DENIAL AND ADDICTION

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DENIAL AND ADDICTION

10 November, 2021Articles, News

Most of us have been unwilling to admit we were real alcoholics. No person likes to think he is bodily and mentally different from his fellows. Therefore, it is not surprising that our drinking careers have been characterized by countless vain attempts to prove we could drink like other people. The idea that somehow, someday he will control and enjoy his drinking is the great obsession of every abnormal drinker. The persistence of this illusion is astonishing. Many pursue it into the gates of insanity or death.”

-Insert from Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous pg 30, MORE ABOUT ALCOHOLISM.

Denial and addiction go hand in hand, and once identified should not be dismissed, as overcoming denial is the initial step into seeking help or treatment and opening the door to change and recovery.

WHAT IS DENIAL:

Denial is the common defense mechanism which is used to avoid painful emotions associated with the reality of addiction. These emotions cause discomfort. Unfortunately denial is only a short term solution as nothing has been done to address the problem nor any attempt made to change the situation or resolve the problem. The shortened version of denial is a case of saying “it isn’t so” or “it is not true”, despite the reality that is obvious to other’s involved and witnessing the results of an addiction. Outsiders are often quicker to identify the denial, however, may too, be in denial around the severity of the addiction and struggle to recognise if the situation is denial or simply normal destructive behavior. Denial happens when a person can’t or won’t face what they know deep down to be true.

Commonly when or once a decision has been made to seek treatment for addiction, a huge web of denial and mistruth’s around the individual and their thinking patterns have been altered and formed to accommodate depenance or addiction. Treatment for addiction includes the undoing of these patterns and thinking and is a vital part of the change required for the road to recovery and change.

CHARACTERISTICS OF DENIAL PATTERNS:

Being able to honestly identify and or admitting to the following will be able to establish if any denial is present.

  • Difficulty in identifying true feelings.
  • Tend to minimise the intensity of feelings.
  • Identifying as a selfless being.
  • Tend to project negative traits onto others.
  • Resist or put down any help from others.
  • Lack empathy for others.
  • False belief that one is self-sufficient.
  • Mask pain with other negative emotional states, like sarcasm, anger, and frustration.
  • Tendency to covert uncomfortable feelings to aggression.
  • Lacking in insight or poor interpersonal relationships

INDENTIFING DENIAL:

It could be helpful to consider these questions which could assist in seeking treatment and overcoming the fact that there is denial around addiction:

  • Refusing criticism or honest loving comments from others who express concern around signs of addiction or addictive behavior
  • Unwillingness to see that the behaviour around substances is contributing to a deterioration in all areas of life
  • Worried about the stigma associated with addiction or afraid to seek or accept help
  • Lost a job or been reprimanded as a result of behaviour or substance abuse
  • Lost time at workplace for unexplainable illness or increased absence from workplace
  • Family negatively affected by addictive behaviour
  • Repeatedly tried and failed to stay clean or sober
  • Given up on goals or personal dreams as a result of been stuck in addiction
  • No longer care about broken promises made to loved ones

Overcoming denial is possible and it may be that the denial is so evident that the individual decides to face the truth and seek help and treatment. On the other hand, the denial may be so embedded that it appears improbable to acknowledge that there is a problem and a need for treatment and change. Often, after years of denial that there is a problem with addiction, there is an undeniable accumulation of evidence pointing to a need for treatment for addiction and loved ones may need to intervene to allow the addict access to treatment and recovery.

COMMON DENIAL PATTERNS:

Common denial patterns have been indentified that keep an individual trapped in resisting any change or seeking treatment for denial and addiction. The presence of these denial patterns will not resolve the problem and the sooner these are addressed the sooner the problem is addressed.

  • AVOIDANCE:

This is when there is a blatant refusal to talk about the problem. Individuals completely avoid any attempts to talk about the problem and are firm in the belief about not having a problem.

  • ABSOLUTE DENIAL:

An adamant belief that there is no problem. The absolute idea that everything is alright. Complete unwillingness to consider that there is a problem.

  • MINIMISING:

A tendency to minimise the effect of the addiction, and assume that the situation is not as bad as others makes it out to be.

  • RATIONALISING:

The ability to justify the behaviour to oneself or others. A tendency to find reasons for the behaviour.

  • BLAMING:

This involves putting the blame on others and the inability to take any responsibility for the situation.

  • COMAPARING:

This is a constant comparing of the situation or problem and is usually done with a person who is worse, in an attempt to feel better about their current situation.

  • COMPLIANCE:

This is when there is pretence to do what is required, which simply masks the problem and does not do anything to address the situation.

  • MANIPULATION:

People affected by the addiction and denial are manipulated, usually in the form of pushing them away, anger or temper tantrums. Another form of this is to please the other party in an attempt to not look at the problem.

  • FLIGHT INTO HEALTH:

The addict attempts to mask the problem by pretending to be in good health physically and emotionally to show that they have been cured and no further problem exists.

  • RECOVERY BY FEAR:

Fear of change and consequences cause an addict to avoid looking at the problem or treating the problem.

  • HOPELESSNESS:

This is seen when a person believes that there is no solution to the problem, and as result they do not address or seek treatment for the problem.

  • DEMOCRATIC:

When a person is finds comfort in the “sick role” and tends to get defensive about getting support or treatment.

CONCLUSION:

Breaking through denial and admitting that there is a problem is one of the most challenging aspects of seeking treatment for addiction, and looking at one’s own truth’s and realities is painful. Once these beliefs and ideas are broken, the ability to engage in effective treatment is possible, and new tools are given to cope with the pain and reality of addiction. The addict can ultimately find recovery and a new way to live.

If you or a loved one needs assistance with addiction and denial – know that help is readily available. The road to recovery is not always an easy one but getting yourself or your loved one the best possible care from the team at Crossroads Recovery Centre, provides you with a map to sober, healthy living. No matter how bad things seem, there is hope and it’s only a phone call away. If you or anyone close to you needs help with an addiction to sex, gambling, substances, alcohol or food, please contact us for a free assessment.

RESOURCES:

www.sunshinebehaviouralhealth.com

www.recoverythought.journal.com

www.123helpme.com

www.azureacres.com

Big Book Alcoholics Anonymous

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  • The encouragement, love and support from the team at Crossroads allowed me to eventually see that I was worth something - that my life could be turned around and that I could accomplish the things that had long been a forgotten dream.
    Oliver VG
    Read more
  • On the last day of my stint at Crossroads I could only express gratitude towards all who works there. A wise councillor once commented on my question when one is ready for rehab by explaining that when one is ready for rehab, rehab is ready for you.
    Johan B
    Read more
  • I was lost and my soul was broken until I ended up at Crossroads and was introduced to the Twelve Steps. With the help of their excellent staff and amazing support I have recently been clean for 18 months, I could not have done it without them!
    Carla S
    Read more
  • "Just for today I am more than three years in recovery. I have Cross Roads to thank for this wonderful gift. Cross Roads helped me to set a firm foundation in my recovery on which I can continue to build."
    Angelique J
    Read more
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Ritalin abuse in South Africa

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Ritalin abuse in South Africa

03 November, 2021Articles, News

Ritalin is a medication used in the treatment of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). The South African Depression and Anxiety Group (SADAG) defines ADHD as a chronic condition of a combination of problems including the difficulty to sustain attention, hyperactivity and impulsive behaviour. The main medications used in South Africa to treat ADHD are Ritalin and Concerta. They have the same chemical structures (methylphenidate hydrochloride) and are similar in chemical makeup to stimulants such as cocaine and amphetamines. Ritalin can be just as addictive. Street names for Ritalin include diet coke, kiddie cocaine, kiddie coke, poor man’s cocaine, R-ball, rids, skittles, Smarties and vitamin R .

Ritalin is primarily used as a stimulant medication to increase attention span and decrease hyperactivity and impulsive behaviour. The medication seems to have a positive impact on the treatment of ADD (attention deficit disorder) and ADHD but at the same time has opened up a panacea for potential abuse and there is a lot of controversy around the use of medication to treat the diagnosis of ADD and ADHD. In fact, there is huge controversy about the very existence of the above mentioned disorders, with the scientific experts suggesting a clear neurological basis for the disorders and some other more holistic proponents saying they are not diseases in the chemical sense at all but rather behaviourally based maladaptions. The jury is still out.

The dosage prescribed is based on the severity of the condition and the response to treatment. The drug slowly raises the users dopamine levels in the brain, achieving a therapeutic effect for those with proper ADHD (and similar) diagnoses. However, if individuals who do not have ADHD take these medications, the result will be hyperactivity and overstimulation. Though it helps many people, this medication can be addictive. The risk may be higher if you have a related substance use disorder (such as overuse of or an addiction to alcohol). If you suddenly stop using this medication, you may have withdrawal symptoms such as :

  • visual hallucinations,
  • suicidal thoughts
  • psychotic behaviour
  • aggression or violent behaviour
  • depression or other mood changes
  • paranoia
  • fatigue

Withdrawal symptoms are more likely if you have used methylphenidate for a long time or in high doses.

Signs of Ritalin addiction include:

  • Needing higher doses to feel the drug’s effects (tolerance)
  • Experiencing strong urges to use Ritalin
  • Finding new ways to obtain the drug—legally or illegally—in order to abuse it
  • Using Ritalin even if it’s causing issues with loved ones or responsibilities.

Those struggling with an addiction to Ritalin are advised not to quit taking the drug without medical supervision. At Crossroads we consult with our specialist medical provider as to the best method for detoxification for the individual. Some people use the drug recreationally—without a prescription—and those who take more than their prescribed dosage are at risk for developing an addiction to Ritalin. It is common for adolescents who are prescribed these types of medications to trade their drugs to other kids who are not in need of them and hence are using these substances illegally. This leads to very severe consequences in terms behaviour as adolescents and eventual addiction to the medication. When abused by older teens or adults – especially if it’s crushed or snorted or injected – the drug is more like other forms of amphetamine, including methamphetamine, that have damaging and addictive psychological and physical effects.

If you or a loved one needs assistance with Ritalin abuse in South Africa – know that help is readily available. The road to recovery is not always an easy one but getting yourself or your loved one the best possible care from the team at Crossroads Recovery Centre, provides you with a map to sober, healthy living. No matter how bad things seem, there is hope and it’s only a phone call away. If you or anyone close to you needs help with an addiction to sex, gambling, substances, alcohol or food, please contact us for a free assessment.

No Obligation Addiction Assessment

Book a No Obligation Confidential Assessment at your nearest Treatment Centre Today.

Johannesburg Admissions: +27 74 895 1043
Pretoria Admissions: +27 82 653 3311
Close

Stories of Recovery

  • The encouragement, love and support from the team at Crossroads allowed me to eventually see that I was worth something - that my life could be turned around and that I could accomplish the things that had long been a forgotten dream.
    Oliver VG
    Read more
  • On the last day of my stint at Crossroads I could only express gratitude towards all who works there. A wise councillor once commented on my question when one is ready for rehab by explaining that when one is ready for rehab, rehab is ready for you.
    Johan B
    Read more
  • I was lost and my soul was broken until I ended up at Crossroads and was introduced to the Twelve Steps. With the help of their excellent staff and amazing support I have recently been clean for 18 months, I could not have done it without them!
    Carla S
    Read more
  • "Just for today I am more than three years in recovery. I have Cross Roads to thank for this wonderful gift. Cross Roads helped me to set a firm foundation in my recovery on which I can continue to build."
    Angelique J
    Read more
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How to Choose a Drug Rehabilitation Centre in Johannesburg

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Home / Posts tagged "gauteng rehab"

How to Choose a Drug Rehabilitation Centre in Johannesburg

22 October, 2021Articles, News

Whether you are looking to check yourself or a loved one into a rehabilitation centre, there are a number of factors to consider. With emotions running high and time being of the essence, choosing a drug rehab centre in Johannesburg can be daunting. Here are a few key aspects to look out for when making this important decision.

A Medical Detox Programme

The initial, physical part of getting clean and staying abstinent off drugs and alcohol, is often the hardest part. Depending on the type of drug that is being abused and the extent to which it is being used, every patient experiences detox differently. Some addicts and alcoholics experience extreme physical withdrawals while others struggle with what may feel like an intense mental battle. In every case, choosing a drug rehab centre in Johannesburg that has an extensive medical detox programme is key.

Trained and Experience Counsellors

In most cases, patients will be assigned to a specific counsellor who will provide guidance and therapeutic treatment on an individual level. When choosing a rehab, it may be useful to consult with the available counselling team and ask questions that will help to allay your fears and provide much-needed assurance that you are making the right decision.

Therapy Groups

An effective and reputable drug rehabilitation centre in Johannesburg will provide for a number of therapeutic groups as part of its treatment programme. These groups may be topical or open-ended. They are designed to help the addict or alcoholic to understand the pain that their addiction is causing themselves as well as those around them. Therapy groups are also important spaces in which the addict can feel free to express themselves and relate to people who understand what they are going through.

A Relapse-Prevention Programme

One very important part of treatment for drug addiction is the prevention of relapse. It is of the utmost importance for addicts to be prepared to face the real world and be assimilated back into life after treatment. A professional drug rehab in Johannesburg will provide recovering addicts with relapse-prevention programmes that include specific precautions, routines and commitments, to ensure that the addict’s recovery is sustained in the long-term.

If you or a loved one is suffering from alcohol addiction or is abusing alcohol, know that help is readily available. If you or a loved one needs assistance with an addiction – know that help is readily available. We have an experienced team which includes medical staff to assist with safe medical detox where necessary. The road to recovery is not always an easy one but getting yourself or your loved one the best possible care from the team at Crossroads Recovery Centre, provides you with a map to sober, healthy living. No matter how bad things seem, there is hope and it’s only a phone call away. If you or anyone close to you needs help with an addiction to sexgamblingsubstancesalcohol  or food, please contact us for a free assessment.

www.crossroadsrecovery.co.za

074 89 51043 JHB

012 450 5033 PTA

No Obligation Addiction Assessment

Book a No Obligation Confidential Assessment at your nearest Treatment Centre Today.

Johannesburg Admissions: +27 74 895 1043
Pretoria Admissions: +27 82 653 3311
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Stories of Recovery

  • The encouragement, love and support from the team at Crossroads allowed me to eventually see that I was worth something - that my life could be turned around and that I could accomplish the things that had long been a forgotten dream.
    Oliver VG
    Read more
  • On the last day of my stint at Crossroads I could only express gratitude towards all who works there. A wise councillor once commented on my question when one is ready for rehab by explaining that when one is ready for rehab, rehab is ready for you.
    Johan B
    Read more
  • I was lost and my soul was broken until I ended up at Crossroads and was introduced to the Twelve Steps. With the help of their excellent staff and amazing support I have recently been clean for 18 months, I could not have done it without them!
    Carla S
    Read more
  • "Just for today I am more than three years in recovery. I have Cross Roads to thank for this wonderful gift. Cross Roads helped me to set a firm foundation in my recovery on which I can continue to build."
    Angelique J
    Read more
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Crazy Crystal Meth

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Home / Posts tagged "gauteng rehab"

Crazy Crystal Meth

20 October, 2021Articles, News

Over the recent past, most rehabs in South Africa, have seen an exponential growth in the number of clients who present with paranoid thoughts and behaviour as a result of the abuse of crystal meth as it is commonly called.

Where did it originate?

Methamphetamine is a man-made stimulant that’s been around for a long time. During World War II, soldiers were given meth to keep them awake. People have also taken the drug to lose weight and ease depression. It has also been used for the treatment of obesity and in the treatment of ADHD.

Crystal meth is made with the ingredient pseudoephedrine, which is found in many flu and cold remedies. It was mainly produced in labs in Mexico however many small labs appear to have sprung up in South Africa. The ingredients are usually variable-depending on that is cheap and accessible at the time, therefore the user never quite knows what they are getting. There is some indication from users that they believe it to be laced with what they refer to as “spiritual stuff” (muthi).

What Are the Effects?

  • Meth can make a user’s body temperature rise so high they could pass out or even die.
  • A user may feel anxious and confused, be unable to sleep, have mood swings, and become violent.
  • A user may age quickly. His/her skin may dull, and he/she can develop hard-to-heal sores and pimples. They may have a dry mouth and stained, broken, or rotting teeth (meth mouth).
  • They may also become paranoid and hear and see things that aren’t there.

It is this last point that seems to be the most prevalent and most concerning for rehab and addiction practitioners. An almost entrenched paranoia that seems to last for many months even though the toxic effects of the methamphetamine should, theoretically, no longer be present in the body.

The research

The link between crystal meth use and symptoms of paranoia is well known and well documented in the relevant literature. The real concern for practitioners in the rehab field is being able to differentiate what is crystal meth induced paranoia and what is possibly a psychiatric disorder such as schizophrenia or even bipolar mood disorder.

Several research groups, especially in Japan, have successfully studied methamphetamine-induced paranoia. These studies are well respected as the Japanese methamphetamine subculture is characterised by single use drug users- poly-drug (multiple substances) use has been uncommon. The results showed that a small percentage of meth users suffer from entrenched paranoia after at least 6 months of sobriety but there were a number of cases where even though people had been clean for many years there were still signs of paranoid delusions unrelated to a more severe psychiatric disorder.

Meth-induced psychosis sometimes presents in a similar way to paranoid schizophrenia and research has shown that at least 60 percent of people who use meth experience psychotic symptoms and syndromes.

What are the major signs of meth induced psychosis?

  • delusions
  • hallucinations,
  • paranoia, and sometimes
  • violent behaviour.

It is extremely difficult to differentiate hallucinations from what is real.

Prior to developing psychosis, a person who uses meth, may encounter a pre-psychotic state that is marked by delusional moods and ideas of reference or believing that everyday events have great personal significance. Delusions and hallucinations accompany full-blown psychosis.

People who are dependent on meth, who use high doses, who experienced childhood trauma, and/or who start taking the drug at a young age have an increased risk of having psychotic symptoms. The sleep deprivation that often accompanies meth use may aggravate these symptoms as well.

Other warning signs of crystal meth psychosis

  • Meth delusions: A person has strange, unrealistic, and/or false beliefs.
  • Meth hallucinations: Auditory, visual, or tactile hallucinations make a person hear, see, or feel things that don’t exist.
  • Meth paranoia: A person becomes extremely suspicious of those around them and may even believe that people are out to get them.

How long can these signs remain?

It is usually dependent on the physical characteristics of the individual as well as their level of mental health, and severity of drug use.

Meth psychosis may last several hours, and on average, a person typically recovers from it in one week. However, psychosis sometimes lasts for months and even years after a person stops using. Spontaneous flashback psychotic episodes may also be triggered by stress or by using the drug again.

The Treatment processes

Individuals experiencing meth psychosis may need some form of stabilisation in specialised health care facilities before coming to rehab.

At Crossroads we apply a combination of the 12-step programme as well as the traditional Crossroads treatment methodology, which involves group therapy, family support and individual counselling .

Individuals with a dual diagnosis and co-occurring mental health disorders, such as schizophrenia, may be better served in an inpatient or residential treatment program until they are stable.

If you or a loved one needs assistance with an addiction to crystal meth– know that help is readily available. We have an experienced team which includes medical staff to assist with safe medical detox where necessary. The road to recovery is not always an easy one but getting yourself or your loved one the best possible care from the team at Crossroads Recovery Centre, provides you with a map to sober, healthy living. No matter how bad things seem, there is hope and it’s only a phone call away. If you or anyone close to you needs help with an addiction to sexgamblingsubstancesalcohol or food, please contact us for a free assessment.

www.crossroadsrecovery.co.za

074 89 51043 JHB

012 450 5033 PTA

No Obligation Addiction Assessment

Book a No Obligation Confidential Assessment at your nearest Treatment Centre Today.

Johannesburg Admissions: +27 74 895 1043
Pretoria Admissions: +27 82 653 3311
Close

Stories of Recovery

  • The encouragement, love and support from the team at Crossroads allowed me to eventually see that I was worth something - that my life could be turned around and that I could accomplish the things that had long been a forgotten dream.
    Oliver VG
    Read more
  • On the last day of my stint at Crossroads I could only express gratitude towards all who works there. A wise councillor once commented on my question when one is ready for rehab by explaining that when one is ready for rehab, rehab is ready for you.
    Johan B
    Read more
  • I was lost and my soul was broken until I ended up at Crossroads and was introduced to the Twelve Steps. With the help of their excellent staff and amazing support I have recently been clean for 18 months, I could not have done it without them!
    Carla S
    Read more
  • "Just for today I am more than three years in recovery. I have Cross Roads to thank for this wonderful gift. Cross Roads helped me to set a firm foundation in my recovery on which I can continue to build."
    Angelique J
    Read more
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