Support networks must be made a critical component of an addict’s recovery plan in order to prevent relapse and maintain and improve emotional, mental and spiritual health. Recovering addicts that do not have a support network often become depressed, withdraw from social interactions and eventually return to using drugs in order to self-medicate their emotional pain. Consequently, understanding how support networks can benefit a recovery program and what types of networks are available is essential for people who are battling the disease of addiction or alcoholism.
Support Networks: Why They Work
There are 8 primary reasons why support networks are crucial for people in recovery:
The power of fellowship is felt in nearly all groups that gather for a specific purpose; especially groups with powerful missions like those dedicated to the recovery of addicts and alcoholics. Humans are innately social creatures that need to be around other people that share the same goals and interests. And while there might not yet be enough scientific evidence to prove it, for hundreds and perhaps thousands of years mankind has recognized the power of fellowship; it’s a call that all humans respond to and this may be even truer for addicts that need to know they are not alone in their struggle.
2.) Friendly Observation
People in recovery sometimes struggle with issues of honesty regarding their desire to use or their actual drug use despite recovery efforts. Having a strong recovery-based support network serves as a safety net in this regard, as people within the group can recognize issues and signs of relapse or impending relapse among others in the group. In this way people can “keep an eye on each other.”
3.) Environment of Understanding
People in the general public often find it difficult or impossible to understand the true nature of the disease of addiction and fail to recognize how powerful it really is. By creating a recovery support network, an addict or alcoholic can ensure that the people they surround themselves with understand addiction and will therefore be less likely to judge, admonish or “feel sorry” for others that they know have a legitimate, neurological disease that requires a daily effort to overcome.
4.) The Power of Sharing
There is a great deal of power in sharing and we see this in many different ways in society, from the individual talking to a therapist, to those who take part in groups and organizations, to people who open up to their barber or stylist, we clearly see that sharing helps people. Sharing can relieve stress, create stronger relationships and allow people to “let go” of emotional and other pain that they otherwise would allow to fester and grow. And according to Dr. Barton Goldsmith, sharing with others helps give us new perspective;
“There will always be problems in our lives, but sometimes we don’t have the capacity to handle them all by ourselves. Getting a 360-degree view is impossible when all you can see is what’s going wrong. And talking with another person can give you perspective.” (Goldsmith, Barton, Ph.D. Talk About Your Problems, Please Psychology Today March 3, 2011)
When an addict has an “emergency”, it often means they are about to relapse. For some, this could prove fatal, so prompt action is required. Addicts that have good support networks are able to rely on people within them to come to their aid in the event that they feel drug use or a return to drinking is imminent. Additionally, a person in recovery may be empowered and enlightened when another addict asks them for help when they feel like using.
The confidence that a strong recovery-oriented support network can provide is significant. Many addicts report that just knowing there are people that they can talk to and others who are like them that they can turn to in the event of trouble makes it much easier to deal with the daily problems that often stress addicts and alcoholics out. When it comes to relapse prevention, confidence is one of the most critical components of recovery stability.
7.) Education and Resources
The more people an addict has in their networks, the more likely it is that new and useful information will be passed among the various members. And the more education and resources an addict has access to, the more likely it is that they will acquire the right combination of knowledge and tools not only to stay clean for life, but to help others do so as well.
Being part of a recovery-oriented network doesn’t mean that there’s no fun or entertainment involved. People in recovery can still do all of the fun things they want to do, provided others in the group want to participate. Fortunately there are many recovery-sensitive groups and organizations that arrange outings, events and so on in order to provide clean entertainment for its members. Remember; it’s as important to share a laugh with your networks as it is to share emotional pain.
Types/Components of Support Networks
Each addict’s complete support network structure is unique. Some addicts consciously build their support groups, while others are unsure of what groups and networks exist, how to join and what the benefits are. The following are 11 different components that in whole or in part make up the support networks of many people in recovery:
1.) 12 Step Programs
Groups like AA (Alcoholics Anonymous) and NA (Narcotics Anonymous) have provided the fellowship and support necessary to help thousands of people maintain their recovery, “one day at a time.” Both groups are founded on the principle of the discussion and sharing of experiences, usually pre-empted by the humbling statement of;
“Hi, my name is so-and-so, and I’m an addict.”
Many rehab centers and drug treatment programs use 12 Step programs as a basis for the continued recovery program of their patients upon graduation. While these groups are not for everyone, they are convenient in that they can be found in virtually every area of the country.
2.) Recovery-Specific Groups
Recovery specific groups are those that gather for a particular purpose or activity in order to have clean fun together. Often there isn’t any structure to the groups in the sense of recovery-oriented dialogue or practices- in most cases these groups are just people trying to live normal lives but who all happen to be in recovery. Examples of recovery-oriented groups include the infamous 5th Chapter motorcycle club and Young People in Recovery.
3.) Connections Made During Treatment
When addicts complete drug or alcohol treatment together, they often form lasting bonds that become a key part of their support system. Of course, these relationships should only be maintained if they are healthy. These can be especially powerful relationships because the parties are essentially on the same “level,” and are likely going through similar experiences related to post acute withdrawal, issues re-integrating with society, etc.
4.) Recovery Forums and Websites
Recovery forums and websites provide an additional opportunity to develop relationships, discuss issues, share experiences, collaborate, meet and take part in activities together and much more. Forums are also an excellent way to gather information and resources and to easily develop a support system that might not be available in certain areas- especially very small cities and towns.
5.) Family & Friends
Family and friends that support the addict’s recovery are possibly the most important part of a strong support system. From old friends that bring understanding, history and loyalty to new friends that have been acquired along the path to recovery, often these individuals can provide more emotional support than others. The same is true of family members, but people in recovery must beware to limit relationships with family members that were enablers or those who do not suppo
rt or take addiction recovery seriously. In many cases relationships with family members are cited as the cause of substance abuse, so it’s important to choose the family and friends that are permitted into a support network carefully and honestly.
6.) Spiritual & Religious Groups
Even if you don’t take part in organized religion, there are often groups within groups among these types of organizations. For instance, AA and NA 12 Step meetings are often held at churches or other spiritual gathering places. In fact, some religious groups sponsor these programs because their ideals are largely aligned.
7.) Rehab Alumni Associations
For addicts that attended and completed a rehab program, there may be an opportunity to join an alumni association for that particular treatment center. This is an excellent way to stay connected to the people who were influential in the early part of a person’s recovery, and to meet new people who are also living a life free from drugs or alcohol, one day at a time.
8.) Community Outreach Programs
Many communities have outreach programs for the disadvantaged, and this can include drug addicts in some cases. Programs can be as simple as the provision of a place to gather and meet, or it can include funding for specialized treatment, groups, therapy and other benefits. In order to find out if your community offers such programs, your town or city hall is an excellent place to start.
9.) Healthcare Professionals
Therapists, doctors, nurses, dieticians, massage therapists, chiropractors and many other types of healthcare professional play a central role in the support network of addicts and alcoholics in recovery. In fact, most people in recovery probably underutilize this source and fail to recognize the benefits. However, this group is likely one of the most important parts of a recovery support system considering that these professionals help to maintain the physical, mental and emotional health of an individual. Consequently it’s vital that people in recovery are open and honest with their healthcare professionals and alert them to any issues that could indicate a relapse is imminent.
10.) School/Educational Resources
If you’re a student, it’s likely that your school or university has special programs available for people who struggle with substance abuse and addiction. These programs could consist of therapy or counseling, the hosting of recovery-related groups, resources to get outside help and possibly funding for treatment. Additionally, other students may become part of a support network, as they are almost certainly experiencing the same stresses and issues related to schooling, social pressures and so on.
11.) Volunteer Organizations
By volunteering for any number of a wide range of organizations, people in recovery can help to give back what was given to them in the way of compassion, understanding, advice, resources, financial assistance, etc. But perhaps even more importantly, the interactions between other volunteers and organizers can blossom into significant meaningful relationships that can one day become a key part of a healthy support system.
If you’re an addict or alcoholic in recovery and you don’t have a support network, it’s imperative that you take action now and get involved. You can start with a simple search in Google for recovery related forums, or you can check the Yellow Pages for the nearest AA or NA meeting. Remember; if you go to the same lengths to stay clean as you once did to use, you’ll very quickly develop a strong network of link-minded, recovery-oriented people that will offer a mutually beneficial way to keep fighting the good fight, one day at a time.
No one ever said trying to come clean and overcome your addiction would be easy. In fact, it is one of the biggest obstacles you will face on a daily basis in order for you to remain sane and normal. Even though you may have felt alone while you were going through the addiction phase, there is help and support available during your recovery. That is why you should take advantage of the services that are offered at a rehabilitation center.
There is so much at stake when you make the decision to become sober and take back control of your life. Even though this situation will make you one of the strongest people in the world, it will also make you the most vulnerable. You are going to need more than the love and support of your friends and family to rise to this challenge. You will need the skill, expertise and professional services of the staff at a rehabilitation center.
Keep in mind that the path to overcoming addictions is not completely the same for all substances that are abused. In addition to needing counseling, you can also benefit from group therapy sessions with your peers that are going through the same thing that you are. It is important for you to know that you are not alone and no matter what stage you are at in the process, there is help and support available.
Don’t make the mistake of assuming that you don’t need help or can get through this trying time in your life alone. No matter how you got into this situation, you will need some type of assistance getting out of it. Beating an addiction is not something that once you stop taking the substance you are cured. It is a continuous and daily struggle that you will have to fight for the rest of your life. It is important for you to learn more about what caused you to resort to abusing. This means that you will need to get more in tune with yourself. You will need to get help so you can become healthy mentally and physically.
When it comes to choosing a rehabilitation center, you have two choices. You can choose to enroll in a day center or a residential center. If you have allowed your addiction to make you lose control of your life and you can barely make it through the day without thinking about your indulging in your addiction, then you may need to be under constant supervision. A residential rehabilitation center may be best for you. If you are currently struggling with an addiction, but are still able to maintain to work or handle some of your obligations, a day center may be what you need. No matter what type of rehabilitation you choose to got, you will receive the help and support you need to regain control over your life and fight your addiction.
No matter what your reasons may be you’ve decided its’ time to remove that old faded bumper sticker from your vehicle. Lucky for you in just a few minutes and with a small amount of effort your car can be bumper sticker free. This process can be repeated for just about any type of adhesive stuck to your vehicle. It can be used to remove inspection stickers from windows, or vinyl lettering/vinyl graphics from the vehicle as well. The most important part is to be very patient and not try to rush through any steps. All of the steps below should be completed in a garage, under a carport or during dawn/dusk to provide as much time as possible before the adhesive remover dries on the car.
What You Will Need:
Razor Blade (Single Sided Square Blade Recommended)
Citrus Based Adhesive Solvent (Goo Gone Automotive Cleaner Recommended)
Automotive Paint Safe Bug Brush (Can be purchased at Walmart, or any auto parts store)
STEP #1: Take your razor blade and carefully slide the edge of the blade under a corner of the sticker. With the edge of the razor blade under the sticker gently tease up the corner of the sticker.
STEP #2: Grab the freed corner of the sticker and slowly pull the sticker in the direction of the remaining sticker. NOTE: If the sticker becomes too difficult to pull without tearing, apply your citrus based adhesive solvent to the adhesive sticker backing during this step. The solvent will loosen the adhesive, making it easier to remove the sticker. It is recommended to wait at least one minute to allow the solvent to penetrate and break down the adhesive.
STEP #3: Once you have removed the entire sticker, there will still be bumper sticker adhesive left behind. Now apply the citrus based adhesive remover to your automotive paint safe bug brush. Using the bug brush, apply some citrus based adhesive remover to the remaining adhesive on the vehicle in a circular motion. NOTE: This step may will most likely have to be repeated in order to remove all the adhesive from the vehicle. To ensure everything is removed, run your hand across the area once dried. Any remaining sticker glue will create a rough/sticky feeling. If there is still some leftover then repeat step #3. If there is no residue or leftover you may proceed to step #4.
STEP #4: Remove the excess adhesive remover with your microfiber towel.
Note: There will be some slight scuff/mar marks as well as a discoloration of the paint depending on how long the bumper sticker was on the car. This will need to be removed by compounding and polishing the area to smooth out any blemishes and blend the clear coat to match the rest of the bumper.
STEP #5: Now that the bumper sticker has been removed and all adhesive cleaned up it is time to make it look like the rest of the bumper. Follow the steps on how to properly compound and polish a car to remove light swirls and scratches.
STEP#6: Inspect the area where the sticker was to ensure it is satisfactory. Remember to apply a couple coats of wax, since it has been a long time since this portion of the bumper saw any.
Removing a bumper sticker can seem like an insurmountable task, and often people will give up because of the difficulty. With a little patience, the right tools and know how anyone can learn how to properly remove a bumper sticker without any blemishes to the paint.
One of the most significant reasons that people abuse drugs is for the euphoric effects they provide. While many might argue that people use substances to escape reality, to cope with stress and an unlimited number of other reasons, the fact of the matters is that euphoria makes these things possible: drugs cause people to feel good, even if they weren’t necessarily feeling bad to begin with. Unfortunately, the neurological nature of addiction tells us that substance abuse actually makes it more challenging for people to feel euphoria, happiness and contentment.
How Drug Abuse Works: Understanding the Role of Dopamine
The following is a highly simplified explanation of the processes at work when a person abuses drugs:
1.) Drug is consumed which sends signals to neurons in the brain to release the neurotransmitter dopamine (or others in some cases).
2.) Dopamine binds with specialized receptors and produces a feeling of well-being, contentment and euphoria.
3.) Drugs prevent dopamine re-uptake, essentially leaving the substance in the brain for much longer than would ever occur in a natural environment.
4.) Dopamine stimulates the reward center of the brain, which creates a contextual log of the event to use as cues to prompt the user to repeat the behavior. (This is based on the theory that addiction is a byproduct of an innate evolutionary survival mechanism.)
And with these four steps, the groundwork for addiction has been laid.
Tolerance: Another Evolutionary Survival Mechanism
In order to offset the effects of chemical substances, the central nervous system will make changes to receptors and neuronal circuitry to create a resistance to the drug. This can be accomplished by making fewer receptors available, altering the structure of receptors, limiting or restricting their ability to bind to neurotransmitters, or by “disconnecting” parts of neuronal circuits.
The chemical resistance created by adaptations at the neuronal level means that the user will obtain less and less euphoric effect because the CNS essentially views the drug as an invading foreign substance that interferes with the proper working functions of the brain. Of course, this is exactly what drug abuse is; persistent self-inflicted poisoning.
In order to offset the euphoria-limiting effects of tolerance, drug users will simply increase their dosages accordingly. This prompts more changes in neurons – changes that by this point are becoming permanent for many addicts. Ultimately, these changes only make it harder to feel euphoria and generally lead to depression, thoughts of suicide, feelings of worthlessness and other debilitating emotions.
In fact, feelings that are specific to certain drugs, such as high-energy to cocaine, relaxation to marijuana and joy to opiates, are often reversed as the body becomes tolerant to the drugs that cause these responses. This is especially true when an addict suddenly stops using; by forcing drugs into their bodies for so long, they have effectively developed a tolerance to the very feelings they sought to achieve with their substance abuse in the first place.
To summarize, drug abuse can destroy a person’s ability to feel good. And because addiction often comes with repeated relapse events, each successive period of active drug addiction results in additional, permanent changes within the brain – changes that can have a lasting effect on the emotional and mental well-being of the user for the rest of their lives.
This isn’t information to be used as a scare tactic to keep people away from drugs; it’s nothing more than science expressed. People take drugs to feel good, but once addicted those feelings become harder and harder to achieve, even long after active drug use has stopped. This is why it is absolutely critical that if you or someone you love is abusing drugs, they must stop now. With each passing day and each successive “high,” the one thing that they seek – happiness – becomes more difficult to come by; often leading to personal disaster.
The ultimate paradox of drug abuse is that it robs from you what you seek from it.
Without a doubt you have seen many vehicles on the road sporting some kind of car graphics. Some are standard while others are intricate works of art. They have become increasingly popular over the last few years as a means of individualizing and improving a car’s appearance, as well as for advertising purposes. Businesses use car signage to advertise their services and/or products. It is plain that these kinds of graphics undoubtedly help to boost business, especially since the signage is constantly on display wherever the vehicle happens to be. Nevertheless it is also important that one bears in mind that there are costs involved when this type of advertising is selected.
The majority of businesses that provide advertising like will need you to agree to a meeting with them. It is during this consultation that they will enquire about your ideas for the signage. They will select those graphics that you have approved, and which they feel will be the most suitable for your specific advertising needs. You will be billed for this consultation, either beforehand, or the fee will be included in the final purchase price.
Your ideas, coupled with the talents of the designer, are combined, and a graphic for your business will be produced. Depending upon the amount of detail in the graphic, this can take some time, so do not expect immediate results. Not only will it take longer, but more detail will also mean you will pay more. Unique designs, like those that do not contain exclusive branding, will invariably cost around $1,000.
When the design has been approved it is then printed. Basic vinyl designs usually cost about $10 per square foot, but this can be as much as $20. Again, the price depends largely on what your demands and preferences are.
Lastly, the final expense you will need to consider is that of installation. Depending upon the size of your vehicle this can cost as much as $1,000 as well. While you might be inclined to cut corners wherever you can, it is best not to when it comes to installation of the car graphics or car signage. When car graphics are not installed properly they do not last, and they can be quite an eyesore.
Naturally the amount you spend depends also upon which company you choose to work with. Make sure that you do a bit of research on more than a couple of them. Also, get preliminary quotes for comparison purposes. If you really want to be sure that you are making the right choice, investigate their previous work. In doing so, you will stand a much better chance of finding the right designer to work with.
Of course, many people choose to have car graphics put on their car simply to make it look nice and give it some personality. Some graphics are relatively cheap and will set you back around $60 or so. Naturally you can expect that figure to rise depending on the size and quality of the graphic. Over the past few years machines have been made that print well on vinyl. Thus the graphic designer has much more scope and opportunity for designs. This has led to many new ideas and tools, such as computer programs, and printers, that are able to provide top quality designs.
Very few people have brilliant white teeth and as you get older your teeth get discoloured and stained by food and drinks like tea, coffee, cola’s, wine and even smoking. Poor dental hygiene, ageing, antibiotics and trauma are other causes of teeth discoloration. Having discoloured teeth makes you self-conscious and almost embarrassed to smile, therefore resulting in lower self-esteem. Aren’t we all attracted to bright and white radiant smiles? That’s what teeth whitening does – it builds up confidence. Discoloured teeth can easily be restored back to its original natural colour by opting for teeth whitening treatments. It involves simple, painless procedures that can be done in the dentist’s office by using a bleaching gel alone, or together with a specially designed light. It can also be done in the comfort of your home, according to your dentist’s instruction. Your dentist will advise the appropriate procedure for you following a thorough oral examination.
Chairside whitening system
The quickest and most effective way, especially for busy individuals, to whiten teeth is the in-office bleaching, which is also known as Zoom chairside whitening system. Your teeth and gums are covered with a mouth shield, leaving only the teeth exposed. Whitening gel is applied to your teeth by your dentist, and combined with a specially designed light. The gel is activated by the light to penetrate the surface of the teeth and lighten stains and discoloration. Within 45 to 60-minutes your teeth are visibly whiter. All you need to do thereafter is follow simple post-whitening care like brushing twice daily, flossing and if required occasional touch-ups with white gel syringes.
DIY Teeth Whitening Kit
An alternate procedure your dentist may recommend is one which you can carry out at home. Your dentist takes the impression of your teeth, which is then sent to a lab to make bleaching trays. These bleaching trays are moulded to fit your teeth structure and are then filled with the teeth whitening gel. You can then wear the tray in the convenience of your home for around 40-minutes. Bleaching kits are safe for your teeth and gums, and are an effective way of teeth whitening.
Several years of staining and discolouration can be wiped out by simple and quick solutions that your dentist can recommend. You no longer need to regret about the cups of coffee, tea, or other staining food that you have ingested over the past years, all you need to do is to book an appointment with your dentist.
Nicotine abuse is an issue affecting the profitability of businesses and the environment at workplaces. Employers are insisting on measures that will help them make the workplaces free from smoking of tobacco so as to make their businesses more productive.
Employers in US imposing ban on smokers:
Increasing numbers of employers in US are rejecting the applications of candidates who smoke. They are abiding by the laws framed by the government for the purpose and are not hiring who they find to be smokers. To know whether the prospective hired is smoker, they conduct tests. Those who are found positive for smoking are not offered employment.
Nicotine test helps them to detect smokers – instantly:
Employers apply different techniques to tackle the issue of smoking. These include testing for tobacco (nicotine) by different methods. These tests are helpful to identify if the applicant really smokes tobacco or not. Generally, a nicotine test can be conducted using urine, saliva or hair follicle samples. Employers use any or a combination of these techniques.
Benefits of establishing smoke-free environment:
A smoke-free environment improves productivity of the employees and reduces health insurance costs. Employers find smoke-free workplace beneficial on the following grounds.
Increased productive hours:
A no-smoking environment results in higher number of productive hours than in a smoking permitted one. Employees not used to smoking concentrate better on work and hence there is greater number of productive hours. They are healthy and take few sick leaves.
Whereas, smoking employees take unauthorized breaks to smoke, which is waste of productive time.
As healthy employees are more focused on productivity, there is cordial relation between employees as well as employers. Such workplaces boost the employees’ morale and work potential and encourage talented workforce to work for more number of hours. Employers too reciprocate and get prompted to take positive action on any issue.
Shows professional approach of the business:
A smoke-free workplace, places the employer’s image in a positive view among the employees, peers, government, and social groups. The welfare measures taken serve as an example for professional approach taken by the employer. This will enhance mutual trust between the employer and employees.
Reduces healthcare costs:
Following a no-smoking policy at workplace would result in less healthcare costs. This is because, the employees are healthy and need lower health maintenance expenses – be it insurance premium or medical emergencies. These factors are known to cause increased medical expenses to employers in case of employees habituated to smoking. Studies show that, post non-smoking policy there is remarkable decline in the tobacco caused heart attacks, making current smokers to quit (Source: Forbes, 12 June, 2012).
Taking up nicotine tests to enforce a smoking-free environment at workplace is beneficial. The measures, of course, entail costs to the employers.