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Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Adult Children of Alcoholics (ACOA)

Who Are Adult Children of Alcoholics?

Adult children of alcoholics are people whose lives have been affected by growing up with a parent (or other family member) who drank or abused drugs. Living with somebody who abuses alcohol on a regular basis is chaotic, scary, and can be dangerous. When that person exercises power over your life and is responsible for meeting your physical and emotional needs, the harm caused is unavoidable and can be long lasting.

Adult Children of Alcoholics (or ACOA) is a twelve-step program of people who support each other in recovering from the effects of a damaged childhood. Together they learn to value themselves and each other and to live healthier lives, freeing themselves from the influence and control that growing up with an alcoholic parent has exerted on their emotional well-being and on their outlook on life in general.

How Does an Alcoholic Parent Affect a Person’s Life?

Some common symptoms of being raised by an alcoholic parent include

  • Control issues 
  • Anger and grief 
  • Post Traumatic Stress Disorder 
  • Fear of intimacy 
  • Lack of healthy boundaries 
  • Placating others 
  • Feelings of unworthiness 
  • Taking responsibility for the behavior and choices of others 
  • Seeking out dysfunctional people/relationships 
  • Enabling and supporting unhealthy behaviors in others 
  • Needing to be surrounded by chaos to feel normal 
  • Denial of dysfunction in self and others 

How Do Adult Children of Alcoholics Recover? 

Anyone can recover from the trauma of growing up in a dysfunctional household and go on to live a life blessed by healthy relationships with others. The first step in recovery is recognizing that you have a problem and seeking help.

There are 12 Steps that the ACOA program adheres to, and they are informed by the traditional 12-steps of Alcoholics Anonymous but not the same.  Just like all 12-step programs, the emphasis is on building bonds with others and then helping yourself and others by getting honest and doing 'the work' that your sponsor recommends. For more information or to find a meeting, visit the official ACOA website.

Contact Us if You Need Help

At English Mountain Recovery we offer adult men and women recovery through therapeutic processes and peer support. Our holistic approach to recovery is welcoming and effective. Call us for more information about our services. Our confidential contact number is (877) 459-8595. You are not alone.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Is Tennessee "Ground Zero" for the Opiate Crisis?

The opiate addiction epidemic has reached crisis levels and is a national emergency.
opiate addicted man

What’s notable about the proliferance of opiate addiction is how it is affecting families in every corner of our nation - from rural areas to urban centers and all the suburban neighborhoods in between. Also, opiate addiction has hit families at every  economic level, rearing it’s head in wealthy suburbs as well as claiming lives and destroying families in lower income urban and rural areas.

Tennessee Has Been Hit as Hard as Anywhere

You may be surprised that Tennessee has just about as much claim to being “ground zero” for the opiate epidemic as just about anywhere else.

Consider these facts:

  • The number of overdose deaths has exploded by more than 300 percent over the last two decades. 3
  • In 2012, Tennessee became No. 2 in the nation for consumption of opioids (topped only by Alabama). 1
  • A 2012  survey of Tennessee 10th- and 12th-graders finds the average age at which they first abused prescription opioids was 14. 1
  • In 2013, Tennessee recorded 912 births of drug dependent babies. 2
  • In 2015, 174 people died in crashes in which a driver either tested positive for drugs or an officer determined drugs contributed to the crash — an 89 percent increase in fatal crashes in which the driver was impaired by drugs in five years. 2
  • In 2015, Nearly 5% of Tennesseeans are addicted to opiates. Tennessee has the second highest rate of opioid prescriptions in the country – more than one prescription fro every man, woman, and child. 1

When it Comes to Opiates – Now is the Time to Take Action

The heartbreaking reality that so many families are discovering every day is that opiate users are facing the possibility of fatal overdose every time they use. There are many irregularities in the potency of street heroin and if the prescription medications are mixed (especially with alcohol), the risk of overdose increases dramatically.  If you are concerned about a loved one who is abusing opiates, we encourage you to take immediate action or risk forever losing your chance.

English Mountain Recovery is Here to Help 

If you have questions about getting help for yourself or a loved one who is abusing opiates, contact us today to have them answered.  We can also discuss your options for getting treatment, including verifying your insurance benefits. Call us today at (877)459-8595.

1.The Tennessean, "How Opioids Took Hold of Tennessee" 3/26/17
2.The Tennessean, "Opioid Crisis Timeline"  4/8/17
3.The Tennessean, "Opioid Epidemic Getting Worse" 4/1/17

Monday, May 1, 2017

Music as Medicine: Exploring the Many Health Benefits

Man listening to music
When you get into your car, you probably turn on the radio to listen to music while you’re behind the wheel. But, have you ever wondered why this is a natural instinct? Intuitively, you know that listening to music is enjoyable. To help explain why we are naturally drawn to music, scientists have been researching how music affects us mentally and physically.

Music and Stress Relief
While you can’t eliminate stressful situations, you can choose healthy ways to cope. And, learning how to deal with stress is a powerful tool to help protect your health (and sobriety). In fact, stress has been associated with high instances of heart disease, obesity and depression.

To explore the health benefits of music as a tool in stress-reduction, many neuroscientists are researching how music can be used as a holistic therapy to treat anxiety.

Daniel Levitin is a psychologist studying the neuroscience of music at McGill University in Montreal. Levitin and team are actively working to better understand how the brain responds to music. "We're using music to better understand brain function in general," says Levitin.

To conduct their research, Levitin and his colleagues studied patients who were scheduled to undergo surgery. The research participants were assigned to two groups. One group listened to relaxing music before their operation. The other group was given an anti-anxiety medication.

And, the results were surprising. The individuals who listened to music prior to their surgeries self-reported lower stress levels and exhibited lower cortisol levels (a stress-related hormone) in comparison to the other group.

"The promise here is that music is arguably less expensive than drugs, and it's easier on the body and it doesn't have side effects," Levitin said.

This study confirms the positive effects of music in regards to lowering stress and anxiety. And, the powerful benefits of music therapy have been shown to help aid in the treatment of depression and addiction disorders, in addition to many other conditions.

Music Therapy for Addiction Recovery

At English Mountain Recovery, we use a comprehensive approach to substance abuse that includes holistic treatments including music therapy for addiction. Our music and spirituality program is designed to aid in the recovery process by increasing relaxation, offering opportunities for social interaction and reducing overall anxiety. To learn more about this, and all of our addiction treatment services, please call (877) 459-8595.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

[Addiction Research] Alcohol Impairs Cognitive Processes More Than You Might Think

A female addiction recovery researcher
Have you ever wondered why so many individuals under the influence of alcohol choose to get behind the wheel even though they are obviously impaired?

In a study funded by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, researchers investigated that puzzling scenario. To better understand the impact of alcohol tolerance among heavy drinkers, scientists at the Veterans Affairs San Diego Healthcare System evaluated how the consumption of alcohol impacts basic motor skills and more complex cognitive processes. (For example, when someone says that they can handle their alcohol consumption, is that really the case?)

For this project, researchers recruited 155 adult volunteers who were given tests at the beginning of the study to establish a baseline measurement of their physical and mental capabilities. The research team then interviewed the participants to gauge their current drinking patterns – classifying participants as either light or heavy drinkers. (Heavy drinkers reported consuming 10 to 40 alcoholic drinks per week and light drinkers were those who had fewer than six drinks per week.)

Five years later, the scientists conducted a second round of testing. They administered a dose of alcohol to participants and had them perform the same psychomotor tests. As they expected, participants across the board performed worse under the influence of alcohol.

A key finding of the study is that the group of heavy drinkers reported feeling less impaired than the group of light drinkers. To the outside observers, they were physically and mentally impaired by the consumption of alcohol but they perceived their own level impairment in a different way.   

The researchers of this study say that this potentially explains why heavy drinkers are more likely to engage in risky behaviors like driving under the influence. They simply are less aware of how alcohol impacts their body.

"Overall, there is a common belief among heavy drinkers that they can 'handle their alcohol' and that many common daily tasks may not be affected by their alcohol use," says lead researcher, Dr. Ty Brumback. "The take-home message here is that tolerance to alcohol is not equal across all tasks and is not 'protective' against accidents or injuries while intoxicated, because it may in fact lead the heavy drinker to judge that they are not impaired and attempt more difficult tasks. Making such decisions in the moment is highly risky, because it is based on faulty information."

Drug and Alcohol Treatment in East Tennessee

At English Mountain Recovery, we specialize in helping individuals heal from an addiction to drugs or alcohol. Our approach to addiction recovery is firmly rooted in the 12-step philosophy where residents are given the tools to find a renewed sense of hope and spiritual support. Using a variety of holistic options including equine-assisted therapy, spiritual advising and psycho-education, we can help you start a new, sober chapter in your life. Call (877) 459-8595 to learn more.