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Tag: Substance Abuse

Bringing Meditation to Every Area of Life

Meditation is a powerful and accessible tool for someone in recovery. It transforms their state of presence and creates space to make an intentional choice in every moment.  With choice, recovery begins.

Meditation is many things. To beginners, it is commonly thought to be a period of time sitting on a meditation pillow.  Meditation is much more and can express in many other ways.  It can be explored in the following the realms: physical body, mental body and emotional body.

Physical body: the body as a moving meditation, for example, when walking down the street. You can engage the following focal points:

  • Notice when your heel is in contact with the ground and when the ball of your foot is in contact with the ground.
  • Play with making big movements with your body – exaggerate your steps or swinging of your arms, or exploring the full core length as you move.

Mental body: engage the mind to cultivate ‘the witness’ which is to create space between you and your mind.  You are not your thoughts. This awareness is the bridge to resisting cravings which can save lives.

  • Throughout the day,  write down your thoughts as you notice them.
  • In a seated-meditation, notice your thoughts, explore the space between ‘you’ and your thoughts, allowing your thoughts to be  clouds drifting by without attaching to them.

Emotional body: one challenge is the habituated avoidance of emotions. The emotions are a great playground for taking contrary actions to our habits:

  • When you notice an impulse to avoid, pause, and simply do the thing that you desire to avoid, even in the smallest measure.  For example, if you typically avoid eye contact, make eye contact intentionally, even if only for a few seconds.  Small changes lead to bigger changes, so celebrate the smallest contrary actions!
  • Remember emotions are simply energy that needs to move in order to be released.  As you feel an emotion, allow yourself to connect to the image of a wave, washing in and out.  As with waves, emotions will always change.  

With these simple focuses, you can bring more attention to many areas of your life.  You can begin to live with more intention by taking these small, tangible ways of being more fully with yourself in every moment of your precious life.  

Enlightened Recovery Solutions offers a harmonious approach to holistic treatment, bringing together the best of evidence-based, alternative, and 12-step therapies. Call us today for information on our transformation programs of treatment for addiction and alcoholism: 833-801-5483.

Tips for Managing PTSD

Post-Traumatic Stress disorder (PTSD) is very common with individuals who are in recovery from addiction.  It is an experience of reliving a traumatic life-event that has occurred in the past.  PTSD is most commonly associated with combat veterans but can also occur with a myriad of other experiences, including, but not limited to, physical fights and rape, car accidents, natural disasters, unusual health challenges, naming just a few.  

When dealing with PTSD, it is very important to be aware of the principle of trauma-informed, especially when choosing a therapeutic practitioner.  To be trauma-informed is the recognition of the effects of trauma on a person’s reactions and life experiences.  This is a critical awareness when dealing with PTSD to mitigate the false beliefs that can form about the self of the person dealing with PTSD.  To be trauma-informed about PTSD is to recognize that the experiences of PTSD is not who the sufferer is.  

Once some foundational work has been done with a therapeutic practitioner, individuals can be an active participate in their own ongoing healing from PTSD through the practice of mindfulness.  Once the baseline awareness of a PTSD response has been established, the person with PTSD can be cued to recognize when they will need to access mindfulness tools.  


The Frozen Lemon

It can be supportive to use a frozen lemon to break a PTSD episode.  This simple tool is very powerful for bringing the person experiencing PTSD out of the mind and back into the body.  By holding a frozen lemon in one’s hand and closing the fist around it, the intensity of sensation lessens the hold of the mind on the past experience, bringing it down to a level of manageability.  


Making the Image Black and White

When the PTSD takes someone into a critical moment of the traumatic experience, use the imagination to turn the image into black and white.  Many people find that this will reduce the intensity of the experience.


Changing the Position

When the PTSD memory involves another person, the person experiencing it can engage the imagination to change the position of placement of themselves and the other in the memory.  For example, if someone is standing over the person with PTSD and it makes them seem more powerful, the imagination can be engaged to make them stand below you, minimizing the power that they hold in the memory.  


Enlightened Recovery Solutions offers a harmonious approach to holistic treatment, bringing together the best of evidence-based, alternative, and 12-step therapies. Call us today for information on our transformation programs of treatment for addiction and alcoholism: 833-801-5483.

Lavender Should be Everywhere in Early Recovery

Lavender is a vital herbal support for anyone in early recovery.  It can bolster early recovery process through medicinal, self-care, mindfulness and spiritual applications.  Like many herbs, it can be explored in its living plant form, dried herbal form or also as an essential oil.  When engaging the essential oil, remember to mix it in a carrier oil, such as coconut or almond, to avoid sensitive skin reactions.  

Medicinally, lavender can support many of the physiological challenges that the body faces as it begins to detox and restore itself.  Some of the medicinal properties of lavender are anxiety reduction, digestive support and as a support to insomnia. In herbalist terms, lavender is an analgesic, anti-allergenic, antibacterial, antirheumatic, antispasmodic and a central nervous system sedative.  

Lavender can also be engaged in soothing self-care practices which are essential to early recovery.  A significant layer to the healing journey of the addict is to learn to be peacefully with their internal self and self-care practices are a safe way to explore this. Self-care practices that can be engaged with lavender are to take a warm bath with some drops of lavender essential oil. Another application can be to mix some drops of lavender oil in with some oil and practice self-massage.  Massaging the feet can be especially powerful to support the grounding and calming effect of lavender.  

Lavender as an essential oil can become a mindfulness practice.  Mindfulness is the practice of slowing or stopping the mental chatter and more fully occupying your body and senses in the present moment.  The simple act of smelling the lavender essential oil will expand your mindful presence.  It is powerful bridge to our mindfulness that we may not be able to access without this important tool.  

If possible, also get to know lavender in its living plant form.  There are many varieties and they often have some kind of beautiful soft lavender bud on a gentle green stem.  Sometimes, the buds will have tiny, darker purple flowers on them and are velvety to touch.Lavender represents the softness that we seek on this healing journey and models powerfully the practice of pruning and new growth that is available through it.  

Enlightened Recovery Solutions offers a harmonious approach to holistic treatment, bringing together the best of evidence-based, alternative, and 12-step therapies. Call us today for information on our transformation programs of treatment for addiction and alcoholism: 833-801-5483.

Yoga as a Spiritual Lifestyle

Yoga has diverse ways of being expressed in the lives of people. In simplicity, yoga is usually a framework of physical movements called postures.  They function to offer the practitioner, yogi, to have a spiritual experience breath, body, focus and senses.  Many people will practice yoga fashioned after the philosophy of a specific spiritual teacher.  There are people who become devoted to one philosophy of yoga and others who study many forms of yoga and integrate them into a personal expression. Both are authentic avenues of yoga as a spiritual lifestyle.  

When beginning the journey of yoga as a spiritual lifestyle, it is supportive to take classes at a yoga studio after treatment.  The structure of classes, experience of community and relationship with a teacher will allow yoga to become an integrated experience.  Overtime, the student may discover that yoga came alive in their life and the decision to maintain these structures will become optional.  

When this transcendence occurs, one may find themselves reflecting on what it means to take the yoga practice off the yoga mat and into the world.  The student may return to reflect on these core principles: breath, body, focus and senses and play with them in everyday non-yoga contexts.  For example:

  • Breath: be deeply connected to your breath in the rhythm of walking to the bus stop.
  • Body: discover internal connection to your upright spine as you sit at your laptop sending email.
  • Focus: playing with the dimensions of seeing and listening as you have a social conversation that is not optimally enthralling to you.
  • Senses: explore ways that you can experience layers of taste with appreciation of the healthy meal that you prepared.  

In addition to exploring yoga off the mat, you can also consider Karma Yoga which is the way that bring what you have learned onto the mat into the lives of others.  Sometimes this is sharing your practice or the way it has influenced your life.  Other times, it is simply being of service to the needs of the community that may seem unrelated to yoga.  With all of this woven together and adapted to, one has become a yogi.  

Enlightened Recovery Solutions offers a harmonious approach to holistic treatment, bringing together the best of evidence-based, alternative, and 12-step therapies. Call us today for information on our transformation programs of treatment for addiction and alcoholism: 833-801-5483.

8 Ways Addiction Hurts The Body

Addiction is known to be a complex medical issue which causes suffering on the physical, emotional and spiritual planes.  There are many different types of addiction and they all have an impact on all three of these aspects of the human life.  It is valuable to recognize that while the forms of addiction may have different consequences on the body, they all require that the physical healing occur before the internal resources become available for the depth recovery that is necessary on the emotional and spiritual planes.  

The following are some possible harms that the body may experience as an outcome of addictive behaviors.  There is some variance according to substance but these impacts are generally present in the early stages of recovery.  .  

  1. Brain: there are many impacts by addiction, including memory, the natural chemical balances and communications of the brain with the rest of the body, and the brain’s role in motivating the person to healthy self-preservation activities.  
  2. Central Nervous system: the addictive ingestion of toxins causes a continuous state of fight-or-flight, causing the rest of the body to operate as if it is in a continuous state of danger.
  3. Weight fluctuations: fluctuations may be up or down, but both changes can have serious long-term effects on the quality of health and life expectancy.  
  4. Liver: the role of this organ is to filter and metabolize toxins.  When an excessive amount of toxins are present, it becomes over-used and susceptible to disease. It also plays a role with digestion and impacts to its optimal function also impact nutrient intake.
  5. Kidneys: play a critical role in removing toxins from the body and the cleansing of blood.  These functions are impacted by addictive substances.
  6. Mental health issues: sometimes people are using addiction as a coping for existing mental health issues and other times, the use of substances actives mental health issues that they were predisposed to.
  7. Accelerated aging: in many cases, addiction of all kinds simply accelerates the aging process by speeding up the process of cell death.  This process is a natural process yet, our addiction will speed up the timeline and take our vitality sooner than would naturally occur.   
  8. Digestion issues: addictions impact the ability of this system to uptake nutrients and can result in malnutrition.   


Enlightened Recovery Solutions offers a harmonious approach to holistic treatment, bringing together the best of evidence-based, alternative, and 12-step therapies. Call us today for information on our transformation programs of treatment for addiction and alcoholism: 833-801-5483.

Is There A Spiritual Side To Depression?

Living with depression is a challenging life experience.  The experience of depression can feel like the attempt to run through waist-deep tar.  Even though you long to sprint through the day, every breath, every step, every thought is moving through the sticky toxicity of depression.  The dualism of depression is that there is a deep longing to be released from it, yet its very nature can block an individual from taking actions that will shift it.  

As we consider how to work with this dualism, it is important to acknowledge that two basic kinds of depression exist. These are depression that is contextually induced and depression that is clinical or chemical in nature.  In the following discussion, we are exploring actions that may influence change with contextual depression.  

The definition of the word ‘depress’ is to be in a lower state and when speaking in spiritual terms, the spiritual life can sometimes be discussed as the pursuit of the ‘higher’ self.  In these terms, the remedy for being relieved of depress-ion is to pursuit elevation of the self.  The self can be elevated by pursuing higher expressions of it self.

Becoming elevated can be accessible by simply choosing to look at our depression differently.  When an individual is dealing with depression, it may be natural and comfortable to look at the circumstances of life as happening to you.  Whether the context is a job loss, relationship ending or the bottom of an addiction, it can be easy to feel like a victim for those circumstances.  However, one can begin to choose our higher self when they pause and ask themselves what actions they might take to create a new situation for their lives.

Sometimes, depression can begin the process of shifting even by simply asking ourselves this question, even if we do not yet have the next right action to take.  The question allows an individual to embrace the possibility that they have access to the internal resources to change their experience and this is an un-depressed perspective.  Once one is willing to ask the question, the higher self will begin to emerge leading the lower part of you to the actions necessary to change the context of your life.  


Enlightened Recovery Solutions offers a harmonious approach to holistic treatment, bringing together the best of evidence-based, alternative, and 12-step therapies. Call us today for information on our transformation programs of treatment for addiction and alcoholism: 833-801-5483.

Why Are Synthetic Drugs So Dangerous?

Synthetic drugs can include popularly well known substances such as crystal meth, flakka, krokodil, and bath salts. Methamphetamines are central nervous system stimulant drugs. Compared to other substances, synthetics hit the system faster. With quicker access to the brain, synthetic drugs create a nearly instantaneous high which is powerful. Having direct impact on the central nervous system, synthetic drugs go racing through the nervous system and blood stream. Those who have abused synthetic drugs or have found themselves addicted report the sensations of euphoria firing on all nerves from brain to body. Unfortunately, the wild high of a synthetic drug does not last long. Synthetic drugs are cheap and sold is disguise in many easy to find places. Developing an addiction to synthetic drugs is easy when the drug is cheap, available, and ready to take one dose after another.


The Allure Of Synthetic Drugs

Powerful delivery of chemical substances to the brain results in a wide array of effects. Synthetic users report fantastical hallucinations, as well as severe paranoia. Crystal meth can keep someone up for ten days at a time in a blackout while simultaneously providing an excess of hormones and increasing sexual arousal. To those on the outside, the negative effects of synthetics would be a deterrent. For those who have experienced them, however, the positive is too good to pass up.

Problematically, continuing to use synthetic drugs is equivalent to gambling. Due to the chemical nature of synthetic drugs, the compound of one batch to the next will not be the same.


The Danger of Synthetic Drugs

Synthetics are made from an unpredictable variety of chemical substances from phosphorous to liquid drain cleaner. In an ongoing effort to fly under the watchful radar of local enforcement agencies, manufacturers of synthetic drugs are constantly changing the chemical recipe. As a result, synthetics addicts or those who recreationally experiment with them, are at risk.

At its worst, synthetic drugs can cause paranoia, elevated heart rate, high blood pressure, and overheating. While some report seeing God on synthetic drugs, many others report seeing the devil, from whom they run for their lives. Synthetics can cause stroke and cardiac arrest as well as permanent psychosis.


Enlightened Solutions is a coed treatment facility for men and women who want to heal and be liberated from their abusive relationship with chemical substances. We provide multiple levels of care and take insurance. For more information, call 833-801-5483.

Commonly Abused Substances


Synthetic drugs are the most difficult to regulate by law enforcement officials, medical doctors, and psychologists. Synthetic drugs are not traceable to a plant or particular chemical like many other drugs. Instead, synthetic drugs or “designer” drugs are made, quite literally, with everything under the kitchen sink. As a result, determining how the drug will effect the brain and body is unpredictable. Synthetic drugs are powerful stimulants, creating a fast and furious high and almost instantaneous dependency. Generally the effects and symptoms of Synthetic drug abuse include:


Rapid heart rate


Slurred speech

Irrational thoughts

Fear of being chased by evil forces

“Superhuman” strength



Crystal Meth is a highly abused stimulant and synthetic drug. Also known as “ice” or “glass” the crystal like shards are smoked or injected. Meth is abused for its stimulant properties, causing people to stay awake for as long as ten days. Effects and symptoms of meth abuse include:

Dilated pupil

Suppressed appetite

Erratic behavior


Focus on picking the skin


Rapid weight loss



Alcohol is the most commonly abused substance, contributing to high numbers of death and alcohol-related injury each year. Binge drinking is defined as four or more drinks per sitting, which is about two hours. Drinking abusively can impair basic cognitive and motor functions, judgment, and thinking. Alcohol damages the liver, brain, and body. Effects and symptoms of alcohol abuse include:



Slurred Speech

Poor Judgment


Imbalance, or stumbling

Needing more alcohol or not knowing one’s limits



Cocaine is the most popularly abused stimulant drug. Crack and other amphetamine drugs like Adderall and drugs used for studying are popular as well. Stimulant drugs work with the central nervous system, quickly accessing the brain and putting into hyper speed mode. Cocaine can cause in overdose with just one hit while other amphetamines taken in large quantities can cause heart complications. Effects and symptoms of stimulant abuse include:

Hyper focus

Ability to stay up all night

Maximized productivity

Jittery behavior

Suppressed appetite





In 2014 approximately 28,000 Americans died from overdose on opioids including heroin and prescription painkillers. Opioid overdose is caused by respiratory depression, the slowing of the heart until it stops. Opioids are highly addicting, but through subtle means like chronic pain treatment. Opioids create euphoric sensation through muscle relaxation and feelings of warmness. Dependency on opioids result in brutal withdrawal symptoms, causing a need to continue using the drugs just to avoid the withdrawal. Effects and Symptoms of opioid abuse include:

“Nodding out” or falling asleep frequently

Slowed movement, or doing nothing at all

Rapid weight loss

Change in skin pigment and elasticity

Irritability when not on the drug


“Pinholed” pupils

Severe symptoms of withdrawal



Introduced in the 1950’s as “mommy’s little helper” benzodiazepines became famous for “taking the edge off”. Famous brands like Valium and Xanax are prescribed to help cope with anxiety. Though marketed as non-dependency forming, regular users of these drugs experience immediate symptoms of withdrawal when they miss a dose. Abusing Xanax can result in euphoric sensation similar to opioids. Effects and symptoms of benzodiazepine abuse includes:

Slow movements

Shallow breathing

Loss of judgment for physical pain


Enlightened Solutions offers hope and healing for recovery from drug and alcohol addiction. Our doors are open to men and women seeking holistic, 12 step based treatment. If you are concerned you or a loved one are suffering from problems with drugs or alcohol, call us today. We have a solution. 833-801-5483.

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