How Can I Enjoy Nature During Treatment?

How Can I Enjoy Nature During Treatment?

There are numerous studies showing that spending time in nature reduces stress and increases happiness. Any chance you have to spend a little time outside among trees is a chance to improve your mood and wellbeing.

  1. Don’t underestimate what is around you. Very few places are completely devoid of nature. There are trees, gardens, and parks in most areas. If nothing else, take a walk and seek them out.
  2. Pick up an outdoor sport. Having something to actually do outside will increase the time you spend in nature. Running and biking are the most common and translate easily to trails and parks. If you are more adventurous, you might consider hiking, kayaking, or rock climbing. Those can be dangerous so do your research first.
  3. Go to the beach. Most people think of the beach as sand and crowds, but it’s really an entire ecosystem. There are birds, fish, dolphins, sharks, crabs, jellyfish–more biological diversity than you are likely to encounter inland.
  4. Look at the stars. The vast, vast majority of nature is not on Earth at all. There are few places left that are far enough away from lights that the night sky is really visible. We rarely get to experience the awe of looking at the stars in a dark sky. Take a special trip to some place remote and try to find some constellations.
  5. Go camping. Camping is the full immersion strategy. You hike to a spot, you set up camp, and you watch for bears. Instead of a slice of nature, you get the whole pie. You hear the sounds and smell the smells. You’re not there to do anything in particular; you’re just there. If you want to get in the habit of getting up early, studies have shown that camping for two weeks will reset your circadian rhythm to wake you up at sunrise.
  6. Make nature your muse. Whatever your creative pursuits, try them outside. Painting and photography are perhaps the most obvious. A good nature photographer will wait hours for a shot. Writing in nature is another good option. Sit in one spot for an hour and write down what you see. You may be surprised how much you learn.
  7. Take up bird watching. Birds are fascinating and bird watching can accommodate many levels of interest. You can look out your window, or you can take a trip to the Amazon. Plus, bird watching is one of the few remaining fields where citizen scientists can have an impact.
  8. Plant a garden. Or rather, make your own nature. You can grow some potted plants on your balcony or dive in and plant a backyard garden. You can grow healthy things to eat. You can get a bit of exercise and there are compounds in soil that have been shown to stimulate the release of endorphins in the brain.
  9. Go fishing. Like oceans, lakes, ponds, and rivers are diverse ecosystems. Don’t underestimate the value of sitting and waiting.
  10. Take a guided tour. Most parts of the country have something outside worth seeing–caves, archeological sites, battlefields, geological formations. See what’s available in your area and sign up for the tour.

Detox is the first step in the journey to recovery from addiction to drugs and alcohol. The Gardens Wellness Center is redefining the way we approach detox and treat those who are detoxing. Our comfortable environment, encouraging program, and engaging amenities set us apart from other detox centers. Call us today for information:  (844) 325-9168

Choosing the Best Treatment Option After Detox

Choosing the Best Treatment Option After Detox

At many treatment facilities, detox is built into the program. You spend a week, give or take, detoxing, and when you’re ready you move right into treatment. If you are detoxing at a separate facility, you have to decide what kind of treatment is best for you once you leave.

The biggest distinction is between inpatient and outpatient treatment. Inpatient treatment is when you actually live in the facility full time, usually 30 to 90 days. This has several advantages. The first is that it’s a stable environment with, ideally, no chance of relapse. The early days are when cravings are strongest and it’s helpful to have as little temptation as possible.

Inpatient treatment also has the advantage of 24 medical and psychiatric care. By the time you enter treatment you should already be through the medically dangerous part of recovery, but if your drug use was heavy enough, you may be at continued risk of complications and it’s reassuring to know you can get help quickly.

Finally, inpatient treatment insulates you from the stressors of everyday life. A big part of rehab is learning to deal productively with stress. This entails learning good habits and unlearning bad ones. The process is more difficult when you have to continually deal with new problems. Inpatient care can be an opportunity to learn new strategies and cement a healthy routine that includes exercise and adequate rest. It doesn’t hurt that facilities often include therapeutic massage and other amenities to help you relax.

Although there are many advantages to inpatient treatment, it may not suit your circumstances. Inpatient treatment requires you to take a vacation from your life for one to three months and not everyone can do that. In that case, you may prefer outpatient treatment.

In outpatient treatment, you live at home and you may go to the treatment center several times a week for therapy and group sessions. It’s not quite as intensive as inpatient therapy, but it does have some advantages.

The first advantage is the cost. You don’t have to pay for the room and board to live at the facility full time. And if you are able to work, you will have money you wouldn’t have been able to make as an inpatient. If you are a student, you can keep up with classes.

Outpatient treatment also allows you to have more support from friends and family, while in inpatient treatment, contact with outsiders is limited. If your family is sober and supportive, this can be a big help. If they are neither sober nor supportive, living at home will increase your risk of relapse.

Gardens Wellness Center is redefining the approach to detox. Our comfortable environment is designed to support the detox process while helping each client recognize their human dignity in recovery. Detox is the first step in recovery. Start your journey to wellness today by calling us for information:  (844) 325-9168

Why Is Commitment Critical For Recovery?

Why Is Commitment Critical For Recovery?

Detox and rehab are only the beginning of recovery. While detox can get your through the initial turbulence and rehab can point you in the right direction, you have to do the walking yourself. Recovery isn’t like a broken arm where you wear a cast for six weeks then never think about it again. You have to commit to recovery for the long term and make sure you keep doing the things that make you healthier and stronger.

Commitment means several things. First, it means you make recovery a priority. You accept the fact that unless you stay in recovery, the other things that seem important probably won’t work out. Commitment also means you accept that recovery will sometimes be hard. Even when you doubt your ability to succeed you have to keep trying anyway. You have to renew your commitment to recovery every day.

Commitment is important to recovery for several reasons. Addiction is a deep groove that’s easy to slide back into. You have to be vigilant and not take your recovery for granted. Addictive substances essentially short-circuit your brain and trick it into locking in maladaptive patterns quickly. It’s similar to how a traumatic event can instantly create a pattern of fear or anxiety. It may take a much longer time to establish healthy patterns than it did to establish unhealthy ones. You have to be aware of this at the beginning of recovery and be willing to put in however much time it takes to establish healthy patterns.

It’s not just your brain you will be fixing. You may have to repair relationships. It may take a little time to show your friends and family your commitment to recovery is real. You may find some relationships contributed to your addiction, either directly or indirectly, and so you may have to fix those relationships or end them.

All of this takes time and patience. Commitment is an affirmation that you are in it for the long term. Looking at it this way makes setbacks less discouraging, because there’s always tomorrow. Even slow progress is progress.

We often think commitment is scary. Sometimes it is, but in the case of recovery it isn’t. When it comes to jobs, relationships, cars, data plans, etc. we are often paralyzed by our fear of missing out. There are so many options that choosing one usually means rejecting the rest. It’s easier just not to commit and try to keep our options open. Recovery isn’t the same kind of choice. Your only alternative to recovery is addiction. It’s true that recovery is harder. It’s possible to fail–at least temporarily–at recovery, while failing at addiction is difficult, but recovery is the choice that makes other choices possible.

Detox is the first step in the journey to recovery from addiction to drugs and alcohol. The Gardens Wellness Center is redefining the way we approach detox and treat those who are detoxing. Our comfortable environment, encouraging program, and engaging amenities set us apart from other detox centers. Call us today for information:  (844) 325-9168

Benefits of Going to a Clinical Detox Center

Benefits of Going to a Clinical Detox Center

The pain of detox depends mostly on the severity of your addiction. If you have been using heavily for a long time, withdrawal symptoms may be severe and even dangerous. Severe withdrawal from alcohol, for example, may cause seizures that are fatal in a small percentage of cases. Having medical staff on hand to administer anti-seizure medication helps reduce the danger.

For certain drugs, withdrawal can be very difficult and you should opt for medical detox rather than try it on your own. These drugs include heroin, alcohol, prescription painkillers, cocaine, meth, and benzodiazepines. Other drugs drugs, if used heavily enough, may require medical detox as well.

In addition to the severe withdrawal symptoms of drugs like alcohol and heroin, detox can also cause a range of symptoms that although not life-threatening, are extremely unpleasant. These symptoms might include nausea, shaking, confusion, headaches, and hallucinations. Clinic staff can administer specific medications for certain kinds of withdrawal. The medications won’t eliminate the symptoms completely but they can reduce the severity.

In some cases of opioid addiction, doctors will prescribe a step-down approach to detox. This can be done in a detox center where staff can administer precise doses at regular intervals.

For many drugs, withdrawal might cause nausea, headaches, and insomnia. Clinic staff can administer milder, more generalized treatments to deal with these symptoms, such as benadryl for insomnia.

If drug use was prolonged and heavy enough, there may be secondary problems to consider, such as damage to your heart, liver, or kidneys. Detoxing in a clinical setting will make it easier to catch the problems early and address them.

Psychological support is important in detox as well. Although counseling plays a more prominent role later in rehab, it may be helpful and necessary during detox to have someone to talk to.

Finally, detox can be very difficult and going through it alone may be too much. Committing to clinical detox may be the best way to ensure you get through the most acutely painful part of recovery. The temptation to relapse while attempting to detox at home is just too great for many people. The clinic staff can not only make your symptoms less painful, but they can also keep you honest, giving you the best chance of recovery.

Gardens Wellness Center is redefining the approach to detox. Our comfortable environment is designed to support the detox process while helping each client recognize their human dignity in recovery. Detox is the first step in recovery. Start your journey to wellness today by calling us for information:  (844) 325-9168

What Are Common Experiences of Detox?

What Are Common Experiences of Detox?

When you first arrive at a detox center, they will typically do some blood tests and ask you some questions. You will probably receive I.V. fluids that will correct vitamin deficiencies and rehydrate you. After that, experiences differ. Your experience will depend on what drug or drugs you are addicted to, how long you have been using, your overall health, and how you respond to medication and other treatments.

There are some common experiences. Many people feel anxious and irritable, especially when detoxing from alcohol and opioids. These symptoms are often treated with medication. Insomnia is common as well. Not only is your brain chemistry in total disarray, but you are also in an unfamiliar place. Other symptoms common to many kinds of withdrawal include nausea, vomiting, and headaches. Most of these symptoms can also be treated by medication. Sometimes complementary therapies such as massage and acupuncture help with these symptoms too.

If you are detoxing from alcohol, you might experience, in addition to the above symptoms, sweating, confusion, disorientation, seizures, heart palpitations, and hallucinations. Although withdrawal can start in a few hours of not drinking, the worst symptoms may not hit for two or three days. Symptoms should taper rapidly after five to seven days.

Opioid withdrawal is a little different. Opioids affect your perception of pain, and withdrawal symptoms are likely to include muscle and bone pain and restlessness. More symptoms include frequent yawning, runny nose, and watery eyes. You may also experience abdominal cramps and diarrhea, dilated pupils, blurred vision, high blood pressure, and rapid heart rate.

How long these symptoms persist depends on the specific drug. Heroin is relatively fast acting and symptoms should decline after a few days. Some prescription painkillers may take closer to a week. Opioid detox often uses a taper, gradually reducing doses over the course of several days. Other times, different drugs are substituted, such as methadone for heroin, and then the new drug is tapered.

How long you remain in detox depends on the drug and how heavily you were using. It typically lasts a week or two. After that, you should begin treatment for the addiction.

Detox is the first step in the journey to recovery from addiction to drugs and alcohol. The Gardens Wellness Center is redefining the way we approach detox and treat those who are detoxing. Our comfortable environment, encouraging program, and engaging amenities set us apart from other detox centers. Call us today for information:  (844) 325-9168

Acupuncture for Detox

Acupuncture for Detox

Acupuncture is a component of traditional Chinese medicine. It involves inserting very thin needles into specific points on the body to manipulate chi, or life force. Unlike other medical interventions that treat specific problems or symptoms, acupuncture seeks to restore balance to the body, thus restoring health. In recent years, acupuncture has been shown in research and practice to be an effective component for treating many conditions, including addiction and detox.

Acupuncture can be helpful in treating a range of ailments including nausea, headaches, pain, and anxiety. In mainstream medicine, these are the kinds of ailments for which acupuncture’s efficacy is best established. These are also the symptoms that are most common during detox. Acupuncture can help reduce these symptoms, keeping medications to a minimum.

Acupuncture may also help the process of detox itself. One of the benefits often claimed by acupuncture practitioners is that acupuncture can help the body rid itself of toxins. Stimulating specific points is meant to stimulate organs such as the liver and kidneys, which are responsible for removing toxic substances from the body. Even in people without a history of addiction, these toxins may be abundant. Getting these organs back in working shape can help speed recovery.

There are also acupuncture techniques for treating addiction itself. The NADA protocol–NADA stands for National Acupuncture Detoxification Association–is specifically designed to aid in addiction recovery. The protocol consists of five needles inserted at specific points in both ears. Unlike other forms of acupuncture, which are typically performed individually, the NADA protocol is typically performed in groups, which helps create an environment of social support. A session lasts 30-45 minutes.

Both research and clinician reports support the effectiveness of the NADA protocol. Patients in recovery for addiction are more likely to stay in a program and less likely to relapse. Clinicians report patients undergoing the protocol are less anxious and more positive. Patients themselves report better sleep, more energy, and a feeling of lightness. Perhaps most importantly, they report a reduction in cravings.

Another advantage of acupuncture is that it is effective for all substances. Acupuncture treats whole person and goal is to restore health rather than fix a specific problem. In many cases, the specific fix is necessary but acupuncture can help address withdrawal symptoms while creating the conditions for long-term wellness.

Gardens Wellness Center is redefining the approach to detox. Our comfortable environment is designed to support the detox process while helping each client recognize their human dignity in recovery. Detox is the first step in recovery. Start your journey to wellness today by calling us for information:  (844) 325-9168

How Do I Exercise If I Hate The Gym?

How Do I Exercise If I Hate The Gym?

One of the most important things you can do in your recovery is to become physically active.  In addition to serving as an excellent distraction, exercise has been shown to be as effective as medication in treating symptoms of depression.  If you are not a fan of the gym, there are plenty of fitness options that can keep your body moving.  

Join a sports league

Playing a sport is a great way to get a workout while also building healthy relationships.   Check with your local rec center to see what leagues are coming up and how you can get involved.

Go for a run outside

Many studies have shown that not only is running outside more enjoyable, it also is a better workout.  The change of terrain and incline along increase the body’s exertion when running outside.  There are also studies that show people who run outside typically have greater commitment and lower levels of cortisol than they’re treadmill pounding counterparts.

Go for a swim

Because swimming works the entire body it is one of the best workouts you can perform.  30 minutes of breaststroke has been shown to burn up to 367 calories- more than walking, cycling, and running.  Swimming is also a low impact workout making the risk of injury extremely low.  

Ride a bike

Bicycling is an excellent aerobic workout that gives the legs a great strength boost.  Like swimming, biking is a low impact workout that is much easier on your joints than running or jogging.  The wind resistance and changing terrain make biking outside more fun and challenging.

Take up Yoga

Yoga is great for both the mind and body.  The intensity can be modified make it as intense or mellow as desired, making it great for people of all fitness levels.  Yoga has been shown to burn calories, improve balance, increase flexibility, and strengthen the mind body connection.  There are also several studies that show yoga mental health benefits as well as physical.  Yoga has been shown to help with depression and anxiety.

Get in the ring

Boxing has been shown to be a phenomenal workout.  Boxing requires the exertion of maximum effort for a short period of time followed by an even shorter period of rest.  This is referred to as High-Intensity Interval Training and has been shown to burn over 350 calories in just 30 minutes.  Releasing frustrations on a heavy bag can be great for your mental health too.

 

Detox is the first step in the journey to recovery from addiction to drugs and alcohol. The Gardens Wellness Center is redefining the way we approach detox and treat those who are detoxing. Our comfortable environment, encouraging program, and engaging amenities set us apart from other detox centers. Call us today for information:  (844) 325-9168

A Lesson in Acceptance and Humility Comes from Detox

A Lesson in Acceptance and Humility Comes from Detox

Writer Paul Garrigan struggled for years with alcoholism. Of his detox, he wrote, “When you are vomiting into a gutter in a Thai temple, it is impossible to lie to yourself anymore; nobody ends up doing such a thing unless they have messed up badly. So the medicine makes addicts teachable.”

Garrigan’s experience was perhaps worse than most. He checked himself into a Buddhist temple that specializes in overcoming addiction. The monks administer a powerful emetic that is meant to speed the drugs or alcohol out of your system. For Garrigan, the more powerful effect was that he finally had to accept that what he had been doing wasn’t working.

While most people’s experience of detox won’t be like Garrigan’s, the humility it brought is an important lesson for anyone going into recovery. Almost by definition, you can’t recover until you can admit that what you have been doing hasn’t worked.

Addiction quite often stems from trauma or abuse and addictive behavior is usually triggered by stress or a sense of helplessness. Humility requires vulnerability and the circumstances that lead to addiction are the same circumstances that make vulnerability especially difficult.

Just going to detox is a good start. It means you recognize you need help, which is itself a small act of humility. The detox itself may also be humbling. You may feel terrible. You may shake uncontrollably. You just have to accept whatever comes and know it will eventually pass.

It may be hard to feel arrogant while your shaking and sweating. Your instinct may be to put up your guard again when you start feeling better. Changing how you think will inevitably challenge your assumptions, which makes most people defensive. You will probably have to consider advice from counsellors you don’t know very well. It may be tempting to say, “Well, that may work for other people, but I’m different.” This would be a good time to remember the shaking and sweating and consider that you might not actually know what works for you.

As hard as it is to admit there are things you don’t know and things you can’t control, humility is essential for recovery. Humility is not self-loathing, but rather honest self-assessment. While arrogance is pretending your weaknesses don’t exist, humility is acknowledging them and finding ways to deal with them. If arrogance leads you to believe you can stop after one drink, humility reminds you that is definitely not true and you shouldn’t have the one drink.

Gardens Wellness Center is redefining the approach to detox. Our comfortable environment is designed to support the detox process while helping each client recognize their human dignity in recovery. Detox is the first step in recovery. Start your journey to wellness today by calling us for information:  (844) 325-9168

What Do I Do If Someone Overdoses On Opioids?

What Do I Do If Someone Overdoses On Opioids?

According to the American Society of Addiction Medicine, 20.5 million Americans suffer from a substance abuse disorder. Two-million of those disorders involve prescription painkillers while over 500,000 involve heroin.  Even more alarming, in 2015 there were over 20,000 overdose deaths related to prescription pain relievers and nearly 13,000 overdose deaths related to heroin.  This is a trend that has seen a drastic increase over the past 20 years, even as regulations regarding the prescription of opioid pain relievers have tightened.  Death from opioid overdoses can be prevented if Naloxone is given is administered soon after an overdose is suspected.  Symptoms of an overdose include:

  • Muscle spasms/seizures
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Unable to respond to outside stimuli (awake but unable to talk)
  • Slow, shallow, or erratic breathing
  • Skin may turn blue in light skinned people or gray for darker skinned people
  • Vomiting
  • Choking or gurgling
  • Skin is very clammy
  • Slow, erratic, or very faint pulse

If you suspect a loved one is suffering from an overdose it is crucial to act right away.  The first thing you should do is to attempt to get the person to react.  Try talking to them and if they don’t respond attempt to jar them awake by rubbing your knuckles into the sternum, causing slight pain.  If they wake up, try to get them talking.  If they are having trouble breathing or chest tightness, call 911.  If the person does not respond, call 911 immediately.  

When calling 911 make sure to give the dispatcher as much information as possible.  Avoid using the words drug or overdose, instead describe the symptoms. Once the paramedics arrive disclose the overdose and give as much information as possible: what was taken, how much, how long ago, etc.  Try to remain calm. If it sounds chaotic in the background, dispatchers are likely to send police with the paramedics.  It is important you stay with the victim until the paramedics arrive to make sure they stay breathing and their airway does not get obstructed.  Lay the person on their side with an arm raised above their head and use a bent knee to help balance.  If you have access to Naloxone, make sure the directions are followed carefully.  After being administered Naloxone, some people may feel withdrawal like symptoms and want to use again.  It is imperative that they are not allowed to use again to prevent an overdose from happening again.  

 

Detox is the first step in the journey to recovery from addiction to drugs and alcohol. The Gardens Wellness Center is redefining the way we approach detox and treat those who are detoxing. Our comfortable environment, encouraging program, and engaging amenities set us apart from other detox centers. Call us today for information:  (844) 325-9168

8 Safety Concerns of Detoxing at Home Alone

8 Safety Concerns of Detoxing at Home Alone

If you’re ready to get clean, the first step is to detox. The best and safest way to detox is at a clinic, under professional care. If for some reason that option isn’t available to you and you want to detox at home alone, here are some safety concerns to plan for.

You might relapse. This is perhaps the biggest concern. Withdrawal can be rough and you will probably be tempted to use again just to make the symptoms stop. You will not have access to the medications clinics can administer to mitigate the symptoms.

DTs are dangerous. Withdrawal symptoms are not only uncomfortable. They can be dangerous. Severe alcohol withdrawal, DTs, can cause seizures that are fatal in three to five percent of cases. Symptoms can escalate quickly and the worse symptoms may not appear for two or three days. If you suddenly find yourself confused or shaking uncontrollably, call 911 or get someone to take you to the emergency room.

You may hurt yourself. When you’re detoxing, you won’t be at your best. You may be shaking. You may be disoriented. You could easily hurt yourself or fall down the stairs. You should at least have someone who can check on you regularly.

You may be dehydrated or malnourished. If you have been neglecting your health for a while you may have become dehydrated or malnourished without really noticing. If these are bad enough they may cause secondary problems. At a clinic these would be addressed right away but if you detox at home you might not even be aware of the problem and it might persist after detox.

You may not get the dose right. If you are addicted to opioids, a taper is a common detox method. This has obvious hazards if you try it at home. Not only are you trying to figure out dosages at a time when you might not be thinking clearly, but you have to rely on your own willpower not to start using again.

You might not be able to care for yourself. You probably won’t have any idea going in how bad your withdrawal symptoms will be. They might be relatively mild or you might find yourself shaking in bed, unable to do much of anything. You still need food and water. In the worst case scenario, you might become severely confused and not be able to call for help, or realized you need it.

Gardens Wellness Center is redefining the approach to detox. Our comfortable environment is designed to support the detox process while helping each client recognize their human dignity in recovery. Detox is the first step in recovery. Start your journey to wellness today by calling us for information:  (844) 325-9168