Tag Archives: Healthy Living

Hypoglycemia and Alcohol: How Alcohol Is Connected to Low Blood Sugar

The Connection Between Hypoglycemia and Alcoholism

Hypoglycemia is an indicator of abnormally low blood sugar. Blood sugar, or glucose, is the body’s main source of energy. When glucose levels dip too low, the following symptoms can emerge:

  • Fatigue
  • Shakiness
  • Sweating
  • Heart palpitations
  • Hunger

Hypoglycemia is very common in alcoholics. Statistics show that a startling 95 percent of alcoholics and almost 90 percent of those with alcohol use disorder are hypoglycemic. Understanding alcohol-induced hypoglycemia is the first step in overcoming both conditions.

About Hypoglycemia

Percentage of Alcoholics Who Are Hypoglycemic - Reflections Recovery CenterHypoglycemia is not a disease; rather, it’s an indicator that something is wrong within the body. Specifically, it means that the brain and body do not have enough glucose to function properly.

The loss of too much glucose can cause irritability, drowsiness, anxiety, and many other symptoms.

As hypoglycemia worsens, more serious symptoms can manifest, including

  • Confusion
  • Blurred vision
  • Seizures
  • Fainting

Immediate treatment of hypoglycemia to restore blood sugar levels involves eating certain foods or taking medication. Long-term treatment and reversal, however, require addressing the underlying cause of the condition. For many, that cause is alcohol abuse.

Low blood sugar and alcohol inhibit the body in tandem. According to one study, out of 100 alcoholics, 96 were hypoglycemic (with glucose levels below 70 milligrams per deciliter). By comparison, only 14 of 100 non-alcoholics in a control group had hypoglycemia.

The connection between hypoglycemia and alcohol lies in how alcohol affects the liver. The liver regularly releases a form of glucose into the bloodstream, maintaining steady blood sugar levels.

Alcohol consumption takes a toll on liver function because the liver has to process the alcohol instead of releasing glucose on time. Lack of regular infusions of glucose can cause hypoglycemia. If left untreated, blood sugar imbalances can become a major health concern.

The Cycle of Low Blood Sugar and Alcohol Abuse

Alcohol consumption not only induces hypoglycemia and accompanying symptoms; the reverse is also true. Hypoglycemia can cause strong cravings for alcohol, since alcohol contains large amounts of sugar. An alcoholic may experience the symptoms of low blood sugar and reach for another drink in an effort to ease them. Consuming large amounts of sugar, caffeine and alcohol are common signs of someone with undiagnosed hypoglycemia.

Ingesting more alcohol, however, is the exact opposite of what the body actually needs. Low blood sugar may cause alcohol cravings, but drinking more alcohol forces the liver and pancreas to produce more insulin. Insulin removes sugar from the blood, worsening hypoglycemia.

It’s a vicious cycle that can lead to major health problems if left untreated. If these symptoms seem familiar to you as someone who has had problems with alcohol (for example, if you’ve experienced mild to moderate alcohol withdrawal symptoms and hangovers), there is a way out.

How to Reverse Hypoglycemia Due to Alcoholism

There is hope for people with hypoglycemic symptoms due to alcohol use and abuse. It is not enough to simply treat the symptoms of hypoglycemia with sugary foods or medications. To truly regain your health and normal liver function, you must address the underlying issue: alcoholism. The alcohol abuse recovery process is vital to regaining your health.

Detoxification and rehabilitation are the best ways to reverse hypoglycemia related to alcohol abuse. The body needs to detox from too much sugar, alcohol, caffeine and other stimulants that can exacerbate hypoglycemia. The liver and pancreas need to return to their normal levels of function without the interference of alcohol. Most importantly, the system needs proper nutrition to combat and reverse the symptoms of hypoglycemia.

To break the cycle of hypoglycemia symptoms and alcohol consumption, the individual needs Alcohol Nutrition Therapy. Nutritional therapy and lifestyle changes are integral parts of a full recovery.

It is important for those struggling with alcoholism and related health problems to seek a rehabilitation center that includes dietary and nutritional therapy, such as Reflections Recovery Center in Arizona. Proper focus on health and nutrition is the only way to make a full recovery and reverse hypoglycemia for good.

Never Detox on Your Own

Hypoglycemia is not something you should treat lightly, as it can cause serious problems like seizures, loss of consciousness and brain damage. On the road to recovery from alcoholism, the symptoms of hypoglycemia can make it difficult to successfully outlast withdrawal and detoxification. Correct alcohol withdrawal nutrition can ease the symptoms of hypoglycemia, help combat depression and facilitate full-body healing.

At Reflections Recovery Center, we guide men through the entire recovery process. This includes explaining the deep connection between alcohol and nutrition and offering therapies to get men back to healthy physical lifestyles. With help from our nutritionists, you can address blood sugar balance issues, which will reduce alcohol cravings and the risk of relapse.

Remember, alcoholism has trained your body and brain to rely on the substance when your blood sugar balance is off. Retraining your system through proper nutrition in the first months of recovery is key.

You Can Leave Alcohol-Related Health Problems Behind

Drugs and alcohol wreak havoc on the body and brain. Your system cannot function properly under the influence of substances. Drugs such as opioids and alcohol work by disrupting your body’s normal processes, creating feelings that make you want to do it again and abuse the substance.

Understand, however, that the body can only withstand so much disruption. Hypoglycemia is just one of the common health problems connected to alcohol dependency, as the body’s systems struggle (and often fail) to keep up with the intake of substances.

Nutritional therapy during rehabilitation is the answer you’re looking for if you or a loved one has hypoglycemia related to alcohol consumption. Poor nutrition is a mainstay for people struggling with substance abuse.

Don’t let alcohol or related hypoglycemia permanently damage your health. Partner with Reflections Recovery Center to address all aspects of your dependency.

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Borderline Personality Disorder in Men: A Common Co-Occurring Disorder

What Is Borderline Personality Disorder?

Characterized by pervasive mood instability, difficulty with interpersonal relationships, negative self-image and harmful behavior, borderline personality disorder (BPD) is a serious mental illness.

BPD is associated with high rates of self-harm and, in severe cases, suicidal behavior. The high risks for suicide and greater impairment are highest in the young adult years.

Symptoms of BPD

Borderline personality disorder is characterized by:

  • Intense bouts of anger, depression or anxiety that last hours to days long
  • Episodes of impulsive aggression, self-injury or drug or alcohol abuse
  • Distorted thoughts and negative sense of self
  • Frequent and impulsive changes in life-altering decisions
  • Highly unstable patterns of social relationships
  • High sensitivity to rejection
  • Impulsive behaviors like excessive spending, risky sex and binge eating

It is common to see borderline personality disorder occur with other psychiatric problems, particularly bipolar disorder, depression, anxiety disorders, substance abuse and other personality disorders.

What Does It Look Like If a Man You Know Might Have BPD?

A series of intense but stormy relationships is often the first thing people notice about a man with BPD. He will fall in love quickly and can fall out of love just as fast.

Similarly, in a friendship or family relationship, when he has been offended, he immediately stops all contact with that person and cuts them out of his life in anger. He is notorious for holding grudges.

A man with BPD may harm people and bring excessive emotion and drama to relationships, but deep down he usually doesn’t want to hurt people; he just wants to be loved and is desperate for it. Men with BPD appear needy and manipulative, but they are desperately seeking to feel love they’ve never felt before.

When symptomatic, a man with BPD is walking around in a living hell and perceived as universally hostile. He walks around with incredible inner pain, depression and free-floating anxiety.

Dependent, dramatic and highly manipulative, BPD sufferers have learned to cope in these dysfunctional ways due to the overwhelming fear and emotional pain they endure. The emotional instability coupled with impulsivity places these individuals at risk of drug or alcohol abuse.

The Myth of BPD as a Female Disorder

Women are diagnosed with BPD at a ratio of 3-to-1 to men. However, in general, population studies, the occurrence rates are evenly distributed. While it is true that statistically more women than men are diagnosed with BPD, there are reasons for the statistics.

For one thing, men, in general, are more averse to seeking professional help for medical or mental problems. And when they do talk to a counselor or doctor, BDP is often misdiagnosed in men.

In fact, the vast majority of men with borderline personality disorder go undiagnosed.

Men are often undiagnosed or misdiagnosed because BPD manifests differently in men than women and is interpreted differently.

Borderline Personality Disorder in Men

Borderline personality disorder in men is often overlooked and brushed off with a recommendation for an anger management class. Men tend to externalize behaviors like aggression, violent patterns and antisocial traits, including heavier substance use than women.

Sometimes these externalized behaviors are misdiagnosed as antisocial personality disorder, anger management problems or something else. Ironically, people with BPD complain of feeling misunderstood and in reality, they are being misunderstood and misdiagnosed.

Here are some ways BPD manifests in men:

  • Sensitive to criticism while responding with aggression
  • Controlling through criticism
  • Holding grudges
  • Fear of rejection played out in jealousy and using sex to alleviate his feelings of rejection
  • Rejecting relationships – when he’s been offended by someone, he hates them; he sees people in good or bad absolutes
  • Jealous or possessive insecurities, but emotionally detached from relationships
  • Using alcohol or drugs to relieve his constant free-floating anxiety

Why Men’s Only Rehab May Be the Solution

Gender-specific rehab gets better results. Without the distraction of the opposite sex, guys are free be more open in group settings.

Men and women have different reasons for using substances, heal differently, and have different reactions to treatments. By focusing on only men, rehab can be uplifting in shared experiences and bonding with peers — a proven necessary component of recovery — in a way that can’t happen in a co-ed setting.

A Common Co-Occurring Disorder

If you notice your male companion or loved one exhibits irrational behaviors at times, substance abuse and the underlying mental health problem of borderline personality disorder may be to blame.

Only medical professionals are qualified to accurately diagnose mental health conditions, such as personality disorders. However, very often it is the partner or family member who brings to light the issues that the victim of the disorder cannot see himself.

Traits that Overlap with Drug Abuse

Cycle of Addiction and Substance Use Disorder Flowchart Graphic - ReflectionsThe relationship between BPD and addiction is as stormy as the individual’s romantic relationships.

The alcoholism or substance use brings out the antisocial behaviors like rage, anger and depression.

Yet, the man suffering from borderline personality feels a strong need to use drugs or alcohol to numb his numerous fears and to stop his mind from racing with constant free-floating anxiety.

Several symptoms of BDP are similar to symptoms of addiction, so it can be complicated to determine whether someone has a dual diagnosis. Both conditions display traits of:

  • Impulsivity and instability in job, relationships, finances and responsibilities
  • Apparent lack of concern for one’s own well-being
  • Mood swings and depression
  • Manipulative, deceitful actions to get what the person wants

Drug Abuse Treatment

Because the signs and symptoms of BPD and addiction have some overlap, these diseases can be difficult to distinguish and treat while at a traditional rehab center. Unless you find a co-occurring disorder rehab center, the facility will not have the resources to properly treat your loved one.

Borderline Personality Disorder Treatment

BPD is a serious psychiatric illness, and the treatment thereof is notoriously challenging, but there are various modalities available.

Exercising and consuming foods or supplements high in choline and tryptophan can benefit neurotransmitters such as acetylcholine and serotonin, which help with emotion and mood regulation. Natural bright light helps, and meditation has been proven to increase dopamine in the brain.

Behavioral modifications along with group, peer and family support, as well as psychotherapy, are key therapies as well.

Hope for BPD and Addiction

People with BPD often need extensive mental health services, including hospitalization. Yet, with help, many BPD sufferers improve over time and lead productive lives.

The addiction counseling services and behavior therapies for drug abuse offered at Reflections Recovery Center have a long history of helping men recover from addictions. Additionally, our team has the know-how and experience to uncover underlying mental health illnesses while treating the drug abuse or alcohol problem.

Recovery can be intense, especially when facing a dual diagnosis, but we have seen many men heal from the enormous emotional burdens the disease of addiction placed on them and their loved ones.

If you suspect your loved one struggles with addiction and a possible mental health issue, do not hesitate to get him into a program that addresses the addiction, has a working knowledge of dual diagnosis and treats co-occurring disorders.

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Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy: Football and Opioid Addiction

Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy and Addiction

The injuries sustained by football players – and athletes in other contact sports – put players at a higher-than-average risk for opioid addiction due to the need for painkillers. But as scientists are learning more about how contact sports can damage athletes’ brains as well as their bodies, we’re realizing that the link between hard-knock sports and addiction is even stronger than was previously known.

Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE), formerly known by other names such as dementia pugilistica and punch drunk syndrome, has not yet been tied to addiction directly, but it certainly affects the brain in ways that leave players more susceptible to addiction.

This is especially concerning when taking into consideration the fact young men often begin playing contact sports like football in their early teens, or even younger. 

What Is Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy?

Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE) is a type of brain injury that results from repeated blows to the head, or a single severe concussion. It is found most often in athletes who participate in contact sports – such as football, hockey and boxing – as well as in combat veterans.

CTE was the central topic in the 2015 film “Concussion,” starring Will Smith, which was based on a true story.

CTE can lead to neurological and behavioral changes such as:

  • Depression
  • Mood swings
  • Impulsive behavior, impaired judgment and lack of self-control
  • Agitation and aggression
  • Disorientation and confusion
  • Headaches
  • Difficulty speaking and walking
  • Problems with memory, attention and language

The only way to definitively diagnose CTE is by doing an autopsy of the brain after death, so scientists are still learning about this condition. Because there are other types of conditions that can cause similar symptoms, it can be difficult for doctors to accurately diagnosis CTE in living patients.

In addition, CTE symptoms often don’t manifest until eight to 20 years after players retire.

The Connection Between TAU Proteins, CTE and Opioids

Male Athletes Sports-Related Injury and Opioid Addiction Statistic - Reflections Recovery CenterDoctors are able to diagnose CTE postmortem when they find abnormally high levels of TAU protein and widespread neurofibrillary tangles (NFTs) in the brain.

TAU proteins in the brain are always linked with some form of degenerative brain disease. They are found in the brains of athletes with CTE, as well as in those with Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia.

One study found that opioid abusers also had greater amounts of TAU proteins in their brains compared to the control group.

Because athletes often use opioid medications for physical injuries, it can be difficult to determine if the buildup of TAU proteins in football players are caused by opioid use, by CTE, or both.

However, there’s clearly a link between brain injury, physical injury, opioid abuse and an unhealthy buildup of TAU proteins that can lead to brain dysfunction and dementia.

Because CTE affects judgment and self-control, athletes with CTE may more easily succumb to the temptations of drugs and alcohol. Additionally, emotional instability caused by CTE can lead to drug use in some cases.

Opioid Addiction from Sports Injuries

Physical injuries suffered by athletes, and the resulting surgeries, can lead to the use of opioid painkiller medications, which can lead to a physical dependence in as little as a week.

Studies have found that opioid abuse is 3 to 4 times higher among NFL football players than in the general population. Former NFL tight end Nate Jackson once said, “Pain pills were as common as shoulder pads and cleats” in the locker room.

According to an ESPN survey of 644 former NFL players:

  • 52% of players used painkillers in their playing days.
  • 71% of the players who used opioids also misused them.
  • 15% of those players continued to abuse opioids after retirement.

Interestingly, that same survey found that 98 percent of the NFL players who reported misusing opioid painkillers in the last 30 days also reported having undiagnosed concussions.

High School Football and Opioid Addiction

It’s not only athletes in professional sports who are at risk. Young men in high school sports are routinely exposed to repeated injuries and brain trauma during their developmental years that put them at risk for painkiller abuse and brain damage that could have lifelong consequences.

Because of the time delay between when injuries occur and when the health problems appear, it’s conceivable that the devastating behavioral changes and substance abuse problems that we see with young men in their 20s are actually due to events that transpired during their teenage years.

The problem with young athletes and substance abuse is so concerning that West Virginia is leading a multi-state initiative aimed at helping high school athletes avoid falling victim to the opioid epidemic.

“Many people think injuries are the biggest threat student-athletes will face, but reality shows the medicine they’re prescribed after an injury could present another danger,” says West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey.

Protecting the Health of Our Young Men

Since contact sports – and the injuries that come from them – are a part of life for athletes, it’s important that parents and coaches keep a watchful eye on athletes who are recovering from injuries, especially during the critical developmental years of high school when substance abuse often begins.

If your son has shown signs of painkiller abuse following a sports injury, Reflections Recovery Center is here to help before the problem spirals out of control. Talk to us about your concerns with your son’s painkiller use.

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The Benefits of Yoga for Men in Addiction Recovery

Long gone are the days when the only people doing yoga were women adorned in tie-dye dresses and flowing wavy hairstyles. Now, with strong iconic men like Shaquille O’Neal, LeBron James and other professional athletes practicing yoga, the old stereotypes are fading away.

Many professional sports teams encourage their players to engage in regular yoga for flexibility and injury prevention. Bodybuilders incorporate yoga into their routines to improve range of motion and muscle stability.

The Many Health Benefits of Doing YogaHow Men Can Benefit From Doing Yoga in Addiction Recovery

The health benefits of yoga have been documented in numerous scientific studies. Researchers have found so many health benefits, in fact, it is almost easier to say what yoga does not improve than what it does.

For example, did you know doing yoga improves your sex life? Yes, yoga increases libido and sexual performance.

Here are just a few of the many health benefits of yoga:

Mind

  • Helps depression
  • Reduces stress
  • Improves self-esteem
  • Helps anxiety
  • Encourages feelings of well-being

Body

  • Improves flexibility
  • Strengthens bones
  • Lowers blood sugar
  • Boosts your immune system
  • Decreases pain

Spirit

  • Inspires a healthy lifestyle
  • Focuses you on the present
  • Gives you peace of mind
  • Builds awareness through meditation
  • Encourages self-care

Yoga as an Addiction Recovery Tool

Yoga is an important part of a holistic addiction recovery program aimed at healing the whole person – mind, body and spirit. It promotes a sense of inner peace and calm, lessens pain, and helps men deal with anxiety, depression and other psychological complications.

Often men who become addicted to drugs or alcohol are escaping pain, physically or emotionally. And sometimes hidden pain, once masked by the use of a substance, appears during recovery. Having alternatives to ease the discomfort, like yoga, can make the difference in a successful rehabilitation.

Doing yoga helps to keep the body’s stress hormones down and the mood-boosting chemicals up. An improved mood and emotional outlook gives people strength toward recovery and avoiding relapse.

Yoga as an Aid to Healing

Yogis often report feeling strong and empowered after a yoga session. Whatever your religious or spiritual beliefs, you can incorporate them into yoga philosophy. The philosophy is simply about stilling the mind and balancing the nervous system. You can transcend your present experience. It can get better.

Try out a couple of yoga poses for yourself. And if you cannot go into the postures completely, accept yourself, breathe deeply and think affirming thoughts. Work within your own abilities.

Chair Pose — Utkatasana

The Chair Pose is great for men in particular.

Mind:  Also called Thunderbolt Pose, this posture is about attaining power and fierceness.

Body:  This exercise strengthens ankles, shoulders, glutes, spine and quads. It also stimulates the abs and diaphragm.

Spirit:  Holding this pose and staying in the moment shows you are serious about growth in your life and forging your own way to success.

Below are step-by-step instructions, as well as a demo video.

  • Stand with your feet apart at hip width.
  • Inhale deeply while bringing your hands straight above your head, palms open.
  • Exhale slowly while bending your knees as if you are sitting on an invisible chair.
  • Shift your weight onto your heels while breathing smoothly and evenly.
  • Hold the Chair Pose for one minute, then exhale while bringing your arms to your sides and standing.

Child’s Pose — Balasana

This pose is especially good for addiction recovery.

Mind:  Holding this pose relieves anxiety and mental fatigue. It inspires feelings of safety and security.

Body:  This exercise stretches your back and arms, relieves shoulder tension and relaxes your entire body.

Spirit:  During this pose, focus on the affirmation: “I rest in trust and patience.”

Here are the steps for the pose and a demo video:

  • Kneel down on a mat or carpet.
  • Inhale deeply while sitting back on your heels.
  • Exhale slowly while laying your head forward onto the floor.
  • Lay your arms down by your sides, palms up.
  • Hold the Child’s Pose for five minutes.

Yoga at Reflections Recovery Center

Yoga is one of the many cutting-edge therapies we employ at Reflections Recovery Center as part of our holistic treatment program.  We have tailored our yoga program specifically for addiction recovery.

Men in our program benefit from yoga because it reconnects them with their body, reintroduces them to healthy and natural physical sensation, reduces stress, and induces feelings of peace and contentment.

Learn More About Our Holistic Approach to Addiction Treatment:

Reflections’ Holistic Program

The Value of Recreational Activities in Substance Abuse and Addiction Treatment

When a person struggles with drug or alcohol addiction, the substance often becomes the person’s only means of feeling pleasure or contentment. Both physically and behaviorally, addictive substances can replace activities that once brought the user joy, such as eating, physical activity and favorite hobbies.

Drugs can alter the brain’s reward center, disrupting opioid receptor function and flooding the brain with dopamine, the chemical responsible for producing feelings of pleasure and happiness. Eventually, a user may no longer experience joy in everyday life without consuming drugs or alcohol.

The goal of addiction treatment is to help the user once again receive pleasure and enjoyment from everyday activities, without the need for substances. At Reflections Recovery Center, we combine talk therapy and other traditional addiction treatment methods with recreational activities in order to maximize the physical, mental and emotional wellness of our men.

Benefits of Recreational Activities in Addiction Treatment

While talk therapy can be very beneficial and is an important part of treatment, it is also good to get outdoors and take part in physical activities that engage the whole person and allow for different types of expression and learning.  

Recreational activities used in treatment can involve highly physical activities such as:

  • Hiking
  • Swimming
  • Biking
  • Running
  • Yoga

It can also include more leisurely activities such as:

  • Walking
  • Playing instruments
  • Singing and dancing
  • Creating or performing art
  • Hanging out in a safe and comfortable social environment

According to an article in the Journal of Psychoactive Drugs on “A Holistic Approach to Substance Abuse Treatment,” patients show improved self-esteem, self-confidence and self-identity when recreational activities were used in treatment.

Physical Health

For physical types of recreational activities, such as hiking and yoga, there are the usual physical benefits that come with any type of exercise. Some types of exercise also stimulate the release of endorphins that lead to a natural high, which in turn can help the body re-balance neurotransmitters – such as dopamine – back to normal, healthy levels.  

Yoga, along with meditation and other holistic activities, has also been shown to help reduce symptoms during withdrawal.

Mental & Emotional Health

Recreational activities can be a great way to relieve stress, anxiety, frustration and anger. They also allow people to reconnect with hobbies they enjoyed as a child, or discover new “healthy obsessions” that provide ongoing enjoyment and satisfaction.

Activities that emphasize mind-body-spirit integration – such as yoga, meditation and tai chi – help create a healthy relationship with oneself that is based on self-love and self-respect. This ultimately strengthens the resolve to create a new life of sobriety that includes fun and healthy activities.

When recreational activities are a group experience, they give recovering addicts a chance to bond with one another and forge healthy relationships that can last a lifetime. These social ties become very important both during and after inpatient treatment.

Relapse Prevention

One of the biggest challenges that men face after leaving inpatient treatment is finding new ways to fill the time – time they used to spend using drugs or drinking. By continuing the recreational activities they began in treatment, men have a safe and healthy way to combat boredom.

Men can also discover new social groups and forge healthy friendships when they join clubs and organizations centered around a favorite hobby or activity. This reduces the temptation to go back to hanging out with people who were part of their substance-laden past.

In short, recreational activities can be an important part of building a new life based on healthy, natural fun that meets the physical, mental, emotional and entertainment needs of men recovering from addiction.

Recreational Activities at Reflections Recovery Center

Mountains Rediscover The Joys In Nature - Reflections Recovery CenterOur treatment center strongly encourages clients to dive into healthy outdoor activities, sports and hobbies that reintroduce them to the pleasures in life outside of chemically induced highs. Over time, these become enjoyable habits that ultimately take the place of drugs or alcohol.

Types of recreational activities that our male clients participate in include:

  • Wilderness hikes
  • Mountain climbing
  • Swimming (in pools and lakes)
  • Softball
  • Biking
  • Skateboarding
  • BMXing
  • Bonfires and BBQs
  • Many other fun and exhilarating outdoor activities

Northern Arizona Outings

We often go on outings into the beautiful terrain of Prescott, the Valley, and Northern Arizona. The environment and surroundings of this area offer plenty of opportunities to enjoy the great outdoors. We are located amid the gorgeous Bradshaw Mountains and framed by the 1.25 million-acre Prescott National Forest. The temperate climate in Prescott is ideal for year-round outdoor excursions.

We also offer lower-intensity activities such as exploring the local town of Prescott, which is rich in history and culture. We may arrange visits to museums, go on rides at amusement parks and engage similar fun activities.

The town of Prescott has parks for skateboarding, multiple basketball courts, public swimming pools and other outdoor resources.

At Reflections Recovery Center, it’s our mission to help men struggling with addiction rediscover the everyday joys in life and have a good time without relying on a substance.

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Why Nutritional and Vitamin Therapy is Essential In Alcohol Detox and Alcoholism Recovery

Nutrition allows the human body to generate energy and maintain its systems. Proper nutrition is essential to everyone, but individuals attempting to recover from alcohol abuse will have a much smoother detox experience with a diet supplemented by vitamin therapy. Prolonged consumption of large quantities of alcohol has several adverse effects on the body, and poor nutrition makes the detox and recovery process more stressful and uncomfortable.

Alcohol’s Effects on the Body

To recognize how important nutrition and vitamin supplements are to alcohol abuse recovery, it’s vital to understand the effects alcohol abuse has on the human body. Symptoms will vary case by case due to individual health factors, how long alcohol abuse has continued, and how far the addiction has progressed.

Some alcoholics are so severely addicted that the bulk of the nutrients in their diet come from the alcoholic beverages they consume. When the body cannot obtain the nutrients it needs from consumed food and drink, it will start breaking down other tissues in the body. This also impacts the body’s glucose levels. Glucose, or blood sugar, is a necessary component for healthy brain functions as well as other metabolic processes.

Excessive alcohol intake can deregulate the body’s ability to control blood glucose levels. This can cause hypoglycemia (decreased blood sugar) or hyperglycemia (increased blood sugar). These conditions can be harmful, especially for individuals with medical conditions such as diabetes.

Alcohol and Digestion 

After food is consumed, the digestive system breaks it down into its smaller molecular components. The body absorbs these compounds to maintain vital systems and create energy. Alcohol prevents the efficient breakdown of food by inhibiting the production of digestive enzymes. Food may be consumed, but the body is far less capable of breaking it down into a useful form while there is alcohol in the body.

Even when food is successfully broken down, alcohol inhibits the processes the body uses to absorb the nutrients and use them. Over time, this means an alcoholic will progressively receive less and less energy from the food and alcohol they consume, depriving the body of essential nutrients at an increasingly faster pace.

Health Risks of Advanced Alcoholism 

Long-term alcohol abuse is one of the most physically damaging forms of substance abuse. Untreated alcoholism cannot only cause complications in virtually every bodily system, but it can be fatal. Some of the long-term or permanent effects of alcohol abuse include heart disease, cirrhosis of the liver from vitamin A and E deficiencies, nerve damage, and pancreatitis. Additionally, alcoholics often experience seizures due to impaired brain function, and many advanced alcoholics suffer from dehydration and malnutrition.

Wet Brain Syndrome 

An especially dangerous condition, common in advanced alcoholics, is Wernicke-Korsakoff Syndrome, often called “wet brain.” This condition manifests when the body is deprived of vitamin B1 (thiamine) for an extended period, and hinders nervous system and brain functions.

Addiction and Nutrition 

Malnutrition is more dangerous than many realize, and it often goes unaddressed for long periods of time of time with alcoholics. When the body does not obtain the nutrients it needs to continue essential functions, the entire body begins to degrade. Essentially, the human body will begin breaking itself down to survive. Additionally, alcohol is a diuretic, and dehydration is not only dangerous, but over a long period of time, it can be seriously damaging to the body.

Alcohol itself is damaging to the body’s ability to absorb nutrients, but addictive patterns contribute to the damage as well. Most substance abusers will start neglecting self-care and other everyday activities as their addictions worsen. Eventually, the only thoughts are about where to find more alcohol. Not only does alcohol hurt the body when ingested, but the search for more alcohol also prevents the alcoholic from obtaining essential nutrition.

Vitamin Therapy 

When alcoholics seek treatment, it’s vital to address the damage that the alcohol has done to the body’s vital systems. Vitamin therapy describes treatment involving high doses of essential vitamins. This process helps the body regain essential functions. Vitamin therapy not only helps address malnutrition and dehydration and the severe issues they cause, but also helps the alcoholic by allowing them to approach the recovery process with a more solid foundation.

Addiction is deeply rooted in behavior, and while alcohol has a significant impact on physical health, the psychological battle with addiction is far more stressful and difficult. When the body and mind are deficient in essential vitamins, it becomes even harder.

The Detox Process 

Once the effects of an alcoholic’s last drink start to wane, he or she will begin experiencing withdrawal. Once the body has grown accustomed to a particular substance, it reacts negatively when that substance is no longer available – and this is withdrawal. For alcoholics, withdrawal typically entails delirium tremens, also called “DTs” or “the shakes,” and causes violent tremors. Additionally, severe anxiety, seizures, sweating, irregular heartbeat, fever, high blood pressure, hallucinations, nausea, and irritability commonly manifest during the withdrawal period.

Rebuilding the Body 

This is typically an excruciatingly painful process, and an alcoholic in withdrawal will experience intense cravings for more alcohol. With medical supervision and vitamin therapy, alcoholics can have a much easier time handling the onset of withdrawal and working through it.

The high doses of essential vitamins during treatment help jump-start the body’s essential functions. Vitamin therapy can be a valuable part of any alcoholic’s recovery and not only help the physical pains of detoxing, but also pave the way to a smoother psychological recovery with a healthier mind and body.

Though Alcohol Detox and Withdrawals Can Be Dangerous
Proper Detox Under Medical Supervision Is Safe, Painless, and a Necessary First Step in Addiction Recovery:

Removing Drug and Alcohol Toxins

How Illicit Drug Use Contributes to Heart Disease

Many illegal drugs have negative cardiovascular effects, ranging from simple abnormal heart rates to full-on heart attacks. Using such substances leads to other related problems as well, particularly when injecting. Collapsed veins and infections in blood vessels and the heart are unfortunately common. In fact, they may put users on a fast track to heart disease.

A heart disease diagnosis is actually rather broad and covers blood vessel problems as well. Numerous issues develop as a result of atherosclerosis – a condition caused by plaque on the artery walls. The more plaque, the narrower the arteries and more effort required to push blood through. Blood clots form frequently in heart disease patients and can cause other conditions, such as stroke.

Cocaine: The Perfect ‘Heart Attack Drug’

Different drugs present different levels of risk, but cocaine is infamous for its effects on the heart. The substance is available in powdered and “crack” forms. The appearance and texture of this substance changes depending on how it’s created.

Users favor the different types of cocaine for specific consumption methods: Powdered cocaine is generally snorted or dissolved in water and injected, while crack can be smoked.

How Cocaine Affects the Body

Cocaine has earned its reputation as a heart attack drug because it targets the arteries and heart. The substance acts as a stimulant, meaning that it floods the user with adrenaline. The reaction is similar to that of a frightening situation, but without the natural stimuli. Instead, the adrenaline forces an increase in heart rate and blood pressure.

A common and direct effect of the adrenaline is chest pain. It’s a sign that the organ is overexerting itself and pumping blood too hard. The stress raises the pressure in the heart and arteries to dangerous levels. It also causes hardening and of the blood vessels and thicker heart muscle – both of which can directly cause a heart attack, in addition to further complications.

Studies have shown that cocaine causes significant physical changes to the heart instead of just mild alterations. Researchers studied various users and found that a 30 to 35 percent increase in aortic stiffness was simply average. They also found that cocaine users had blood pressure that was 8 mm Hg (millimeters of mercury) higher than non-users and that the left ventricle wall of the heart was usually 18 percent thicker.

The Prevalence of Cocaine

Despite its danger, cocaine is one of the most popular drugs in America. It reaches people of all ages and backgrounds and has been the cause of countless medical emergencies. In fact, around 40 percent of all illicit drug-related ER visits trace back to cocaine. This equates to more than 500,000 cases of emergency cocaine treatment each year – more than double the number of cases associated with heroin.

The Other Risks of Illicit Drug Use

Using illegal drugs provides a host of threats to the body and mind in addition to heart problems. The issues compound in many cases and result in terrible reactions, hospitalization and even death. This is because most drugs directly affect the central nervous system and modify the user’s consciousness.

Drug use subjugates the entire body to negative side effects, such as:

  • Body temperature changes
  • Nausea
  • Headaches
  • Abdominal pain
  • Impaired judgement
  • Reduced inhibitions
  • Seizures
  • Respiratory arrest
  • Poisoning from drug additives
  • Changes in blood pressure
  • Overdose

In addition to the short-term side effects, drug users suffer from various long-term changes. The exact effects depend on the drug, but brain damage and various cancers are most commonly experienced.

The delivery method of a drug also impacts the body’s reaction. Injecting oneself with dirty needles, for example, can leave the individual with HIV.

Other Drugs Dangerous to the Heart

Despite the fact that cocaine is the most common, it’s not the only illicit drug that causes heart issues. Amphetamines and MDMA (ecstasy) both boost a user’s heart rate and blood pressure, as well. The long- and short-term effects vary, but both have proven highly dangerous.

Seeking Help Against the Temptation

Drug addiction is dangerous. It’s a frightening condition that can erode users’ physical health while also affecting every relationship in their lives. Quitting is difficult, bordering on impossible for many people.

Those who search for professional assistance, instead of at-home remedies, have the best chance at kicking the habit, thanks to proven resources and specialized support groups. Seek professional treatment today if you find yourself in this situation.

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What Are the Consequences of Alcohol Use as a Diabetic?

Alcoholism leads to a variety of medical issues. For diabetics, however, alcoholism exacerbates an already-compromised immune system and can lead to more serious side effects. These can be fatal depending on the amount of alcohol consumed and the length of use.

Understanding Diabetes

The pancreas creates insulin and the body uses it to control blood sugar levels. Diabetes is a disease that affects blood glucose (sugar) levels. There are two common types of diabetes:

Type 1 Diabetes

In type 1 diabetes, once referred to as “juvenile diabetes,” the body does not produce enough insulin, the hormone that helps the body transport glucose from the bloodstream into the cells of the body.

Type 1 diabetics manage their blood glucose levels through glucose monitoring, insulin therapy and diet. This type of diabetes is thought to be genetic, and it is usually diagnosed in children and young adults.

Type 2 Diabetes

In type 2 diabetes, often referred to as “adult-onset diabetes,” the body does not respond properly to the presence of insulin. This discrepancy is called insulin resistance. Type 2 diabetics don’t make enough insulin, so their blood glucose levels rise above normal. This type of diabetes is caused by genetics and lifestyle, including heavy drinking, and it is usually managed through pills, diet and exercise.

Staying in Control of Your Diabetes

Whether type 1 or type 2, a diabetic can live a happy, healthy and long life – but only if he or she maintains regular control of his or her blood glucose levels.

Risks of Alcohol Use as a Diabetic

Whether a person consumes alcoholic beverages quickly or slowly, the result is the same 1-2 punch to the body. Alcohol depletes the body’s vitamin supply, harms the liver, weakens the immune system and causes dehydration – all when a person’s body functions as it should, without any medical intervention.

Diabetics should avoid alcohol use because it affects their blood glucose levels and leads to other complications. Specifically, alcohol can elevate or lower blood glucose levels, depending on what and how much is consumed.

Here are several important facts diabetics should consider before reaching for that next alcoholic beverage:

Adverse Interactions With Diabetes Medications

Alcohol certainly affects diabetes medications. While each drug is different, type 2 diabetes medications such as meglitinides and sulfonylurea can lower blood glucose levels when mixed with alcohol. These medications stimulate the pancreas to produce more insulin while the alcohol inhibits the liver. Such effects can combine and lead to hypoglycemia (also called an “insulin reaction” or “insulin shock”), which is a serious medical emergency.

Lower Blood Glucose Levels (Hypoglycemia)

Alcohol can decrease blood glucose levels only a few minutes after consumption. Specifically, “straight” forms of alcohol, such as liquor, can cause low blood glucose levels. Health care professionals refer to low blood glucose levels as hypoglycemia.

People often assume that an insulin reaction happens fairly quickly. This is simply not true. The effects of alcohol on blood glucose levels can last up to 12 hours.

In non-diabetics, the normal blood glucose level should be 70 to 100 mg/dL (milligrams per deciliter). For diabetics experiencing hypoglycemia, their blood glucose level drops well below 70 mg/dL.

Symptoms of hypoglycemia include:

• Dizziness
• Tiredness
• Disorientation
• Heart palpitations
• Anxiety

What may feel like a “good buzz” to a diabetic could actually be hypoglycemia – and turn into a serious medical situation. If left untreated, hypoglycemia can lead to a seizure, unconsciousness or even death.

Increased Blood Glucose Levels (Hyperglycemia)

Alcohol also can increase blood glucose levels only a few minutes after consumption. Specifically, alcohol mixed with syrup-based medication can cause high blood glucose levels. Health care professionals refer to high blood glucose levels as hyperglycemia.

Diabetics experiencing hypoglycemia have a blood glucose level above 100 mg/dL.

Symptoms of hyperglycemia include:

• Tiredness
• Blurred vision
• Confusion
• Coma

People with long-term hyperglycemia can develop diabetic neuropathy (decreased sensation and blood flow to feet and toes).

Increased Weight And Risk Of Heart Disease

Alcohol contains a large amount of empty calories. Drinking alcohol can increase a person’s chance of becoming overweight. This, in turn, increases his or her chance of developing type 2 diabetes, as well as heart disease.

Diabetics Who Use Alcohol Should Seek Treatment

As a diabetic, your body needs proper care after alcohol use. Contact your physician for additional guidance on alcohol use and controlling your diabetes. If you find that you can’t break your cycle of alcohol use, you should reach out to a substance abuse treatment center and look to get admitted as soon as possible.

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The Importance of Exercising During Recovery from Addiction

Regaining sobriety is a journey, and it takes time for both the mind and the body to process. It’s crucial to remember that addicts are going through countless changes and adjustments while trying to get back to a normal chemical state. Regular activity during this time can help flush the drugs and toxins from the body and give the mind goals to focus on during such a challenging time for the brain.

Why Exercise Works So Well

Studies have shown multiple times that adding exercise to treatment (such as counseling and therapy) vastly strengthens the effects of the treatment. Regular activity leads to a sense of accomplishment, motivation, increased confidence and feeling stronger. That’s in addition to the actual physical benefits that make you healthier. There are several reasons why working out can help improve your recovery experience.

Training Can Replicate the High

A huge part of the effectiveness of exercise is that, in a sense, it replaces the drugs. Completing physical activity (like a brisk jog or lifting weights) releases a flood of endorphins into our bodies. These are the same hormones that drug usage affects. Your brain experiences a rush of euphoria and relaxation that mimics the feeling of drugs, without any of the harmful side effects (hence the term “runner’s high”). The feeling is less intense than the effects actual drugs, but it is still a far more pleasurable release than doing nothing at all.

It Fights Unpleasant Symptoms

Detoxification is a challenge, regardless of the drug, and addicts are left not only battling the emotional issues of letting go of a drug, but also the physical ones. Sometimes they’re as minor as a headache, but in other cases, addicts can suffer anxiety, depression, or even weight gain. Regular exercise fights against these feelings.

It Works as an Emotional Outlet

Many people use drugs when they’re experiencing emotional distress, whether it’s anger, fear, loneliness, sadness, or joy. Taking up a physical hobby provides an outlet for those emotions. These kinds of activities are individualized — some may find that running is a perfect outlet, and others may practice yoga for mental and physical control. Still, others will find that a brisk walk creates inner peace.

It Builds Self-Confidence

As exercise transforms the body, it will begin to work on the mind as well. Each time a new personal record is reached or there’s an improvement in physique or ability, it’ll be inspiring. This new confidence can help motivate future treatment, and it can help addicts cope with life in more positive ways, including daily interactions. With more confidence, addicts can trust the recovery process — which will lead to success.

It Can Help Others

Addiction is something that doesn’t just affect one person. When someone’s life is being controlled by a substance, his or her entire family will feel it too. With exercise as a way to self-manage, recovering addicts can be a positive influence on their loved ones. These activities can include family and friends, encouraging a rebuilding of damaged relationships.

Faster Healing and Recovery

Using drugs interrupts processes within the body and skews natural cycles. Exercising will help establish more normalcy within you; it’s also a big part of building a healthy sleep schedule since it helps you feel tired enough to rest. The more consistent and replenishing your sleep is, the faster your body will be able to recover from the drug or alcohol damage.

Exercise for Home Recovery

Even months after treatment, staying active is beneficial. There are many options that don’t involve any equipment or gym memberships, so anyone can use them. Continuing with an exercise regimen can decrease an addict’s chance of relapse, as it helps the head and the heart.

Exercising is a wonderful choice for everyone, but it’s especially helpful for those who are overcoming an addiction. If you or a loved one is considering admission into a treatment facility, look for one that has the equipment and space for proper exercise and movement. Addiction hurts the mind and the body; engaging the body during and after treatment can make a recovering addict’s journey much less difficult.

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