The Legal Consequences of Driving Under the Influence

The Legal Consequences of Driving Under the Influence

Being charged with a DUI is not a matter to take lightly. While every state has its own laws in regard to the punishment, every person who commits a DUI will suffer the legal consequences as not only could you have hurt yourself, but you could have ruined the lives of those around you. By doing something about your substance abuse and going into treatment, you can avoid having to go through the negative consequences that come with being charged with a DUI. 

Jail Time

Remember that being charged with a DUI does not only mean that you were alcohol-intoxicated, but that you have drugs in your system in general. When you are arrested for a DUI, the officer will pull you over in your car and make you get off the road. The person charged then gets taken to the police station, booked, and put in jail until a bond is posted. The individual would have to demonstrate that there has been a significant drop in their BAC level in order to be released. The amount of time spent in jail depends on the situation. Someone who has a first-time DUI will most likely be charged with a misdemeanor. If you injure or kill someone as a result of driving under the influence, it will be considered a felony. In most states, having two or three misdemeanor convictions can be considered felony convictions.

After Getting Arrested

Once the individual is arrested, they will go to court for an arraignment where they will be charged with criminal defense in pleading guilty or not guilty. It can get expensive being charged with a DUI in that you have to pay the court a bond to be released, pay a bond to get their car back, and pay towing charges. You would also have to give your attorney a down payment before the case begins. Before going to trial for your case, you would have already spent thousands of dollars.  

Driving Privilege Restrictions

In most states, refusing to take a breathalyzer will automatically get their license suspended typically for three to twelve months. First-time offenders normally have their license suspended for 90 days. Depending on the judge and the situation, these restrictions can either be short or long. There may be certain specifications to follow such as having interlock systems installed in the car ignition of someone with a suspended license or wait a specific amount of time to get their license back. Later, individuals would have to go to the Department of Motor Vehicles and be evaluated to see if they are fit to get their license back. You would also have to pay higher premiums for car insurance with there being no way around it.

Probation 

The majority of people who commit a DUI have to be put on probation which costs a lot of money. While on probation, the individual cannot use alcohol or other drugs as well as not be in businesses that serve alcohol. Individuals are also required to speak to their probation officer and get permission to leave the state or the city where they live. 

Evaluations

Whether you have committed this offense once or more than once, you will be told to take an alcohol education program. You will be expected to pay for the program and have your attendance monitored. Courts will also require you to be evaluated by a mental health provider attached to the court system or a private mental health provider before the trial. This will involve being interviewed by the healthcare provider or clinician and to complete a series of tests. The results will help the courts determine sentencing, probation, treatment, etc. These assessments can be expensive and not paid by the

Treatment

Because the legal systems do not want to keep seeing the same people return to the courts for the same offense, treatment is required as a condition of their probation. If these individuals do not go to treatment or do not prove to their probation officer that they are attending, they could be sent to jail or pay heavier fines. The judge will specify the treatment and can include participating in 12 step meetings as well as therapy. You may be required to attend inpatient or outpatient rehab programs. When you attend treatment, your probation will be complete and you may be able to get your license back.

Your Record

You will be required to report your DUI if you are asked on a job application, college application, military application, etc. Insurance companies will investigate your driving record from the past 5-7 years. If you did not have car insurance at the time of the offense, you will be charged higher premiums or you will not be covered. While it may not appear in some type of background checks or searches years later, there will always be a record of it somewhere. Having multiple DUI convictions where others were hurt or injured as well as property damage will have these charges stay with them for the rest of their lives. If you are suffering from substance abuse disorder, do not wait until you have your first DUI conviction where you hurt yourself and others to realize that you need to go to treatment. By agreeing to go to treatment, you will not have to go through the cost and embarrassment that a DUI charge can lead to.

Located on the shore of Southern New Jersey, Enlightened Solutions is a recovery center using evidence-based therapies and holistic healing to treat addiction and mental illness. With the opportunity to learn about therapies that are keyed in to healing the human spirit and learning about new stress-reducing techniques centered around a 12-Step network, you will ensure a lasting recovery. For more information, please call us at 833-801-LIVE as we are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.


What To Do If Your Friend is Passed Out Drunk

What To Do If Your Friend is Passed Out Drunk

It is very common to see a friend pass out after a night of heavy drinking. The Centers for Disease Control says that six people die every day from alcohol poisoning. Instead of assuming that your friend needs to sleep off the alcoholic effects, it is important for you to treat him or her to better save their life from alcohol poisoning.

Reasons People Pass Out When Drunk

Alcohol is a depressant that impacts the central nervous system which consists of your brain and spinal cord. This explains why heavy drinking causes you to make poor judgments as well as having trouble staying alert. Alcohol tends to release a huge amount of dopamine which is what makes you feel good. But the more you drink, the more your body builds up adenosine which makes you tired. Alcohol also affects the neurotransmitter glutamate which affects your brain function where you have trouble with your breathing and heart rate, making alcohol intoxication more dangerous. You could be drunk and hit your head and feel like you are fine to drive until you crash your car and choke on your own vomit.

If you spend time with someone who drinks four or more drinks in one sitting, you should inform them about how many drinks can result in a dangerous blood alcohol count. A standard beer is 12 ounces, wine is five ounces, and 80 proof spirits like rum or tequila is 1.5 ounces. Keep in mind how much your friend has eaten and how your body metabolizes alcohol.

What to Do If Your Friend Does Not Wake Up

It is easy to wake someone up if they are simply sleeping off their alcohol. Someone unconscious as a result of the alcohol can be harder. Susan Stoner, Ph.D., a research consultant at the University of Washington Alcohol & Drug Abuse Institute, says that if calling your friend’s name and rubbing their shoulders does not work, rub their sternum with your knuckles or pinch their earlobes to cause a little pain to wake them up. If they are still not responsive, they are most likely unconscious and could be at risk of death.

Other signs that your friend has overdosed on alcohol and needs medical attention is if they have clammy skin, confusion, pale skin, low body temperature, seizures, vomiting, trouble breathing, pausing for ten or more seconds between breaths, and reduced physical responses like the lack of a gag reflex that prevents choking. Do not take too long to decide whether or not to call 911 as not doing anything can increase your friend’s chances of death. Check for if your friend is breathing or able to respond to any of your attempts at waking them up. If your friend is vomiting while unconscious, turn your friend to their side or forward so that they do not choke. When emergency responders come, tell them everything that they need to know about your friend such as how much they drank, the kind of alcohol, any other drugs, a certain medical condition they have, and anything else that can be helpful for medical professionals to treat your friend.

Look After Your Friend

Alcohol is going to continue to leak from your friend’s stomach and small intestine into their bloodstream, causing their blood alcohol level to rise even after they have stopped drinking. If you think that your friend is simply sleeping off the alcohol, you may return hours later to see that your friend has stopped breathing or has choked on their own vomit. To see for sure if your friend is suffering from alcohol poisoning, check if they have impaired speech or motor skills, cannot drive, poor decision making, blacking out, vomiting, or losing consciousness. As soon as you notice these symptoms, call 911 immediately.

You should also make sure not to leave your friend alone. If this is happening at a party with a lot of people, you want to make sure that someone is not going to come along and take advantage of your friend through sexual assault. Do not be afraid to take you and your friend away from the situation by driving your friend home. If someone dropped you off to the party, call your ride or call a Lyft or an Uber to pick you and your friend up. Make sure that your location settings are on and to always have your phone charged.

How to Avoid Passing Out From Alcohol

The United States Department of Agriculture’s Dietary Guidelines says that drinking in moderation means that women should be drinking no more than one drink a day and no more than two drinks for men. In order to stay as safe as possible from passing out drunk, you should switch between an alcoholic beverage and a glass of water. The same goes for food as you should not have only alcohol in your system. Eat before and while you are drinking so that you do not absorb the alcohol too quickly. Only have no more than one drink every hour. You should also make sure that you communicate with your friend of how many drinks should be the limit. If you are both aware of what your body can and cannot handle, do not increase the number of drinks. By not leaving your friend alone and calling 911 if your friend passes out, you could be saving a life.

Located on the shore of Southern New Jersey, Enlightened Solutions is a recovery center that uses evidence-based therapies and holistic healing to treat addiction and mental illness. With the opportunity to learn about therapies that are keyed in to healing the human spirit and learning about new stress reducing techniques centered around a 12 step network, you will be ensure a lasting recovery. For more information, please call us at 833-801-LIVE as we are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.


Drug Dealing on Social Media

Drug Dealing on Social Media

Social media is supposed to be a safe place where family, old friends, current friends, and new friends can get together and socializing with one another. But the internet can be abuse just like any drug and can even be a secret place for drug dealers and teenage customers to make illegal drug deals. It is important that teens are educated on the dangers of online drug dealing and that the internet is not as safe as they believe.

Social media websites like Facebook and Instagram can be used as a weapon for drug dealers and customers to engage. According to the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse, teens who use social media are five times more likely to smoke a cigarette, three times more likely to drink, and twice as likely to smoke marijuana. On social media, people can post glamorized, artistic photos of drugs and people using them. People can also make comments of links to their website or personal information on where to buy drugs from them. Teens may find it funny when their friends or friends of friends post videos of themselves drunk or passed out which makes them want to imitate that behavior. They also could be dealing with anxiety or depression and feel like they need to seek solace by taking up a drug or alcohol habit.

Popular social networking site Facebook makes it a rule that “posts may not promote the sale of illegal, prescription or recreational drugs.” These drugs include marijuana and its products, pipes, bongs, tobacco products, alcoholic beverages and kits, etc. That any related act being caught on their site will involve account deletion and/or legal action. In Colorado, there was a hidden Facebook group where high schoolers would sell cannabis, synthetic marijuana, prescription drugs, methamphetamine, MDMA, and LSD. There were 900 members in that group including 171 high school and middle schoolers. It was not until one man got arrested who was in that group that investigators contacted Facebook about that group and the group was shut down. Unfortunately, it is not until a post is reported or investigated that these acts are discovered.

It is important to be aware of certain terms that drug dealers use so that you can tell when they exist online. “Pharmacies” are a code that drug smugglers use when they have legitimate groups that sell their drug products. Young people are lured into chat rooms by “doctors” seeking “consultations” with customers for drugs. They take advantage of people who complain about any ailments they have and are looking for pills and tablets to help them. These customers are normally poor, poorly educated, or unemployed who want to hear what they want to hear that what is being offered to them will be the cure to what ailment they have. What they do not know is that their “cure” can end up leading to a dangerous drug addiction habit.

When people think of social media sites, the first thought in their head may be Facebook. The truth is that there are other social media sites used for drug dealing such as Grindr. Grindr is a site for gay and bisexual men to find a romantic partner near their area. Grindr is also used for drug dealing as there is a privacy feature where you can make yourself anonymous, making it easier for you not to get caught. Customers have said that they find this method safer compared to buying drugs on the street as you have to deal with the risk of robbery, shootouts and busts. Grindr can also allow you to evaluate each other before any transaction is complete.

The Coalition Against Drug Abuse said that there were 50 drug deals in social media accounts like Instagram that they found in a single day by typing keywords like “weed for sale.” This led to postsing of marijuana, painkillers, and MDMA. Requests can be made through direct messaging or commenting on a page. Payments can be made electronically and immediately through money sending websites like PayPal. The dealers will take pictures of images of their products and emojis which will give customers information on their drug quality, purity, the amount, and the cost. Instagram has photo filters that can make your photos look very professional. If the photos of drugs are of high quality, this will only strengthen the drug’s appeal and chances of buying it.

If you feel like your teen is buying or selling drugs through social media sites, speak to your kid. Let them know about any suspicious activity you have noticed such as unusual bank transactions or any suspicious friends they have on their social media account that you have never met before. You should also ask your child if they are surrounded by friends who drink. Maybe they have made drinking appealing to your child and they felt pressured to try it to fit in. If your child refuses to talk to you, tell them that they are only allowed on the internet with your supervision as they should have nothing to hide if they claim that they are not buying or selling drugs. Educate your child on the legal actions that could occur if you are caught buying or selling drugs online and how this can spiral towards addiction. Buying drugs online can bring dangerous consequences to your health and to the rest of your life.

Through years of experience working with art and music therapy, we know how powerfully beneficial they are in healing and relapse prevention. Call Enlightened Solutions today: (833) 801-LIVE.


Egg Harbor Teen Raises Money in Memory of Father Who Died of an Overdose

Egg Harbor Teen Raises Money in Memory of Father Who Died of an Overdose

It can be hard to see your parent struggle with addiction only to have them lose their battle with it. By keeping the memory of your parent alive by remembering the good times you had with them, they will always stay with you. One teen in Egg Harbor Township decided to take it one step further by raising money to spread awareness of addiction in honor of her father.

Megan Herbein’s Efforts to Break the Addiction Stigma

State data says that there have been 1,304 deaths in New Jersey in 2014 and have doubled in 2018. Four years ago, Megan Herbein, a 16 year-old girl from Egg Harbor Township High School, lost her father to an overdose. He would have been 49 years-old this year. One way that Herbein decided to break the stigma of addiction was by speaking highly of her father. When others ask her about her father, she always wants them to know that he was always happy, telling jokes, and always nice to strangers. That just because her father suffered the disease of addiction did not mean that he was a bad person. Herbein remembers her father going to dance competitions, loved roller coasters, and would drive his daughter to school.

Hope One Mobile Addiction Outreach Van

Atlantic County Sheriff Eric Scheffer and his office wanted to help connect the community with treatments and services by launching the Hope One mobile addiction outreach van. This unit is meant to help promote substance abuse and mental health awareness. Contributions and donations were received through the nonprofit Atlantic County Sheriff’s Foundation. Ever since the start of this program, at least ten people who sought out help with at least one person requesting treatment. Services and arrangements were made for that person in helping them with transportation and finding a residential treatment center.

Herbein’s mother heard about the Hope One project through social media and made sure to tell her daughter about it. This project inspired Herbein to want to raise money in honor of her dad. She emailed everyone she knew asking for donations in her father’s memory towards the Hope One van. In ten days, she was able to raise $1,100 with more money coming in.

Megan Herbein’s Hopes Going Forward

By the time her parents separated, Herbein knew that there was something going on with her father. Her half-sisters knew more about their father’s addiction since they were older at the time that it escalated. The older Herbein got, the more that she started to understand the way addiction worked. It was hard for her to see her father like this since she “idolized” him very much.

Herbein hopes that this fundraiser that she created could be an annual thing and to be on the lookout for more opportunities to volunteer. Her, her mother, and grandmother are figuring out more ways that they can raise money for next year. By speaking about the person her father was, Herbein was showing to the community that her father was more than his addiction and his struggles but a human being like everyone else.

What to Tell the Child of a Parent Struggling with Addiction

It may be hard to know what to tell a child when you know one of their parents is struggling with addiction. They may feel anger at their parent for not being able to stop or their age can make it hard for them to understand what addiction is. Herbein’s message that she wants others to know is that when someone is struggling to stop themselves from their substance abuse, it is no one’s fault and it does not mean that your parent does not love you.

Adults should let their children know that addiction is as much of a disease as when you need medical attention for a physical condition. That your parent might be behaving badly and saying mean things when the truth is, they have no control of what they are saying when they are drunk or high. Children should also know that addiction is not their fault or responsibility to try to stop it. All they can do if offer suggestions and find support towards when the situation becomes hard to handle. You should let your child know that there are many others out there whose parents struggle with addiction. You can give them the number in terms of statistics or find a support group for children to be able to speak about their experiences.

Let your children know that it is okay to speak to someone. There is still a big stigma of addiction where people tend to forget who the person struggling with their addiction was before. They do not need to be scared or embarrassed to speak about their parents. There should be no secret to having an addiction as people are going through it every day. Megan Herbein knew how important it was to speak about her father as people who heard about his death only know about the cause of death and not the person behind it. By letting people know who someone was outside of their disease is honoring that person in the highest light. By making attempts to break the stigma of addiction and mental illness in their own area will help honor the lives of those who died and making sure no one has to go through that type of loss again.

Located on the shore of Southern New Jersey, Enlightened Solutions is a recovery center that uses evidence-based therapies and holistic healing to treat addiction and mental illness. With the opportunity to learn about therapies that are keyed in to healing the human spirit and learning about new stress reducing techniques centered around a 12 step network, you will be ensure a lasting recovery. For more information, please call us at 833-801-LIVE as we are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.


How Addiction Affects Our Instincts

How Addiction Affects Our Instincts

If you are struggling with thoughts of suicide, PLEASE call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

Addiction, just like depression, can totally interfere with the normal functioning of our instincts. Whereas we naturally would work in our best interests, addiction can cause us to instinctively work against ourselves. We become self-destructive. Our instincts for self-preservation go out the window. Our main focus is not on our health and well-being but on getting our fix and holding onto the high. We aren’t self-protective. We don’t care for ourselves. Our relationships with ourselves suffer.

Addiction and depression can completely alter our perception of ourselves. We can become self-hating. We drown in feelings of shame and regret. We create a self-image based on self-rejection rather than self-love, and we build our lives around this image. We don’t feel deserving of love, kindness or respect, so we settle for relationships that reflect back to us our feelings of insecurity and unworthiness. We don’t feel we deserve forgiveness for our past mistakes and wrongs, so we are constantly berating, belittling and judging ourselves. We deny ourselves our own compassion and understanding. We become our own harshest critics. We seem to become proponents for our own demise rather than our success. We compete with other people and never feel like we measure up.

Having such a skewed sense of self can impact how we view the world. Sometimes we feel like the whole world, and the people in it, are out to get us. We feel powerless over the circumstances and events in our lives. We feel like the victims in our own narratives. We blame other people for our pain, and we struggle to take personal responsibility. Addiction can weaken our ability to look at ourselves objectively, to be courageous in our self-inventory, and to stay strong in our quest to improve ourselves. We can become self-pitying, negative and pessimistic.

When our perception of ourselves and the world is so tainted by addiction, it can negatively impact our instincts. We don’t have the normal instincts to want to be happy, to want to heal, to want to contribute to the world, to want to design a life we’re happy with. Our instincts aren’t to grow, learn, improve, build or succeed. Instead, we are self-deprecating, and our instincts are to hide away, to isolate ourselves, to retreat inward, to avoid people. We instinctively put ourselves down and hold ourselves back. We put ourselves in harm’s way. We take chances with our safety. We self-harm. We even contemplate suicide. Addiction and depression have a way of manipulating our instincts to deepen our dependence on the substances, behaviors and emotions we’ve been clinging to. Working to heal from our addictions means understanding our instincts and working to return them back to a healthier state.

The holistic treatment programs at Enlightened Solutions will help you to heal, mind, body and spirit. Call (833) 801-LIVE today.


Dismantling the Shame Around Addiction

Dismantling the Shame Around Addiction

Of all the emotions we contend with throughout the course of our addictions, shame may be the most limiting and debilitating. Shame keeps us locked in cycles of self-deprecation, self-hatred and judgment. We find it impossible to forgive ourselves. We convince ourselves that we are shameful, immoral people rather than seeing ourselves as growing and learning from our mistakes. We don’t see our missteps as the normal part of our evolution that they really are. We create a self-image based on our shame, and we reject ourselves. Our self-hatred blocks our recovery and makes us seek refuge from our cruelty in our addictions.

Dismantling the shame around addiction is a crucial step in the self-acceptance process. We can consciously choose to shed the stigma surrounding addicts and addiction. We can reject the notion that addiction is not a real thing, that addicts use it as an excuse for immorality and recklessness. We can recognize just how destructive an illness it is and have compassion for ourselves in our struggles. We can see how pervasive and all-consuming addiction can be and commend ourselves for the strength in coping with it. We can choose to be proud of ourselves for not giving up on ourselves and our quest for recovery. We can see our healing and recovery as accomplishments, rather than seeing our addiction as a source of shame.

The shame we feel internally has a lot to do with our culture’s perception of addiction. Addiction is depicted in the same negative light as criminal behavior, homelessness and poverty, all of which are shunned and judged. As a culture we don’t lift up our most vulnerable populations. We don’t seek to uplift, encourage or love them. We reject them from the mainstream culture, making them outcasts. When we shame and shun people, it only causes them to sink lower into the depths of their pain. It exacerbates their existing problems. They become more depressed, more addicted, more likely to act out. The answer is to give more energy and attention to the people who need it, and to give them more love, not less. We can see all of our challenges as testaments of our strength, as special characteristics that add to our uniqueness. We can view our society as comprised of differing personalities, all coping with different and unique struggles that add to their growth and progress.

When we commit to seeing all of us as equal rather than judging people and placing them in hierarchies of goodness, status and morality, we open ourselves up to learning from each other and sharing in the beautiful experience of life. Dismantling shame in ourselves and in our culture is a gift we can give not just to the people living with addiction but from everyone else who can stand to learn from our experience and wisdom.

At Enlightened Solutions, we believe that every addict can recover. We provide the supportive community, care and healing modalities to help you regain your self-love. Call (833) 801-LIVE today.


Investigating our Triggers

Investigating our Triggers

For those of us living with addiction, something we often have in common is that we are easily triggered by certain things. Our triggers are the things, events or people that cause us anxiety and distress. We normally feel inclined to want to avoid our triggers at all costs. Our instinct is to not want to have to feel the weight of the bothersome trigger. We try to escape the sadness and fear that accompany them. Part of our recovery is learning how to manage the things that bother us so that we can be at peace no matter what comes our way. Our avoidance has a way of making issues grow stronger until they are totally overpowering us. To work through our triggers, it’s so important that we take the time to investigate them so that we can move through them instead of avoiding them, so that we can reclaim our power and maintain our inner peace.

To investigate our triggers, let’s take a closer look at them. What is it exactly that caused the spike in anxiety and sadness for you? Was it something someone said or did? Are you triggered by specific people, events or statements? Rather than running from your trigger, turn towards it. Face it, and lean into it. As you expose yourself to your trigger, you become more desensitized to it. The more you face your triggering issue head on, the less power it threatens to wield over you.

Let’s start to examine what our triggers represent. We might not be consciously aware of the reasons we’re so triggered, and the more we avoid our issue in question, the less awareness we’re able to develop around it. Let’s dig deep and look at what underlying issues are triggering us and causing us to feel so distressed. For example, someone mentioning death might be particularly triggering for you if you’ve experienced a tragic loss.

Once we know what is fueling our triggers, we can take the necessary steps to do the important healing work we need to do. We can start therapy, attend support group meetings and work with a sponsor. The first step is mustering the courage to face our triggers head on and reminding ourselves that even though they hurt, they don’t have to overpower us if we don’t allow them to.

Addiction has layers of complexities that we aren’t always familiar with. At Enlightened Solutions, we have years of experience helping people heal in profound, life-changing ways. Call us today: (833) 801-LIVE.


Loss of Control

Loss of Control

If you are struggling with thoughts of suicide, PLEASE call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

One of the scariest and most alarming side effects that can accompany addiction is a feeling of loss of control. We’re well aware that our addictions cause us to feel out of control pertaining to our addictive drug or behavior of choice, but what we are often less aware of is how out of control we can feel in all other areas of our lives. Addiction chips away at everything – our sense of self-control and discipline, our ability to conduct ourselves in healthy ways, our productivity and fulfillment. We can feel like we’re losing our connection to ourselves.

When struggling with addiction, we can start to experience a decline in our mental and emotional health. We might start to feel as though we can’t control our thoughts, feelings and actions. We might experience our behavior becoming increasingly more erratic and irrational. We might do dangerous things, such as drive drunk or disappear with strangers. The people around us might struggle to understand the things we say and do. They grow increasingly worried about us. We might speak incoherently and act in confusing ways that are painful for our loved ones to witness. We might become more impulsive and compulsive. We might be more reactive, overwhelmed and easily triggered.

We can have a hard time processing our thoughts and can become more confused, panicked and overwhelmed. We might struggle to understand even simple things. We can feel as though we’re nearing a mental breakdown, like we’re going crazy. These lesser-known side effects of addiction can be extremely scary and debilitating. We can struggle to hold onto our sanity. Our serenity and peace of mind can feel as though they’ve left us for good. We wonder if we’ll ever get our normal lives back.

Feeling this sort of loss of control can make us isolate ourselves even more than we already do because we’re worried people will think we’re crazy or dangerous. We might be hesitant to reach out for help because we’re afraid of people and inundated with thoughts of paranoia. We might feel unsafe no matter what we do. We feel a danger within ourselves that we can’t escape.

When we are in this painful place, sometimes the last thing we can do is reassure ourselves. We’re not thinking clearly or rationally. As much as you can, try to stay calm and remind yourself that you’ll get through this. Seek out the help of a trusted friend. Any time you feel in danger, don’t hesitate to go to the hospital, and if you feel suicidal, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

We understand the various effects of addiction, including the ones we don’t commonly talk about. The Enlightened Solutions community has years of personal and professional experience with recovery. Call us today: (833) 801-LIVE.


Learning the Signs of Addiction

Learning the Signs of Addiction

Working to prevent addiction can feel like an uphill battle, an impossible undertaking. We can feel like we’re up against an indestructible and formidable force that we have no hope of conquering. An important step we can take in preventing addiction in ourselves, in our loved ones and in the people we work with is to learn the signs of addiction. The warning signs of addiction can often mirror and parallel the signs of mental illness. Since addiction and mental illness often go hand in hand, learning more about the warning signs for both can help us respond to a crisis more quickly and get the help and support that are so urgently needed.

A common sign that an addiction is developing is experiencing increased depression and anxiety. We feel sad and hopeless more of the time. We might be increasingly more worried and stressed. We might be more reactive and experience drastic mood swings and unpredictable changes in our emotions. We might start feeling things we can’t explain and don’t understand. We lose interest in doing the things we once loved to do. We neglect our passions and interests. We isolate ourselves and avoid interaction. We might feel more fatigued and can find ourselves feeling exhausted even without expending much energy. Getting out of bed in the morning can feel impossibly difficult when we’re filled with fear and sadness. We might struggle to get to sleep and suffer from insomnia. We might lose our appetite and stop eating, or start binge eating as an anxious compulsion.

An obvious sign of addiction is an inability to monitor and control our use of a substance or our engagement in a certain behavior. We might see other people being able to drink in moderation, for example, whereas we always seem to overdo it. We might feel as though we can’t stop ourselves, no matter how unhealthy or dangerous we know it to be. We can feel as though we’re losing our sense of self and our ability to live our lives normally.

Learning the signs of addiction can help us to recognize when we are headed down a dangerous path, and can help alert us to the fact that we need help. When we know the signs, we’re more likely to seek out resources and reach out for support.

At Enlightened Solutions, we are a community of people with firsthand, personal experience with addiction and recovery. We have helped countless people heal, and we can help you too. Call us today: (833) 801-LIVE.


Creating a Relapse Prevention Plan

Creating a Relapse Prevention Plan

When we are in recovery, we soon discover that the challenges of addiction don’t disappear overnight. We still face the same addictive urges and temptations. We still live with the stress and overwhelm that drove us to our addictions. One of the best ways we can maintain our sobriety is create a relapse prevention plan. When we are hit with urges, our instinct is often to respond with frustration, resistance and panic, which can make us more likely to run to our addictions to escape the painful emotions we’re feeling. Creating a relapse prevention plan for ourselves provides us with a useful and effective tool we can keep with us moving forward, to help keep us on track with our sobriety.

1. Create a Routine

One of the greatest threats to our sobriety is a lack of routine. If we are on vacation, are not working or in school, or don’t have another outlet for our time and energy, we are more likely to find ourselves swayed by the temptation of our addictions. Create a routine for yourself full of things you enjoy, healthy activities, and productive ways to spend your time. Make attending meetings, going to therapy and working with your sponsor part of this routine. Give your energy to keeping this routine and make it a commitment for yourself.

2. Find an Accountability Partner

When we have someone to be accountable to, we’re more likely to stay the course of our recovery. This partner can be a sponsor, another friend in recovery, a family member, therapist or mentor. This person should be someone with whom we feel comfortable checking in and giving regular updates on our progress. We shouldn’t be afraid to discuss with them any challenges, temptations or even relapses that may arise. Keeping track of our progress, even when we stumble, can help us keep ourselves on track.

3. Choose Calm

We commonly become stressed, anxious and panicked when we’re faced with an addictive urge. We worry we’ll relapse. We fear we’ll always be suffering in this way. When we practice mindfulness, we can more easily calm ourselves down, which can help us avoid some of the emotional overwhelm that can lead to relapse. Practice doing things that bring you feelings of peace and calm. Repeat calming affirmations such as “I will get through this. I am at peace. I am reaching my goals.” Use other calming practices such as meditation, journaling and talking with a supportive friend.

Enlightened Solutions was created to help people learn more about addiction and to find the support of a community that understands the struggles firsthand. Call (833) 801-LIVE today to get the help you deserve.