You’ve likely heard that addiction is a family disease. And, along the same lines, recovery is a long, hard road for both you and your loved one with a substance use disorder. In honor of Mental Illness Awareness Week, the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) created some articles for caregivers to help support and encourage family members and friends struggling with mental illness. Here, we take some of their best tips and talk about how they can help you on your loved one’s journey toward sobriety:
- Maintain your own mental health. This means eating right, sleeping, exercising and managing stress. The more effort you put into your own health, the more energy and encouragement you’ll be able to devote to your loved one.
- Learn about your loved one’s addiction. The more you know about addiction and its treatments, the more you’ll be able to be supportive and understanding as your loved one undergoes rehab. Along the same lines, don’t be afraid to ask your loved one’s addiction counselor or therapist questions or for recommendations on where to go to learn more.
- Listen carefully. Simply listening is perhaps the best way to show your support. Your loved one is going through a tough time and may say some hurtful things. Do your best to recognize the emotions behind the words (anxiety, confusion, fear) rather than focusing on the words themselves, notes the NAMI.
- Resume “normal” activities and routines. While caring for your loved one is a big part of your life, it’s not everything. Do your best to return to your regular routine and don’t forget to make time for fun activities like watching a movie or going to the park.
- Find support. Outside support and encouragement is critical for everyone in the family, not only the person struggling with addiction. And face it: Stress is easier to handle when you regularly talk to people who understand your experience, notes the NAMI.
Healing Families at Christian Rehab
If you or someone you care about is caught in the bondage of drugs or alcoholism, Christian Rehab Network can help. We help families to find faith-based drug rehab programs based in Biblical truth. To learn more, call today: 877-310-9545.
Nature can play a pretty powerful role in your recovery – boosting your physical and mental health. For one, nature is a natural stress killer. Just think about how relaxed (in mind, body and spirit) you felt last time you spent an afternoon in the sunshine. Spending time in nature has been linked to lower heart rate, decreased blood pressure, better cholesterol and heightened immunity.
Plus, here are a few more benefits that can help your recovery:
- Less anxiety, depression and other mental health issues. This is especially true if you add exercise to the mix. Bonus: The color green (think trees, grass, plants) may even help make exercise easier, according to research.
- Improved sleep. Crack those windows and let the fresh air help you fall (and stay) asleep.
- Reduced levels of the stress hormone cortisol. Smell the flowers; the scent of many flowers has been study-proven to kick the body into relaxation mode.
- More positivity. A stroll through nature can help tame negative, obsessive thoughts, according to scientists.
- Improved social life. Why not ask a recovery peer to accompany you to the park or on a hike.
The Bible says that nature speaks to us of God’s character and His attributes. Spending time in nature gives us a chance to slow down and notice what it’s communicating.
Here are a few ways to enjoy the fall and head outside:
- Go for a stroll and admire the fall foliage.
- Take a long hike.
- Head to your local farmer’s market.
- Plan a picnic in the park.
- Sit under a tree and get lost in a book.
- Start your morning with outdoor motivation.
- Walk or jog outside each morning.
Your Spiritual Guidance
Many rehab services address the physical, mental, and emotional facets of your care, but we believe that spiritual guidance is just as critical. Integrating Bible-based truths into each of our behavioral health and addiction recovery programs, we will work with you to customize your behavioral health or dual-diagnosis plan. To learn more, call today: 877-310-9545.
Despite the many life-changing benefits of addiction treatment, many people view it negatively. For instance, you might see it as an embarrassing or unmentionable part of life.
This type of thinking can get in the way of your recovery, however. Remember, committing to rehab is a positive and healthy decision so you can achieve sobriety and regain control of your life.
Here are a few more reminders why you should never feel embarrassed about seeking help:
- You’re not alone. Millions of people are struggling with some form of drug or alcohol addiction. The National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence notes that one in every 12 adult Americans abuse alcohol or have a severe dependence. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA’s) National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 23.5 million Americans ages 12 and older need treatment for a substance use disorder – and yet only 11.2 percent receive proper treatment at a specialty facility.
- Addiction affects everyone. Addiction does not discriminate and can impact men and women, young and old, rich and poor, all races, all religions and all walks of life. While drug use is highest among 18 to 20 year olds, drug use is increasing among people in their 50s and 60s, according to a SAMHSA survey.
- Addiction is a chronic disease. Becoming addicted to drugs or alcohol is not a sign of weakness, nor is it a symptom of questionable morals. Prolonged use of addictive substances can change the structure of the brain, making it difficult to control impulses or focus on anything other than using drugs.
- Your genes are to blame. Genetics play a major role along with such environmental factors as family life, upbringing and peer influences. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, genetics accounts for 40% to 60% of your predisposition to addiction.
- Seeking help means you’re strong and smart. Overcoming a drug or alcohol addiction alone is nearly impossible. You should feel proud (not embarrassed) for taking a brave step to take back control of your health and get the help you need to heal safely.
Benefits of Seeking Addiction Treatment
You should never feel embarrassed about making the decision to seek help for your own addiction. It’s likely the biggest and most important choice of your life. Let us lead the way. To learn more about our Christian rehab, call today: 877-310-9545.