Gender differences exist in patterns of drinking, treatment and recovery. The Addiction Treatment & Recovery Center at South Miami Hospital provides each patient with personalized addiction treatment plan. Using a multi-discipline strategy, the Center addresses the different factors that trigger addiction for each patient, including mental health problems. And because of societal, cultural and physical differences between men and women, personalized treatment plans reflect gender-based factors. For women, problems with sexism, self-esteem, relationships and age-related conflicts may be key elements of therapy sessions. With every patient, it’s important to identify and treat the physical, mental and emotional factors that trigger drinking or other forms of substance abuse.
Substance abuse is a significant health concern for women and men, according to various research reports. About 40 million people in the U.S., approximately 16 percent of the age 12-and-older population, are addicted to drugs, alcohol or nicotine, according to the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse (CASA) at Columbia University. Based on those research findings, CASA has labeled addiction as the largest preventable health problem in the country.
1 AnswerBrenda K. Wade, PhD, Psychology, answered
Certain behaviors or habits can become an addiction when we use it to feel better; to compensate for something we are missing. Watch as psychologist Brenda Wade, PhD, discusses how a behavior that takes over your life can become an addiction.
1 AnswerPaul Hokemeyer, PhD, Marriage & Family Therapy, answered
There is a lot of focus on the physical and financial repercussions of performance-enhancing drugs (PEDs), often ignoring the incredible emotional toll on those who take the supplements and their families.
Those who regularly take PEDs are often male patients who are high-octane and have achieved great success by exceeding their competition though discipline, hard work, intelligence and street smarts. They demand exceptional performance from themselves and the people in their lives. These men see PEDs as part of the formula that keeps them at the top of their game. What they fail to see is how these drugs can impede their developmental process.
Often those taking the supplements are in the period of life known as middle adulthood, between 40 and 65. It’s a period that Erik Erickson referred to as Generativity v. Stagnation. In order to negotiate this phase successfully, people must focus on things outside of themselves by creating positive change that benefits other people.
By relying on PEDs to bolster their performance and keep them relevant, these men fail to embrace the natural progression that comes from life, and its attendant benefits. They also trap themselves in self-absorbed and narcissistic prisons. They fail to successfully negotiate this developmental stage and to find the peace of mind, gratitude, satiety, and renewed sense of purpose and direction in life that should be the fruit of their labors.
1 AnswerHealthCorps answered
Having addictions in your family is considered a risk factor for developing addictions. Patients who receive a prescription for opioids to treat pain can also be at risk of developing an addiction to this medication if they have the following risk factors:
- Depression, anxiety or other psychiatric issues present at the time of opioid treatment or in their past history.
- Ongoing substance abuse with alcohol or other drugs.
- Poor coping skills and a tendency to imagine “worst possible outcomes” in difficult situations. An individual with these traits may be primed to become addicted to these powerful drugs.
It’s always a good idea to have a conversation with your doctor about the pros and cons of taking any medication, especially an opioid that falls within the Schedule III classification of controlled substances.
There are many human conditions which can seriously affect our health, our happiness and the quality of our lives. All of us are familiar with the signs and symptoms of coronary artery disease, cancer, stroke and the potentially devastating disabilities caused by physical and emotional trauma. Addictive illness can produce physical, mental/emotional, social, family, legal and financial consequences just like any other serious, chronic, relapsing disorder.
Addiction does not come about overnight. At the outset, the person with an early-stage addiction might look normal in every regard; might be above average in intelligence; might have potential for a happy and successful life; may be highly productive, charming and talented.
As the addiction progresses, the physical health, mood, judgment and behavior will gradually deteriorate. A substance (such as alcohol, marijuana, cocaine, or a variety of pills) or a compulsive behavior (such as gambling, spending, aggression and stealing) may be identified as contributing to an unexpected downward spiral in the person’s former stability and level of function.
When the addiction is fully active, life does not look balanced and happy. The effects of the repeated alteration of brain function cause loss of control, loss of values, loss of self-esteem, loss of position in the family, and loss of standing in the community.
Life through the eyes of the addicted person looks dark, depressed, tense, anxious and afraid. It is at this point that the individual can no longer help themselves. The organ system with which healthy decisions are made is itself impaired.
There is hope for the person’s recovery if the signs and symptoms of addiction are recognized and professional help in concert with family support is sought.
Avoid in people with a known allergy or sensitivity to tobacco or any of its components (e.g., cocoa, menthol, licorice, colophony, and formaldehyde).
In general, allergic reactions to natural tobacco leaves are rare. However, some research suggests that secondhand tobacco smoke may increase allergic responses. Tobacco smoke should therefore also be avoided in people with any known allergy.
Limited evidence suggests that exposure to tobacco smoke may increase the likelihood of developing a food allergy, asthma, or allergic diseases.
Allergic contact dermatitis (allergic skin inflammation), lip coloring, lip scaling, skin redness, and tissue swelling have been seen following exposure to various components of cigarette filters, paper, and tobacco.
You should read product labels, and discuss all therapies with a qualified healthcare provider. Natural Standard information does not constitute medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.
Copyright © 2012 by Natural Standard Research Collaboration. All Rights Reserved.
1 AnswerHumility is a vital part of recovering from addiction. Here is how Webster defines humility: “The quality or state of not thinking you are better than other people; the quality or state of being humble.”
Author and historian John Dickson called it, "The noble choice to forgo your status, deploy your resources or use your influence for the good of others before yourself.”
How does this apply to recovery? Those under the spell of addiction must surrender and accept they are powerless over their addiction. This surrender is both emotional and intellectual in nature. The power of addiction is unrelenting. The surrender process is a major form of humility.
Humility is also a willingness to learn and to be open-minded. This characteristic is so important for those dealing with addiction because it is a matter of life or death that they gain the tools and understanding needed to progress. Addiction is an illness that doesn’t want you to expose it or deal with it. Addiction’s main symptoms are denial and isolation. The humility of learning and helping others is one of the main reasons people enjoy sobriety and recovery though the Twelve Steps.
Typically, only severe consequences lead to humility. The consequences of addiction help lead us to humility. It gives us a sense of wonder and creates a lack of drama that is needed for those who battle addiction.
1 AnswerWho do you forgive and for what? Why is it important for an alcoholic or addict to forgive to stay sober? These are all very important questions that need answers and action for someone to overcome addiction and find recovery.
Who do you forgive? First and foremost, you forgive yourself. You are the one who got in so much trouble to begin with. Addiction is a disease that affects your body, mind and spirit, and you are the one who ingested the substances. However, once you cross the line of addiction, all bets of self-control are off. It is kind of like having an out of body experience and not realizing it. A sense of powerlessness takes over and does remarkable damage to your body, mind and spirit, and you often have no clue to the damage it is doing to you or those around you.
Once you start recovery, you are made aware of the havoc your addiction has caused. This awareness can lead to feelings of guilt and shame. Does forgiving yourself take you off the hook for your responsibilities? Of course not. Forgiveness hopefully helps you heal so that you can take responsibility for your recovery and your need for help. You must not lose sight of the damage you have done, but forgiveness allows you to make peace, to learn that you are afflicted with a deadly disease that could have killed you. You learn you have to work hard to keep it at bay.
You must also forgive others around you that you think didn’t treat you fairly. Why? Refusing to forgive is like poisoning yourself, even though you are mad at someone else. Sure, some of your anger is justified, and those around you may have exhibited inappropriate behavior -- but how much of it was a reaction to your addiction?
A new life means a clean slate. Forgiveness is rolled out in The 12 Steps (especially steps eight and nine). When you make amends and ask that you are also forgiven, sometimes doesn’t happen and you need to move on and hope that, in time, your sober actions will help in that process. The best amends you can offer is to lead a wonderful and caring live, living the principals of recovery every day.
1 AnswerWhen people think about getting sober, one of their biggest fears is: Can I ever have fun again? Most people think sobriety is boring. Well, the newly sober person needs to adjust his or her perspective. Yes, being sober won’t involve death-defying police chases or risky actions that can really hurt them or those around them. The definition of fun changes: The longer people stay sober, the deeper and more enriching their joys become!
If someone gets sober and doesn’t learn to relax and have fun, their chances of long-term sobriety are very limited. They must insist on learning to have fun. It can be a matter of life or death for some. This is a very critical component of recovery, along with developing a deep spiritual connection and working the Twelve Steps
Why are addicts and alcoholics afraid to let go and have fun? They had to ingest serious amounts of drugs or alcohol to let go of their fears and insecurities. The more they used, the more fear they would have before getting high to relax. It’s a self-fulfilling prophecy that the need only gets worse the longer one uses. The fear of being vulnerable that newcomers experience in the early stages of sobriety is so intense that some can’t get past it. Working the Twelve Steps helps to reduce the fear by creating a fellowship with others in recovery, which can also help teach what the “new fun” looks like. The beauty of recovery is that, if you reach out enough, you will find others who have the same interests as you, and often even the same sense of humor. But first it takes reaching out.