Can Cocaine Make You a Better Athlete or Worker?  

cocaine use

Cocaine is a highly addictive stimulant drug widely known for its recreational use. It is not uncommon for people to believe that this drug can enhance their performance and make them better athletes or workers. This belief has led to an unfortunate trend of some individuals using cocaine as a means to improve their productivity and gain a competitive edge.   

But is there any truth to this belief and can cocaine make you a better athlete or worker? Are there side effects of cocaine use? In this blog, we will explore the facts about cocaine, its effects and discuss its implications and dangers.

What is Cocaine?  

Cocaine is known as a highly addictive stimulant drug that is dispersed worldwide. In fact, the National Institute for Drug Addiction Statistics places cocaine it as the second-most trafficked illegal substance consumed globally. However, it also carries a high risk of addiction and a range of negative health consequences. Cocaine has been designated by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) as a Schedule II drug in the United States because of its high potential for misuse and addiction. 

According to the most recent statistics, there are approximately 24,486 people died from an overdose involving cocaine. This stimulant poses a significant threat to the life of the users, particularly to athletes and workers.  

How does Cocaine affect the Brain and Body?  

Several articles, such as Medical News, explain the detrimental effects of cocaine on a person’s performance and health. Most noted that cocaine could increase heart rate and blood pressure, putting athletes at risk of heart attack, stroke, and sudden death. Also, the drug can cause mood swings, aggression, and impaired judgment, negatively impacting a person’s ability to compete at their best.

Additionally, American Addiction Centers (ACA) notes that cocaine abuse over an extended period can result in numerous bodily issues. It is occasionally possible to undo the harm that cocaine consumption has done to the body, but repeated abuse over time may have irreparable consequences on health. Also, treating chronic conditions results in a lifetime of medical issues, hospital and doctor appointments, and financial burdens.

Given the facts about this stimulant, why do some athletes and workers still use it? Now, we will give clarity to the contentious topic of cocaine.

Can Cocaine make you a better Athlete or Worker? 

The answer is no. Cocaine cannot make you a better athlete or worker. In fact, using the drug can seriously negatively affect your health and ability to perform. It can temporarily increase your energy, focus, and confidence. But many short-term and long-term effects of cocaine can harm your body and even threaten your life. It can also lead to addiction, further undermining physical and mental health and interfering with work and athletic goals.

Negative effects of Cocaine on Athletic Performance 

Cocaine is one of the stimulant drugs that increase energy and alertness. Unfortunately, using this drug can harm an athlete’s health and career in sports. These may include:    

Physical Effects: Numerous physical effects are harmful to the body, such as increased heart rate and blood pressure, which can reduce endurance and impair performance. It can also cause dehydration which can lead to fatigue and cramping. It can also disrupt sleep, which is essential for athletic recovery and performance.   

Mental Health effects: Cocaine can harm an athlete’s mental health, including anxiety, paranoia, and mood swings, which can interfere with concentration and focus during competition.

Effect on Career: It is important to note that the use of Cocaine is prohibited by the World-Anti Doping Agency (WADA). Athletes who are caught using drugs can face serious consequences, including suspension, disqualification, loss of sponsorship, damage to their reputation, and even legal consequences. The use of the drug violates the ethical principles of fair play and sportsmanship, as well as the rules and regulations of most sports organizations. 

Negative effects of Cocaine on Working Professionals   

Similarly, some workers may use Cocaine to improve their performance at work, but the risk and dangers of using it in the workplace are consequential. In terms of performance, the use of this drug can have an impact on an individual’s ability to function effectively. Some effects can lead to several problems in the workplace, including:     

1. Decreased productivity and work quality     

2. Missed deadlines and poor time management     

3. Increased absenteeism and tardiness    

4. Accidents or injuries due to impaired judgment     

5. Conflict with colleagues and superiors     

6. Loss of employment due to a drug test or poor performance 

7. Impaired judgment, decreased concentration, and increased risk-taking behavior. 

Healthy Ways to Improve Your Athletic and Work Performance  

There are healthy and legal ways to improve your athletic and work performance. This can be achieved through regular exercise, healthy eating, adequate rest, a good self-care strategy, and seeking professional help if underlying mental health issues are affecting performance. Seeking treatment for cocaine addiction is essential to manage and overcome the problem effectively. Some benefits include improving your physical and mental health and having better relationships with family, friends, and loved ones, which can help reduce relapse.  

Using drugs in sports and workplaces is strictly prohibited and carries significant risks to individuals and those around them. Therefore, athletes and workers need to understand the dangers of this stimulant and seek appropriate help if they struggle with addiction or other drug-related issues. It is always best to avoid using drugs and instead focus on healthy habits and training.

Seek Professional Help with California Recovery Center

Seeking help is not shameful, taking the first step toward recovery can be life-changing. If you or someone you know is struggling with cocaine addiction or any other drug, it is important to seek professional help as soon as possible. California Recovery Center is a reputable treatment facility offering evidence-based addiction recovery approaches, including detox, therapy, and ongoing support. Learn more by reaching out to us at (866) 864-1986. 

Self-care in Recovery from Substance Use Disorder

self care in recovery

Many people think that self-care means taking a bubble bath, getting a massage, or going for a vacation and pampering themselves with a luxurious experience. Some thought that self-care activities would break their banks. Contrary to this, self-care does not require spending much money, as it can be done in simple ways. To answer the question that people are often confused about, what is self-care and why is it essential in the recovery process of substance use disorder?  

Here, we’ll discuss how crucial it is to practice self-care in recovery from substance use disorder and give some practical self-care strategies that will be helpful to the process of getting better.   

What does self-care mean?

Self-care as defined by the World Health Organization (WHO), is a means of taking the time to do things that help you live well and improve both your physical health and mental health.  

Self-care is a process. It involves different activities such as eating healthy, exercising regularly, going to spa sessions, meditating, etc. It also includes spending time with family members and friends in order to create a positive environment around you so that you can get rid of all negative thoughts and emotions which are associated with substance use disorder and help you stay away from any relapse. 

How does self-care affect recovery from substance use disorder?

For individuals with a history of substance abuse, self-care becomes even more critical. Substance abuse often leads to feelings of guilt, shame, and low self-esteem, making it even more challenging to care for oneself. However, research also proposes that self-care encourages favorable health outcomes like building resilience, increasing self-awareness, living longer, having better stress management skills, and reducing the risk of recurrence. With self-care, you nurture your mental and physical health so that you reduce your chances of turning to drugs or alcohol to cope. 

It’s easy to think of self-care as a luxury. It’s not—it’s absolutely a necessity 

In fact, studies have shown that people who engage in regular self-care are more likely to stick with their recovery programs and stay sober for longer periods of time. That’s why rehab facilities often encourage their patients to find ways to take care of themselves during treatment.  

If you are worried that practicing self-care will break the bank, then it’s time to reverse the old perceptions. Here are some practical tips on taking a time off without spending a dime and prioritizing yourself:  

  • Break off from a disruptive lifestyle 
  • Halt activities that stress you,   
  • Learn to say no to people that might make your recovery more difficult.  
  • Get enough sleep and rest  
  • Eat healthy food with balanced nutrition  
  • Exercise regularly, whether just walking, consistently jogging, or going to a gym  
  • Avoid anything that might trigger cravings for drugs or alcohol, such as parties that involves binge drinking.  
  • Set aside time for relaxation—whether that’s reading a book or meditating  
  • Catching up with friends every week  
  • Being open to talking about your problems or struggles.   

When you’re feeling good about yourself, you’re more likely to be able to reach out for help when you need it and accept help when it is offered. You’ll also have the energy necessary to stay on track with treatment goals like staying sober or abstaining from drugs and alcohol. 

How do you make time for self-care?

There are so many things competing for your attention: your job, your family, your friends… what about yourself?  

It can seem overwhelming at first. But it’s really just about making small changes. Here are some self-care ideas that can help you manage your time for yourself without compromising your activities:  

1) Take some time every day to recharge on your own—even if it’s only a couple of minutes at first! Set the alarm on your phone and sit quietly by yourself (maybe with a cup of tea). Or go outside and breathe deeply while looking up at the sky or listening to birds chirping. You might even want to try meditating or doing yoga! Just give yourself permission to take this time for yourself—you deserve it!  

2) Schedule some fun activities into your week or month ahead of time—things like going out. It is better to plan ahead so that your primary commitments won’t be compromised. Also, scheduling your activities can give you a detailed plan ahead and time to prepare. It is also a way of rewarding yourself with a break from the busy hustle of life.  

3) Having someone to accompany or remind you of your scheduled activities is a great help. You can lean on people you trust and spend time with them.   

4) Allow yourself to dive into the process of self-care. It doesn’t happen all at once, but a consistent effort to do it. Give yourself time to go through the long-term experience of self-care and not hurry up.  

So why is self-care important?

Individuals with substance use disorder tend to neglect themselves and do things that can harm them, and often neglect the importance of self-care. When recovering from substance use disorder, it can be hard to remember how to take care of yourself. You may not feel like you deserve it, or you may be so focused on getting better that you don’t have time to think about your own needs. But taking time off and practicing self-care in recovery from substance use disorder is crucial if you want to get better and stay sober

In order to be able to function and thrive, you need to take some time for yourself. You need to nourish your body and mind so that you can make better decisions, have more energy, and feel more confident about yourself in every area of your life. 

Practice self-care with California Recovery Center

Make a habit of incorporating self-care into your lifestyle and be kind to yourself. Individuals may interpret and practice this according to their preferences and need, which is why it is important to be more attuned to yourself. You may not be struggling with addiction, but if you know someone that needs treatment, reach out to us. At California Recovery Center, we integrate self-care into our program for a comprehensive journey to recovery. Learn more by reaching out to us at (866) 864-1986.

Is Binge Drinking Bad?

Group of people binge drinking

You may have heard of the term “binge drinking” before. It sounds like a dangerous concept at first: consuming a lot of alcohol in a short period of time can surely lead to some side effects, right? 

On other hand, some people say that it’s alright if you only do it from time to time. Maybe it’s alright to let go every once in a while? 

But most of all, is it bad? 

Here’s what you need to know: 

What is binge drinking? 

To “binge” is to indulge in something in an excessive way. Thus, “binge drinking” means consuming an extreme amount of alcohol in a short period of time. 

For many people, the end goal of binge drinking is to get drunk and release tension. It’s an activity that’s seen as a fun way to “let loose,” especially when celebrating or trying to forget something stressful like work or life problems. 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) define binge drinking consuming 5 or more drinks for men and 4 or more drinks for women on one occasion. 

Generally, however, a binge drink occurs whenever you intentionally drink an excessive amount of alcohol in a single day, to the point that you become intoxicated. This can be as many as 8 drinks for some, or as little as 3 drinks for others. 

There are many ways that people binge drink: 

  • Games such as “beer pong” where two players make each other drink alcohol by successfully landing a small ball into their cups 
  • Dares that start with “Take a shot every time…” where lost bets result in the losing party taking a shot of alcohol with high alcohol content 
  • Receiving peer pressure from friends who also binge drink 

Binge drinking vs. heavy drinking 

Binge drinking may be confused for the term “heavy drinking.” The CDC defines heavy drinking as consuming at least 15 drinks per week for men and at least 8 drinks per week for women. 

In other words, the difference is frequency. If you consume 7 drinks in one night, for example, it’s considered binge drinking. If you consume 16 drinks in a week, that would be heavy drinking. 

However, it’s possible for both binge drinking and heavy drinking to occur. For instance, consuming a lot of alcohol every other day to the point of intoxication may be considered as both heavy drinking and binge drinking. 

Is binge drinking bad? 

It may be argued that binge drinking is alright if you only do it every once in a while. For example, going on a binge drink for a day and never touching alcohol for the rest of the month is fine. 

However, no matter how you approach binge drinking, it carries both short-term and long-term risks. 

Short-term risks include: 

  • Heavy sleepiness – Alcohol consumption induces sleepiness. Binge drinking can lead to heavy sleep and affect any commitments the day after the binge drink 
  • Impaired motor control – Proper lack of control over your body may lead to injuries and incidents that range from minor to fatal. These include tripping, stumbling, or attempting to drive a vehicle while under influence 
  • Regrettable or shameful acts due to lack of inhibition – While drinking alcohol can make you feel relaxed, it also removes behavioral inhibitions. This results in responding or committing acts that you would otherwise avoid doing outside the influence of alcohol 

Some people may point out that binge drinking has short-term side effects. In reality, however, binge drinking has long-term consequences on your well-being. 

Binge drinking can be a gateway to building alcohol dependence. This can happen in two ways: 

  1. You’re currently facing a time of distress when you engage in binge drinking. 
  2. Put simply, you found binge drinking to be very pleasurable.  

In both cases, you’ll develop a mental association between alcohol consumption and relief, thus leading to dependence. The presence of stress can build this association more quickly, as the sensation of relief from drinking alcohol becomes stronger. 

Alcohol dependence has drastic effects on your overall well-being and can affect various aspects of your life. 

Some side effects include: 

  • Social isolation 
  • Depression and anxiety 
  • Impaired work performance 
  • Inability to maintain a healthy routine 
  • Losing track of long-term goals 

How to avoid binge drinking 

For the most part, binge drinking poses a danger when it comes to you through social pressure. It’s become quite a common practice in parties with hard alcohol involved. Thus, you’re more likely to avoid the risk of the pressure if you attend social gatherings with little to no alcohol. 

Nevertheless, binge drinking can occur in any event. Holidays like Halloween, especially, can vary wildly in how much binge drinking tendencies are present. In any case, it’s best to stay vigilant. 

Here are some practices you can implement to avoid going on a binge drink: 

  • Strictly limit yourself to a few glasses of light alcohol (i.e. 12% or less alcohol content) 
  • Avoid hard alcohol (i.e. alcohol with more than 20% alcohol content) or cocktails that contain hard alcohol 
  • Have a friend accompany you and help you avoid binge drinking 
  • Be stern in refusing invitations to consume more alcohol than you can handle 

The safest tip is to avoid alcohol altogether, especially when you’re facing stressful times in life. Even a single bottle of beer can send you down a spiral of binge drinking. After all, alcohol dependence always starts with one drink. 

Instead, you can find other outlets to help you release stress in a positive, transformative way. Some examples include: 

  • Finding new hobbies and interests 
  • Watching your favorite TV show or movie 
  • Venting out to a loved one 
  • Staying in new cafes for studying or working 

If you still decide to attend parties that contain copious amounts of alcohol, remember to steer clear of social pressure. When you’re hardened enough against alcohol consumption, you can befriend people at the party without falling into alcohol yourself. After all, the life of the party is not alcohol — it’s the people. 

Keep yourself in moderation with California Recovery Center 

The key practice with drinking alcohol is to always exercise moderation. Never consume enough alcohol to the point of drunkenness to avoid injuries. Limit your drinking to once every two weeks or a month as much as possible. 

Alcohol, like any other substance, has severe risks that can adversely affect your life all for simply “enjoying the moment.” In that regard, there are many, many other ways you can make the most of not just the moment but your entire life. 

Still, the choice of drinking alcohol is up to you. But whatever choice you make, it’s best to know what recovery center to go to in case you develop a dependence. At California Recovery Center, our doors are always open to those who want to recover from unhealthy drinking habits into a healthy, wholesome lifestyle. Learn more by reaching out to us at (866) 864-1986.

Supporting Our Veterans: Substance Abuse and Mental Health 

Veterans substance abuse affecting him

The pressure of military life often leads to veterans undergoing substance abuse. As we celebrate Veteran’s Day later this week, we must remember not only their accomplishments and courage but also their struggles both during and after service. 

Co-occurring substance abuse and mental health disorders continue to haunt our veterans, and we must always be there to support them. Here’s how we can celebrate Veteran’s Day in a meaningful way. 

Why do veterans turn to drug and alcohol? 

Military life is stressful for many veterans. Some of the things they experienced include: 

  • Constant risks of injury or death on the field 
  • Losing colleagues while on duty 
  • Worrying about their loved ones back home 

To cope with the stress, some of them abuse substances. The most abused substance is alcohol, with 1 in 3 service military personnel found to be “binge drinkers.” 

This abuse continues well after service, as they face difficulties rejoining civilian life like: 

  • Catching up with the rest of the world 
  • Mending relationships formed before the war 
  • Finding stable employment 

Many studies have dug into the incidence of veterans and substance abuse. A 2019 study by the National Institute on Drug Abuse revealed the following statistics: 

  • 11% of veterans are diagnosed with having a substance use disorder (SUD). 
  • Veterans diagnosed with having an SUD are 3-4 more likely to be found with co-occurring PTSD or depression. 
  • Between 37 to 50% of veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars were diagnosed with co-occurring SUD and mental disorders. 

Solving this issue has turned out to be challenging as well. In the 2015 Health Related Behaviors Survey (HRBS) that studied drug use among veterans, only 8.6% of respondents self-reported their substance abuse. 

Besides wanting to avoid the punishment of discharge, this is because they want to steer clear of: 

  • Being mocked by their peers for being “weak” and seeking support for their addiction 
  • The stigma towards substance use victims 
  • Facing the risk of losing job prospects and relationships 

In other words, veterans turn to substance use because of their experiences both during and after service. Even with treatment services like Veterans Affairs (VA) drug rehab, many veterans prefer to hide their issues than risk facing judgment by society. 

How to support veterans against substance abuse 

The first thing you need to do to help veterans is to determine if they’re undergoing substance abuse. To do that, you need to look out for the signs. 

In particular, there are 3 types of signs that you have to look out for: 

  1. Appearance – Disheveled image, wearing the same clothes for extended periods of time, lack of hygiene 

  1. Behavior – Occasionally spacing out while being with someone, forgetfulness, staring into the distance on their own 

  1. Sociability – Isolating themselves during social events, constantly stuttering while talking, unenthusiastic responses when being talked to 

The key to supporting veterans against substance abuse is to help them reintegrate with daily life. They have been away from home for a long time — the last thing they need is to be alienated for their substance abuse problems. 

Of course, reducing their substance usage is one of your main objectives, but you have to do it in a very supportive and welcoming way. This means that you have to avoid being upfront about it as much as possible. 

Here are very effective ways you can help them combat their substance use: 

  • Always engage in casual, friendly conversations with them. Most of their social interactions in the field were often serious, stressful, and required quick responses. Talking to them in a relaxed, easygoing way helps them socially reintegrate with normal daily life. 
  • Help them through their personal problems. Be it financial or social, supporting them through their current problems keeps them away from the substances. 
  • Suggest recreational activities that don’t involve alcohol. Sports, board games, hobbies—these activities, in general, help them redirect their energy to something that utilizes their physical prowess in a fun way. 
  • Encourage seeking professional treatment. Seeking professional assistance will provide them with the necessary coping tools and strategies. They’ll be able to navigate difficult situations with greater awareness.

Remember to always exercise patience and empathy, as this process will take time. 

Helping veterans with their mental health 

All veterans deserve support and care for what they experienced during their service. Even if a veteran currently doesn’t consume any substances, at some point, they eventually might. 

They may have been mentally and emotionally drained from the stress of military service. Returning home should mean more than just being away from the battlefield — it has to be a genuine, fruitful reintegration into normal daily life. Otherwise, they might be unable to cope with their negative experiences and eventually resort to substances. 

  • Invite them to social gatherings. They lost time away from home and may have greatly missed their family and friends. Inviting them is a good way for them to catch up with loved ones while reintegrating themselves to peacetime. 
  • As much as possible, try to avoid asking about their experiences in the field. You may unknowingly cause them to feel discomfort as they remember harrowing moments while in service. 

  • If they are vocal about their experiences, talk about them in a positive light. Compliment their bravery, resourcefulness, or physical prowess as an acknowledgment of their accomplishments. Avoid asking about touchy subjects and be polite if you do decide to ask. 
  • Always ask them how they’re doing. Give them a phone call or shoot them a message every once in a while. Doing this lets them acknowledge that they are, indeed, back home and that their presence is appreciated outside of military life. 

Alcohol and drug rehab for veterans 

Remembering Veteran’s Day should not be confined to just 1 day. It’s a continuous process of establishing a strong, holistic support system for veterans undergoing substance abuse. If we continue to aid veterans struggling with co-occurring substance use and mental health disorders, we can open up a culture where other veterans can feel welcome in showing their vulnerabilities — we can show that life after the military is filled with hope and support. 

At California Recovery Center, we solemnly salute our troops for braving struggles even after the line of duty. Our line of treatments includes specialized veteran substance abuse programs for our heroes returning from the battlefield. If you or your loved one is a veteran struggling with alcohol or drugs after service, we eagerly welcome you with open arms and a sure plan for your recovery. 

5 Signs a Family Member Is Living With Addiction and Mental Health Issues 

Husband comforting wife undergoing family addiction

Family addiction is a serious issue that affects 46% of families in the U.S. alone. Left untreated, it can cause a devastating rift between family members. This also comes in conjunction with mental health issues, which comes either as the result or the cause of substance abuse. The worst part is that loved ones tend to hide these problems out of fear that they’ll be stigmatized or kicked out by their family. 

The best way to deal with family addiction is rehabilitation, not punishment. Of course, you should take action only when you’ve identified that substance abuse or mental health is truly the issue. However, your loved ones may be afraid to express their problems to you outright. In this case, you have to look out for signs of their trouble. 

Here are 5 signs that a loved one is dealing with addiction in the family: 

1. Self-isolation from family

One of the most common signs of addiction or mental health is self-isolation. With a lot of social stigmas associated with substance abuse, victims tend to keep to themselves while living with addiction. 

You can clearly see this when your loved one becomes: 

  • Less communicative. They no longer start conversations on their own and give brief disinterested responses when talked to. 
  • More irritable than usual.  They’ve built a bubble around themselves and become frustrated when someone tries to intrude into their comfort zone. 
  • Secretive and defensive. If they’re pushed about their issues, they either deny them or avoid the topic altogether. 

If you’ve observed these in your loved one, be more lenient and accommodating. Foster a welcoming space that lets them feel free to express themselves without prejudice. For instance, you can stay beside them as you go about your usual day-to-day activities and strike a smile at them every once in a while as a positive acknowledgment of their presence. 

They may not immediately open up right away when you do this, but it’s an effective first step to helping them. 

2. Changes in appearance and demeanor

Substance abuse and mental health issues can also take a toll on how your loved one appears and behaves. Generally, they become less interested in keeping themselves well-presented to other people or, sometimes, maintaining their hygiene. 

Observe your loved one and watch out for these signs: 

  • Frequently disheveled appearance
  • Wearing the same clothes for extended periods of time
  • Occasionally spacing out
  • Unresponsiveness when talked to
  • Forgetfulness

Some of these signs may be inconvenient to you or your family. If your loved one is in charge of chores, for example, they may either forget to do them or leave them unfinished, which may become a habit over time. Family members may also use their lack of hygiene as a reason to stay away from them out of shame. 

In any case, you have to exercise patience and understanding. Instead of scolding them, for instance, gently remind them or assist them with their chores. Avoid being confrontational about their behavior or appearance. Instead, be more encouraging of healthy habits with the express intent of helping them out. 

3. Psychosomatic symptoms

The idea that “It’s all in the mind” couldn’t be farther from the truth when there are psychosomatic conditions that occur due to struggling with mental health. Lethargy or lack of energy is one of the most common psychosomatic symptoms that affect those suffering from substance use or mental health issues. 

Other symptoms include: 

  • Headaches
  • Dizziness
  • Sudden changes in weight
  • Unhealthy diet or irregular appetite
  • Inconsistent or excessive sleep

Lacking energy for everyday activities can lead to long-term deterioration physically and mentally. While you can help alleviate their physical symptoms, this is only a band aid solution at best. You have to solve the issue from its roots by focusing on the substance abuse and mental health issues at the core of the problem. As said before, this comes by promoting a positive environment for the struggling loved one. 

4. Showing lack of interest in hobbies

One of the tragic results of suffering from addiction and mental health issues is the loss of interest in hobbies that your loved one was once passionate about. Dopamine is responsible for providing pleasure in the midst of a reward. Substance abuse can affect how dopamine is produced and released by stimulating only when the victim consumes the substance. However, this also leads to a decrease of dopamine when the loved one is doing their actual hobbies. 

When this happens, you can’t just force them to return to their hobbies as a way of averting substance use. At worst, this further discourages them from taking up the hobby again. Instead, use a positive, gentle approach in encouraging them about their hobbies. 

Try some of these out, for instance: 

  • Recall happy memories about their hobbies 
  • Compliment their skills in a specific hobby 
  • Take up the hobby yourself, even if briefly, and ask your loved one to join you 

These can rekindle the spark within your loved one and encourage them to return to the hobby. It can also be effective in curbing the effects of substance abuse to some degree. Even if it isn’t, helping them return to their hobbies assures them that there’s something to look forward to outside of using substances. 

5. Struggling with school or work 

Another common sign of addiction and mental health is the impact on their performance either at work or in school. There are two ways that substance use affects their performance: 

  1. Impact on their mental state. Lack of focus, forgetfulness, and decrease in creativity and innovation are some of the symptoms of substance use that can affect how your loved ones perform. 
  2. Social stigma from colleagues. The fear of being discovered and stigmatized for substance abuse is highly prevalent in a school or workplace environment. Chances are, a vast majority of your loved one’s colleagues (even the management in a company or school) will become prejudicial towards them. 

The worst part about impaired performance is that this can also be a contributing factor to substance use, further proliferating it. 

Coping with substance use requires a significant amount of time and dedication. Spending time away from professional or academic responsibilities will be vital for this. It may sound detrimental and counterproductive, but it’s actually very beneficial for your loved ones. If they’re given time to focus on their personal lives and cope with their addiction and mental health, the other aspects of their lives will also improve – that includes their other responsibilities. 

Parents of addicted loved ones should discuss with the school’s guidance counselor to come up with a solution that can help the student cope with substance use while improving their academic performance. On the other hand, professionals undergoing substance abuse should consider taking an FMLA leave. 

Solve family addiction with professional treatment

Discovering that your loved one is undergoing substance use and mental health issues can be heartbreaking for the family. You may feel like you were unable to become a meaningful, positive presence to them, enough to lead them towards consuming substances. However, this is not the case – perhaps your loved ones are going through tough times in their lives that they didn’t feel that they should express. Whatever the root cause behind their substance use may be, the most effective solution is professional treatment. 

At California Recovery Center, our mission is to give extensive family help for addiction in a systematic, extensive manner. We provide outpatient and inpatient treatment options for your loved ones so that they can have flexibility in coping with their addiction and mental health issues. Feel free to reach out to us so we can discuss the best way to help your loved ones through their struggles. 

Tips for Enjoying Halloween During Recovery from Substance Abuse

Person getting alcohol from a punch bowl while celebrating Halloween during recovery

A 1993 research article on 1,250 college students is one of many studies that confirmed Halloween is a holiday where alcohol and drug consumption are rampant. This still rings true today and makes it challenging to celebrate and enjoy Halloween during recovery from substance abuse. 

Of course, the true spirit of Halloween is found in the witty costumes and the spooky decorations. You don’t need to consume alcohol or drugs to make Halloween an enjoyable event. Nevertheless, there are real risks around substance consumption that you may fall victim to inadvertently. 

Thus, vigilance is the key to celebrating the holiday. Here are some tips to help you through Halloween during recovery: 

Steer clear of peer pressure 

Peer pressure often runs high during holidays like Halloween. Your friends or loved ones may entice you by saying: 

  • “One drink can’t hurt you.” 
  • “Come on, it’s Halloween! You can let go every once in a while, right?” 
  • “It’s just one day. You can get back to recovery right away!” 

These comments may mean well, since they want you to enjoy Halloween, too. However, notice that these statements can apply to practically any other area in your life. 

Giving in because of what they said can result in you using the same reasons yourself. This makes celebrating Halloween on recovery significantly more difficult to continue. 

Take the first step and avoid peer pressure altogether. Here’s how you can do it: 

  • Remind yourself to say, “No, thanks.” There’s no need to explain why you’re refusing the offer. A simple no will suffice. 
  • Stay with loved ones or friends who are supportive of your recovery. They know that you have to avoid substances to recover successfully and will never think to pressure you. 
  • Consider avoiding parties. Everyone is expected to drink in a party. It doesn’t have to involve a person actively pressuring you to drink. Just being surrounded by people drinking can have an influence on you. Thus, you may have to rethink joining that party you were invited to. 

These suggestions may sound like they take a lot of fun out of Halloween, especially since it’s a social event. However, remember that Halloween is about dressing up as your favorite character through a witty costume. 

Drinking and consuming other substances is optional at best. But to truly celebrate the essence of Halloween, socialize and mingle with people whose costumes you like. 

Check the candy you receive 

On September 2022, 8 students at the Litchfield Community Learning Center in Akron, Ohio, were hospitalized after consuming cannabis gummies. Gummy candies are an example of “edibles,” which are foods that contain cannabis. 

Edibles can come in various forms, including: 

  • Pastries 
  • Brownies 
  • Other baked foods 

Usually, your peers will let you know that they’re giving you edibles. Sometimes, however, you’ll receive food that may actually be edible without your knowledge. It’s also possible that you’ll take a bite off of a brownie or some food on a baking tray during a party that secretly contains cannabis. 

Thus, it’s important that you exercise caution whenever you receive candy. To do that, here are some things you should remember: 

  • Wrapped candies, chocolates, and other sweets by reputable companies should be fine. On the other hand, you should take homemade foods with a grain of salt. 
  • If it’s homemade, ask the person who gave it to you if it contains cannabis. Explain that you’re recovering from substance abuse and that you can’t risk consuming a drug by accident. 
  • When in a rowdy party, try to avoid the food stand. You may end up hungry during the party, but you’ll also guarantee a sober Halloween. 

Be cautious of drinks given to you 

In the same light, you should also be careful of drinks that may be given to you. This is especially in parties where the punch bowl may contain some trace of alcohol. Some people can mix the drinks so well that you’ll barely taste the whiskey or gin that was mixed in. 

To protect yourself, here are some key things you need to remember: 

  • Drink only from pre-packaged juices or bottles. Avoid drinks that have signs of being previously opened, as it may have been spiked. 
  • Avoid homemade beverages from a party. You can never be too sure if the punch bowl has alcohol in it. 
  • Bring your own drinks. The best guarantee of protection is to drink only the beverages you brought yourself. 

Some people, however, may have nefarious reasons and spike your drink without your knowing. Hence, always keep a watchful eye on your beverage. 

Open up about your recovery  

If you do decide to accept the candies or beverages given to you, it’s alright. Discerning which foods or drinks are safe to consume for you is vital if you choose to celebrate Halloween with some decreased restraint. 

In any case, it’s always highly advisable to open about your recovery when you receive such gifts while celebrating Halloween. This lets your peers know about your situation and act accordingly around you. For instance, they may cross out offering you edibles or cocktails and, instead, give you juice or sweets that don’t contain cannabis. 

However, it’s also possible that they simply don’t care, or may think that you just want to miss out on the fun. This may be discouraging to you, but it can eliminate some risks of being offered substances. 

Stay with loved ones 

Who else better to celebrate the spookiness of Halloween than with your family and friends? 

Indeed, there are a lot of people out there from all walks of life who come in interesting costumes, have compelling personalities, and be overall fun to be with. Unfortunately, not all of them will be supportive of your path to recovery and may even tempt you to consume substances during the celebration. 

On the other hand, your loved ones are significantly more likely to support you in your recovery – and in, fun ways, too! You can bake delectable brownies, cook up some delicious food, and whip up drinks, all without substances. 

Staying with your loved ones during Halloween makes you realize not only that you can have fun without substances. It also shows you the value of your loved ones in helping you through your recovery. 

Keep professional help on speed dial during Halloween

When celebrating Halloween recovering, substance abuse is one of the biggest risks you can face. If you’ve consumed a substance by accident while celebrating, it’s best to act fast to make sure you stay on your path to recovery. At California Recovery Center, we attend to each client based on their needs. If you happen to consume alcohol or a drug while celebrating Halloween during recovery, don’t hesitate to give us a call. Our outpatient and inpatient treatment options will help you get back to recovering right away. 

The Link Between Depression and Alcohol  

Addictive substances can be broken into two different groups known as stimulants (or “uppers”) and depressants (or “downers”), depending on how they interact with the body and mind. From these descriptors, it’s pretty easy to decipher what the effects of these substances do. Despite the fact it is so often consumed in social settings and is marketed as a product to enjoy at parties and other lively events, alcohol is considered a “downer.” From this, the consumer can experience a state of sedation, dulled senses, and suspended inhibitions. This can create a temporary feeling of relaxation, but too much can present an entirely different outcome, which is why some links depression and alcohol.  

Depression’s Link to Alcohol Addiction 

About one-third of individuals experiencing depression will develop an addiction or abuse alcohol. Teens who experience major depressive episodes are twice as likely to develop an alcohol addiction compared to their peers. “Women are more than twice as likely to start drinking heavily if they have a history of depression.” They are also more likely to “overdo it” than their male counterparts when going through a depressive period.  

Can You Develop Depression from Drinking?  

Because of its suppressant qualities, it is very common for people to turn to alcohol to help them unwind after a stressful day at work or difficult other difficult experiences. This is perfectly acceptable, as long as a glass doesn’t turn into a bottle. When an individual begins to use alcohol to help them cope with every issue that arises, this can reflect the start of an alcohol addiction. 

Also, if drinking becomes excessive, it can damage the brain and lead to depression. It can also cause you to develop depression inadvertently, through careless actions carried out during a state of intoxication (poor decisions, DUIs, etc.).  

Seeking Help for Addiction and Depression  

A preexisting condition of depression combined with a substance addiction is what is considered a dual diagnosis. When seeking recovery for a dual diagnosis, it is important to seek qualified, experienced help. At California Recovery Center, our team of certified care technicians are not only here to assist you in your recovery, but help you build a foundation and healthy coping mechanisms so you can live your best life.  

Mental Health and Addiction

Mental Health and Addiction

The damage done to an individual’s physical health after years of substance abuse is no mystery. It can be seen not only in scientific reports but plastered in magazine articles, billboards, movies, and television. In addition to physical health, it is important to recognize the effects addiction can have on an individual’s mental health as well — not just from the effects of the substance itself, but the residual issues addiction presents.  

Mental Illness and Addictive Tendencies 

It’s not hard to imagine the negative effects substance abuse can have on an individual’s mental health, but sometimes the reverse is true as well. Those with preexisting mental health disorders tend to have a high correlation to alcohol and drug abuse. Studies have shown significant relationships between substance abuse and anxiety, such as panic attacks, PTSD, and general anxiety disorder. Around one in four patients with a preexisting existing diagnosis of a serious mental illness, also suffer from drug abuse.  

Isolation and Addiction 

When an individual becomes heavily dependent on drugs, it tends to raise concerns among friends and family. Sometimes, to avoid judgement or pressure to go to rehab, those with addiction become avoidant of those once in their close circle. This form of isolation brings on feelings of helplessness and loneliness, which can cripple an individual’s mental health. This combination of emotions can create negative thoughts, making recovery feel impossible.  

Reach Out 

Struggling with addiction can feel like a mountainous battle in itself, but when paired with a severe mental illness, it can seem insurmountable. Those already battling depression can have difficulty summoning the energy to take on this battle. When dealing with a preexisting mental illness and addiction, an individual will best benefit from a counselor who is experienced in dual diagnosis. At California Recovery Center, we are equipped to offer dual diagnosis counseling. When you’re ready to start your recovery, reach out today at (866) 864-1986.

Alcohol Awareness Month 

The month of April has been dubbed in the recent past as Alcohol Awareness month. During this month, individuals are encouraged to reflect on their alcohol intake and educate the community on treatment with the goal of preventing and treating alcoholism.  

Through reflection and education, Alcohol Awareness Month is meant to give individuals the chance to actively take note of their alcohol consumption; a habit that can so easily be overlooked in daily life and especially in a society that encourages the consumption of alcohol as a way to relax and socialize within their lives. 

Alcoholism in the U.S. 

Alcoholism is ranked as the top public health issue in the nation. For such a treatable disease, there is a disparage of misinformation and a lack of education around the topic. This is one of the main reasons April is dedicated to alcohol awareness; to raise awareness of this entirely treatable condition. Since the pandemic, there has been an increase in alcohol abuse in the United States.  

How to Observe Alcohol Awareness Month 

A challenge that people can engage in during this month is choosing a weekend within the month to go Alcohol-free. The purpose of this exercise is to take note of how you feel during the days you’re drinking in contrast to how you feel during the alcohol-free days. This gives you a chance to take stock of how alcohol is actually affecting you; whether it is minimal, neutral, or negative, you have the opportunity to become conscious of the impact it has on your life.  

If your body has become conditioned to regular alcohol intake, you could experience flu-like symptoms within this short period of time. This is known as withdrawal and could be a sign of deeper dependence on the substance.  

What to Do if You’re Struggling with Alcohol 

If you feel you may be struggling with alcohol addiction, call California Recovery Center. We are happy to help you start your journey to a healthier balanced life! 

Take our alcohol use quiz to determine whether you are consuming a dangerous amount of alcohol. You can access the quiz here.