Imagination can take you anywhere

“Logic will take you from A to B. Imagination can take you anywhere” Albert Einstein

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Recovery quote of the day

“The happiest people do not have the best of everything, they just make the best of everything”

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Top Tips For Staying Sober this Christmas

The fact that it is difficult to stay sober during the Christmas Holiday period is not disputed by anyone who has been there. It is the notorious season of office parties, family gatherings and other social events that almost inevitably involve alcohol. And food. And more alcohol and festive cheer. Staying sober can feel like an impossible task to achieve but that feeling is all just a state of mind stemming from years of habits and routine that can be changed.

The following is a list of top tips to keep you sober and clean over the Christmas holidays:

1) Make sure you plan your time every single day. Ensure that you spend time only with those who support your recovery and never “accidentally” wind up with a group intent on celebrating the Christmas cheer down at the local pub.

2) Get support from family and friends. Close friends and family who truly support you in your recovery should have no problem banning alcohol from any festive gathering you attend. If not, don’t go.

3) Stay Busy. The importance of staying busy can not be over emphasized. Do not wind up sitting around with time on your hands dwelling on the fact that you are not drinking. Stay so busy that time just seems to fly by.

4) Create new, healthy habits. Like getting a new haircut can make you feel “different”, changing your festive routines and habits can help to define the new sober you. Try some new activity that has no associations with alcohol and make it your new Christmas tradition.

5) Keep your sponsor close. Make sure you have a list of sponsors you can rely on for those dark moments. Keep your list and your phone on you at all times and ensure that your sponsor/s are aware that you might be calling at any time.

6) Give something back. Consider volunteering at a charitable organization. Volunteering not only helps those less fortunate than yourself, but it also keeps you busy. The combination is good for the mind and soul!

7) Attend local meetings. Wherever you might be, attend local meetings in your area. If you will be in an unfamiliar city, check local papers before hand so that you are prepared.

8) Daily affirmations. Count your blessings every morning and give thanks. It really helps to write out this list and review it to remind yourself of all the good things happening in your life and how grateful you are to be sober.

9) Stay away from “old haunts”. Absolutely avoid old haunts and groups of friends or associates who are not intimately involved with your recovery. If they are not already involved in your recovery process that need to be avoided at all costs right now.

10) Physical exercise. Don’t underestimate the importance of physical exercise. Working up a good sweat and burning calories will undoubtedly have a beneficial effect on your mood and state of mind. And burning more calories over Christmas is usually a good thing too!

11) Take it one day at a time. Just like it says, take things one day at a time. Don’t confuse the forest for the trees. Just keep stepping over those tiny stones on your way to the goal.

12) Consider an alcohol rehab. If it all gets to be too much temptation or too stressful, consider checking yourself into an alcohol rehab facility. There is no shame in sitting out the season, and completing a detox or course of rehab is something you can be proud of. What better gift to yourself for the new year ahead than sobriety?

The staff at Gladstones Clinic would like to wish everyone, particularly our past and present clients a healthy, happy, prosperous and sober holiday season and New Year. We are always available to assist with support, admissions or concerns. If you or a family member require assistance for alcohol dependency feel free to call us at any time. We are here to help.

merry-christmas-and-a-sober-new

 

 

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Ravages of Crystal Meth Abuse

Face of crystal meth abuseFive years after being crowned Miss Teen Oregon-World in 2009, photos of Jamie Lynn-France, 23, reveal the devastating impact of crystal meth use on the former beauty queen. Lynn is currently being held on $30,000 bail after being recently arrested and charged with possession of methamphetamine, heroin and suboxene, which is used to treat opiate addiction.

Police in Keiser, Oregon have released before and after photographs of Francis to highlight the shockingly terrible physical effects of crystal meth and other hard core drugs, along with the following statement: “Keizer Police Department would like to take this opportunity to caution against the use of illegal controlled substances because of the terrible long-term affects to the user, their families and our communities.”  What may at first seem like merely a canned warning is bellied by the deplorable living conditions in the family drug dealing home at the center of the Frances investigation. Young children were exposed to horrific and deplorable living conditions in what would be best described as a grotty drug den.

Crystal meth abuse, made famous in the hit TV program Breaking Bad is reaching epidemic proportions in America, where more than 13 million people over the age of 12 are believed to have tried the highly-addictive drug, according to a 2008 US government report.

Time-stamped images depicting the ravages of crystal meth abuse have begun to appear on the net, in an effort to shock people in to coming to their senses. Perhaps no other drug has the ability to so quickly ruin lives and to so dramatically alter physical appearances.

Crystal Meth Abuse

You can read the original article “The changing face of a beauty queen” by clicking on the following link: The dangers of crystal meth abuse.

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Drug and Alcohol addicts are “Not Anonymous”

A former heroin addict and his partner have created a website that fights the negative stigma associated with drug and alcohol addiction. ‘I Am Not Anonymous‘ is a platform for former addicts to share their personal, and often emotional, stories. The simple yet ambitious project was launched back in April by Tom Goris, a recovering heroin addict, and his photographer girlfriend Kate Meyer. The site is made up of a gallery of black and white photos of each former addict, and once the visitor clicks on a chosen photo, it opens up to reveal that person’s personal recovery biography, as well as reader comments below.

For many addicts, their addiction is something that they mainly suffer through in shame and silence, avoiding any mention of it in “polite society”. Addicts generally keep their “dirty little secret” to themselves for fear of the negative stigma attached to it. Many have endured years and years of addiction “under the radar” and have had only limited opportunities to engage with a large collection of extremely positive recovery success stories. Addiction is a powerful disease, as is the stigma attached to it. “I am not Anonymous” is determined to disarm the stigma by publishing everyday addicts and their every day stories of recovery.

It is well worth clicking on a random sample of these recovery success stories because you will quickly discover just how random and representative the stories are. They come from men and women, girls and boys, mothers, teachers and more. Some of their stories start right at the beginning and chart the entire course of the addiction, fall from grace, loss of self esteem and social credibility before describing the seeds that once planted grew into a firm and stable recovery. Other stories tend to focus more on the recovery side of things, and how much better life is for them sober. Either way, f you are looking for positive addiction recovery role models and recovery stories with heart and wit that do not descend into hand wringing farce, you will want to check out this site.

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Gladstones Alumni Reunion Saturday 27th September

Dear All

I am pleased to announce that we will be holding the Annual Gladstones Alumni Reunion on Saturday the 27th September at Berkeley Square.

The event will commence at 12-pm and will last for the afternoon. This is an opportunity for past clients to come back to Gladstones to get together in a celebration of recovery and also to meet and mingle with current clients and staff.
All staff are invited and expected to attend.

Everyone who has been a client of Gladstones as well as their family and friends are welcome. (obviously subject to maintaining sober recovery.)

We will hold a BBQ in the back Garden with drinks and food, and then there will be a meeting and a share from past clients(details of whom to be confirmed) and short speeches.

Depending on numbers we will either have the meeting part upstairs or a few doors down at the University Literary Club which has a large meeting hall.

We will start to email clients next week, however please mention this to all relevant parties and ask them to RSVP so we can get a handle on numbers.

Best regards

Gary Queen

Gladstones Clinic Ltd.

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Synthetic Spice Marijuana use among Army users

According to a study conducted by Social Work researchers from the University of Washington, Synthetic Cannabis is the preferred drug of choice among active duty US military personnel who use illicit drugs. Synthetic marijuana, also known as Spice, is made from Cannabis plant material coated with chemicals that are designed to mimic THC, the psychoactive compound found naturally in marijuana.  The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration has listed several of synthetic marijuana’s main chemical compounds as Schedule 1 substances, and obviously illegal.  Due to legal restrictions, producers are always altering their chemical compounds to remain technically legal, thus exposing users to an ever changing cocktail of chemicals and exposing them to unknown hazards and risks associated with dangerous chemical compounds.

Adverse health effects linked to synthetic cannabis use have not been widely studied yet, but hospital emergency rooms have reported seizures, nausea, vomiting, and cardiovascular and respiratory problems among users. Psychological effects of using synthetic marijuana can include anxiety, confusion, agitation, irritability, depression and memory loss issues.

Some of the study’s other reported findings include: Users of synthetic marijuana were younger and less educated than those who were dependent only on alcohol. Users were more likely to be single and earned less money than other service personnel who were dependent on other drugs or alcohol.  Users preferred synthetic Cannabis because they believed it left their systems more quickly than traditional cannabis. The study noted no differences related to ethnicity, race, service deployment locations, history or religious choice. Researchers also found that synthetic cannabis users were two-and-a-half times more likely to develop drug dependence than those who used other drugs (but not alcohol).

An additional hazard associated with habitual synthetic marijuana use was needing more and more of the substance to achieve the same effect, or “high” a hallmark of drug dependence. More than three-quarters of the study’s users admitted using the drug for much longer than originally intended (i.e., planning to take just a few puffs after work, but then smoking it for hours).

The research is online and will be published in the July 2014 issue of Addictive Behaviors.

 

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New depression treatment uses helmet therapy

Danish researchers are currently testing a helmet that is able to deliver electro-magnetic impulses to the brain that have shown positive results in treating people with severe depression. The helmet targets malfunctioning blood cells in the patient’s brain, and in clinical trials two thirds of the test subjects reported that their symptoms had disappeared and improvements were detectible within one week.

65 patients with treatment-resistant depression in Denmark and New Zealand were involved in testing the helmet, the inventor of which is interviewed below by the BBC.

See the original video here:

New depression treatment technique uses helmet therapy

 

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Alcohol Detox Withdrawal Symptoms

Don’t Be Afraid of Facing Withdrawal Symptoms

If you have you ever wanted to quit abusing alcohol but were afraid to begin the process because you were terrified that the withdrawal symptoms would be too severe, then you are definitely not alone.

There is no doubt  about it; alcohol withdrawal symptoms can be incredibly severe, and in some cases even fatal. If you are an every day drinker, a heavy drinker or a frequent binge drinker, then suddenly quitting the consumption of alcohol could very well lead to a variety of unpleasant physical and mental symptoms otherwise collectively known as alcohol withdrawal symptoms.

Most People Welcome a Bit of Help

The essential factor in successfully quitting alcohol while avoiding the worst of the unpleasant withdrawal symptoms is asking for professional help. If you have reached the point where you know that it is in your best interest to stop drinking, begin by seeking help or advice from your family doctor, primary healthcare provider or a substance abuse detox facility like Gladstones Clinic.

There are clinically proven methods and medical treatments that a qualified physician can provide you with that will stop or reduce most of the symptoms you would normally experience if you quit cold turkey. Gladstones provides a fully medically supervised detox program that can involve a short course of supportive medication to assist you through the initial stage of your recovery.

Benzodiazepines (tranquilizers) can be carefully administered to mitigate the worst symptoms of withdrawal, like the shakes, and are also a main factor in preventing and treating Delerium Tremens, or (DTs). Serious long-term addicts may also be prescribed beta-blockers to reduce their heart rate, and anti-seizure medications in case they do go into the DTs.

If you have experienced severe withdrawal symptoms in the past, the best advice is to check yourself into a professional, registered Alcohol Detox facility. Detox programs involve short-term (usually less than seven days) inpatient treatment during which specially trained professionals monitor your withdrawal closely and administer medications as needed.

One advantage of an “In-Patient Supervised Detox” facility is that you will be securely isolated from all of your usual drinking triggers and therefore be less likely to pick up a drink to banish the symptoms the moment they begin and things start getting tough.   The other main advantage is that your detox will be medically supervised and your health monitored for safety. And no, you do not have to be falling-down drunk or at below rock bottom to check into detox. People check themselves in voluntarily every day for a variety of reasons.

The Bottom Line

If you have decided that you need to quit drinking, don’t let alcohol withdrawal symptoms scare you away from acting on your decision. There are accepted medications and treatments available that can help you to get through those crucial first days of no alcohol consumption. You don’t have to do it on your own and it doesn’t have to be a living nightmare to get through.

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Heroin played a ‘role’ in Peaches Geldof death

The results of a toxicology report have now shown that TV presenter Peaches Geldof, who died suddenly last month aged 25, had heroin in her system.

Geldof was the second daughter of musician and charity campaigner Sir Bob Geldof and the late Paula Yates, who ironically also died of a heroin overdose at the age of 41.

At an inquest in Gravesend, Det Ch Insp Paul Fotheringham, informed the hearing: “Recent use of heroin and the levels identified were likely to have played a role in her death.”

Geldof had openly spoken about her struggle to deal with her mother’s death – and of experimenting with drugs in her teenage years – but had cited motherhood as a central part of her “healing” process.  She had been dropped from her most lucrative modelling contract following sordid allegations about her private life in 2010 and had made substantial efforts to turn her life around.

Following Astala’s birth in 2012, “everything started to heal”, she told Elle magazine, and family and friends reported there were no warning signs in the week leading up to her death.

Parallels have already been drawn between the circumstances surrounding the death of actor Philip Seymour Hoffman in February, 2014. Both celebrities appear to have relapsed shortly before their deaths, once again highlighting the dangers of resuming drug usage following a prolonged period of abstinence, and once more opening the debate over whether an addict is ever recovered or perpetually recovering.

 

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