positive attitude and remind yourself of all the good reasons you decided to seek recovery in the first place.

Start Your Recovery With Us Today

Remember, recovery is an opportunity to make a fresh start in your life, starting with your commitment to a sober lifestyle. If you truly want to start anew, forgiveness is key to reclaiming inner peace. Gaining back your self-confidence and rebuilding bridges with loved ones will take time, and fully forgiving others, as well as them forgiving you, will be an ongoing process. Be patient, take things one step at a time and accept that setbacks are a normal and natural part of life.

At Canyon Crossing, our Arizona treatment program is structured to teach accountability and responsibility to women in recovery. If you are seeking lifelong sobriety, contact us today to verify your insurance and take the first step toward a fulfilling drug-free life.

Friday, January 11, 2019

Physical vs. Psychological Addiction: What’s the Difference?

Though the damaging emotional and social consequences of addiction disorders are well-documented, no two addictions are alike. Some addictions affect a person physically, while some cause psychological symptoms. Others can become both physical and psychological. Identifying the best course of treatment requires understanding the difference.

What Is Physical Addiction?

Physical addiction to drugs or alcohol occurs when your body becomes dependent on continued use of the substance to feel normal. For example, if you regularly drink caffeinated coffee or soft drinks throughout the day, you’ll likely experience mild to severe headaches if you skip a day or decide to wean yourself off these beverages. These headaches are a symptom of caffeine withdrawal – a sign your body is craving the addictive substance.

The same effect occurs when a person who is physically addicted to drugs or alcohol cuts down on their use or tries to quit completely, though the symptoms are usually much more pronounced and unpleasant than merely having a headache – and, in some cases, they can even be life-threatening. Depending on the substance, withdrawal symptoms can emerge within only a few hours of not having it in your system. The most common symptoms include:
  • Fatigue
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Muscle aches and pain
  • Chills or tremors
  • Delirium
  • Mood changes, such as anger or irritability

What Is Psychological Addiction?

A psychological dependence occurs when you have repeated intrusive thoughts about using your drug of choice. Psychological addictions are typical with drugs such as marijuana, which do not create a chemical dependency. The same is also true of a behavioral disorder like a food or gambling addiction. The compulsion to keep pursuing the activity goes long past the point where it is fun or pleasurable; instead, your mind develops a strong craving for the euphoria you get from doing it.

Though psychological addictions are usually not as dangerous as physical addictions, they can still adversely affect your life. Going without a substance your brain associates with pleasurable sensations can cause you to experience symptoms such as:
  • Anxiety or depression
  • Insomnia
  • Flu-like illness
  • Increases or decreases in appetite
  • Extreme cravings
  • Mood swings

Treating Physical and Psychological Addiction

Treatment for physical addiction usually begins with medically supervised detox to help free the body and mind from harmful substances in a safe and comfortable setting that decreases dangerous withdrawal symptoms. The time frame of the detox treatment depends on the type and length of substance use.

Psychological treatment addresses the underlying reasons that caused the person to develop their drug dependency in the first place. However, it cannot begin until the detox process is complete and the substance has fully left the user’s body.

Since addictions are not created equal, every psychological treatment plan must be tailored to each person’s individual needs. Psychological treatment often includes therapies such as family addiction counseling and 12-step recovery, alongside education that helps people develop healthy life skills and learn how to prevent a relapse.

Life-Changing Addiction Treatment in Arizona

Choosing to enter treatment for physical and psychological addiction is the first step in rebuilding your life and rediscovering your full potential. At Canyon Crossing, we offer a range of women’s-only addiction programs to help our clients achieve freedom from substance abuse. Get the help you need today.