How to Disclose Your Addiction to a Loved One

Delivering news that you know will be unpleasant is always hard. This could include something like informing someone of a mistake, loss, or lie. When it comes to disclosing the fact that you are struggling with substance addiction, you could get various responses.

Let's first discuss who you may want or need to share this information with. It can be common for those struggling with addiction to hide their problems from others. This often leads to dishonesty, mistrust, and even strained relationships. When things become tense, and you feel the need to lie to your loved ones, this may indicate that it is time to be honest and disclose your addiction.

Telling a Spouse or Partner

Informing your spouse or partner of your addiction can be challenging. You may fear rejection or a negative response. The risk of losing the person can sometimes be enough to keep you from telling the truth.

Sooner or later, those close to you will become aware that something isn't right. When it comes to your spouse or partner, chances are, they have already become a little suspicious. When you are struggling with addiction, your behavior tends to change, priorities shift, and you may display some signs of dishonesty or secrecy.

If your spouse or partner has noticed any of these signs, they may already have an idea of the issue. Having an open and honest conversation could help them feel more justified in their feelings and observations.

Telling a Parent or Sibling

Sharing with a parent or sibling that you are struggling with an addiction to drugs or alcohol can be equally challenging. Often, we want our family members to be proud of us. Making good choices is something that many families aim to instill in their children. Knowing your parents or family will be disappointed can be a barrier to breaking the news. Addiction does tend to impact the whole family.

One of the things to keep in mind is that, in most cases, your family members love you unconditionally. This means that even if you share some information that they may not like, they will still love and support you.

Being open and honest about your struggles can often improve your relationships with family members. Again, they have likely noticed a shift in your behavior and actions and may feel a little relieved to know that you are aware of the issue and willing to talk about it.

Telling a Friend or Roommate

Informing a friend or roommate of your addiction can be a bit uncomfortable. Your friends or roommates may also drink alcohol or use drugs. They might be struggling with addiction as well, or maybe they consider themselves to be more recreational users.

In this case, talking to them about your addiction may or may not alter their behavior or decisions. However, being clear about your concerns and your decision to seek support is important. You may need to evaluate the friendship or reconsider your living situation if they do not support you or do not share similar goals.

On the contrary, you may still have some friends who don't use substances, or perhaps you live with roommates who do not share your lifestyle. Ideally, these people will encourage you to seek help and will support you in your efforts to get clean.

How to Break the News

When it comes time to have the difficult conversation, be sure you are prepared. You want to be sure you schedule enough time to have the conversation, as there may be follow-up questions or a discussion. Most likely, the person you are delivering the information to is going to want to talk through options for getting help.

Be sure to have the conversation in an appropriate environment. This is not a conversation you want to have in a public place. Struggling with substance abuse can come with some shame and guilt and certainly carries a fair share of stigma. Having the conversation in a private place can make all parties more comfortable.

Lastly, be honest. Most likely, there have been some instances that have resulted in a lack of trust up to this point. As a result, it is very important to be upfront about your struggles and make an effort to be fully transparent about how addiction is affecting you.

Having this conversation can often come as a result of the decision to seek treatment. At Enlightened Solutions, we help facilitate communication and provide guidance when it comes to mending broken relationships. Our family program helps to inform your loved ones about your situation and provides tools for navigating the healing and recovery process. Disclosing your addiction to those you care about is never easy, but it is an essential step toward recovery.

Discussing your struggle with substance abuse with loved ones can be challenging. You may receive negative feedback, judgment, rejection, or worse. It is important, however, to share your struggle with those who may be in a position to support you or encourage you to seek help. They may also serve as a great support system as you exit treatment and enter recovery. At Enlightened Solutions, we offer a family program that helps to facilitate communication and growth among family members and loved ones in treatment. We help create understanding and encourage methods for healing everyone involved. If you or someone you love is struggling with addiction to drugs or alcohol, call Enlightened Solutions today at (833) 801-LIVE.

Can I Rebuild Trust After Addiction?

Can I Rebuild Trust After Addiction?

Trust is a fundamental component of relationships of all types - whether they are friends, co-workers, loved ones, peers, or other relationships. Without trust, what do you have? Bonds are built on trust, and it can be very difficult to rebuild trust once it is broken.

Substance abuse tends to leave a trail of destruction regarding trust and relationships. Drugs and alcohol can lead you to behave in ways that may be out of character, leading to a lot of wreckage, including broken trust. The great news is that with time and a lot of work, trust can be rebuilt if both or all parties are open to it.

Re-establishing trust within a relationship can take weeks, months, or even years. It is essential to be patient, communicative, and understanding as you and those you care about move through the healing process. Following a few steps for rebuilding trust can help guide things in the right direction and make navigating things a little easier.

#1. Take Responsibility

Owning up to your mistakes is never easy. Addiction can lead us to do and say things that we may regret. These things can include lying and deceiving those we care about most. Losing the trust of someone you love can be very detrimental, and if left unresolved, it can ruin the relationship.

Facing your wrongs and admitting your fault in things is the first step toward mending a relationship with broken trust. If you have been struggling with addiction, it is likely that your loved ones have watched you spiral and lose control as a result of drugs or alcohol. While this doesn't lessen the blow when it comes to the things that damaged their trust, it does provide an explanation.

By taking responsibility for your actions, you are allowing space for understanding and empathy. Communicating about the things you remember doing wrong and even listening and acknowledging things you may not recall can help your loved ones begin to heal.

#2. Allow Time and Space

When you first come clean about your struggle with addiction and the consequences it has brought to your life, your loved ones may need some time to process the information. You can expect to receive some feedback that may be difficult to receive. They might share how your behavior or actions made them feel. You may learn of the sacrifices they have made to try to help you or hear about the many excuses they have made for you in your absence.

It is important for you to give your loved ones time and space to understand, grieve, and process the situation. If they knew of your struggle with addiction, they might find some peace in your decision to try to make amends. Maybe they were unsure of why things unfolded the way they did and are now learning that substance abuse led to the breaking of their trust.

Be prepared to be patient and try your best to show empathy for your loved one's feelings. Understand that if they are close to you, they, too, have been significantly impacted by your addiction and need time to heal before rebuilding trust.

#3. Commit to Making a Change

This is where things can really begin to take a turn. Admitting your faults and accepting whatever the response may be is essentially preliminary work. After having these initial tough conversations, it is time to make a change.

One of the best ways to show your loved ones that you are working to make a change and rebuild trust is by seeking help for your addiction. Making the call to enter treatment displays that you are self-aware and recognize the weight of your problem.

Committing not only to mending the relationship but also to living a life of sobriety speaks volumes. This decision gives your loved ones confidence in you and hopes for mending the relationship.

Enlightened Solutions offers many opportunities for family members and loved ones to get involved in the treatment and healing process. We understand how addiction can affect the whole family and seek to establish understanding and help facilitate healthy relationships moving forward. Through our family program, loved ones can learn more about substance abuse, develop tools for coping and support, and find comfort among others who are navigating similar situations.

Trust is a hard thing to build and can be even more challenging to rebuild once it is broken. Unfortunately, substance abuse tends to lead to broken trust and strained relationships. By following the tips listed above and making the commitment to change, you can rebuild trust after addiction. Getting family members involved in the treatment process can promote healing for everyone and provide you and your loved ones with the support needed to move forward.

Trust is essential when it comes to forming and maintaining personal and professional relationships. If you are struggling with substance abuse, you may have experienced or caused trust to be broken. Trust can be a difficult thing to get back once it is lost. Sometimes, by following a few steps and putting in some work, over time, you can successfully rebuild trust in recovery. Enlightened Solutions can help guide you every step of the way. If you or someone you know could benefit from our holistic approach to treatment for substance abuse, we would love to hear from you. To start mending relationships through recovery, call Enlightened Solutions today at (833) 801-LIVE.

Why You Should Stay Active After Addiction

Why You Should Stay Active After Addiction

Living an active lifestyle has many benefits. Being active can involve sports, exercise, or even hobbies. Keeping yourself busy by doing things that add value to your life and improve your overall wellness can be very advantageous.

If you have struggled with substance abuse, you may know the importance of developing new hobbies and routines. Staying busy can help you avoid triggering situations and can help you fight cravings. It can also help improve your mental and physical health, which substances can take a considerable toll on.

The Benefits of Physical Activity

Let's talk a bit more about the benefits of physical activity. Many things need work as your body begins to detox from drugs and alcohol. For instance, your sleep patterns may be disrupted, and getting quality sleep may become a challenge. Your appetite may be affected, along with your digestive and metabolic function. Additionally, you are bound to experience some highs and lows when it comes to mood and motivation.

Exercise and staying active can improve your health in each of the areas mentioned above. Regular exercise can significantly increase the amount of quality sleep you get each night. The more active you are during the day, the more energy you expend and the more tension you release. This allows your mind and body to relax when it is time for bed.

Living an active lifestyle also helps improve your appetite and metabolism. Physical activity, along with eating healthy and nutritious foods, helps improve insulin and blood sugar levels. This is important because these levels can affect your mood, focus, and overall functioning.

Physical Activity During Treatment

The lifestyle changes that occur following active addiction really begin during treatment. You will be introduced to a variety of new activities that promote wellness and healing throughout the program. One of the activities Enlightened Solutions introduces to clients is yoga. Through activities like yoga and meditation, we encourage a mind, body, and spiritual connection, which promotes better self-understanding and self-expression. Learn more about our yoga classes here.

At Enlightened Solutions, we also incorporate various outdoor activities through our experiential therapy program. These activities include surfing, fishing, paddle boarding, and more. We find that clients often discover new hobbies and strengths by participating in our programs. The hope is for clients to continue to participate in similar activities throughout recovery.

Our staff at Enlightened Solutions helps clients create new, healthy routines and habits during treatment. This might include daily walks or time spent meditating each morning. It could involve time spent working in the garden or making music. All of our programs and activities are geared toward healing and growth. We understand the importance of staying busy and active following treatment and make efforts to instill this value in our clients.

Tips for Staying Active in Recovery

Following treatment, you are likely to regain a sense of freedom and flexibility regarding your schedule and routine. You are also likely to resume some of your daily activities and responsibilities, such as work or school. It can be easy to push things aside and allow your priorities to shift a bit after treatment. It is important, however, to remember the value of staying active and involved in activities that enhance your mental and physical health throughout recovery. Below are a few tips for staying active and on track.

Join a Class

Creating some accountability when it comes to staying focused on your goals is always a good idea. In order to remain active and involved during recovery, you could choose to join a group or class. This could be a yoga class, running club, cycle class, or even a social group. Connecting with others who share a common goal can help you continue to prioritize your health and happiness.

Try New Things

You are likely to explore new activities and hobbies during treatment. Don't let it end when you complete your program. Continue to try new, healthy activities that promote wellness. By adding some variety to your methods of physical activity, you are less likely to feel burdened or obligated to participate.

Set Goals

Goal setting is so valuable when it comes to treatment and recovery. Goals not only provide guidance but also create opportunities for giving yourself credit for your success. Setting realistic goals when it comes to your lifestyle and activity level can help keep you motivated. You are more likely to follow through when you have set a goal to do so.

Staying active and occupied during recovery is essential to long-term success. Whether you enjoy outdoor adventures or are more of an indoor kind of person, make sure to squeeze in some time for your preferred physical activities. This will improve your mental and physical health and help you maintain sobriety.

Staying active is extremely valuable for everyone. It enhances one's quality of life by improving mental and physical health, reducing illness, boosting mood, and more. For those in recovery from substance use disorder (SUD), physical activity can be helpful in many different ways. At Enlightened Solutions, we engage clients with many different activities to promote health and wellness. We understand the benefits activities such as yoga, paddle boarding, or hiking can have when it comes to healing from SUD. If you or someone you care about is struggling with drug or alcohol addiction, we would love to hear from you. To get help and begin your journey to recovery, call Enlightened Solutions today at (833) 801-LIVE.

Is My Social Life Fueling My Addiction?

Is My Social Life Fueling My Addiction?

Have you ever heard people say, "You are the company you keep"? There is some truth to this. The people you surround yourself with can have a significant influence on the way you think and behave. They can also contribute to determining what you spend your time doing.

You are likely to hang around people who share your interests and hobbies. For instance, if you enjoy surfing or yoga, you might have friends who also like to participate in these activities. If you enjoy art or music, you may have friends who share these passions.

Sometimes, you may end up spending time around certain groups of people as a result of other factors. One example could include your job. Depending on your occupation, your role may require you to work closely with others. Often, friendships and relationships can form as a result of the time spent with coworkers.

When you meet new people and begin to spend more time with them, you may find yourself conforming to some of their habits and lifestyle choices. If you spend a lot of time with people who drink alcohol or use substances, you are more likely to do so yourself.

Assessing Your Social Circles

If you are battling addiction, it can be common to hang around others who are living with similar struggles. This often makes obtaining alcohol, benzos, opioids, or other substances more convenient. It also reduces the fear of judgment or rejection.

With addiction often comes some distance or strain on relationships with family members and loved ones. If you know they would not support your substance abuse, you will likely spend less time with them. This being the case, you are probably spending most of your time with people who also use drugs or drink alcohol and less time with those who do not. You may even be avoiding those who care for you the most.

The Role of Your Environment

When you consider your social life and the places you frequent, what do those places look like? If you are struggling with an addiction to drugs or alcohol, you may be spending a lot of your time going to bars, parties, or attending other social events that have substances present. Or, you may be spending time alone in isolated areas that allow for more open substance use.

The unfortunate truth is that being in these environments will likely encourage your substance abuse to continue. Despite your efforts to try to stop drinking or using drugs, being around alcohol or substances can make it very difficult to stick to your goals.

Further, continuing to attend the same parties, venues, or locations once in recovery can lead to relapse. Amid your efforts to refrain from substance use, it is best to avoid places that could be tempting or triggering.

Making a Change and Seeking Help

Friends are important, and most people want to have some sort of social life. When it comes to socializing, people tend to be creatures of habit. We often spend our time with a handful of the same people, going to the same places and doing many of the same things. This applies to substance use and spending time with people and in places that cater to this habit. Breaking this cycle can be difficult.

Fear of change can often serve as a deterrent for some when it comes to seeking treatment. Leaving behind friends and activities and avoiding places you have grown accustomed to can be a little unsettling.

The fact is that when you decide to enter treatment, you are making a choice to walk away from the things that nurtured and encouraged your addiction. Often, this includes people and places you may have grown fond of.

Finding a New Community of Peers

In order to really start fresh and begin to heal, you need new friends, hobbies, and environments. At Enlightened Solutions, we offer a variety of group activities to encourage relationship-building. This promotes peer-to-peer support and can lead to strong bonds with others that can carry into recovery.

We understand the value of a good support system and connectedness within the community. We encourage you to get involved and build your network through our programs at our Enlightened Farm and other community outreach opportunities.

Leaving your old life behind to enter recovery can be hard and even a little sad for some. Eliminating certain people or activities and substances can leave a void. The key is to fill the void with people and things that serve your new lifestyle. You can turn your life around by seeking treatment for your addiction. Through our programs at Enlightened Solutions, you can have a fulfilling social life in recovery.

Having a social life is important for most people. When it comes to addiction and recovering from substance abuse, it is essential to consider the ways in which your social life and those around you contribute to your drinking or drug use. Making the decision to seek treatment often means cutting some people and places out of your life. While this can be difficult, it is often best. At Enlightened Solutions, we help clients form new habits, friendships, and routines that support their sobriety and goals in recovery. If you or someone you care about is struggling with drug or alcohol addiction, we would love to help. To begin your journey to recovery, call Enlightened Solutions today at (833) 801-LIVE.

How Do I Explain Employment Gaps Due to Addiction Treatment?

How Do I Explain Employment Gaps Due to Addiction Treatment?

For many, a job is more than just a means of making money; it can be part of their overall identity and why they get up each day. Because employment is so important, it can serve as a barrier to seeking treatment. The thought of losing a job or having a gap in one's employment history due to treatment for addiction to drugs or alcohol can be troubling.

The truth is, you may be questioned if there are gaps in employment on your resume. In today's society, hundreds, even thousands of people are often applying for just one job. The thought of this can be very discouraging for anyone looking for work.

Since the job market is so competitive these days, it is essential to be prepared to explain any gaps in employment you may have due to seeking addiction treatment.

Build New Skills

If you make the decision to seek treatment and potentially step away from work, it is important to take full advantage of the opportunities provided. Focus on the new skills you are developing and make every effort to learn when you can. Many of the groups and therapeutic activities that are offered by treatment facilities provide chances to learn new things.

For example, you might pick up a new hobby during horticulture therapy that could eventually lead to an employment opportunity. You might gain new or improved interpersonal skills as a result of a therapy group that will serve you well in your next interview.

Prepare for Future Job Interviews

Preparing is one of the best ways to ensure an interview goes as planned. If you have gaps in your employment history, you need to come prepared to discuss them. While they may not even come up, it is a good idea to have something to say if you are questioned.

Coming prepared for an interview also involves doing a little research. Look into the mission of the company. Research the size and recent growth patterns. Think about what skills you can offer to enhance the organization. Also, be ready to ask a few questions of your own based on your research. The better the conversation goes, the less likely they are to harp on anything from your past.

Be Honest

When discussing reasons for your gaps in employment with a potential supervisor or interviewer, be honest. Often, employers will understand and support your decision to step away from work to seek treatment.

It can be intimidating to have a conversation like this when you are unsure of the outcome. When you are new in recovery, you want to find a workplace that is supportive. Surrounding yourself with people who will encourage you and lift you up. is critical If you find that the discussion does not go as planned after being honest about your past, it may not be the right fit.

Focus on Healing

Seeking treatment for addiction can be a little scary. Walking away from a job or a career to seek help is not always easy, even when you know it is the right thing to do. The truth is, you are not functioning your best at work, or at home, while you are struggling with addiction.

It is time to put yourself first and focus on healing. You will develop new skills, improve your focus, boost your energy levels, and increase your overall wellness by choosing to seek treatment. A gap in employment due to your addiction is a hurdle you can overcome. Focus on the good. Imagine what you will bring to your next job as a result of your sobriety.

Career Building Programs in Recovery

There are several ways to make this transition into the workforce easier. One way is to continue participating in something worthy of noting on your resume while in treatment. Enlightened Solutions offers several different programs through our Enlightened Farm. These programs are designed to help clients develop new skills, build confidence, and give back to the community in a productive and meaningful way.

Enlightened Farm allows those in inpatient treatment, partial care, and sober living – as well as community members – to get involved. The Growing Gratitude Program provides an opportunity to give back through community service. This promotes skill-building and general farm knowledge, which can be added to a resume and used again.

The Solid Roots Employment Program offers job opportunities and stable income for those in sober living and who are new to recovery. This can serve as an excellent stepping stone between treatment and embarking on a new career path.

Having to explain a lapse in employment can be uncomfortable. Going into treatment knowing you are going to have a gap to explain to future employers can sometimes serve as a deterrent for seeking help. Don't let this keep you from getting help. There is plenty you can do while in treatment for addiction to make sure you are gaining experience, building skills, and preparing for life and success afterward. At Enlightened Solutions, we provide several different opportunities through the Enlightened Farm to help clients develop new transferrable skills, gain work experience, and earn an income in recovery. Our therapy and wellness groups also promote skill development and provide chances to practice and improve various soft skills. If you or someone you love is struggling with an addiction to drugs or alcohol, we would love to hear from you. To begin healing, call Enlightened Solutions today at (833) 801-LIVE.

How Destructive Character Patterns Affect Addiction

How Destructive Character Patterns Affect Addiction

Certain personality traits, environmental factors, and even genetics can lead to addiction to drugs or alcohol. It can be common to see specific patterns of thoughts or behaviors that are present when seeking treatment. It is important to be aware of these behaviors and thoughts and work to adjust or avoid them. Some destructive character patterns can include:

  • Lack of impulse control
  • Loss or lack of self-control
  • Poor stress management
  • Neglecting (or undiagnosed) co-occurring disorders
  • Risk-taking behavior

Impulse Control

One common pattern of behavior when it comes to addiction is impulsivity. When you develop an addiction to alcohol, cocaine, opioids, or other substances, you may often struggle with impulse control. This refers to the inability or lack of consideration when it comes to the consequences of your actions. If you struggle with impulse control, you may engage in risky or detrimental behaviors without weighing the negative impacts your decisions may have.

When you struggle with impulse control, you may lack the inner dialogue that occurs when you are deciding what to do. This refers to the ability to negotiate and comprehend the potential consequences of a decision. Self-regulation is also a skill that you may struggle with if you lack impulse control.


Another common pattern of behavior when it comes to addiction is a lack of self-control. This can be similar to impulse control; however, this speaks more to being able to stop doing something or moderate your thoughts or behaviors when you want or need to. For example, you may be fully aware of the consequences of a poor decision but find yourself unable to avoid making the decision that leads to the negative consequences.

Addiction is a perfect example of this concept. When struggling with substance use disorder, you might be aware of the harmful effects of using. Although, you might have no control over your dependency on the substance you are using.

This can be difficult to understand for those who have not experienced addiction firsthand and can even be difficult to process when you enter treatment. At Enlightened Solutions, we use 12-Step principles to help you identify your loss of control over your addiction and embrace the healing that comes with that realization.

Stress Tolerance

Stress affects everyone differently. You may have a high tolerance for stress and may even feel motivated by it. Yet, you could be very debilitated by stress and anxiety. This can often lead to self-medicating or seeking release in the form of drugs or alcohol.

Managing stress well is essential to your health for many reasons. In addition to the risk of addiction, increased stress levels can lead to poor mental and physical health. It can even trigger life-threatening conditions such as poor cardiovascular health.

Co-Occurring Disorders

It is normal for you to discover that you have a co-occurring diagnosis upon completing the intake and assessment process. A co-occurring disorder refers to the presence of an underlying diagnosis that could be triggering or reinforcing your substance use. A few common co-occurring diagnoses include depression and anxiety.

Similar to those seeking substances to relieve stress, you might choose to drink alcohol or use drugs to ease symptoms of anxiety or depression. Neglecting to address these disorders can lead to substance use and abuse. At Enlightened Solutions, we provide a full mental health evaluation to be sure we provide you with everything you need during treatment to find healing and good health.

Risk-Taking Behaviors

In some cases, taking risks can be a beneficial thing. While this can be harmless in some situations, it can sometimes lead to much worse.

When you take risks often, you may lack some or several of the aforementioned character traits. You may lack impulse control, which affects your judgment and processing of consequences. Perhaps you lack self-control and, despite knowing something is dangerous, feel unable to refrain from taking the risk.

Sometimes, there may be an underlying condition or disorder that could be leading to dangerous or risky behavior. Substance use can often begin as a one-time experimental thing out of curiosity. If you enjoy taking risks often, you may not consider the long-term impact of your decisions but only consider the immediate risk. After all, you are not intending to become addicted to substances.

During treatment, clinical professionals will help you identify any potentially harmful thoughts and behavior patterns that could have led to your substance use in the first place. Learning more about these behaviors and developing strategies for change is crucial. By participating in therapy and focusing on healing and change during treatment, you can stay on track and be successful in recovery.

Harmful behavior patterns can often lead to substance abuse. Some common examples can include lack of impulse control, loss of self-control, poor stress management, the presence of a co-occurring disorder, or engaging in risk-taking behaviors. Some may exhibit a combination of these traits. Possessing any of these characteristics or behaviors significantly increases the likelihood of substance abuse. It is important to address and correct these behavior patterns to avoid addiction and relapse. At Enlightened Solutions, we help clients recognize any underlying issues that may have led to their addiction and pose potential for relapse in recovery. Our programs help you develop strategies for correcting destructive thoughts and behaviors and create more productive and healthy habits. If you or someone you love is struggling with drug or alcohol addiction, we would love to hear from you. Call Enlightened Solutions today at (833) 801-LIVE.

Understanding the Correlation Between Trauma and Addiction

Understanding the Correlation Between Trauma and Addiction

Trauma is an emotional response to an occurrence that had abundant negative impacts on someone’s life. Examples of trauma could include an accident, assault, natural disaster, and more. There are various types of trauma, and trauma may be perceived and experienced differently by different people.

Trauma is often something people would prefer not to talk about. In the past, it may have been a little stigmatized, implying that discussing your trauma was a sign of weakness. Today, society seems to be embracing the importance of acknowledging and processing trauma as it relates to healing and overall health.

Opening up about trauma can be very difficult. Usually, traumatic events are something people may prefer to avoid thinking or talking about as they can bring up terrible memories. However, trauma that is left unresolved or unprocessed can present issues in all areas of life. Just because you aren’t talking about it doesn’t mean you don’t still think about it, whether it is through conscious thoughts or not. Sometimes, trauma creeps up and affects areas of functioning without you even realizing it. Trauma can impact relationships, affect productivity, and lead to substance use.

Trauma and Addiction

It has been found that trauma and substance abuse can be closely related. For example, many who have experienced trauma in their life turn to using drugs or alcohol to cope with thoughts and feelings relating to their trauma. They may use it as an escape or distraction to avoid thinking about or focusing on unpleasant events of the past.

As mentioned by Lamya Khoury, Yilang L Tang, Bekh Bradley, Joe F Cubells, and Kerry J Ressler in their 2010 article that appears in the Depression and Anxiety journal, "Early traumatic experience may increase risk of substance use disorders (SUDs) because of attempts to self-medicate or to dampen mood symptoms associated with a dysregulated biological stress response.” This can often be what jump-starts addiction. When you realize that something helps take your mind off thoughts or feelings that can be really negative and consuming, you’re inclined to continue seeking that remedy.

On the other hand, those who use substances are more likely to be put in situations where they could experience trauma as a result of their lifestyle. Substance use increases the likelihood of victimization in many different ways. You are more likely to be present in unsafe environments, engage and interact with others who are engaging in unsafe behaviors, and you’re more likely to have your judgment skewed as your main focus is to seek and obtain your substance of choice.

Addressing Trauma During Treatment

A thorough assessment at intake can be critical to identifying any trauma that may be present and needs addressing. As someone goes through the treatment process, it’s important to address any underlying conditions that could be encouraging substance-using behaviors. Understanding what led to the substance abuse and what continues to drive it for each client is critical to their recovery.

Attempting to treat just someone’s addiction if they have experienced trauma in their life would be only a short-term fix at best. Following treatment, that individual would most likely still be impacted by the trauma that led them to use drugs or alcohol in the first place. Essentially, you would only be treating the surface-level issue. Digging deep and understanding what really led someone to make the decision to use substances they likely knew could be risky is important to their recovery success.

Some may not even be aware that their trauma could have led to their addiction. It can be common to suppress memories and negative thoughts and emotions so deeply that they may not even be acknowledged when discussing how addiction began. Therapists and intake specialists are trained to help you identify any trauma that may exist, no matter how historical or deeply suppressed it may be.

Choosing a Facility With a Trauma-Informed Approach

Choosing a treatment facility that prioritizes holistic healing can make all the difference. Staff is trained to address trauma first and help you work through any underlying issues that could serve as a barrier to your growth, success, and healing. They are aware of trauma symptoms and signs as they may present in those with SUD. It’s important to process your own feelings and emotions throughout treatment and understand how to cope with these to avoid relapse in the future. At Enlightened Solutions, we can help you do this.

Confronting trauma can be hard, particularly if it is not something that you have ever really sat with and thought about before. Discovering existing trauma and learning that this could have been the driving force behind your addiction can be incredibly enlightening. You will leave feeling empowered knowing that you are more aware of yourself and are now equipped with the tools to take back control of your life.

Trauma and addiction can be directly related. For many, one may be the cause of the other. Whether you began using drugs or drinking alcohol to cope with trauma or you experienced trauma as a result of substance abuse, there is usually a correlation. Addressing any trauma clients may have experienced as part of the treatment process is critical. This increases the likelihood of long-term success and reduces the risk of relapse. Enlightened Solutions conducts a thorough assessment to identify any trauma that may be contributing to your substance abuse at intake, and develops a plan catered to your specific needs. If you or someone you love is struggling with drug or alcohol addiction and could benefit from our trauma-informed approach to treatment, don't hesitate to reach out. To begin your journey to recovery, call Enlightened Solutions today at (833) 801-LIVE.

How Do I Know If My Loved One Has an Addiction?

How Do I Know If My Loved One Has an Addiction?

Are you up late at night losing sleep because you’re worried about your loved one? Maybe they seem to be acting a little differently lately. Maybe their priorities have shifted, or they’re hanging with a different crowd these days. Whatever the reasons for your concern, it’s never a good feeling to have to ask yourself whether your loved one could potentially be struggling with drug or alcohol abuse.

In this situation, it’s important to know the warning signs and be able to determine when it is time to seek help. Many changes can occur when someone is engaging in substance abuse. There are often physical symptoms and signs as well as behavioral changes you may observe when someone is battling an addiction to drugs or alcohol.

Typically, once addiction becomes severe enough, it is very difficult for anyone to hide the telling signs and symptoms. Things can often escalate quickly, so it is important to be aware and take action as soon as you suspect there may be a problem. Below are a few things to look out for if you are concerned that your loved one may have an addiction to drugs or alcohol.

Behavioral Changes

Usually, those close to you know you best. So, while there are some common signs and symptoms, it’s important to note that your loved one may display signs or symptoms that may not align exactly with some of the examples provided. Some common behavioral changes can include increased frustration or irritability, loss of interest in activities your loved one used to enjoy, a short temper, or seeming withdrawn or distant from family members and friends.

Of course, these behaviors can be a result of other things that may be going on and causing distress. It is important, however, to try to figure out if addiction could be the cause of the behavioral changes you’re seeing. If you are seeing behavioral changes in addition to any of the physical changes listed below, chances are good that substance use may be a factor.

Physical Changes

There are a few physical changes that can be indicators of addiction. Often, addiction interferes with your appetite. This can result in excessive weight gain or weight loss depending on the person and the substance being used. Often, these fluctuations in weight appear to be quite drastic and seem to happen pretty quickly.

Another physical change that could occur if your loved one is engaging in substance use can include changes to the eyes. Many substances can either cause pupils to dilate or shrink. If you notice a change in your loved one's appearance, specifically in reference to pupil size or eye redness, it may be worth looking into.

Additionally, a person's level of care when it comes to hygiene and appearance can change with addiction. They may seem a little more unkempt or could possibly be observed dressing inappropriately for the weather. For instance, many heavy users may tend to carry drugs or paraphernalia with them. In an effort to hide these objects, they may wear more layers of clothing or choose clothes with larger pockets.

When to Get Help

Noticing any of the symptoms mentioned above could certainly indicate that there is an issue, but not always. Sometimes, there may be another issue at hand contributing to behavioral or physical changes in your loved one. It’s important to be aware of common signs and symptoms of substance abuse, but it’s also important to trust your instincts. Again, you know your loved one best and know when there is something out of the ordinary going on.

Make it a point to try to confront your concerns and have a conversation about the signs and symptoms you have observed. They may open up about a potential problem with drugs or alcohol, or they may become defensive and deny that there is an issue.

Treatment facilities will conduct a thorough assessment of your loved one and determine the best plan for treatment. They will go through the detox process, helping them to cleanse their body of all drugs or alcohol before entering into treatment programming. They will be taught new, healthy ways of living while healing mentally, physically, and spiritually to ensure the best future possible.

You never want to believe that someone you love and care for has an addiction. While coming to terms with this reality can be extremely disheartening and devastating, it’s important to get your loved one the help they need. Pay close attention to their behavior and appearance if you suspect they may be using drugs or alcohol and could have a problem. Getting help early on can reduce long-term damage and lead to an easier transition into recovery.

Learning that your loved one has an addiction to drugs or alcohol can be extremely tough to process and cope with. There are many common signs and symptoms to be aware of and look out for if you are suspicious that there could be a problem. It’s important to get help as soon as possible if you do discover that someone is struggling with substance abuse. Enlightened Solutions offers excellent options for treatment and provides activities and uses strategies to promote holistic and healthy living. Our therapists aim to identify any co-occurring disorders at intake or contributing trauma that might need to be addressed to ensure complete healing. Let us help your loved one overcome this challenge and find sobriety. If you or someone you love is battling addiction, we would love to help. Don’t hesitate to give us a call today at (833) 801-LIVE.

Can Anyone Develop Addiction?

Can Anyone Develop Addiction?

Substance use disorders (SUDs) do not discriminate. Anyone can develop an addiction to alcohol and other substances or behaviors. Addiction is a chronic disease that can affect anyone, regardless of age, ethnicity, gender, or social status. Struggling with addiction does not make you any less of a person or insinuate a lack of judgment or willpower. Multiple factors play a role in one's susceptibility to developing an addiction. The important thing to remember is that recovery is possible. At Enlightened Solutions, we believe in your ability to recover.

5 Factors in the Development of Addiction

While there are multiple factors relative to the development of addiction, scientists and practitioners have explained that the following five factors are very important in one's susceptibility to developing an addiction to alcohol or other substances or behaviors.

#1. Biology

Our biology plays a powerful role in everything we do and who we are. Our genetics put us at risk for diabetes and cancer; doesn't it make sense that our genetics also put us at a higher risk for developing addiction? Biology is why we react in certain ways to our environment, and our biology puts us at greater risk for developing certain disorders. Researchers are still trying to understand how genetics plays a role in the development of certain diseases, but it is clear from current studies that genetics play a role in whether or not we are likely to develop an addiction to alcohol or other substances or behaviors.

#2. Environment

Our environment shapes us, from what we decide to eat to how we organize our days. Depending on our environment and with whom we surround ourselves, we can be at greater risk of developing an addiction. When we surround ourselves with healthier people, we tend to engage in healthier activities. When we surround ourselves with negative influences, we are more likely to succumb to peer pressure and engage in less healthy activities.

A key component of this aspect of the development of addiction is also tied to our genetics. Epigenetics relates to how our biology is impacted by our surroundings. Our biology puts us at specific risk of the development of certain diseases. Our environment also impacts whether or not certain genetic sequences are “turned on," putting us more at risk.

#3. Development

Risk-taking behaviors occur primarily in our youth. The younger we are when we start using substances, the more likely we are to continue engaging in dangerous behaviors. As teens and young adults, the brain is not fully developed, and making decisions about what is best for us is difficult. It is not uncommon, and unfortunately, the younger a person is when introduced to substance use, the more likely they are to develop an addiction.

#4. Trauma

Another critical component to the development of an addiction is the experience of trauma. At Enlightened Solutions, we recognize how trauma can play a critical role in your struggles, which is why we offer individual therapy as a part of your treatment program. Trauma changes a person's ability to see themselves clearly and impacts nearly all aspects of an individual's life. Trauma can enact certain genetic markers, making one more prone to developing addictive behaviors and playing a role in the development of addiction as a result of epigenetics.

#5. Co-Occurring Diagnoses

At Enlightened Solutions, we recognize how your addiction to alcohol or other substances or behaviors did not occur in a vacuum. We also acknowledge that other diagnoses may have played a role in your struggles with various behaviors. A co-occurring diagnosis, such as anxiety, bipolar, depression, or PTSD, can play a role in the development of any addiction. Learning how to cope with triggers and symptoms is difficult, and many people have used alcohol and other substances or behaviors to cope with unpleasant symptoms. In truth, people want to feel “normal,” and the use of substances has been a coping strategy, which is how some people develop an addiction in relation to a co-occurring diagnosis.

You Are Not Your Diagnosis

A critical thing to remember as you begin your battle against addiction to alcohol or other substances or behaviors is that you are not your diagnosis, and your struggles do not define you. Instead, remember that you are a unique individual with a special purpose on this planet. At Enlightened Solutions, we see you as full of possibility. A part of your treatment will be to get you to see the many possibilities and strengths you have and can bring to the world. You are an amazing person. Shouldn't your best life start now?

Addiction is an equal opportunity disease and doesn't discriminate between race, gender, occupation, or social standing. You are not alone in your struggle with alcohol or other substances or behaviors. Remember that help is available. At Enlightened Solutions, we recognize your intrinsic value and want to see you succeed in recovery, which is why we offer honest solutions to your struggles. If you or a loved one are struggling with substance use disorder, we are here to help. We believe in your ability to recover and offer treatment for every step of your recovery process, whether it be detox or if you need assistance on an outpatient basis. We are here to help you recover from addiction. Contact Enlightened Solutions at (833) 801-LIVE and learn how we can help you overcome your struggles with drugs or alcohol and embrace the life and recovery you want and deserve. We are here to help you. 

Why Teachers Fall Victim to Addiction

Why Teachers Fall Victim to Addiction

If you know an educator, you are probably familiar with the unfortunate fact that teachers are often paid far less than they deserve and typically work many hours outside of the scheduled school day. With ever-changing curriculum guidelines, pressures and criticism from parents, challenges with students and families, and other stressors, teachers may find themselves feeling overworked and underpaid. Teaching, despite the coveted "great schedule" and abundance of breaks, is considered to be a very stressful occupation.

For these reasons, among others, you can imagine that seeking substances to ease the stress teachers experience within and outside of the classroom is all too common. Addiction among educators may be more prevalent than you think, with many choosing to seek help during the summer break. While summer break can provide an excellent opportunity to sober up and seek treatment, it is important to consider that there are ways to seek help throughout the school year too. Sometimes, waiting until summer only prolongs a solution and worsens the problem.

Stressors of Teaching

Before discussing treatment options for teachers, let's first review the reasons educators may develop a substance use disorder (SUD). While this is certainly not a comprehensive list, a few common reasons for substance use among educators can include low pay, long work hours and no overtime pay, high and often unrealistic expectations, and challenges with students or families.

Minimal or Insufficient Pay

Teachers continue to be one of the lowest-paid occupations along with others in public service such as law enforcement officers, firefighters, etc. Teacher salaries are often based on the area and the income range for that geographical location. Also taken into consideration is the budget for that county or region. Often, areas in need of the best and most qualified teachers pay the least. This can be even more discouraging and unmotivating for educators in high-need areas.

Long Hours

While a seven-hour school day may seem manageable, the truth is that a teacher's responsibilities almost always stretch beyond that timeframe. Teachers take a lot of work home each day and fulfill many duties from home, such as grading papers, answering emails, and lesson planning. This can lead to burnout, frustration, and ultimately substance use.

Added Pressure

Teachers, more so now than ever, are held to a higher standard when it comes to the success of their students. It is no longer enough for a student to work hard and get good grades. Many school systems have adopted the practice of standardized testing, placing test scores at the highest value and basing teaching quality accordingly.

This is in addition to the pressure teachers put on themselves to ensure their students succeed. With classroom sizes larger than ever, it can be difficult to adapt to the needs of all students and cater to various learning styles. If students don't succeed, educators may feel personally responsible, which can weigh heavily on their mental health.

Challenges with Students or Families

Those who are called to teach often have a passion for helping others. This means that if a student is struggling, the teacher is inclined to do everything they can to help. Teachers encounter students from all walks of life, coming from all different home situations. This can be difficult to cope with, motivating teachers to seek reprieve on the weekends or after a difficult day at work.

With all of these challenges that often accompany this field of work, educators can easily fall victim to substance abuse. It can begin as a coping mechanism on the weekends in an attempt to unwind after a difficult week. This can quickly evolve into a daily, after-work routine that eventually becomes a problem.

Treatment Options

Fortunately, there are treatment programs designed to offer programs and services that are suitable for working individuals. With outpatient programs, most can maintain their jobs and other obligations while meeting the criteria for treatment.

As with any treatment program, a full assessment would take place first to ensure outpatient therapy or treatment is appropriate for your level of addiction. If you are deemed a fit, you can take advantage of all that treatment has to offer while maintaining your role as a teacher. Learn more about the benefits of outpatient treatment here.

Outpatient programs often involve therapies, meetings, and other activities commonly accessed through residential treatment but lack around-the-clock supervision. This is a great option for those able to stay on track with less supervision. Staying connected and engaged in the treatment process while staying employed is possible with such a program.

Teaching is difficult. You may have ungrateful students and/or parents, harsh criticism from administrators, and unrealistic expectations set both by others and sometimes yourself. This combined with low pay and long hours can take a huge toll. For these reasons, among others, teachers can often fall victim to addiction. Seeking substances to cope with occupational stress is often common and can quickly evolve into a substance use problem. At Enlightened Solutions, we offer a variety of treatment programs suited to meet your specific needs. We begin with a full assessment at intake to determine your level of care needed and develop an individualized treatment plan for you and your situation. Some may qualify for outpatient treatment, which can allow individuals to maintain their jobs while receiving treatment for drug or alcohol addiction. If you or someone you know is struggling with substance abuse, call Enlightened Solutions today at (833) 801-LIVE