Posts made in November, 2016

Helping A Family Member To Detox? Keep These 3 Things In Mind

When it comes to helping a family member recover from a lifelong addiction to drugs or alcohol, you might be grappling with what to do and how to help. With relapse rates ranging from 50%-90%, you might wonder how to turn the tables in your loved one’s favor while simultaneously preserving your relationship. Here are three tips for helping a family member to detox, so that you can help them to live a better life.  1. At-Home Rehab Can Be Dangerous Taking care of your loved one from the comfort of your own home might sound like the perfect environment for recovery, but you might be setting yourself up for failure—in a dangerous way. Certain addictions change the body chemistry of addicts, which means that withdrawals can be fatal. For example, addictions to alcohol, opioids, and benzodiazepines alter the way the GABA receptors in the brain react, which means quitting these substances cold turkey could lead to problems with seizures, breathing problems, heart issues, and even death. Recovering from these substances is less about “quitting,” and more about “tapering,” which is why at-home rehab might not be the best option. If you want to help a loved one detox from alcohol, benzodiazepines, or opioids, the safest route to take is to enroll them in a program at a detoxification center like Evergreen Recovery Centers. Medical experts will carefully monitor their withdrawal symptoms and vital signs, and even have access to special medications that can ease recovery. 2. Focus On Proper Nutrition Whether your loved one has recently been released from a detoxification center or they are tapering off of a dangerous substance on their own, a focus on proper nutrition is an absolute must. Make sure to fill your home with healthy, readily-accessible foods that are rich in essential vitamins and nutrients. Consider stocking up on foods that are easy to digest, such as pasta, soups, and smoothies. Offer foods that have been shown to help the body to expel toxins, such as green tea, garlic, and healthy greens. Try to keep the person recovering hydrated, as withdrawal symptoms like vomiting and diarrhea can cause severe dehydration very quickly. Keep healthy snacks on hand for your loved one to munch on if they need to take their mind off of the way they are feeling. Nuts, dried fruits, and pre-cut, crunchy veggies are easy to keep on the counter or in the fridge—and can provide your loved one with a nutritional boost. 3. Distraction Is Essential One of the most important ways you can help a loved one to detox from a drug or alcohol addiction is by offering powerful distractions. When your loved one is in the throws...

Read More

Helping Students Deal With Loss Of A Peer: How High Schools Teachers Can Provide Support After Tragedy

Students in high schools all across America deal with death in one form or another, but it is especially earth-shattering when one of their peers dies prematurely. The loss of a friend and classmate who was at the same stage and age as the other students can lead to feelings of guilt, shame, self-doubt, and anger. It’s difficult to process the loss of an energetic youth—youth today embody potential and exuberance: they are just so alive. Teachers can help direct the shock and grief when a student passes away. With the right approach, schools can be sources of healing and comfort for the study body. 1. Provide sources of communication to process the event.  Students often feel compelled to talk about the event that caused the students’ passing. Unlike the deaths of other, more personal relations, like a parent or grandparent, the loss of a peer is something that the entire student body can share in common, and many students will draw closer together in the face of the tragedy. Encourage all positive discussions, and make it known that you are available to speak with any student who feels the need to talk about how they feel. Encourage students to see the guidance counselor as needed. Remind students that only positive interactions are acceptable in public areas. Those who need to share private stories or express complex negative feelings about the deceased should speak with a counselor. This can happen if the student who died was a bully, an addict, or an outcast. Sharing negative experiences in the public sphere can cause division and heighten feelings of anger.  2. Reach out to students who were close to the deceased.  These students may begin to struggle socially, academically, or emotionally. If they were with the student at the time of the death, they can suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder or feel intense survivor’s guilt for living while their friend is dead. Many may feel as though they ought to have died in the place of their friend. Take the time as an educator to meet personally with any of your students who are particularly impacted by the loss. Adjust academic expectations and speak with them candidly about their needs. 3. Create a student memorial that allows grief to be made tangible. The full expression of grief for teens often needs to be visible and concrete. They benefit from actions that help bring healing and closure, so the opportunity to participate in some sort of memorial service as a student body can be incredibly healing. The students themselves can often craft a poignant tribute to the fallen student without much direction from the staff. For example, one group of students who...

Read More

What do you do when you are having a hard time enjoying the time you have to spend with your spouse? Being married for 15 years and changing so much during the course of those 15 years made my relationship with my husband a little difficult to enjoy. When we met, we were young, both enjoyed going out partying and sharing a lot of the same interests. As the years went by, I lost my desire to party and don't really enjoy the risk taking behavior that we used to. I have four kids to worry about and they take up most of my time, so I turned to a counselor for help and this is what I've been learning.