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Inspiring Success on the Road to Recovery

Thursday, August 30, 2018

A Banker, A Baker, A Candlestick Maker?

by Dr. Dina Evan



The “Occupations” line in heaven gets pretty long. Folks in line anxiously anticipating. Will I be a banker, a magazine editor, a hair stylist or a therapist? Perhaps I’ll get to be an artist or an actor. How do you feel about the assignment you got? Are you feeling fulfilled, as if you are doing what your heart and soul want to do? You are right, of course, it doesn’t work like that. However, the real problem is most of us still don’t get how it does work...so, here’s the secret.

Continuous school?

This planet is a school, a consciousness school. And no one gives you your assignment, because, your assignment is, you come here to discover yourself, your true self. The classrooms here are not in buildings. They are in every challenge and circumstance we create in our lives.
We discover who we are by how we deal with those challenges and/or blessings. We discover what we came here to do by knowing ourselves well enough to know what breaks our heart open with pain, and makes us want to changes things for the better, and/or what fills us with a deep sense of satisfaction — because we are being a role model, a change maker for what is right and good in the world.

And your teachers are sitting right across from you. The teachers here are all the people you call into your life. They are your master teachers, teaching you tolerance, kindness, compassion forgiveness and love. They reflect back to you your needs for being right, needing control, admiration, safety and your ability to understand, stay present and stand in your integrity and values.
A million times in every lifetime we get the opportunity to opt for what we think is safety, the status quo, or we get to choose to create what I call a ‘holy moment’, by pushing our soul forward and standing in our integrity, speaking the truth, stopping the misuse of power or simply being real and honest.

It’s all about being on purpose, by being authentically who you are and doing what you came here to do. If you are bored, miserable, feeling unmotivated or disappointed with yourself or your life, then it’s simply because you are not living your life with purpose.
You are missing the fact that YOUR courageous spirit brought you here to fulfill your purpose and stand in your integrity. Pretty amazing right? And, if you are awake and you realize what an incredible gift this experience is, then you are on the path to enlightenment.
Enlightenment is what all this leads you to, in fact, it’s the whole point.

So the real question is...

Who are you are and are you doing what you came here to do? That is a question each of us ought to be asking ourselves every morning before we even leave the house.

Now don’t start to feel overwhelmed. It may not be your purpose to start a movement or lead a parade or run for congress. However, it may be your purpose to tell that truth you’ve been hiding, perhaps even from yourself, and get it healed. Or, it may be you want to reconsider the judgment you just made about that person sitting in the corner and ask yourself where that came from and what fear in you created it.

Becoming enlightened and living on purpose does not require some grandiose act or gesture on your part. It simply means you have the courage to start to explore where in your life are you not living your values, or what you say you believe in and your truths. It means you take a deep breath and get back into alignment with who you really are at a soul level. Or, you do the work to figure out what is preventing you from being your true self.

Think for a minute what the world would be like if we were all living our values and our deepest beliefs. That’s why I say when you change and are living on purpose, a world event takes place because your part of the world is now vibrating in alignment with all that is good and spiritually aligned again.

For those of you who want to join me in this journey of getting on purpose and being who we really are, I have created a series of YouTube presentations with the tools you need to support your journey. Go to DrDinaEvan.com and you will find a link to take you to the presentations. They are free and come with some exercises and other tools to help as well.

If your answer to the question, Who are you are and are you doing what you came here to do, is I don’t know yet, and you’d like a different more empowering answer for yourself, then please come join us as we discover our real purpose and the joy in that discovery together.


Go to DrDinaEvan.com to watch Dina’s new FREE YouTube series on Living Your Purpose and Becoming Who You Came Here To Be! Sign up for weekly messages and download exercises, columns and a multitude of topics and quizzes. Call for information on Conscious Counseling (602) 571-8228.

If you believe it, you can see it!

By Barbara Nicholson-Brown


Saturday, September 22, 2018 - Phoenix Convention Center, South Building Hall G
3rd Street and Jefferson - Doors Open 9:30 am - FREE to the PUBLIC
www.celebratetheartofrecovery.org



In the late 90’s, I attended a lecture by Dr. Wayne Dyer. He explained how the words above can transform our thinking and what we bring into our lives. I liken that to how the Expo went from an idea to a reality.

This year, I have had the honor and privilege to pass the baton of the Art of Recovery Expo to Community Bridges, (CBI, Inc.), one of the largest statewide providers offering fully integrated medical and behavioral health care. The seed Bill and I planted in 2005 for a recovery month celebration will reach greater heights with CBI, Inc., and advance in providing help to those in need who struggle with addiction and behavioral health.

Letting go of something I love so dearly was not a snap decision — yet within my heart, I knew for the Expo to expand, reach and serve more of our community, it was time to leave the nest.

When Bill and I first talked about putting on the Expo, he started scribbling ideas on the back of a business card, and said, “You’ve  never done anything like this before?” Of course my answer was No! I could see it, I’m not sure if I believed it at the time. But we put one foot in front of the other and it came to fruition.

It has been wonderful to witness the transformation of the Expo to become Celebrate the Art of Recovery Expo – CARE.

CARE is what we do in this field; whether it be an agency, hospital, treatment facility, 12 step group, private practice, recovery home, sponsor, sponsee or other system of support. We are committed to the well-being and health of our fellow community members.

The Expo has brought numerous people into my life I would not otherwise have had the opportunity to know and work alongside. So stay with us —  because the best is yet to come. One of the most powerful messages we can ever offer is hope.

I want to express a special and sincere thank you to Dr. Frank Scarpati, President and CEO of CBI, Inc. and his team for believing in the vision of the Expo.

I hope to see you all on Saturday, September 22 at the Phoenix Convention Center!

Let’s Celebrate CARE together!



Monday, August 6, 2018

Demystifying Detox

By Becky Kartagener, Executive Director Footprints to Recovery 


Nearly 21 million Americans struggle with addiction. To get a sense for the magnitude of this, that’s more than the number of people, who have all types of cancers combined. The epidemic of addiction to drugs and alcohol has overwhelmed our nation placing no discrimination on age, race, gender, education or income. In an effort to combat it and in some cases capitalize on it, there’s been an abundance of treatment approaches and options that have flood the market. It’s not uncommon for individuals, their loved ones and even professionals to be conflicted or confused about what is needed and where to start.

"Detoxification is the process of eliminating all traces of drugs and/or alcohol from the body, detox alone is NOT treatment."



For many individuals, the first step and perhaps the most crucial prior to addressing any underlying issues of alcohol and drug addiction is medical detoxification. Medical detoxification, often times referred to as medical detox, is the process of eliminating drugs and alcohol from the body while managing symptoms of withdrawal.

Physiological Affects

To shed light on the necessity of this, we must take a look at the physiological effects of chronic substance abuse. The continued use of drugs and alcohol can easily, and often does, lead to the building of tolerance and dependence. Tolerance can be defined as a reduced response to a substance due to repeated use. Essentially, the individual must take a higher dose of the substance in order to achieve the same feelings they initially felt. In the case of heroin and other opioids, tolerance develops rather quickly leading to the increase in doses. Following tolerance is typically dependence, the physical condition in which an individual’s body has adapted to the persistent presence of drugs or alcohol.

Our bodies are extremely adaptable; they’re constantly trying to reach a state of homeostasis or more simply put, regular functioning. When our bodies are exposed to drugs and alcohol for a continuous period of time they throw off the bodies regular functioning; therefore, our internal system adapts.

This can include modifying levels of neurotransmitters, hormones and other processes in the body to make room for the presence of the drug or alcohol.

With the development of tolerance and dependence the individual now needs a regular exposure to the substance in order for their system to maintain its new level of “regular functioning”. Any drop in exposure to the substance now results in the individuals system becoming unbalanced and the consequence is symptoms of withdrawal.

When an individual begins to experience withdrawal they are likely to exhibit flu-like symptoms such as; agitation, anxiety, confusion, depression, aching muscles, watery eyes, runny nose and difficulty sleeping. However, unlike the common flu, withdrawal symptoms can be extremely uncomfortable, painful and in some cases life threatening. This is even more so true in cases of addiction to alcohol, benzodiazepines and opioids where the withdrawal symptoms can include seizures, hallucinations and fatal delirium tremens. Drugs such as cocaine and amphetamines do not tend to cause fatality due to the withdrawal process; however, they can still present severe difficulties.

Going Cold-Turkey 

It has been found that many individuals who attempt to detox themselves by immediately stopping all drug or alcohol use, otherwise known as going ‘cold turkey’, are at the most risk of severe and fatal withdrawal symptoms.

For some, the withdrawal effects may last a few days or weeks, while others may struggle with lingering symptoms for months. The time frame for withdrawal may last even longer than anticipated without the presence of medical support. Furthermore, the severe intensity of symptoms often times lead individuals to quickly pick their substance of choice back up again. This is extremely dangerous, as the body has likely lost some of its tolerance for the substance; however, individuals tend to reintroduce the substance back into their body at their regular dose, putting the individual at a high risk for overdose. As we’ve been so frequently exposed to as of lately, it should come to no surprise that overdose is the most common cause of death amongst those addicted to drugs.

Medical Detox
It is for the reasons above that medical detox is often one of the most crucial, beneficial and lifesaving steps in an individual’s recovery from addiction. As previously stated, medical detox is the process of eliminating drugs and alcohol from the body, while managing withdrawal symptoms.

Withdrawal symptoms are often managed with medications and coupled with 24-hour supervision by licensed nurses, therapists and physicians. The staff is trained in helping clients cope with the effects of early drug or alcohol detox; therefore, they’re able to ensure withdrawal symptoms are comfortably taken care of and traces of the substance of abuse are effectively removed from the client’s body. Nutritional monitoring, individual and group psychotherapy are often available for clients during medical detox as well. As withdrawal symptoms are managed, the client’s risk of relapsing to avoid the painful symptoms is dramatically reduced. Furthermore, under the care of licensed medical staff the sometimes-fatal symptoms of withdrawal are essentially diminished.

Medicine Used 

During a medical detox, a physician oversees the entire withdrawal process. Typically, this involves medication regimens that allow the user to comfortably and safely remove drugs and alcohol from their system. The medication used to treat withdrawal are linked to the particular type of substance that was used, the length of time of abuse and the volume of use. The goal is to minimize risks of complication and maximize comfort levels.


How Long?

A common question posed is, “how long does someone need medical detox?” The short answer is, it varies for everyone. As we previously discussed, medical detox is the process of eliminating drugs and alcohol from the body while eliminating withdrawal symptoms; therefore, it’s typically seen as a period of stabilization.
Unlike other treatment programs there’s no set duration for medical detox, rather the length of time required is dependent upon the individual’s medical and addiction history. Factors that may influence the length of stay needed include; duration, frequency and the length of use, weight and age, and the presence of co-occurring mental health and medical issues. The average length of stay has been shown to be anywhere between three to ten days.

Where do you go?

There’s a variety of settings and locations where individuals can detox; however, individuals should be aware there are more benefits to some settings over others. The settings can be broken down into two categories: inpatient and outpatient. Inpatient detox includes; residential treatment facilities, hospitals, and standalone detox centers. Outpatient settings typically involve going into a facility daily to meet with a physician, receive medication and then returning to your home environment.

Compared to outpatient settings, studies have shown that inpatient settings tend to be the most effective treatment method.

Inpatient detox settings offer individuals with 24/7 support and treatment for other medical conditions. Furthermore, individuals are removed from their environments where they may face triggers and barriers that increase the risk of relapse.

What’s the process?

Medical detox is typically done in three steps: evaluation, stabilization, and transitioning.
The process begins with a thorough evaluation where key information is gathered in order to assist in the treatment planning process and to accurately assess the individual’s addiction. Treatment providers will gather information including: medical and substance use history, mental health history and family and social situations. In addition, a full physical is often completed.
The evaluation process is more than just gathering information; it also serves as a means to identify any underlying medical or psychological conditions that may be co-occurring along with an individual’s abuse. Upon completion of the evaluation, the client then moves into the stabilization period. The stabilization period encompasses the medical and psychosocial processes of helping an individual safely and effectively withdrawal from substances. Based on the evaluation, the individual’s treatment team creates a treatment plan and begins the administration of medications to help ease withdrawal symptoms.

Many medical detox centers also focus on proper diet and nutrition during this time as well. The treatment team is consistently monitoring the individual’s progress throughout this period and adjusting the treatment plan as needed. The process also includes education in regards to detoxification, treatment and recovery. Upon successful detox from substances the final stage of medical detox involves preparing the individual for transition into addiction treatment. Many programs will work with individuals to transition them to their own treatment programs or connect them with treatment programs in the community.

Aftercare

It is important to note that the completion of medical detox is largely for the physical dependence of addiction and is most effective when followed up with addiction treatment such as; residential, inpatient or outpatient treatment programs. Once the individual’s body is successfully detoxed it becomes less challenging for them to involve themselves in addiction treatment, where many of the underlying issues associated with their addiction are addressed. Treatment methods often include individual, group and family therapy.

Conclusion 

In conclusion, the importance of safely and effectively detoxing oneself from drugs and alcohol is stressed again, as it cannot only save a life, but decrease the risk of continued use and relapse due to withdrawal. If you, a loved one or a client of yours is considering addiction treatment there’s help available.

_________________________________________________
Footprints to Recovery, a nationwide addiction treatment provider, conveniently located in the Greater Phoenix area of Mesa, Arizona offers cutting edge medical, holistic and therapeutic approaches to medical detox. Board certified medical staff, as well as licensed and credentialed clinicians provide advanced, customized and comfortable drug and alcohol medical detoxification for young adults and adults.

Programming includes; complete history and physical medical exam, 24/7 medical care from the nation’s top physicians and clinicians, customized treatment planning, co-occurring and dual diagnosis care and individual and group therapy.

In addition to the best medical detox protocols for minimizing withdrawal symptoms and health risks, the facility will offer non-medical approaches to care including; yoga, meditation, acupuncture, massage therapy, chiropractic services, pet & equine therapy, spirituality groups, 12-step programming, 12-step programming alternatives, and writing workshops. With an emphasis on aftercare, the organization works with a variety of vetted treatment partners to ensure a seamless transition to the continued treatment of the clients’ choice.

Footprints to Recovery offers 24/7 - 7 day a week free and confidential consultations, as well as 24/7 transportation services. To learn more or take that next step towards recovery for yourself or another visit FootprintsToRecovery.com or call 855.628.2899. 

There are Better Days Ahead.