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.

What’s the Role of Family Therapy in Overcoming Addiction?

Family therapy helps not just the persons with addiction but their affected loved ones as well. Using substances may be a personal choice but addiction isn’t. No one wants to be an addict. However, once the addiction is present, it produces consequences that affect not just the life of one person. It comes with far-reaching implications for the life of an entire family. 

People who find themselves in what can be considered as obsessive behaviour. They seek any substance like drugs or alcohol and unwittingly do things that hurt the people around them. The craving for things they may be addicted to pushes a person to act in ways that destroy relationships. It brings a chaotic life to those dear to them. 

The families of those struggling with addiction always take the direct hit. It is why it is important for the family to go through counselling and therapy as well. Family therapy is a crucial component in the treatment and recovery of those who have addiction problems. When they know that they have their families with them, people who suffer from addiction find the will to put an end to the problem. 

Related article: Support for Families of Recovering Addicts

Defining Family Therapy

Family therapy is the avenue for the family members to voice out their take on the addiction. At this point, the family member who is addicted to substances like drugs or alcohol will be able to understand how their actions are affecting the family. 

A person who submits himself to therapy undergoes individual and group sessions designed to help him with his substance use. While it may be crucial for these individuals to get treatment, the family members who suffer from the effects of the addition need it badly, too. They take on the effects of addiction as well. And they can only provide assistance to a loved one who is into addiction therapy when they get the help they need. 

Spouses and parents of those who are addicted often feel neglected, ashamed, and angry because of the situation they find themselves in. When the children are dealing with an addiction of a parent, they often end up blaming themselves for what’s happening. These family members are at greater risk for emotional and cognitive problems. 

This is the point where family therapy becomes vital. The goal of family therapy is to make the members of the family understand how addiction affects them. It is also designed to give every family member a tool to help improve their relationship as the person with addiction tries to improve himself. 

Addiction can sometimes occur because of the dysfunction at home. Therapy provides families with a way to undercut the risk factors and other things they can do to prevent the addiction from getting worse. The children are the most vulnerable at home in the presence of someone who is addicted to drugs or alcohol

Growing with a family member, particularly a parent, who is addicted to substance abuse could link the child to the risks of depression, bipolar disorder, and anxiety. Physical, mental, emotional, and sexual abuses are often found in homes where someone is fighting an addiction. All of these are harmful to a child’s overall health. Family therapy can provide help for each family member’s needs. 

How can Family Therapy Help?

It takes a lot of work to keep the family together and that’s what family therapy understands. It is rooted in the fact that individuals joined together by blood relations need extra help when things don’t seem right. When a household deals with addiction, family therapy helps everyone focus on the dynamics that may have contributed to addictive behaviour. 

Therapy helps in destroying the barriers to communication to help family members interact with each other in a more positive light. Therapists also have an obligation to ensure that the members of the household understand that the choices they make have a clear implication to the rest of the family. The goal is to keep the family together while keeping the children away from any form of harm or neglect. 

What kind of sessions can one expect from family therapy? They come in many forms. The sessions may include the following:

  • Private family sessions are designed for the immediate family of the person with an addiction. It may include the parents of the spouses. 
  • Group sessions where the person with addiction submits himself to an open discussion of the situation with the members of his family. 
  • Intensive family sessions usually happen on weekends where the family gets to enjoy various activities that will enhance their cooperation and communication. 
  • Individual counselling for the children and the spouses of recovering addicts. 
  • 12-step meetings where the recovering addict is walked through step by step to achieve holistic healing. 

Related article: Addictions Counsellor: Why is it Beneficial to Involve Families in Addiction Counselling?

Setting Up The Family Goals

Why would family members submit themselves to therapy? The goal is quite simple. The family is in therapy because they want to remove all the obstacles to full recovery. Criticism and judgment won’t help a recovering addict. They could only get themselves to the worst situation. 

Sober family members may not easily admit that they have played a role in the addict’s behaviour. A person does not act alone. Their destructive habits have been brought about by the reluctance of their family members to admitting there is a problem. 

In truth, it may even be harder to admit that giving in to what the person with addiction wants provides the family with some temporary benefits, too. Giving them drugs might help control their behaviour and prevent any violent outbursts. Helping an alcoholic get his hands on some alcohol may help him become more agreeable to the terms. Enabling a teenager to get to the addiction that he wants may seem to put a parent in a position where they can be in control. 

No one would ever admit that at some point, the addiction can be seen in a positive light. However, families are often the ones that perpetuate such behaviour. How do they do it? Consciously or unconsciously, there are the many times that enabling addiction can happen in the household:

  • Lying about the addiction because the family members are too embarrassed to talk about it. 
  • Purchasing alcohol or drugs for a loved one. 
  • Paying off the bills of the family member who is in financial trouble because of their gambling addiction. 
  • Making up an excuse for the manipulative and violent behaviour of a family member with an addiction problem.

Another critical aspect of dealing with addiction is that the group structure in the family needs to be restored. In families that have been broken because of addiction, the structure may have been completely broken down. Disorganized and chaotic — those are the two words that best describe a family who is dealing with an addiction. 

Parents may have lost control over their teenager’s addiction. They might not be able to set the limitations. The family therapy sessions would be focused on bringing the structure back up. It would be focused on building back the communication lines while restoring the family roles in the process. Creating a sober and safe home is what every recovering addict needs. And it can only be achieved when the rest of the family goes through therapy, too. 

Education is the key to making things happen. For as long as family members know what they need to do to help a recovering addict live up to his goals and expectations, all will fall into place. Therapy teaches families various types of coping mechanisms and strategies that will help reduce the conflict in the household. Therapists will teach them the skills they need to deal with stressful situations as they live through each day. 

Families who engage in therapies can explore their strengths as well as their weaknesses. Through intensive group sessions, members will be able to work on rebuilding the trust and develop in themselves a new sense of empathy for their family member who is recovering from addiction.

Continuing Recovery

Healing in the family does not come immediately after the addict graduates from rehab. It may only be the beginning. Continuing therapy for parents, spouses, and children may be the key to helping build a harmonious household. The aftercare program for recovering addicts is what truly makes a recovery program successful. Research shows that a family who is involved in the recovery program provides the patient with just the right amount of support to help him see things through. 

Recovery gives a person a new opportunity to restore the old relationship and rebuild their life with their loved ones. With a more solid and sober foundation, recovering addicts can see through life with renewed hope. They can live through it without worrying about falling off the wagon. When you are ready to reach out, hold on to the thought that help will come. It is always there.