Understanding Addiction with Reflections Recovery Center

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Phentermine And Alcohol

Prescription medications are some of the most abused substances. This is largely due to the fact that they are easy to access and can carry “desirable” effects.

Prescription drugs are sometimes abused with alcohol to emphasize or increase the effect of the substance.

However, mixing prescriptions with alcohol is never a wise idea. Many substances, like phentermine, are known to have unpleasant or even dangerous effects when mixed with alcohol.

Breakdown of Phentermine

Phentermine–also known by its brand names as Adipex P or Lomaira–belongs to a unique stimulant subclass of drugs known as anorectics.

Doctors prescribe anorectics to help patients overcome obesity. Due to its unique effect of hunger suppression with few-to-no side effects, it is a valuable medication for individuals who are experiencing health complications due to weight.

The side effects of phentermine are relatively mild compared to some other prescription drugs. While there are some rare side effects that can be dangerous, the most common reported symptoms are usually just ‘unpleasant.’

Common side effects of phentermine include: Faster Heart Rate Pins and Needles Dry Mouth Trouble Sleeping Constipation Nervousness

In the brain, phentermine causes the release of norepinephrine. Norepinephrine is responsible for the brain’s reaction to stress responses and emergency situations.

The medication suppresses the hunger sensation in the brain and also acts upon the rest of the body by releasing adrenaline and epinephrine. Together, these two chemicals communicate to the body to break down fat, further helping the treatment of obesity.

Phentermine diminishes in effectiveness over time, so prescriptions for it are usually short-term. Three months is around the maximum amount of time that a phentermine prescription lasts.

After as few as three weeks, the effectiveness of the substance weakens, and the treatment no longer benefits the patient. The eventual lack of effectiveness seems inevitable, but tolerance might not be to blame.

Though the substance might appear to be dangerous if taken for extended periods of time, there has been little demonstrated abuse potential for phentermine.

Phentermine Abuse Potential

Stimulants are notorious for having substances that have a high potential for abuse: methamphetamine and cocaine are two of the most recognizable illicit substances.

However, not all stimulants hold the potential for abuse. Despite multiple studies exploring the potential for abuse of phentermine, no recorded cases have emerged.

Phentermine also does not appear to affect withdrawal symptoms upon users. This likely has to do with the way that the substance interacts with the chemicals of the brain.

While a chemical dependence to phentermine is extremely unlikely to develop, psychological dependence might be another story.

Many addictive substances interact with either dopamine or serotonin. Since phentermine interacts only with norepinephrine, this might explain why patients who have taken it for long periods of time do not experience withdrawal symptoms.

While a chemical dependence to phentermine is extremely unlikely to develop, psychological dependence might be another story.

Psychological dependence has to do with an individual’s specific thoughts, perceptions, and attitudes towards a substance. Even if a substance is not chemically addictive, someone who takes it for an extended period of time might become so accustomed to the pattern, that it forms an attachment phenomenon mirroring addiction.

For phentermine, this might become a problem since it inhibits hunger. Extreme weight loss as a result of abusing phentermine could bring its own health complications.

Mixing Phentermine And Alcohol

When mixed, the side effects of either alcohol or phentermine may worsen to unpleasant levels. Sometimes “new” side effects may even develop as a direct result of the combination.

One of the major reasons to avoid the combination is due to the area that each of these substances affect.

Both phentermine and alcohol interact with the central nervous system. Together, they may trigger unexpected and unpleasant side effects such as dizziness, trouble concentrating, and mood swings.

Since both phentermine and alcohol can cause an increased heart rate, the combination can cause dangerously irregular cardiac function.

Additionally, alcohol can make losing weight more difficult. Even if no interaction occurs, drinking alcohol–especially in excess–blocks phentermine’s effectiveness by encouraging weight gain. The most serious interaction between the two, however, occurs in the heart.

Since both phentermine and alcohol can cause an increased heart rate, the combination can cause dangerously irregular cardiac function. Individuals dealing with obesity are already at greater risk for heart complications, so this can be especially risky.

It is better to err on the side of caution with phentermine and alcohol and avoid drinking while taking this prescription.

Help for Psychological Dependence and Polysubstance Abuse

Fortunately, phentermine shows very little risk of addiction, but this does not mean it is beyond the capacity for abuse. Psychological dependence can be just as debilitating as chemical dependence–and may even have longer-lasting effects.

If you suspect someone you love may be dependent upon any prescription medication or combining them regularly with alcohol, it’s important to seek professional advice. Reach out to us today to speak with one of our caring, professional staff about how to identify addictive behaviors and practical options.

Living Sober

Sober living is  – you guessed it – a lifelong journey. It’s also a richly rewarding one, though it’s no easy task. Becoming independent of addiction can take months or even years, which is why it’s so important to maintain that hard-earned sobriety on a daily basis.

Here are some tips and tools others in recovery have successfully used to stay clean and sober for life.

Sober Living Strategies

Have a Sober Companion

A sober companion (or sponsor) is someone who spends time with you and acts as a constant support system throughout your day. They provide emotional and physical encouragement as you maintain your sobriety.  Sober companions are also typically in recovery but have a long history of sobriety.

Their experience means they remember how hard the beginning can be and know what helped them stay sober. The level of attachment is up to you. However, in the beginning, it’s important to spend most of your time with one or more sober companions.

They will help you avoid triggering situations and people who could be a negative influence on the progress you’re making. 

Individuals new to recovery may also find it hard to self-motivate when working, cooking, and taking care of themselves.

While a sober companion is not a maid or social worker, they can provide you with tips which have helped them steer their life onto the right path. Think of them as a close older sibling or mentor. 

Living Sober

Consider Sober Living Homes

Sober living homes are group homes for people who have just finished an inpatient recovery program. Also sometimes called halfway houses, they provide a safe, and temptation-free environment as you transition into your new lifestyle.

Alcohol and other drugs are not allowed on the premises, and visitors are usually vetted before residents spend time with them. Life in this environment is essentially like renting a house with roommates, but with intentional rules and guidelines.

Residents pay rent, pitch in on cleaning and maintenance duties, and keep each other accountable. While living at a sober living home, you are encouraged to find work while still attending meetings. There is usually a house manager who supervises the house and enforces the rules.

For the most part, though, you are in charge of your life and recovery work. 

The benefit to sober living homes is that they create a supportive environment with like minded people who encourage you to make the right choices. They will expect the same from you.

A study conducted by the National Institute of Health (NIH) found that a “lack of a stable, alcohol and drug-free living environment can be a serious obstacle to sustained abstinence.” Sober living homes can greatly increase your chances of long-term sobriety and help you build new, healthy relationships. 

Living Sober

Explore AA, NA, and Other Support Groups

Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) is the world’s best-known sobriety support group. It has chapters worldwide and most known for its “12-step program.” Joining an AA or NA (Narcotics Anonymous) meeting puts you in community with larger groups of like-minded individuals.

You will share stories, celebrate successes, and encourage each other to stay the path. Many people’s recovery journey begins at an AA-style meeting, and it is a great place to meet a sponsor or sober living companion. An AA program is more flexible and you can attend meetings that fit into your schedule.

Joining a group like this is one of the best and most popular long-term sobriety tools.

Even years after you move out of a sober living home and transition to a more normal lifestyle, going to meetings can help you stay grounded and intentional about your sobriety.

Sober Living and Avoiding Relapse

Addiction is a chronic disease. It even shares similar relapse rates with other chronic illnesses, such as type II diabetes. It’s no surprise that recovery is difficult- but that does not mean it is impossible.

Statistically, relapse is most likely to occur during the first year of recovery. This is why long-term treatment programs and sober living houses can be so beneficial. Trying to assess how you will stay sober for a year is a daunting, even overwhelming task.

Therefore, it is best to take bite-sized steps towards long-term recovery. Do not think of it as staying sober for a year. Rather focus on staying sober for a day, and watch that one day turn into days, weeks, and months.

Take it one step at a time and find time to understand what your triggers are.

Triggers can be anything that causes you to repeat destructive behavior. It can be anything from being around intoxicated people to being stressed.

Understanding and recognizing your triggers can help you avoid temptations to relapse. If you know that doing x will cause you to experience temptations, then avoid it as best as possible. It is easier to do so when you are surrounded by other people who are doing the same as with a sober living home. 

Living Sober

A common misconception is that “recovery” is complete when treatment ends. Recovery programs are intended to help set you on the right path, but actually staying on that path is your responsibility for life. You will probably always deal with certain substance abuse triggers and temptations. Recovery is about learning to avoid and manage them.  

Dealing With Relapse

If you have relapsed after attempting to get sober, it is not the end of the road. Many people experience a relapse at some point in their journey. Acknowledging that it is just a setback is the first step in dealing with it.

Some people enter into a self-destructive mindset and convince themselves that since they have relapsed, lifetime recovery is impossible. This could not be farther from the truth. Remember that addiction is a chronic disease which means that statistically, relapse is more likely than not.

What is important is the determination to keep trying. Reaching out to a recovery center is a helpful step in the right direction as it will realign you with your goals.

Getting help

Recovery is a difficult journey, but is one which will change your life for the better. If you or a loved one is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, please contact us today. Together, we can help you begin your journey to lifetime recovery.

How to Help Someone Who’s Struggling Physically or Emotionally with Mental Illness

Many people suffering from stress disorders and other forms of mental illness need encouragement, support and empathy from those closest to them. It can be difficult to determine the best ways to approach a person struggling with mental illness, and stress effects are different for everyone.

However challenging it may be, developing healthy coping strategies and trying various types of stress-management techniques can prevent people struggling with mental illness from falling into addiction. An important part of addiction awareness is understanding the main risk factors for addiction, and stress is one of the most prevalent.

Relationship Between Stress and Mental Illness

There are countless possible stress causes in the world, and every individual will respond to them differently. However, people who suffer from mental illnesses like anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder and other conditions may have trouble using typical coping techniques.

They may also feel the negative effects of different types of stress more acutely and take longer to recover from periods of extreme stress. Unfortunately, many of these individuals begin to consider alcohol or addictive drugs as the only viable stress busters available.

Types of Stress

Some people experience high-stress situations acutely during disasters, emergencies and traumatic events. Others may experience consistent but less severe stress over time from work, school or everyday obligations.

People who experience extremely stressful incidents may develop mental health conditions as a result. One of the most common is post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), a condition affecting combat veterans and victims and witnesses of violent crimes, disasters and accidents.

PTSD can cause nightmares, periods of extreme depression, paranoia and a host of other symptoms. This condition is just one example of how acute stress can cause long-term problems, but chronic exposure to lower-stress situations is also damaging. The workplace is a stressful environment for many people, for example.

Unless these individuals develop viable methods of handling their everyday stressors, chronic stress can start to affect physical and emotional health.

Stress Effects: How Stress Can Lead to Addiction

Stress can eventually lead to addiction without healthy alternative coping strategies. One of the most vital steps of addiction recovery is discerning the root cause or origin of a substance use disorder, and one of the most commonly cited causes is stress.

Some people feel overwhelmed by their circumstances and turn to drugs and alcohol to cope. The brief periods of artificial happiness, relaxation and euphoria that drugs provide will eventually devolve into habit, routine and then full-blown addiction.

Drugs as Coping Tools

Different drugs may appear to alleviate stress in different ways, and people may use them for various reasons as coping tools. It’s crucial to understand the dangers of different types of drug dependencies:

  • Opioids: Someone suffering from mental illness may begin to self-treat their symptoms with drugs meant for physical pain, and opioid painkillers are the strongest painkillers available.
  • Hallucinogens: Distorting one’s perception of reality can feel like a welcome escape when reality is stressful or too difficult to handle sober. Hallucinogenic drugs can eventually deteriorate one’s personality and interpretations of reality, leading to serious psychological problems over time.
  • Benzodiazepines and tranquilizers: People who struggle with anxiety disorders may receive prescriptions for benzodiazepine medications and begin abusing these drugs. Anti-anxiety drugs can produce feelings of calm, and eventually a person will begin to rely solely on these drugs for relief from stressful situations.
  • Alcohol: One of the most commonly abused substances on Earth can lower inhibitions, create pleasurable feelings and act as a “social lubricant.” Many people rely upon alcohol to unwind after stressful days at work. Unfortunately, alcoholism progresses rapidly, and the lifestyle of a high-functioning alcoholic isn’t tenable.

Cycles of Dependency

Stress never really ends; we just develop better ways of handling it over time. However, resorting to substance abuse creates a slew of new stressors.

Addiction effects vary for everyone, but the overwhelming majority of addicts face:

  • Economic ruin
  • Damaged personal relationships
  • Strained career choices
  • Myriad physical health concerns

The Effects of Stress and Addiction on the Mind and Body

Chronic stress can deteriorate physical health, leading to problems such as:

  • Obesity (from overeating as a coping mechanism)
  • Sleep difficulties
  • Irritability
  • Mood swings
  • Many other possible issues

Instead of treating stress by self-medicating, one should learn healthier coping strategies to prevent substance abuse and make it easier to both handle everyday stress and recover from acute stressors.

Stress Management: Developing Better Ways to Cope

Addiction treatment services typically include a full regimen of holistic and natural therapies and activities to de-stress the mind and body and to recover more wholly from substance abuse.

A few examples of effective stress-relief treatments include:

  • Exercise and physical activities: A healthier body naturally encourages better mental health, and a person with a healthy physical body can better handle and process stress in optimum ways.
  • Meditation and mindfulness exercises: These practices can help overcome the psychological effects of stress.
  • Behavior therapy: People struggling with mental health disorders often need behavioral therapy to understand their situations and process stress in constructive ways. Addiction behavior generally focuses on reward-seeking patterns and responses to stimuli. Behavioral therapy can help a person acknowledge dangerous patterns and develop healthier responses to his or her environment.
  • Support from friends and family: One of the most essential tools in addiction treatment is building and rebuilding personal relationships. Suffering from a mental health disorder or substance use disorder can be very isolating. Thus, interpersonal relationships are crucial for overcoming the loneliness that substance abuse often entails.

Help for Stress and Substance Abuse

There are many resources for addiction help and addiction treatment available, but it’s important to know what to expect from the rehab experience. For instance, physically removing drugs from the body (aka detox) is just the first step in a long process.

Addiction help is available for those willing to take the next step and learn to manage their stress in healthier ways. If you or your loved one is battling substance abuse along with excess stress or a mental health condition, look into Reflection Recovery Center today. We will craft an individualized treatment plan that can help you or your loved one learn to manage stressors in healthier ways while recovering from addiction in an inpatient setting.

Holistic Therapy Is Great for Managing Stress

See Which Techniques We Use

Yoga for Back Pain and Chronic Pain Management

Yoga is well-known for its meditative qualities and is highly encouraged for those who wish to improve their flexibility and balance. However, the less obvious benefits associated with yoga are plentiful; for example, it may be used to treat bad posture as well as reduce symptoms of anxiety or stress. Certain poses in particular may be more effective in treating pain than others.

For example, individuals who are especially prone to back pain – or seek chronic pain Does Yoga Help with Back Pain?management techniques – may be interested in adopting a regular yoga routine that incorporates poses that will better target their problem areas.

Daily practice of yoga will help a user build up strength, flexibility and balance – all of which can create noticeably positive impact on the individual’s self-confidence and mental health, while also providing physical therapeutic value.

The Need for Alternate Forms of Pain Management in those with Opioid Use Disorders 

Holistic recovery programs oftentimes encourage yoga practice to those suffering from opioid use disorder (OUD) as a viable form of pain management. The individual learns how to become more in tune with their body, allowing them to become more receptive to each pose’s spiritual and physical benefits. Because individuals recovering from OUD may be experiencing uncomfortable symptoms associated with withdrawals, learning how to combat them using the stress-relieving properties of yoga can make the recovery journey a smoother process overall.

Yoga is being adopted more and more frequently by substance abuse recovery centers due to its effectiveness in dealing with triggers or cravings. On a similar note, it can be an integral factor in the success of one’s relapse prevention program. Teaching individuals recovering from OUD that yoga can be used as an outlet for their stress is beneficial as yoga requires little equipment or expensive costs.

Lastly, individuals looking to treat their OUD may be interested in developing a recovery program that does not involve the use of painkillers or any further medication. Yoga is a workable solution to this, as it can provide the benefits of pain management and therapy without involving the use of drugs.

Remember to consult a doctor before undertaking any strenuous yoga routine. Many poses may be risky if you have previous or current injuries, or are pregnant. Researching modifications for any pose can help individuals who may need practice with flexibility and balance.

Childs Pose

Child’s Pose

To perform Child’s Pose, the user must be on their hands and knees. Their knees should be spread apart, buttocks resting on the user’s heels, with their arms extended forwards and palms facing the ground. Spine and back should be relaxed, and forehead should be touching the floor. Another slight variation of the pose involves the arms extending backwards and resting against the user’s thighs, keeping their elbows relaxed.

Child’s Pose is an extremely relaxing, low-intensity pose oftentimes used as a transition between harder or more complex poses. It is considered a beginner pose and encourages balance within the user. The therapeutic benefits of Child’s Pose include stress-relieving properties in addition to helping the user stretch their back torso muscles. Neck pain can also be alleviated. Individuals who are pregnant or frequently experience knee pain are advised to use modified versions of Child’s Pose to maximize comfort and relaxation.

Sphinx Pose

Sphinx Pose is performed with the user facing belly down. They gently raise their torso, back bending inwards, and keep their forearms on the mat for stability. The back is stretched while thighs and feet remain rested on the ground. It is classified as a beginner’s post.

Those who practice Sphinx Pose can experience improved posture and alleviated back pain. It is believed to be great at treating symptoms of depression and anxiety. Its namesake stems from its similarities to how the Egyptian creature of mythology, the Sphinx, is posed.

As with most yoga poses, those who experience back or shoulder injury should refrain from practicing this pose.

Sphix Pose
Seated Forward Pose

Seated Forward Pose

The Seated Forward Pose can be performed by sitting upright with one’s legs stretched out in front. The user then reaches their arms and tries to hold onto their feet. Those with limited flexibility may have to hold their shins or calves instead, as long as they feel the stretch in their hamstrings. Back is rounded and torso is gently resting on the user’s thighs.

The Seated Forward Pose is great for stretching one’s hamstrings and back. Benefits include alleviated symptoms of anxiety and insomnia, as well as encouraging better sleep and stress relief. Beginners with limited flexibility can do modified versions of Seated Forward Pose. Individuals who have asthma are not recommended for this pose.

Reclined Pigeon Pose

Reclined Pigeon Pose is characterized by the user resting their back on the mat. One leg is crossed over the other leg’s knee, and arms extend to the hamstrings to hug it towards one’s chest. The hips, hamstrings and knees are stretched when this pose is practiced.

It may take some time before the pose is perfected if the user has not developed enough flexibility. The benefits of performing Reclined Pigeon Pose include improved blood flow and alleviating symptoms associated with sciatica. Tension in the lower body can also be combated by performing this pose.

The Bow Pose

To perform Bow Pose, the user lies on the mat with their belly facing down. Then, they left their legs and torso, extending their arms backwards while grabbing onto their feet or ankles. The pose resembles a bow, hence the name. It is not typically considered a beginner’s pose, but rather categorized to be at an intermediate level.

Bow Pose stretches the chest heavily, while improving flexibility in one’s back. It can help one with asthma and other related respiratory problems, as well as encourage better digestion. For women, Bow Pose may help alleviate symptoms associated with menstrual syndrome. Individuals who are prone to bad posture or back pain are recommended to try this pose. Women who are heavily pregnant should not attempt this pose.

Lower Back Clasp Pose
Upward Facing Dog

Upward Facing Dog Pose

Users doing Upward Facing Dog Pose will be lying on the mat with their belly on the floor, then push up with their palms while bending their back gently. Their torso and legs are slightly lifted off the floor, supported by feet and palms. It is a pose that builds strength by exercising the arms and torso.

The most obvious benefit of this Upward Facing Dog Pose is the stretching of the back, spine, and chest. This therapeutic pose can improve symptoms of asthma and speed up the digestion process. It also exercises the user’s thighs and glutes. Lastly, it is a pose that increases energy flow and can help treat mild depression or fatigue. Individuals who are pregnant or currently injured are advised not to attempt this pose.

Downward Facing Dog Pose

An extremely popular pose, the Downward Facing Dog Pose is considered a standing pose. It involves the user stretching their entire body, keeping their legs straight (without locking knees) while their palms are on the ground to form an “A” shape. The spine is lengthened as the user pushes their chest gently towards the direction of the thighs. Heels do not need to touch the ground.

Downward Facing Dog Pose takes its namesake from the way dogs stretch, and is commonly seen as a transition pose. However, it can also be considered a balance or strength-building pose. Its benefits include deeply stretching many body parts, including one’s spine, shoulders, arms, legs, hamstrings, and calves. Classified as an inversion pose (heart is above head), employing regular practice of Downward Facing Dog Pose also reaps the benefits of improving digestion, managing stress, encourages blood flow, alleviates headaches, and is therapeutic for improving symptoms from insomnia, mild depression, and even osteoporosis. Individuals who experience hand cramping or are heavily pregnant should consider modified poses.

Downward Facing Dog

Reclined Supine Twist Pose

To do a Reclined Supine Twist Pose, the user must be lying on their back. One leg is drawn to the chest and hips are shifted to the opposite side, while the other leg is extended straight. Head and opposing arm are facing the direction opposing the hips, with the spine twisted in a soothing stretch.The Reclined Supine Twist Post is great for stretching one’s back muscles, as well as realigning the spine. Improved digestion and stress relief are also benefits associated with this pose. The user should be employing deep and long breaths when performing this pose.

Cat Cow Pose

Cat/Cow Pose

The Cat/Cow pose is one that alternates between the two and is considered a beginner’s pose. It involves the user on all fours, gentle alternating between arching their back towards the sky (similar to a cat stretching), then reversing the arch while dropping the belly towards the mat. This pose can be performed by most individuals and should require little modification.

The Cat/Cow is great for warming up, and stimulates better blood flow and improved posture. Its therapeutic benefits include stress relief and managing back pain.

Standing Forward Bend Pose

The Standing Forward Bend Pose is characterized by the user keeping their legs straight while bending their torso and attempting to hug their knees. This pose stretches one’s hamstrings and back. Modifications can be used if the user’s flexibility level does not allow for a full embrace of the knees.

Performing a Standing Forward Bend Pose helps tension in the shoulders and neck. The act of keeping one’s head below the heart is thought to alleviate symptoms associated with mild depression, insomnia and stress.

Standing Forward Bend Pose
Slow Rocking Knees To Chest Pose

Slow Rocking Knees to Chest Pose

Users performing the Slow Rocking Knees to Chest Post will have their backs against the mat. Knees are bent and hugged towards one’s torso. Arms embrace the knees and head rests on the ground. Then, the user gently rocks themselves side-to-side, massaging their spine. This pose is recommended for beginners and should require little modifications unless needed.

The benefits of Slow Rocking Knees to Chest Post include improved digestion, increasing circulation, and reducing tension in the back.

Seated Spinal Twist Pose

Performing the Seated Spinal Twist Pose involves the user sitting upright on the mat, with their legs stretched forward. One leg is bent and placed on top of the other leg, and the user hugs the upright knee towards their torso. Then, the user faces the opposing direction and twists the torso so that the spine is stretched.

The Seated Spinal Twist Pose encourages improved alignment of the spine, which in turns increases flexibility. One’s blood flow and digestion are also improved. This pose is not recommended for individuals who have knee injuries.

Low Lunge With Back Bend Pose

Low Lunge with Backbend Pose

Low Lunge with Backbend Pose can be performed by doing a runner’s lunge, while arching the back with one arm extended backwards towards the direction of one’s feet. Practicing one’s balance may be necessary to master this pose.

The Low Lunge with Backbend Pose encourages blood flow as well as flexibility. One’s legs and back are stretched and strengthened while the user attempts to remain balanced. When performed correctly, this full body pose is considered a strength-builder.

Standing Forward Fold with Clasped Hands Pose

Users can perform a Standing Forward Fold with Clasped Hands Pose by standing upright and keeping legs straight, without locking the knees. The user must then bend forward, attempting to touch their nose to their leg, thigh or knee. Lastly, arms are stretched backwards towards the sky, with hands clasped together.

The Standing Forward Fold with Clasped Hands Pose may require some practice with flexibility and balance. It is thought to help symptoms of headache, mild depression, stress, fatigue and anxiety. Other benefits include stretching out one’s hamstrings and hips, and may even treat the discomfort associated with menstrual syndrome.

Standing Forward Fold with Clasped Hands Pose
The Bow Pose

Lower Back Clasp Pose

The Lower Back Clasp Pose involves the user lying on the mat, belly down. Then, the user raises their arms backwards and clasps their hands together behind them. This post will stretch and strengthen one’s lower back.

The Lower Back Clasp Pose is a beginner’s pose, but can be modified to suit one’s level of flexibility. Those who experience lower back pain or suffer from bad posture are recommended to practice this pose regularly.

One Knee Crescent Lunge Pose

Triangle Pose

To perform Triangle Pose, the user must first stand with their feet wide apart. Hips are slightly turned to one side, with one arm extended towards the sky and the other facing palm-down on the mat. Your arms should be perpendicular to the floor mat and heels planted firmly on the ground.

Triangle Pose may be difficult for users with limited balance, so moderations can be implemented to ensure ease. Practicing against a wall may be beneficial for beginners. The Triangle Pose encourages a powerful stretch in one’s hips, hamstrings and shoulders. Most notably, it alleviates lower back pain and bad posture. Other therapeutic qualities of performing Triangle Pose include better stability and digestion.

Triangle Pose
Locust Pose

Locust Pose

Locust Pose is performed by the user lying on their belly, keeping their legs straight. Then, the user lifts their torso slightly, raising their shoulders above their hips and gazing directly forward. It is a beginner’s pose that allows the user to stretch their back, torso and leg muscles.

Because the pose targets the lower back, Locust Post is great to practice for individuals experiencing back pain or poor posture. It encourages blood flow as well as provides stress relieving properties. Those who are experiencing neck injury are not recommended for this pose.

Learning How to Manage Your Chronic Pain without Painkiller Drugs

Yoga has been used by individuals to effectively combat stress and anxiety for years. Not only can yoga be used in addiction treatment and recovery to minimize the pain and discomfort of detox and withdrawal from opioids, prescription painkillers or heroin, but can be used to mitigate pain from chronic pain issues – without having to resort to taking drugs to manage back pain.

At Reflections Recovery Center, we utilize yoga therapy for a number of reasons, including to help with pain management during detox and withdrawal from alcohol, prescription drugs, heroin, and other substances. Not only does yoga help to provide relief from chronic pain issues, but yoga can help to manage the symptoms of anxiety and greatly aids the recovery process by centering the mind and body.

Learn More About Our Holistic Therapies for Addiction

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Nutritional Deficiencies and Substance Abuse: Nutrition in Addiction Recovery

Nutrition is closely tied to substance abuse and addiction. While using drugs and alcohol, poor nutrition makes changes to the way the body and brain function. These changes and the deficiency of vitamins and nutrients in the body are one of the root causes of the negative symptoms that many who have been abusing drugs and alcohol feel.

Symptoms of nutritional deficiency, coupled with the symptoms of withdrawal, can make the first days and weeks of sobriety draining – mentally and physically. Coupling nutritional therapy with detox and rehabilitation therapies eases many of the symptoms of drug and alcohol withdrawal and can make for an easier early recovery.

Am I Malnourished from Drugs and Alcohol?

It is fairly easy to recognize the symptoms of malnutrition, though many who abuse alcohol, opiates or other drugs don’t readily make the connection between how they are feeling and their substance use. Drugs and alcohol not only leech vitamins and nutrients from the body, but slow the body’s ability to absorb nutrients from the food you eat.

Think about how you still felt healthy before or even during the first months and years of your substance abuse. As the use continued, it became harder to feel your best; your highs seem lower and your lows sink lower. Even drugs and alcohol can’t cover the symptoms of your body signaling that it is malnourished.

Signs and Symptoms of Nutritional Deficiency from Drugs and Alcohol

Just as nutritional deficiencies happen slowly, and get worse over time, the signs and symptoms of poor nutrition from alcohol and drug use disorders will build slowly over time, and get much worse the longer you continue to abuse substances. Below is a detailed list of symptoms, many of which will be very familiar to anyone who has abused alcohol or illicit or prescription drugs.

Drug and Alcohol Fatigue

Fatigue is common with extended drug and alcohol use, and worsens as the deficiency of protein, iron, magnesium, potassium, Vitamins C, B1, B12 and other B vitamins grows. The lack of these nutrients also contributes to:

  • Hypothyroidism
  • Cardiac failure
  • Anemia
  • Chronic fatigue syndrome
  • Anxiety
  • Major depression

Itchy, Dry Skin and Easily Bruising 

Skin symptoms caused by excessive use of alcohol and drugs like heroin and opioids are quite common, and often tied directly back to lack of specific nutrients. Dry skin is a sign of missing essential fatty acids. A lack of vitamin C also causes a long list of skin problems, including red,flushed skin, excessive bruising and excessive itching.

Muscle Pains and Cramps 

Alcohol is especially hard on muscles and muscle tissue, and alcoholics will have noticeably deteriorated muscle mass. Vitamin deficiencies hamper the ability for muscles to repair themselves and will cause worsening muscle pains and cramps. Magnesium, Vitamin D, B1, sodium and potassium deficiencies are characterized by increased cramping, spasms and muscle soreness.

Opioid addiction is synonymous with muscle pains and cramping, especially during opioid withdrawal. These pains are amplified by vitamin deficiency, which is why vitamin therapy for opioid addicts is recommended in early recovery and opiate/opioid detox.

Diarrhea and Constipation with Alcohol and Opioid Use Disorders 

Gastrointestinal health is severely impaired with alcohol and opioid addiction, and nutritional deficiency worsens those problems. Diarrhea is a common problem with alcohol abuse, while constipation is prevalent in opioid use. Serious constipation arises in individuals abusing prescription opioids, and the filler drugs in pills like Oxycontin, Vicodi, and other opioids worsens the problem.

A lack of vitamin B3 can be blamed for persistent diarrhea and can contribute to irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), and malabsorption can occur with the continued abuse of alcohol and drugs. Constipation is a sign of a deficiency of:

  • Fiber
  • Folate
  • Potassium
  • Magnesium
  • The most important element for a healthy body: water

Dehydration is not only a deficiency in itself, but can cause the deficiency of all other nutrients and vitamins.

Neurobiological Symptoms of Vitamin Deficiency 

Some of the most severe symptoms of poor diet and nutrition from drugs and alcohol start in the brain, causing the following:

  • Restless legs
  • Muscle spasms
  • Loss of balance
  • Feeling vibrations and numb spots
  • Lack of ability to feel vibrations
  • Weakness and shakiness of extremities
  • Peripheral neuropathy
  • Numbness and tingling of the hands and feet

A lack of vitamins B1, B12, B3, B6 and E contributes to the above symptoms and is a sign that the poor nutrition is beginning to affect the brain and nervous system. Folate, essential fatty and amino acids, and Riboflavin are important for cognitive and nervous system function, and opiate use in particular will trigger these symptoms.

Depression, Irritability, Anxiety and Lack of Concentration 

Anyone who has experienced problematic drinking will know that irritability, anxiety and depression seem to work together in a cycle that makes quitting drinking feel almost impossible. The good news is that many of these symptoms have more to do with poor nutrition from alcohol use than the alcohol itself.

Starting a nutritional rehabilitation regimen during early recovery from alcohol addiction can greatly reduce the symptoms of depression and anxiety.

With opioid use, too, one can minimize depression and anxiety by replacing essential vitamins and nutrients such as Vitamin C, B, B3, B6, B12, folate, fatty acids, iron and magnesium.

Nutritional Rehabilitation Through the Phases of Addiction Rehabilitation

Vitamin, dietary and nutritional therapy are essential in three stages of stopping and recovering from alcohol abuse and alcoholism. First, it is necessary to boost the body with essential nutrients before or while tapering down the amount of alcohol being taken in.

With serious alcohol addiction and dependence, it may be difficult or impossible to go through a nutritional “primer” to prepare the body for quitting alcohol. However, if it is possible to start vitamin therapy for alcohol abuse before the detox phase, doing so can help ease the symptoms of withdrawal during alcohol detox.

Second, a complete and medical alcohol detox program will begin the process of detoxing from alcohol dependence. Detox specialists will administer multivitamins specifically made to address the needs of alcohol cessation, especially for the acute withdrawal symptoms.

Third, the rehabilitation plan should include a nutritional program for alcohol recovery. This nutrition plan should include a mix of fresh vegetables, fruits, meats and grains so the body can get used to absorbing the nutrients it needs naturally, and away from the need for supplements. A successful dietary rehabilitation program should teach the individual in recovery how to make the right nutritional choices in sobriety.

Vitamins for Alcohol Detox and Recovery

(Note: Always check with your doctor or a nutritional therapist before starting any vitamin therapy.) There are a number of vitamins and nutrients that alcohol depletes from the body, but some of the most common deficiencies in those with a history of abusing alcohol include:

  • Vitamin A
  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin D3
  • Vitamin B1 (thiamine)
  • Vitamin B2 (riboflavin)
  • Vitamin B3 (niacin)
  • Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine)
  • Vitamin B9 (folate)
  • Vitamin B12
  • Magnesium
  • L-Glutamine (amino acid)
  • L-Tyrosine (amino acid)
  • L-Theanine (amino acid)
  • 5-HTP (Serotonin Precursor)
  • Omega 3 (fish oil)
  • DL-Phenylalanine (DLPA)
  • Multivitamins (for iron, zinc and other minerals)

Vitamins for Heroin/Opioid Detox and Recovery 

(Note: Always check with your doctor or a nutritional therapist before starting any vitamin therapy.) There are a number of vitamins and nutrients that heroin, prescription painkillers and other opioids deplete from the body, but some of the most common deficiencies in those with a history of opioid addiction and opioid use disorder include:

  • Vitamin A
  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin D
  • Vitamin B1 (thiamine)
  • Vitamin B2 (riboflavin)
  • Vitamin B3 (niacin)
  • Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine)
  • Vitamin B9 (folate)
  • Vitamin B12
  • Magnesium
  • Calcium
  • L-Glutamine (amino acid)
  • L-Tyrosine (amino acid)
  • DL-Phenylalanine (amino acid)
  • L-Tyrosine (amino acid)
  • 5-HTP (serotonin precursor)

Addressing Nutritional Deficiencies and Substance Abuse in Rehab

Recovering from deficiencies and a poor diet is just as important as your recovery from alcohol or drugs. After an extended period of time of alcohol and drug abuse, the body and mind will need to be retrained to make healthy nutritional choices. Without nutritional therapy and training, the body will attempt to get “quick fixes” from junk food sources.

Avoiding Sugar in Recovery 

Many in early recovery develop sugar cravings and, even, sugar addiction. This is the body craving a quick and easy source of energy. Reintroducing the body to natural sources of vitamins and staying away from too much sugar will be key in your recovery.

When you start your recovery from substance abuse and addiction – whether it involves opioids, cocaine, meth or alcohol – addressing nutritional deficiency will be one of the first and most important steps. It is important to know that even though the first stages of detox and rehabilitation are tough, proper nutritional therapy can reduce the severity of withdrawal symptoms and cravings.

Explore Inpatient Addiction Treatment

Explore the Arizona Summer: Enjoying Addiction Treatment and Therapy in Arizona’s Outdoors

At Reflections Recovery, we are gearing up for what will be a memorable summer for the guests that will be staying with us in the coming months. As part of our ongoing experiential and adventure therapy program, we are planning trips throughout Arizona for the summer. Our rehab guests will be hiking, mountain climbing, swimming and exploring the many landscapes Arizona has to offer.

Grand Canyon Arizona Summer Rehab Adventure - Reflections Recovery Center

Our Summer of Rehab Adventure Schedule

Every summer, we work to create a schedule of adventures that we can enjoy with our guests. This summer, we have put together a list of outdoor activities that give our guests the adventure of a lifetime. One of the biggest expeditions we have planned is our hiking trip to the Grand Canyon. This hike will be both challenging and enjoyable, as we set out for an all-day excursion among one of the great natural wonders of the world.

Other adventures will see our group travel to the nearby area of Sedona, Arizona. This magical and mystical area famously boasts gorgeous red rocks and a spiritual vortex – which some believe has healing properties and can allow you to see into your soul and find the meaning of life on this planet.

Many of our guests who arrive from out of state are surprised to find that Arizona offers more than just desert and cacti. Arizona is a diverse landscape with evergreen forests, rivers and lakes, and even snow. We are planning day-trips to Flagstaff and other Northern Arizona destinations to get some relief from the summer temperatures and to give us a chance to connect with nature and each other.

Benefits Of Outdoor Therapy in Addiction Treatment - Reflections Recovery Arizona

The Benefits of Outdoor Therapy in Addiction Treatment

Our adventures into the wild outdoors of Arizona are more than just an excuse to get outdoors and take in the state’s beauty. We have seen the benefits that nature can provide for individuals who are trying to figure out what a sober future holds for them. Many of those attending our addiction treatment program find a sense of renewal and hope through our unique treatment – especially our outdoor and adventure rehab therapy.

Northern Arizona is the state’s beautiful “backyard” where our groups of clients and therapists can continue the work they started inside our Prescott addiction treatment facility. It’s difficult to explain to anyone who hasn’t seen the majesty of Arizona at sunset, but as you are re-building yourself and working to make plans for a sober future, nature seems to reaffirm your decisions.

Our guests relate a feeling of “standing on top of the world,” realizing how much beauty and good is in the world that they seemed to have missed completely when they were using drugs and alcohol.

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Join Us on Our Adventures

Reflections Recovery Center’s addiction treatment program allows people young and old to find a recovery plan that works for them and their lifestyle. Utilizing outdoor and adventure therapy is just one of the ways we bring our holistic rehab therapies to our clients. Our setting, our treatment modalities and our record of success in turning lives around are the reasons why so many families send their loved ones to Arizona to start their recovery.

Therefore, we invite families from across the U.S. and the world to consider our program in your search for the solution to your friend or family member’s problems with substance abuse. We already have a great many adventures planned, and your loved is invited to join us as soon as possible.

Ready for Recovery? Inquire Here

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 and Alcohol

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 clients through the entire recovery process. Our alcohol rehab treatment center is comprehensive. This includes explaining the deep connection between alcohol and nutrition and offering therapies to get people 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.

Read More on Alcohol Detox and Recovery

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

Borderline personality disorder (BPD) is a serious mental illness that can go hand-in-hand with substance abuse. The disorder is characterized by pervasive mood instability, difficulty with interpersonal relationships, negative self-image, and harmful behavior. Historically, borderline personality disorder in men has been under-diagnosed, leading people to believe that it is a largely female disorder.

However, that misconception couldn’t be farther from the truth. Anyone can suffer from BPD, regardless of gender. Researchers now believe that it may affect men, women, and gender non-conforming individuals in equal numbers.

What Is Borderline Personality Disorder in men?

One reason borderline personality disorder in men (BPD) is overlooked is that men often present symptoms differently.

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. For men with BPD, this self-harm often takes the form of substance abuse. Heavy drinking or drug use is a common response to unmanageable depression or anxiety. People with many mental health issues drink or use as a way to self-medicate, and borderline personality disorder is no exception.

Man holding head in hands. Text: Borderline personality disorder can result in depression or anxiety that last hours to days long.

Men’s negative emotions may also be perceived differently. Episodes of intense anger (which can happen to anyone with BPD) might be overlooked in men due to gender stereotyping. Unfortunately, volatile or violent outbursts are often accepted as “normal” male behavior, when they could actually be a symptom of BPD.

What Causes Male Borderline Personality Disorder?

The causes of Borderline Personality Disorder can be hard to accurately define. BPD does run in families, but it’s unknown whether this is completely due to genetics. It can also be affected by family history and past trauma, leading to the fear of abandonment that so many men with this disorder experience.

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

Borderline Personality Disorder Vs. Bipolar Disorder

It is common to see borderline personality disorder occur with other psychiatric problems, particularly bipolar disorder (BD), depression, anxiety disorders, substance abuse and other personality disorders. This is true for many of the men we treat at Reflections.

While Borderline Personality Disorder and Bipolar Disorder may share some symptoms, they are very different in terms of long-term treatment. BPD is a personality disorder, while bipolar is a mood disorder. Though they can both cause mood swings, people with BPD experience shorter outbursts of anger and sadness as a result of long-term emotional dysfunction. People with bipolar deal with recurring bouts of alternating mania and depression. BPD is also less common than BD.

Symptoms of 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.

Here are some ways BPD manifests in men:

  • Responding to criticism with aggression
  • Holding grudges
  • Displaying jealousy as a mask for fear of rejection
  • Using sex to alleviate feelings of rejection
  • Rejecting relationships and moving quickly from love to hate
  • Viewing others in absolutes (they are either entirely “good” or “bad”)
  • Using alcohol or drugs to relieve constant anxiety

Illustration of a faceless man standing alone. Text: The vast majority of men with borderline personality disorder go undiagnosed.

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.

Borderline Personality Disorder Relationships: What Does It Look Like If A Man You Know Has BPD?

He Struggles to Maintain Healthy Relationships

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

Similarly, in a friendship or family relationship, a man with BPD may be quick to cut ties and slow to let go of grudges. When he has been offended, he might burst out without warning or stop all contact with loved ones, attempting to cut them out of his life.

He Has a Deep Fear of Abandonment

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 may never have felt before.

He Displays Hostile or Manipulative Behavior

It’s essential to remember that when symptomatic, a man with BPD is walking around in a living hell. His outer aggression is masking incredible inner pain, depression and anxiety.

This is never a reason to enable someone with BPD or allow them to compromise your personal safety, but it is a clear sign that they need treatment.

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.

He Abuses Alcohol or Drugs

The emotional instability coupled with impulsivity places individuals with BPD at risk of drug or alcohol abuse. It may or may not look like “textbook” addiction, and bouts of drug use might be spontaneous or short-lived. This does not mean that they are any less life-threatening. Individuals with BPD and a substance use disorder are at a very high risk for self-harm, and should recieve professional care for both disorders.

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.

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, BPD 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.

BPD and Substance Abuse: Common Co-Occurring Disorders

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.

If you notice that your male friend or loved one exhibits frequent irrational behavior, substance abuse and borderline personality disorder or another underlying mental health problem may be to blame.

The Cycle of Addiction: Binge/Intoxication, Withdrawal/Negative Effect, Preoccupation/Anticipation.

BPD Symptoms that Overlap with Drug Abuse

The relationship between BPD and addiction is as stormy as the individual’s personal relationships.

The alcoholism or substance can bring out and intsnsify 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

Types of Treatment for BPD and Substance Abuse

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 treating it is notoriously challenging, but there are various modalities available.

Medication may be part of the solution for some people. Behavioral modifications along with psychotherapy and group, peer and family support are key therapies as well.

Additionally, 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.

Why Reflections Recovery Center May Be the Solution

Men and women have different reasons for using substances, heal differently, and have different reactions to treatments. By addressing gender-specific issues, rehab can be uplifting in shared experiences and bonding with peers — a proven necessary component of recovery.

Can BPD Be Cured? Hope for Men with BPD and Addiction

There is no hard-and-fast cure for borderline personality disorder. 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 people recover from addiction. 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 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 borderline personality disorder or another mental health issue, do not hesitate to get them into a program that addresses the addiction, has a working knowledge of dual diagnosis, and treats co-occurring disorders.

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. Kids 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 people 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 Adults

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 child 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 child’s painkiller use.

An Active Lifestyle Is an Important Part of Addiction Recovery

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The Benefits of Yoga 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:


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


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


  • 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 people deal with anxiety, depression and other psychological complications.

Often those 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 control.

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.

Participants 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

What real clients have to say about Reflections Recovery Center in Arizona
Reflections provided me with the tools that got me where i am today with 14 months sober.
— Ricky A, Long Beach CA
Reflections gave me a life and an opportunity to become part of society. They challenged me and shaped me into the man I want to be.
— Dyer K, Gilbert AZ
I learned how to stay sober, found my best friends and created a new life at Reflections
— David S, Phoenix AZ

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