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    Understanding the Differences Between Codependency and Enabling

    Last updated 3 years ago

    When one of our family members or close friends is suffering from an alcohol or drug addiction, our first instinct is to help in any way possible. However, the way in which we choose to provide assistance may not always be truly beneficial for that person. Make sure you understand the differences between being codependent and enabling someone with an addiction by reading over the topics discussed in this article.

    Characteristics of Codependency

    Codependency occurs when an individual begins drastically changing their behavior and making unhealthy decisions in order to accommodate a family member or friend with an addiction. An individual who is codependent will often put their own needs aside and assume responsibility for the addicted individual. In many cases, the codependent individual will inappropriately blame the actions of the addict on themselves, resulting in extreme feelings of guilt or shame. 

    Characteristics of Enabling 

    Enabling an addict means doing something for them that they can and should be doing for themselves, ultimately creating an atmosphere in which the individual can continue to participate in risky behaviors. Common ways in which family members and friends enable someone with an addiction include giving them money to purchase alcohol or drugs, covering bills, and providing shelter without restrictions or guidelines.  While many of us think that we are helping the addict by performing these actions, doing so will actually make it easier for the individual to deny that they have an addiction—especially considering that most of their problems are being solved for them.

    Making the distinction between codependency and enabling is not always easy when your emotions are involved. Learn how you can effectively help a loved one with an addiction while still protecting your own needs by contacting The Hills Treatment Center today at (323) 476-1380. Our Los Angeles facilities offer alcohol rehab and drug treatment programs.

    How You Can Avoid Enabling a Family Member with an Addiction

    Last updated 3 years ago

    If you have a family member suffering from alcohol or drug addiction, you know that getting them the help they need is not always easy without becoming an enabler. This video provides some tips for helping an individual get on the road to recovery without enabling their addiction.

    It is important for your loved one to reach a point that they are ready to get help on their own. However, there are a number of steps you can take to help expedite this decision—such as not providing your loved one with money to buy alcohol or drugs or offering free room and board. Watch the full clip for more tips.

    Make sure your family member is getting the drug treatment or alcohol rehabilitation services they need to reach sobriety by contacting The Hills Treatment Center in Los Angeles. Call (323) 476-1380 or visit our website to get started.

    Recognizing the Symptoms of Withdrawal

    Last updated 3 years ago

    Drugs and alcohol are depressants, meaning that they inhibit the brain’s production of neurotransmitters, or chemical agents that transmit messages throughout the body. When the body becomes accustomed to this reduced production of neurotransmitters, it responds to a lack of drugs or alcohol by releasing large quantities of adrenaline. This surge of adrenaline is what leads to many of the physical symptoms associated with drug or alcohol withdrawal.

    The first step in recognizing the symptoms of withdrawal is learning the different symptoms associated with various chemical agents. For instance, withdrawal from alcohol and opiates can result in physical symptoms such as headaches, while withdrawal from drugs like cocaine, marijuana, and ecstasy can lead to emotional withdrawal symptoms like depression.

    Howard C. Samuels, a licensed therapist with years of experience treating alcohol and drug abuse, leads the experienced and compassionate team at The Hills Treatment Center. To learn how we can help your loved one recover from addiction, call our Los Angeles center at (323) 476-1380.

    Your Guide to Interventions

    Last updated 3 years ago

    Drug or alcohol addiction doesn’t just affect the addict—it often also takes an emotional toll on the individual’s friends and family members. As a result, many families have found an intervention to be a successful way to help their loved one get the treatment he needs. The ultimate purpose of an intervention is to show an addict that he is loved and to help him recognize that professional help is needed to recover.

    Preparing for the Intervention

    Prior to an intervention, family members and loved ones often meet to plan out what will happen. One of the first steps in this planning process is to set a date and time for the intervention and to choose an intervention leader. Each friend or family member who will be present at the intervention should prepare a written statement or letter to the addict as a way to convey concerns and feelings.

    Staging the Intervention

    For an intervention to be successful, the addict will need to be caught off guard when he arrives. This element of surprise makes it difficult for an addict to come up with an excuse or to avoid the process all together. Once the addict arrives, he should be asked to sit down and to listen to his loved ones’ concerns.

    Issuing an Ultimatum

    The purpose of an intervention is to help an addict understand how his behavior is harming friends and family members. At the end of the intervention, an addict’s loved ones will need to issue an ultimatum to get the treatment needed or face certain new boundaries that the group has set in place.

    Led by Howard C. Samuels, a licensed therapist with years of experience, The Hills Treatment Center of Los Angeles can provide your loved one with a path toward addiction recovery. We offer treatment for drug and alcohol addiction as well as mental health issues. Call (323) 476-1380 to learn more.   

    Understanding the Relationship Between Drug Abuse and Sleep Disorders

    Last updated 3 years ago

    Individuals who suffer from drug abuse feel a compulsive desire to continue using a destructive substance even though they know it is causing bodily harm. Over time, dependency on chemical substances can alter brain waves and function, making it even more difficult to discontinue use. A common symptom of these changes in the brain is the development of a sleep disorder, a condition that prevents addicts from getting healthy, restorative sleep.

    Disrupts Circadian Rhythm

    Your body has a natural biological clock that signals when it should be awake or asleep. If this internal rhythm is disrupted, you will have difficulty falling asleep or waking up at certain times of the day. Alcohol and drug abuse can cause permanent changes to brain structure, which directly affects circadian rhythm. As a result, addicts may begin to fall asleep at irregular times and for strange intervals throughout the day.

    Decreases Quality of Sleep

    Drugs that are depressants, such as alcohol, can actually make it easier to fall asleep initially. However, this substance dramatically alters the quality of sleep during the second half of the night. Excessive alcohol consumption can make it difficult for the body to enter into REM sleep, which is needed to heal and repair the body.

    Leads to Sleep Apnea

    Depressants are also commonly associated with sleep apnea, a disorder in which individuals suddenly stop breathing throughout the night. In order for the body to catch its breath, an individual will suddenly wake up in the middle of the night before falling right back to sleep. The frequent interruptions can make it impossible for an addict to achieve REM sleep.

    The New Lease on Life program offered by The Hills Treatment Center in Los Angeles is specifically designed to help adults who suffer from chronic pain and sleep disorders as a result of addiction. We help our patients address these issues spiritually, mentally, and physically. To learn more, call us at (323) 476-1380.

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