Where to Get Help When You Need to Stop Substance Abuse?

Quitting weed is one of the most daunting and challenging realities in an addicted person’s life. Canada is facing one of the most enormous problems on substance abuse and marijuana is in the top 3 list for the most commonly misused drug of choice. Weed offers numerous medicinal benefits but when used in an excessive manner or in a way other than its original medicinal purpose, it becomes an addictive, harmful substance. Both young and old are at risk of weed addiction and when it takes over, your life changes for the worse.

There are various sources where to get help if you or someone you know is struggling with substance abuse. There are resources that could answer your questions or give you advice and hands-on assistance. Canada offers various initiatives to address the pressing issue of addiction and dependence on alcohol and drugs. It is one of the ways on how the Canadian communities are bouncing back to a much healthier and safer lifestyle.

Where to Get Help Now?

Government-funded rehab and treatment facilities are usually community-based so that you can contact the center nearest you. Different provinces and territories have their own substance abuse facilities and treatment centers from Alberta to British Columbia to Manitoba. Other national helpline resources are also accessible in New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, Northwest Territories, Nova Scotia, Nunavut, and Ontario. Prince Edward Island, Quebec, Saskatchewan, and Yukon also have their substance abuse initiatives and recovery programs.

National Help for Substance Abuse Treatment

The frightening and mind-boggling effects of drugs and alcohol abuse have altered the different aspects of the Canadian communities. Thus, it is imperative that you know where to get help in order to put an end to the enormous problem of drugs and alcohol. Here are some of the national help resources available today:

Centre for Addiction and Mental Health

Considered as the largest teaching hospital in Canada, CAMH is advocating the treatment for mental health and addiction. They provide a venue for substance addicts and dependents as well as professionals that specialize in this field and those who need a training ground for their chosen profession in addiction therapy and others.

Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse

The center offers services and leads the initiatives to reduce alcohol and drug impact on society. The facility offers a wide array of treatment and recovery program that focuses on various fields such as alcoholism, cocaine addiction, and so much more.

Kids Help Phone

The only information service and counseling resource in Canada is available for youths and children that require immediate, confidential, and anonymous support. Callers can access the toll-free and bilingual hotline that operates round the clock, 365 days a year. 

Centre for Youth Crime Prevention

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police Youth Centre for Crime Prevention is the founder of this drug awareness program. The center is organized in order to address certain drug and alcohol problems and stop crimes that are related to addiction and substance dependence.

Canadian Assembly of Narcotics Anonymous

The national committee has various members from NA regions in the country. The primary objective of the group is to address the growing issue of substance abuse and make sure that addicts have the opportunity to experience recovery and discover how it is done through Narcotics Anonymous.

The problem with drug and alcohol abuse is a growing and dynamic issue in Canada but the matching initiatives are taken to make sure that it does not balloon into something unmanageable and out of control. Substance addicts and their families are given the sources where to get help and get it upfront.

Quitting Weed? These Unbelievably Great Tips Will Make You Stop!

Quitting weed is one of the most daunting and challenging realities in an addicted person’s life. Canada is facing one of the most enormous problems on substance abuse and marijuana is in the top 3 list for the most commonly misused drug of choice. Weed offers numerous medicinal benefits but when used in an excessive manner or in a way other than its original medicinal purpose, it becomes an addictive, harmful substance. Both young and old are at risk of weed addiction and when it takes over, your life changes for the worse.

Quitting Weed – It’s Now or Never or Better Luck Next Time

The most important thing you need to know about quitting smoking cold turkey is that it is not for everyone. There are success rates but there are also numerous others that tried and failed. The important thing is that if you think that this is the right method for you to stop your nasty habit, never stop trying or give up on yourself.

Once you decided to quit smoking weed, your journey towards treatment and recovery finally starts. There are marijuana addicts that try but fail and some are brave or supported enough that they try again. Quitting weed is not a matter of doing it and if you don’t succeed, you would not have any more chance of doing it the right way next time. Recovering from weed addiction takes a lot of self-control, commitment, and the genuine resolve that you want to drop the habit once and for all. 

How do you stop smoking weed and not look back?

There are various methods that weed addicts could use in order to finally put an end to this destructive and oftentimes fatal addiction.

  • Quit Slowly and Gradually

Give yourself time to undergo the transition but make sure you don’t become complacent or procrastinate on your treatment. Set a date and give yourself around a month or so. It is highly recommended to seek professional help if you really want to start and stay with the treatment process. 

  • Plan Out and Organize

Quitting weed the gradual way doesn’t mean that you would entirely stop the habit on your scheduled date. Carefully plan out what you would do such as reducing the amount you use a day in order to gradually and surely wean yourself off the habit completely. 

  • Keep Yourself Busy

Keeping yourself preoccupied with more productive activities is one of the best ways to quit weed. You can do a hobby such as going outdoors like climbing, running, and walking. Reconnect with friends, family, and other people in your social circle before weed isolated you from everyone. Take your time and do things that would basically take your mind off the craving to smoke weed again.

Some people can easily stick to their chosen time and date to quit. Cold turkey, the sudden or abrupt way of quitting has got its own share of daunting and difficult aftermaths. Most Canadians are seeking help to stop smoking and going cold turkey requires more than just your initial resolve to do it. You need to have a strong and deep conviction and self-control to do it, stick to it, and make it with no help or professional assistance at all.

Quitting Weed Cold Turkey

This is an entirely different approach because unlike the gradual method, you are stopping the habit in an abrupt and sudden manner. It’s a harsh way to stop and it’s undoubtedly harder but quitting cold turkey is definitely a great way to finally stop your addiction. You need all the support you can get on top of an iron will to do it.

Quitting weed gives you back your life and restores whatever is lost when the addiction took over the wheel. There are numerous support groups and treatment programs available for recovery from weed addiction. All you have to do is say you quit and find help now.

How Casual Playing in the Casino can Lead to Gambling Addiction

Gambling addiction is a serious problem. But before it starts to cause issues in your life, it actually starts out as a harmless game. Have you ever bet on a basketball game against your friends to see who’ll win? Or took a chance and rolled the dice in a casino? 

That’s gambling. But, what is gambling to be exact? By definition, Gambling is wagering something of value on a situation with an unpredictable result to win a prize.

Most people gamble for fun. You can do it in casinos, in sports events, with your friends, and even online. As for the prizes, it could range from money, properties, or even as simple as favours. But, gambling also has a dark side. It could be highly addictive, especially for some people. 

You may ask, “How could that be addictive if you’re not taking in any chemicals like in drugs or smoking?”. Exactly. We’re here to find out how and why there is gambling addiction. But first, what is a Gambling Addiction?

Related article: Activities for Problem Gamblers: How to Deal with Gambling Addiction

Gambling Addiction

Gambling Addiction, or pathological gambling, is gambling behaviour that causes disturbances in any crucial area in life be it physically, socially, and mentally. Decades ago, the psychiatric community considered it to be an impulse instead of an addiction. Only in recent years has it been recognized as an addiction due to new insight into the biology of addiction.

Treatment is now needed more than ever because gambling has become a norm and is now more convenient than before. Numerous surveys have found out that there is an estimated count of 2 million people in North America who have a gambling addiction and around 20 million individuals have already found the habit to greatly affect their work and relationships.

What’s in Gambling?

But what makes gambling addictive and how does it hook people to keep on gambling? There could be many reasons. It could include stress, financial problems, or even family history. Here are some more reasons explained in some detail.

Beginner’s Luck

Winning in games always feels good. But imagine this: winning on a game of chance that you haven’t had much experience before and winning big. How awesome would that feel? Amazing right? That feeling of euphoria is exactly what hooks people to gamble more. Players would think that winning is easy, especially if it happens earlier in their gambling life.

Global Gambling

The internet has given everyone access to a lot of things from the comfort of their own homes, gambling included. With this, a person can have access to gambling anywhere and anytime. But, it’s not just that. Gambling only happens in casinos before and that could put off people, especially if it’s far away. But now, you can do it privately in your home with your friends

What Happens in the Brain

In a study from the 1980s, it was suggested that people who were born with a smaller amount of the chemical norepinephrine were more likely to be addicted to gambling because it compensates for the disproportion of chemicals. High levels of excitement, like in gambling, can cause the brain to produce more of the chemical.

As mentioned earlier, gambling addiction was not even considered as an addiction in the 1980s. It was originally put under impulse-control disorders (ICD) alongside illnesses like pyromania and kleptomania. But with several studies in psychology and neuroscience, it was determined that gambling had more similarities with drug addiction than formerly perceived.

Inside our brain is a group of nerves known as the reward system that connects different regions of the brain that are involved with memory, motivation, and pleasure. It releases a chemical known as dopamine when we do stuff that helps us reproduce or be alive. Dopamine gives us a feeling of satisfaction and incentivizes us to make a habit of the thing we did.

When intaking drugs such as cocaine or meth, the brain is being flooded by dopamine which makes the user feel extreme levels of euphoria. With each use of the drug, the brain adapts and creates less of the chemical and develops a tolerance to it leading to people needing a more substantial amount just to get high.

What research has shown us is that drug addicts and pathological gamblers have similar tendencies for reward-seeking. When substance addicts require increasing amounts to get high, so too are gambling addicts when it comes to going for riskier activities. 

Similarly, both problem gamblers and drug addicts experience symptoms of withdrawal when separated from the excitement or drug that they grew accustomed to. Studies have also suggested that there are individuals who are particularly susceptible to both drug and gambling addiction because their reward system is underactive.

Redefining Boundaries

Understanding the phenomenon that is gambling addiction has redefined the term addiction. Scientists used to think that addiction could only happen when a person is dependent on a chemical. The new definition is when a person is repeatedly pursuing a gratifying experience regardless of major consequences.

That experience could be the intense high from cocaine or meth or the thrill of betting everything on the line in a poker game. Scientists have concluded that anything we do can alter the brain. It makes sense that behaviours that have high rewards, like gambling, can change the brain and the body.

Consequently, psychiatrists and therapists have found that problem gamblers respond better to treatments that are used for addiction compared to tactics for subduing compulsions. Medications for drug addiction has also proven to be more effective compared to medicines used for impulse-control disorders.

Sadly, researchers have estimated that around 80 percent of gambling addicts don’t look for treatment. And of the 20 percent that does go for treatments, 75 percent of them return to their gambling ways. 

Related article: Behavioural Therapies for Gambling Addiction

What Makes People Keep Come Back to Casinoes?

A casino is a recreational place or facility that has different types of gambling. People play and gamble in the casino because they want to distress, have fun, and hope to win prizes. The experience of fun and excitement in a casino makes the people keep coming back.

According to most surveys, people gamble because they feel thrilled and they feel like winners. It is an activity that gives pleasure because of the chance of winning money. We play in a casino sometimes because we want to have fun with friends and family. 

Some play and gamble to try their luck and chances of winning. Playing in a casino is for fun and excitement, but should be enjoyed casually. 

Several studies prove that playing or gambling in a casino can be addictive. Some psychologists are still studying why people won’t stop playing and gambling even if it’s not enjoyable anymore.  Casual-casino goers may also get addicted and may keep them coming back.

Casual-casino players tend to keep coming back when they’ve experienced winning. Some do so because they lose and want to get back what they’ve lost. Others wanted to try other games and try their luck. As they keep coming back to the casino, they won’t even realize that they are already hooked.

Some researchers found out that casinos are built to entice people so that they’ll return and play some more. Games in the casinos are being enhanced to provide more excitement to people and will make them stay longer to play. Casinos are also designed to attract people and tempt them to stay and play, besides its business after all. 

Some of the reasons why gambling looks compelling that even casual-casino goers become hooked and addicted are the following:

Near-miss effect and chasing your losses 

This effect can make the player feel more committed to the game. The player feels highly motivated to stay longer in the game more than what they intended. They say that near-miss and almost win makes the brain to respond to wins, and increases one’s desire to play more.

Feeling like a winner while losing 

An example of this is playing in slot machines, where the player thought or felt like they’ve won. There are games design to make losses disguised as wins, even if the person lost, it comes with sound and lights of victory to make it more convincing. Players will lose count of how many they’ve lost and thought that they’ve been winning. This kind of effect will make them stay hooked to the game.

Early big win 

Sometimes, a player experiences big wins at their early stage of gambling. A large amount of winning during the early stage of gambling makes them think that they will always land big wins than losing big. As they get more addicted to gambling, they won’t realize how much they’ve lost along the way.

Uncertainty as its reward in the brain

Reward uncertainty is playing a crucial role in attracting people to indulge in gambling. A neurotransmitter in the brain called Dopamine is released during exciting activities. Examples such as eating, sex, and doing drugs cause dopamine to be released.  

Lights and sounds egg you on

The lights and sounds are among the casino’s techniques to urge people to play more and stay longer. Studies show that these lights and sounds can trigger or urge people to gamble when associated with reward. These sounds and lights persuade people to keep gambling and play faster.  

Gambling and Becoming Addicted to It

Gambling is a common and most popular recreational activity enjoyed by adults around the world. Some states and other countries have limitations and restrictions governed by their laws. Certain people get highly addicted to gambling because of its compelling nature.

Some factors drive people to become addicted to gambling, examples of these includes:

  • Easy access to gambling – The casino has been more accessible to anyone nowadays. There is even an online casino now that anyone can access in just a click.
  • Failing to monitor wins and losses – A person gambling in casinos never tracks their wins and losses. Most of the time, they’re counting their wins which makes them play more to win more.
  • Personal Stress – In the same manner as turning to drugs, smoking, and alcohol, people also turn to gamble as an escape from troubles.
  • Financial Problems – There are people in a state of desperation with financial problems who believe gambling can be their way out. Unfortunately, most of the time they only make their situation worse. 
  • Victims of abuse – It is the same as the people who want to escape from stress. A person who has endured physical and mental abuse thinks gambling is the solution for the pain they are suffering.
  • Family history of gambling addiction – There is no medical proof that gambling addiction is genetic, some studies suggest that people seeing a family member or loved one going through gambling addiction are prone to become addicted as well.
  • Biological Composition – This factor is still being debated upon. Studies are still being conducted whether an individual gets addicted to gambling because of his biological make-up or social influence. Some studies say certain individuals are born with less norepinephrine to get easily addicted to gambling. Norepinephrine is a chemical secreted when experiencing a high level of stress or excitement.

Signs of Gambling Addiction

Getting addicted to gambling becomes a mental disorder. Experts say gambling is not a financial problem but an emotional problem with financial consequences. A person with gambling addiction have the following signs:

  • Thinking often about gambling and making plans to gamble
  • Gambling when feeling distressed
  • Restlessness or irritability when trying to stop gambling
  • lying to conceal gambling activities
  • Need to gamble with increasing amounts of money spent to feel the excitement
  • Returning to gamble again after losing money
  • Repeated unsuccessful attempts to stop, control, or reduce gambling
  • Experiencing relationship or work problems due to gambling
  • Depending on others for money to spend on gambling

There are more risks to gambling addiction. Researchers say people who are addicted to gambling tend to become alcohol and drug addicts. These may cause more serious problems for a person. A person with gambling problems should seek help immediately.

Takeaway

People have their weaknesses and are sometimes become a reason for their downfall. Always think that everything you do in life, there are consequences. Think carefully before you do anything that you’ll regret in the end, it might be too late.

Gambling addiction is a serious illness and should be considered as such. It will cause drastic changes to your brain and body. Your work and social lives will be affected. Understanding how it works is the first step on the right path. If you or someone you know has a gambling addiction, please don’t be afraid to seek help. Contact Addiction Healing Centre today!

Related article: Treating Gambling Addiction Through Canadian Gambling Addiction Centers

How to Quit Smoking Cold Turkey? You’ll Think These Things Really Happened!

One of the most pressing issues in Canada is substance abuse and excessive smoking which has resulted to numerous health problems and lifestyle changes. The effect is not only on the person that smokes but to those around that individual as well. There are issues of second-hand smoke, strained relationships, and affected social skills due to the effects of smoking. Thus, it is imperative to answer some vital questions such as “how to quit smoking cold turkey?”

How to quit smoking cold turkey and really do it this time?

The most important thing you need to know about quitting smoking cold turkey is that it is not for everyone. There are success rates but there are also numerous others that tried and failed. The important thing is that if you think that this is the right method for you to stop your nasty habit, never stop trying or give up on yourself.

Some people can easily stick to their chosen time and date to quit. Cold turkey, the sudden or abrupt way of quitting has got its own share of daunting and difficult aftermaths. Most Canadians are seeking help to stop smoking and going cold turkey requires more than just your initial resolve to do it. You need to have a strong and deep conviction and self-control to do it, stick to it, and make it with no help or professional assistance at all.

It’s Worth the Try

How Yoga can Lead the Way to Recovery

How does yoga for addiction recovery do it? Here are the five ways yoga can help overcome addiction and prevent relapse, too:

The steps on how to quit smoking cold turkey are arduous and downright demanding, however, there are also other ways of quitting such as through medical treatment, counseling, and support groups. When you want to start quitting and bouncing back to a healthier, happier life, then you must know the following:

Do your Checklist

List down the pros and cons of smoking and be honest with this one. Examine what is happening with your life and see the numerous benefits if you quit smoking and keep it that way. List the activities that you can do as alternative to smoking or to take your mind off the urge or cravings. You can do outdoor activities such as walking or running or other things of your liking just to get smoking out of your mind.

Avoid the Triggers

One of the best ways on how to quit smoking cold turkey is to avoid what triggers your habit in the first place. Shy away from the things that could trigger your cravings for cigarette such as when you drink coffee. Instead of the usual cup of Joe, you can try water or tea and other beverages that are not associated to smoking. 

How to quit smoking cold turkey? The ways are quite diverse and innumerable but they are all worth it, no matter how hard and seemingly impossible the task may be. Smoking is a serious problem in Canada and the initiatives taken to put an end to this unhealthy and despicable habit may seem not enough. The change should genuinely come from the smoker in order to have authentic results.

Alcoholism: Facts About Alcohol Addiction In Canada

Is alcohol addiction in Canada any different from anywhere else in the world? The facts will clear that out. Alcohol, whatever form or name it may come with, can be considered as the most abused form of substance in Canada. People may be drinking less now than before, but they still drink. Do you still drink until you can’t hold it anymore?

Alcoholism continues to change the lives of people in more ways than they can imagine. It remains to be one of the serious issues for individuals and society in general. In recent years, binge drinking has become significantly popular, especially to the young. Drinking among underage children have actually become a real problem. 

Related article: How Does Someone Become an Alcoholic?

What is the Canadian drinking culture? 

Whenever people in Canada get bored, most of them turn to drink as a pastime. In fact, the country has been known to the world as a beer-drinking nation. Beer is a beverage more consumed than wine and spirits. 

More than 50% of the money spent on alcohol goes to beer. However, not everyone in Canada is an alcoholic, of course. Most beer drinkers in the country only ever drink socially. It means that they only drink beer when they are out to celebrate something like a special occasion. Other than that, they avoid it. 

Social drinkers do not find anything wrong about giving up alcohol. In fact, weeks can pass without them thinking about beer. For many, drinking alcohol is only limited to when there is a reason to celebrate. There is a significant number of Canadian’s who drink above the government recommended level. 

Then there are also those who regularly binge drink and suffer the consequences that come with it. They are those who cannot say no to beer drinking. Though they are aware of the negative consequences that come with their drinking, they still drink because the urge is stronger. Sadly, alcohol addiction in Canada is a serious problem. Underage drinking is budding to become a problem, too. 

Related article: Top Reasons to Stop Drinking Too Much Alcohol

Stats of Alcohol Addiction in Canada

How do people end up as alcoholics? Nobody plans to become one. In fact, every alcoholic’s story begins with one drink. May it be from a celebration of a special occasion or a simple drink to end the day with a friend. From that one drink, they go spiralling down. They drink again and again until they are no longer able to control the urge to drink. Before they know it, they’ve become an alcoholic who couldn’t tell when it’s time to stop drinking. 

According to statistics, heavy drinking is more likely to happen among those between the age of 15 to 24. It is at this time when people are exposed to a lot of things and find themselves under a lot of pressure. As these young adolescents search for their meaning of life, they come across alcohol that seems to make the worries all go away. 

Statistics report shows that about 4% of Canadians could be considered alcoholics. In the past decade, about 600,000 Canadians have become physically dependent on alcohol. An approximate 2,000 people die each year from liver disease, all of which are brought about by alcoholism. Many of those who have found comfort in alcohol have also used illegal drugs to top everything off. 

Unfortunately, this growing problem of alcohol addiction in Canada has made it more expensive to get health care. The more members of the population require extensive support to overcome alcoholism, the more financially-challenging it becomes for the government to help them find a cure. 

Related article: Five Warning Signs of Alcoholism

What does it mean to binge drink in Canada?

The Canadian Medical Association Journal has issued a warning to the public in 2011. It states that binge drinking in Canada has become out of control. According to the numbers they have gathered, about 9% of Canadians regularly consume more beer than they should. They binge drink for a short period of time. It is can be likened to finishing five bottles of beer in less than two hours. 

Why is binge drinking the most dangerous form of alcohol consumption? Here are the top reasons why:

  • Binge drinking could bring alcohol levels in the blood to reach a rather dangerous level. It is at this point that a person could suffer from alcohol poisoning. They could fall into a coma or choke in their own vomit. 
  • People who often binge drink are at a higher risk of developing alcoholism. Such conditions may completely destroy their life and the lives of their families. 
  • Alcohol, not many may be aware of, can be highly toxic when ingested in high doses. Drinking for years could lead to cirrhosis. The earliest stages of liver disease could start with the first episode of binge drinking. 
  • Such a pattern of drinking could lead to terrible hangovers. This only means that you won’t be fully functional, let alone productive the following day. 
  • Teenagers in Canada are at a higher risk of binge drink. This only means that they won’t be able to perform well in school. 

How serious in underage drinking in Canada?

When did you start drinking alcohol? Everyone who drinks, whether binge drink or occasional drink had their first sip of beer when they were in their teens. Perhaps it was during the high school dance or an afternoon spent hanging out with friends. 

In previous years, underage drinking led to 3,500 deaths and about 2 million in injuries. A survey conducted in the early 2000s found that more than 20% of students in their eighth grade have consumed alcohol in the last month. 

Underage drinking comes with its own consequences not only for the individual involved but for the community as well. Here are some of the consequences that society should be prepared for until the problem of underage binge drinking is stopped:

  • Adolescents who start drinking at a young age are likely to end up with a problem with alcoholism. They are the ones that usually end up with a problem with substance abuse. 
  • Excessive alcohol intake may disrupt the normal process of development. It can lead to serious problems with brain development.
  • Teenagers who engage in binge drinking tend to underperform in school. It can lead to a bigger impact on the opportunities they get in life. 
  • Underage drinking could lead to teenage pregnancy and sexual assaults. 
  • Binge drinking teenagers are more likely to give in to the pressure of using addictive substances like illegal drugs. 
  • Underage drinking has been found to have a strong link to teenage suicide. 

Related article: Alcohol Addiction Treatment: Is There a Way to Change?

Available Treatments for Alcohol Addiction in Canada

People struggling with alcoholism can always get help. Assistance is provided not just by the government, but by various groups, too. There are a number of resources where alcoholics can tap for help. All that they really need is to know for themselves that they want to put an end to their misery brought about by alcohol addiction. Help will always be available. 

When you are ready to overcome this stage in your life, all you need is to tell someone about it. Support and assistance will always be on the way. The first step is to recognize that alcohol consumption has become a real problem. The real solutions will be available when you acknowledge that professional help is necessary for you to recover.

Related article: Understanding Alcohol Addiction and Treatments