6 Signs of Drug Abuse in a Loved One

While virtually any substance can be abused, some drugs have a higher risk of dependency than others. Certain addictions can be easy to identify, and others may take time to spot.

Many people with drug abuse disorders do not realize they are addicted until they can no longer control the use. Some may try to hide their addiction from loved ones to avoid confrontation or reprimand. If you suspect a loved one is suffering from substance abuse, the best thing you can do is support them and help them seek addiction treatment

So how do you tell that a loved one is addicted to drugs or alcohol? Here are a few signs to look out for:

Sudden Physical Changes

The first and most evident sign of drug abuse is a noticeable physical change. As the addiction takes root, these physical signs may be more visible and may worsen with time. In most cases, you will notice a sudden fluctuation of weight; the person either gains or loses weight suddenly due to overeating or undereating. People dealing with addiction also appear to have bloodshot eyes, which may pop out more than usual.

Depending on what the person is using, they may have marks or sores on their skin, particularly on the hands, legs, and face. You will also notice a change in hygiene as most addicted people tend to neglect their bodies and focus solely on drugs. Different drugs cause different physical symptoms. Be on the lookout for sudden changes that are seemingly out of the blue. 

Unpredictable Mood Swings

Most drug or alcohol users experience drastic mood swings. Some substances can cause extreme energy in a person making them too hyperactive or chatty. Other times they may become too quiet, violent, lethargic, agitated, or irritable, especially when the drug starts wearing off. When the drugs are out of reach or if the person is trying to stop, they may look pale and sickly. Extreme outbursts or random mood swings can be a sign that a person is struggling with addiction.

Withdrawal From Family and Friends

When substance abuse becomes too prevalent in one’s life, it completely changes the person’s behavior, character, and their entire lifestyle. The most significant telltale sign is withdrawal from friends and family. Since the individual is hiding his or her addiction from the family, they may prefer to keep things low. Instead, they will hang out with a new group of friends who are most likely using the same substance. They do this to hide their addiction from you and make things look as normal as possible. The person may avoid settings that put their drug abuse traits in the light, such as going for a vacation with family or visiting other families elsewhere. If a person is addicted to alcohol, they may avoid family or friends parties where their drinking could get out of control and blow their cover.

They Are in a Financial Crisis and Don’t Seem Worried

Whether a person is wealthy or not, drug abuse always leads to financial hardships. This is because most people do not care about the impact their addiction is bringing to their finances. As the addiction progresses, the person will need to use large sums of money to fund the addiction, which increases as the dosage increases. The person may not appear worried as they are in a stage where they can’t control the intake. As the person continues to obtain the drugs, they may end up selling their properties and assets to help buy the substances. Consequently, the person may borrow loans or steal money from loved ones to fund their addiction. They may also steal drugs in an attempt to fix their daily needs.

Exhibits Withdrawal Symptoms

Keep a close eye on a person you suspect is dealing with addiction and watch for withdrawal symptoms. This typically happens when the person is not using drugs or alcohol. They may try to hide the signs by locking themselves in their rooms, especially if the symptoms are too physical. The individual may also show unusual or constant cravings of the substances they use. If they are addicted to a certain over the counter medication, they may try to steal it from you to quench their addiction thirst.

When a person experiences withdrawal symptoms, they can exhibit erratic mood swings, become irritable, depressed, and fatigued. In their early stages of addiction, these symptoms may not be noticeable. The more severe the addiction gets, the more serious the withdrawal symptoms.

Lifestyle Changes

Many people dealing with addiction often change their way of doing things. In most cases, they are too focused on their drugs or substance addiction that they neglect their families or what they loved doing. For instance, if the person loved watching football, you may notice that they no longer like to watch and prefer to find ways of acquiring their drugs. Changes in hobbies, friends, diet, and even dressing style are an excellent sign that a loved one is addicted.

We Want to Help 

At Enlight Treatment Center, we are all about providing high-quality addiction treatment plans to individuals from all walks of life. We work closely with our clients and their family to give personalized treatment and support positive quick recovery from a wide range of substances.

When you visit us, we will first ensure that you are comfortable, in an excellent natural environment. Our expert teams will then ask you a few questions in order to determine which treatment option will best suit you. We are here to support you throughout your journey to sobriety. We invite you to contact us and learn more about our treatment programs and options available for you. Contact us today!

Addiction Treatment: How To Find The Right Program For You

As addiction and substance abuse rates rise, so do treatment options. Addiction is consuming and can be fatal. If you or a loved one is struggling, get the help that you deserve. Addiction can manifest in many ways, therefore there are a ton of different treatment options available for those seeking help. It may seem daunting trying to pick a treatment program. It may even be so intimidating that you don’t want to look. We’re here today to break down the different kinds of treatment options to help you find the right help. 

What is Addiction Treatment?

Addiction treatment is the term used to describe focus, specialized treatments, that are designed to help people break the bonds of addiction. Many people who suffer from addiction usually try to quit drugs or alcohol on their own but are unsuccessful. The relapse rate for someone trying to quit on their own vs. getting professional help is much higher. During addiction treatment, you learn why you became addicted in the first place and you’re given the skills to learn how to live a drug or alcohol-free life. 

Levels of Care

Similar to the way a hospital operates, there are different levels of care for addiction treatment. This is a common term you’ll see a lot when researching treatment programs. These levels of care are appropriate at different points in time. Just as a hospital has a regular floor, an intermediate unit, and an intensive care unit, addiction treatment is also broken up into various stages. In order to find the best treatment for you, you’ll first need to understand the different levels of care and when they should be used.

Detox 

Detoxification, also known as detox, is the process of riding your body from drugs or alcohol. This is where many addiction treatment journeys start because detoxing on your own can be intense, and depending on what substance you’re addicted to, even fatal. It can be difficult to get past the first few days of detox without relapsing when you do it on your own. 

During detox, you’ll experience withdrawal symptoms. When you gave detoxification services, doctors are present to make you feel as comfortable as possible, ensuring you don’t relapse or hurt themselves in the process. Detox can take place at a detox facility or inpatient facility. If you’re not sure whether or not you require detox, you can ask the facility and they’ll let you know. 

Residential Inpatient Facility

At an inpatient facility, you’ll spend 24 hours per day, seven days per week at the treatment center. You sleep there, go to meetings, and receive therapy from professionals. Types of therapy include group and individual sessions. Programs often also offer alternative therapies such as yoga or meditation. Although the length of the program can vary, most inpatient programs are 30 days. This option is great because there is close supervision and you’ll be completely removed from the environment that led to your addiction in the first place.  

Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP)

Intensive outpatient programs (IOP)  are generally recommended after leaving an inpatient facility. The program is similar to inpatient treatment but you don’t stay at the facility; you spend several hours a day there. You participate in group and individual therapy. You attend meetings and continue to discuss treatment options with doctors. IOP is a great first step to take after leaving inpatient treatment. You get the chance to gradually adjust to life after inpatient, instead of being thrown right back into society. Think of it like a full-time job. You spend the majority of the day there to do the work to remain sober, then go home to make yourself dinner. 

Outpatient Programs

The foundation of outpatient programs are the same as IOP but each session is less time. Instead of spending several hours at outpatient, you’ll be there for 2-3 hours. Outpatient is a great option to do after IOP. You can continue to receive group and individual therapy. You can also continue to learn the coping skills to remain sober during outpatient.  It’s also a great option for people who need help but are the only caregiver for their children. If you can’t take off of work for a prolonged period of time or have other personal obligations, outpatient could be the option for you to pursue to get sober. 

Let Us Help You!

At Enlight Treatment Centers, we are a drug & alcohol treatment program in Ventura County. We provide a number of treatment options for drug abuse and addiction including detox and inpatient treatment programs. We also use a dual-diagnosis treatment that uses both traditional treatment and modern therapies to assist clients in beating addiction permanently. We would be honored to help you as well. If you would like to learn more about us, contact our program today!

Crystal Meth: Signs It’s Time To Get Help And How

Addiction can come in many shapes and forms. People can be addicted to anything ranging from drugs to alcohol, gambling, sex, and more. For this reason, it is important for people to be familiar with the impacts various drugs can have on the human body. Crystal meth, also known as meth, is short for methamphetamine. While this compound forms the basis of a number of important prescription drugs, these prescription medications have been tested and are tightly controlled. Street meth, which is what we’re discussing today, is highly addictive and can have devastating impacts on someone’s life. 

What is Meth?

Meth is short for methamphetamine. This is a drug that can cause dramatic changes in someone’s behavior. The structure of this drug means that it can have serious impacts on the neurotransmitters of the brain, how these neurons fire, and how people process and perceive information. In general, meth also has the potential to cause a more intense and dramatic high than many of the other recreational drugs. 

Signs and Symptoms of Meth Abuse

Signs and symptoms of meth abuse present in a variety of ways. Some are more obvious than others:

Behavior changes: Because of the intense nature of meth, behavior changes are common and noticeable. Someone using meth will be highly agitated, have an abundance of energy, and can be paranoid.  

Physical changes: Meth affects someone’s physical appearance. Acne, sores, weight loss, and rotting teeth are all common amongst meth abusers. 

Increased libido: Meth users often have an increased libido, which can lead to unsafe sex. Meth abusers are at a greater risk for sexually transmitted diseases. 

Sleep deprivation: Because meth is a stimulant, it’s not uncommon for users to stay awake for 24 hours or more. 

Psychosis: Meth has extreme psychological effects. Ongoing meth abuse will continually flood the brain with dopamine, which over time, will create an imbalance in the brain’s natural dopamine levels and dopamine-involved operations. Delusions and hallucinations can be common amongst meth users. 

How to Quit Meth

The first step in quitting meth is always asking for help. This includes reaching out to family members and friends for assistance. Then, these loved ones can help people get set up with a professional program that can help someone stop using meth for good. The goal isn’t just to stop using meth but also never use it again. 

While meth withdrawals are not necessarily fatal, detoxing while under the care of medical professionals is recommended. Withdrawing from meth can cause depression, which can lead to suicidal thoughts. Seeking treatment at a rehab is the best way to start your recovery journey. During treatment, you’ll learn tips and tricks on how to live without meth, while building a sober support system. Having a group of people in your life that understand addiction and who also have battled it themselves will be a key component in getting sober. 

Let Us Help You!

At Enlight Treatment Center, we have experienced professionals at our drug & alcohol treatment program. We are located in the gorgeous area of Moorpark, CA. Our doctors provide detox and inpatient treatment for addiction, including meth. We are a unique dual-diagnosis program that takes advantage of both traditional treatment and modern therapies to assist clients in overcoming substance abuse for good. Contact us today!

Why You Should Seek Addiction Treatment In California

addiction treatment in california

More than 15 million Americans struggle with addiction. Different treatments can help people overcome addiction and lead a healthy, goal-oriented life. Here’s what you need to know about addiction treatment in California.

Why Seek Addiction Treatment Out of State?

Seeking addiction treatment out of state may be better than local treatment for some people because it gives them a chance to escape familiar surroundings and faces and heal completely. Out of state addiction treatment:

•Helps people recover fully
•Increases the chances of someone completing the program successfully
•Allows individuals to choose their location
•Provides more opportunities to find the best treatment program

When people are away from familiar environments and surroundings, they are more likely to endure a full recovery because they aren’t around constant triggers. When individuals are taking out of their comfort zone, they can focus their full attention on recovering and setting goals to achieve once they complete the program. People who can choose their location are more comfortable about enduring a recovery program for an extended amount of time.

Why Choose California for Addiction Treatment?

There are tons of addiction treatment centers in the US, but none of them compare to the treatment programs in Ventura County, California. The Land of Milk and Honey, also known as The Golden State, has beautiful scenery and vacation-like weather. With these surroundings, recovery will seem more like a much-needed getaway retreat where people can ease their mind and relax. Our treatment programs are designed to address each individual at their current level and gradually help them achieve higher levels of success throughout their recovery journey. Ventura County has everything individuals need to make a successful recovery from addiction.

The Benefits of Seeking Addiction Treatment in California

There’s nothing better than meeting new people and being able to reflect on a successful day. The addiction programs in Ventura County, California, include a variety of activities. Fresh air and sun in the fun have a range of benefits that help people overcome their addiction. We offer multi-step treatment options in California because addiction has to be addressed one day at a time. Some days and nights are better than others, but when people have access to different activities and able to socialize, life doesn’t seem so difficult. We encourage individuals at our treatment center to socialize, especially in group therapy. People are more comfortable expressing themselves and talking about the issues they have faced or currently facing when there are people around them who are going through similar situations and striving to kick their addiction.

Enlight Treatment Center provides a stable environment, counselors who are dedicated to helping individuals overcome their battles with addiction by pinpointing the causes, and education about addiction, its side-effects, and more. Other things we provide include:

•Peer support
•A daily routine
•Aftercare
•Privacy

Recovery is not an overnight success. We are here to help individuals who want to recover using a step-by-step program. Recovering from addiction will be a challenge, but we’re here to help people every step of the way.

Let Us Help

Everyone needs help. We are dedicated to providing our skilled services and effective addiction treatment programs in California to anyone who needs our help. Enlight Treatment Center provides inpatient and detox treatment for addiction. Recovering from any addiction can be a lonely road, but it doesn’t have to be. We are here to help each person face their addiction, overcome it, and move on with their life. Here at Enlight Treatment Center, we help everyone achieve take control of their life and endure happiness. Everyone deserves a chance at happiness, and at Enlight Treatment Center, we’re here to help your dreams of recovery come true.

Verify your insurance benefits or call us today.

Predisposition to Substance Use

You’ve probably heard about the concept of predisposition. Namely, that if someone, or multiple people in your family, have a substance use disorder (SUD), that you are more likely to experience the same outcome for yourself. This is based on a person’s DNA or genetic makeup. Predisposition is generally seen because of certain variations of genes that are passed on from one’s parents. As noted by the U.S. National Library of Medicine, while these genes do not specifically cause a disease, they do increase the likelihood of the development of the disease. An interesting note is that not everyone within a family will end up getting a disease, it may pass over children and show up again in grandchildren. There is also the possibility that everyone within a family will end up getting the disease. It really comes down to what side of statistics your family’s genes happen to be on. In some cases, genetic variations account for only a small chance of developing a disease, however, the more genes that carry a variation, the greater the likelihood of disease development.

Epigenetics is something that should also be discussed here because it is the study of either inherited or sometimes the functional change in how the genetic activity is regulated within the body. It also works to explain gene expression, and how it works without dependence of the order of gene codes. It seeks to explain the fact that some genes are actually altered by environmental factors and other contributors that can change the way a person’s genes work. Often, epigenetics ends up being problematic for your children rather than for yourself. Breaking it down, essentially, what you are exposed to now and the things that you do to your body has the potential to significantly impact the way your genes show themselves in your children. Therefore, participating in substance use, for example, has the chance of altering your genetic makeup and passing along mutated genes to the next generation, without you even realizing it. Histones are also commonly studied within the topic of predisposition. Histones are explained as being what gives genes organizational structure. Genes use histones for the purpose of either having more or less control over gene expression. Research has indicated that there is a possibility of being able to manage those enzymes that seek to alter histones, which may have significant positive impacts on the future of SUD treatment.

Beyond Genetics

Even though genetics have been said to play a role in the development of SUDs, there is a little bit more to it than that. Some people begin using substances and their family members have never done so. There can be a feeling of wanting to simply try a substance or seeking out substances as a means of escaping things that you are feeling or experiencing. You may have been influenced to try a substance or felt pressured into it at the time. No matter why a person started using substances, the fact remains that they were ultimately a product of their environment at that moment, and their surrounds shaped their actions, and ultimately impacted in a negative way. Now, if you are someone who has never used substances or does so on occasion, it is important to pay attention to yourself and recognize that family ties may be important to you. It is not to say that because your parents were alcoholics that you will be too, however, you may be more likely to become one because of that fact. In this case, if you are someone who likes to come home from work and have a drink of some sort, but one turns into two, and then suddenly it’s five or ten, you have to be aware of your intake. Furthermore, if you feel yourself falling into a perhaps problematic habit, catch yourself and work to maybe find something else to do when you get off work or just simply being aware of yourself. It may be easier said than done, but you have the chance to not fall into the same patterns as your parents maybe did and you can be the difference for yourself, your future children, and maybe even help those in your family who need your support to move into recovery and work towards a better future. What you do now will impact your entire life and it’s important to keep that in perspective.

If you are currently suffering from a SUD, there is a chance that you feel like it is the fault of your family because they too partook in substance use. Whether they did so before you were born or have been doing so as long as you can remember, their use may have impacted yours. We want you to know that you can break the cycle and stop the appearance of substance use in your family and we want to help you. Make a personal investment in yourself and get help today by calling us at (805)719-7954.

Which Professions are More Likely to Have Employees that Engage in Substance Use?

When looking at substance use disorders (SUDs), you look at the person who is going through this situation and wonder what happened to them and how everything started. Well, most of those who engage in substance use are actually working professionals. It is important to consider if employment is a prevalent culprit of substance use and why.

Food Service Industry

Workers in the food service industry fall at the top of the list for professions that are most likely to have employees who engage in substance use or who have a SUD. When employees are younger, they may engage in substance use simply to fit in or because they think it will help them to be a part of the team and have friends. However, many young people don’t yet realize that employees are simply environment acquaintances and that the relationships forged through working in the same place are not usually long-lasting or beneficial, especially at their first job. For those employees who are adults, their situation looks very different. If you ask an older adult why the ended up working in the food industry, especially at fast food locations, unless they have a passion for food, are a franchise owner, or obtained a management position, most of them did not envision working that type of job at that point in their life. Many people had bigger hopes and dreams for themselves and maybe life just didn’t work out the way they anticipated. Having to work long hours, usually overtime, for minimum wage can be quite taxing on a person. Some of these employees may even feel guilt or shame because of the position that they are in, which to them, is a valid reason to engage in substance use as a means of escaping their reality.

Management Positions

Those employees who are in management positions or who have a lot of responsibilities at work such as those in positions involving information technology can have the tendency to engage in substance use for a number of reasons. When working on large projects, they may have to stay at the office late or take their work home with them in order to complete it, which can cause them to work longer than normal hours. In these situations, they may find themselves needing a boost to stay awake and be productive, which is how they start using substances. Employees in this position may also feel overwhelmed and stressed about brokering large deals, meeting with important clients, or creating presentations to give to higher-ups within the company they work for. In these cases, they may use a substance in order to help calm their nerves and relax while they get their work done. While it may be a one time or occasional occurrence, it can easily develop to the point of dependence which is one way that SUDs come to life.

Entertainment Industry

Substance use in the entertainment industry is fairly self-explanatory. Many people in the spotlight have a lot of money and the ability, time, and freedom to do whatever they want. For these people, especially newcomers, partying can be very enticing and the substances that go along with the parties are not in short supply. What is unfortunate about those in the entertainment industry is that a good time can often turn into escaping feelings. Entertainers of all kinds have noted feeling alone or being under too much pressure, which are reasons for their prolonged substance use. It is hard to imagine someone feeling like this in their position, but they are people too and they are not exempt from mental health issues or emotions just like everyone else. The worst part about substance use or SUDs in the entertainment industry is that because there are so many options available in such large quantities, many people have prematurely passed away due to substance use. It was just an accident, but it cost them their lives, and that has a tendency to make you think about your own life.

If you are currently suffering from a SUD, there is a chance that you may feel as though you have lost your way. You may have started using substances as a means to alleviate work stress and it simply went too far. You may not understand why you are where you are or how to find a way out. We want to help you get back on track. Make a personal investment in yourself and get help today. Having a team and really community of support to help get you through can offer piece of mind and a sense of security. At Enlight Treatment Center, we emphasize care and comfort and we want to be that team for you to help you overcome issues and get back to your best self. Whether you have questions or want to visit our facility and talk with us in person, we are always here for you. You can call us at (805)719-7954 or schedule a tour of our facility at 11811 Darlene Lane, Moorpark, CA 93021.

Financial Impacts of Addiction

Every year people spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on various substances. Many people look at the cost of prescriptions as being exorbitant, however, in all actuality, the street value of substances far exceeds the costs of those purchased legally with prescriptions. For example, it was noted through a collection of data that at one point the money made from the sales of illicit substances, alcohol, and cigarettes comprised nearly 3% of the gross domestic product for the United States alone. This means that in a dollar amount, it accounted for nearly 130 billion dollars. In 2017, Australia was noted as having spent over 13 billion dollars on illicit substances. Going along with this statistic is the fact that those who were purchasing these substances were spending over 110% of their weekly income, which means that there was a deficit in their household income.

Along with this statistic, Lee Miller, Wei Lu, and Bloomberg stated in their article that in the same year, 70% of the illicit substances that were purchased were either cannabis or methamphetamines. Furthermore, breaking down the cost, even more, the cost of substances across the globe ranges quite a bit, but the prices are still extremely high based on their country of origin. For example, one kilogram of cocaine in Europe costs over $50,000, in the United States it costs over $30,000, and in Costa Rica, it costs just under $10,000. All different prices, but all relevant to the conversation of the amount spent on substances. Looking at the price listed for the US alone, that is the average household income of a lower-class family and depending on the household size, this yearly income would place them as being below the poverty level. When put into perspective, it is hard to imagine that an entire year’s salary could be spent on something that disappears so quickly.

Forcing Yourself to make Choices

When an individual opts into substance use, no matter the reason, they are impacted physically and mentally based on what they are experiencing within their lives and the effects of the substances. However, the financial impact also takes a large toll on users. Depending on the stage of a SUD, money may be pouring into the addiction in a way that there is no room for any other purchase. In some cases, people may be forced to choose between a substance or a physiological need. There is the choice of whether they would rather have food, electricity, water, a car, and in the worst of cases a home, or put their money towards their substance of choice instead. Even in the early stages of a SUD there is money here and there being put into substance use that could be going elsewhere, and even $10 or $20 here and there can begin to add up very quickly. Not to mention, when larger dollar amounts are being spent, there is nothing to show for where a person’s money is going, it’s just simply gone, as is what they’re spending it on. If a SUD is further along, there is also the chance that people will end up making a choice about whether they continue to go to work or whether they gravitate towards seeking out and using substances. Then, not only is there a loss of income, in some situations, people are placed in a situation where they choose to engage in negative activities in order to find some means to be able to obtain the substance of choice. Inevitably, it is a vicious cycle and one that can have the tendency to go from bad to worse fairly quickly.

Lack of Savings

Since the cost of substances tends to add up quickly, it can be hard to save money. Being able to save money is important for many reasons such as in preparation for the future. If you have a family, this can be imperative for financial security. Many families often have a household income that can pay for monthly expenses but doesn’t afford them to save money beyond that as it is, which can make money going to substances even more difficult for the rest of the family unit. In some cases, there may be family vacations that the family would love to have, or maybe a larger vehicle would be a good investment, but the money simply isn’t there because it’s going towards substance use. Making good decisions for yourself, especially when you have a family of your own, will only bring more positive results to everyone in your life. Choose to break use your resources to your advantage so that you have the opportunity to build savings, get back on your feet, and stop contributing to an industry that has a negative impact on the lives of so many.

If you are currently suffering from a SUD, it is likely that you’re not making yourself a priority. Financially speaking, there may be many things that you’ve wanted to save for or things you’ve wanted to buy or do, but your money is going to the wrong things. Make a personal investment in yourself and get help today. Put your money into something that will make a tremendous positive impact on your life. Call us today at (805)719-7954.

No One Wants to Have a Problem, but Do I Have a Problem?

Denial. Blame. Regret. Guilt. Anything to keep us from facing our addiction. If we can hide behind words or emotions, then we do not have to face the facts. We do not have to do anything about a problem we do not think we have, and we certainly do not have to enter treatment if we can blame our behaviors and actions on someone or something else. Five of the most dangerous words for an addict: “I don’t have a problem.”

Denial

We have all seen a young child “hide” by covering their own eyes. Everyone can see that they are right there. Nothing has changed, except for their sweet, naïve perception: ‘if I cannot see them, they cannot see me.’ Denial works exactly like that. So long as we are unwilling to look at the world, we think the world cannot see our problems. That cannot be further from the truth, though.

The child learns quickly to keep their vision clear to see what is really going on and that hiding is a different game altogether. But our minds are not so willing to learn that our habits and behaviors cannot be hidden from others. That level of denial is most damaging to ourselves. Everyone else can see that we need help, but until we admit that, we won’t get help.

Blame

It is easy to blame our substance use on our environment, family or friends, or other external factors. And most of us have had really, really hard lives, to be fair. But we are always going to be held responsible for our reaction to any circumstances, no matter how difficult. If our reaction is to use substances to deal with life, then we have no one else to blame for that but ourselves.

When we blame other people or things for our substance use, we tell ourselves it is not our fault, which artificially absolves ourselves of our responsibility. Without taking any responsibility, we give ourselves permission to use as much as we want. Whatever the consequences of our actions, we simply blame others. Meanwhile, we are hurting ourselves the most.

Regret

Regret begins by one little thought, looking back on something with sadness or disappointment. Our minds naturally start to put that thought on a loop in our minds, and we have more and more regrets until we can no longer even think about anything else. We find more things to regret, adding to our playlist until our minds are filled with negative views of ourselves and our actions.

When the only video we allow our mind to see is regret, we are immobilized to do anything else at all. Feelings of worthlessness become how we view ourselves. If we were not already using substances, now we would want to more than ever. And the cycle just continues.

Guilt
If regret immobilizes us, our guilt sets us firmly in cement. In a rock quarry in the middle of the desert. Locked in place with chains. Guilt keeps us from being happy, but guilt also keeps us from doing anything we should in order to be healthy.

It is the goodness in all of us that triggers a guilty reaction to something we have done. And feeling guilty is meant to push us toward apologizing, making amends, forgiveness, and changing our ways. But when we are using substances, the guilt is often blown out of proportion. It becomes like that dot… when held far away from us, we can see that it is just a small dot. But when we hold it close to our eye, it is all we can see.

Guilt is helpful when kept in perspective. However, when using and abusing substances, it can become another whole monster to wrestle with. It can lead to depression, self-esteem problems, suicidal thoughts and more. Most importantly, it tells us that we are hopeless and helpless, and that is never true.

All of these types of thinking are negative thought processes. They turn our minds on themselves and create endless loops of adverse thoughts and feelings. Not only do they help us spiral downward in our addictions, but they also cause depression and potentially suicidal thoughts. They also greatly impact our self-esteem long term. And yet this is one part of addiction that we can have some control over.

Responsibility

Denial, regret, blame, and guilt all absolve us of the natural consequences of our actions. We can keep ruminating on the negative things in our heads, or we can take a deep breath and try something new. Instead of saying “I don’t have a problem,” we can listen to that tiny conscience inside of us that has been screaming at us, but drowned out by all of the negative thinking. We can listen to that voice, and pick up the phone and call Enlight right now at (805) 719-7954 so we can help you stop the negative thinking and start living again.