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Stress can be particularly harmful to those struggling with substance abuse. During Stress Awareness Month, it is essential we focus on ways to cope effectively with the strains of life. Here are 5 suggestions for helping you ward off the impact of stress.
You may have heard the phrase “perception is reality”. How we look at a situation has a tremendous impact on how we feel. For example, if you have a positive outlook on your job, you are more likely to feel good about going to work. Looking at your life in negative terms leads to depressive feelings, which have been associated with relapse behavior. Therefore, if you are feeling down, try to view your situation in more positive terms.
Sleep is one of the major building blocks for physical and mental health. Our ability to deal with problems is severely limited when we are tired. It is recommended that the average adult get six to eight hours of sleep per night. Follow these suggestions for proper sleep hygiene.
The need for social connection is especially important for people in danger of relapse. Connecting with friends and family prevents isolation and allows one to receive the necessary social support. In addition, spending time with loved ones is a positive way to have fun. The most effective way to put yourself in an optimistic mindset is to have a good time.
Exercise is a constructive physical outlet for our problems. It increases endorphins, the natural stress fighters in our body. It also helps with our self-esteem. Who doesn’t feel good about themselves after some physical activity? For those people who have difficulty motivating to exercise, start with some simple walking. Other mind-body pursuits that will aid with coping include meditation and relaxation exercises.
Being organized inoculates you against stress. It is much easier to cope with your difficulties when you feel like you have a handle on your responsibilities. Take 10 minutes and figure out a plan for your day. What needs to be done? What are your priorities? How will you accomplish your daily tasks? Organizing yourself may not defeat stress on its own, but you will almost certainly feel less flustered if have an idea of how to attack your daily routine.
If you, or someone you know, is struggling with substance abuse please contact us. With support, treatment, and guidance we can help you or your loved one conquer their addiction.
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Finding ways to have fun in the city while maintaining sobriety can be a challenge for people living with substance abuse disorders. Fortunately, there are recovery-friendly things to do in big cities such as Atlanta, Georgia. Here is a list of places to have fun and stay sober in and around Atlanta.
1. World of Coca-Cola
At World of Coca-Cola, you’ll learn about the soft drink company in a fun way. Drink as much of Coca-Cola’s products as you like in the tasting room, which has more than 100 beverages sold around the world. Walk through and look at memorabilia, see how beverages are bottled, and watch a short film about Coke. Admission is $17 for adults, and $15 for seniors 65 and older.
2. Segway Tours
Have fun in Atlanta touring the city by Segway. ATL Cruzers offers Segway tours in several districts around Atlanta. The cost is $49-$59 depending on the tour. ATL Cruzers also offers an electric car tour for $29.
3. Drive-In Movies
Take your family or friends to see a movie outdoors in your vehicle at the Starlite Drive-In Theater. Bring your own snacks and beverages, or visit the snack bar — no alcohol or drugs are allowed at the theater. Admission is $9 ($1 for children 5-9), which allows you to see two consecutive movies from your parking spot.
4. Alcohol-Free Restaurant
A Hawaiian-style restaurant that doesn’t serve alcohol can be hard to find, but that’s what Truett’s Luau is. About 45 minutes from downtown, this restaurant was started by late Chik-fil-A founder Truett Cathy. The restaurant has island-inspired decor like tikis and ukuleles. The menu includes Chik-fil-A’s famous chicken sandwich and nuggets, along with dishes like fish tacos, steak, and shrimp.
5. Stone Mountain
East of Atlanta is Stone Mountain Theme Park. Hike up the dome of granite and quartz, or take the Summit Skyride to the top, where you can see for 60 miles in good visibility. The park also includes a museum, petting zoo, mini golf, ropes course, and a train ride that takes you around the base of the mountain. In the winter, man-made snow offers a chance to go snow tubing. There’s a lot of fun here without alcohol. Admission prices vary based on the season and which bundled attraction pass you choose.
6. City Parks
Get outdoors in one of the Atlanta-area parks. Centennial Olympic Park downtown is an Atlanta landmark. The park sometimes hosts events with vendors, but when no events are taking place, it’s a great area to just walk around and look at the surrounding cityscape. In another part of the city, take the trail around Clear Creek Basin at Historic Fourth Ward Park. Bike or walk around the scenic 200-acre Piedmont Park, which offers bird-watching walks and fitness classes.
7. Carriage Rides
For something different, take a horse-drawn carriage ride of downtown Atlanta. The carriage tour is $100 for 30 minutes. Reservations are recommended.
8. Coffee Shops
Visit one of Atlanta’s popular coffee shops like Ebrik Coffee Room, East Pole Coffee Co., Dancing Goats Coffee Bar, Condesa Coffee, Hodgepodge Coffee House, and Brash Coffee.
These are a handful of places that show you can have fun and stay sober in Atlanta. There are enjoyable activities out there that are conducive to recovery.
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March is National Kidney Month, meant to raise awareness about Chronic Kidney Disease and remind the public to take proper care of this vital organ. Kidneys perform several important functions including:
- filtering the blood
- removing waste and toxins
- maintaining fluid balance
- stimulating the production of red blood cells
- producing hormones for bone health
- regulating blood pressure
Although kidneys are so important to everyday life, it is estimated that about 30 million adults in the United States have Chronic Kidney Disease.
What is Chronic Kidney Disease?
Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) occurs when the kidneys are damaged and cannot filter blood properly. Excess fluid and waste that would normally be filtered remain in the bloodstream, and this can cause other problems including heart disease, stroke, increased risk of infection, or anemia. CKD can be treated to slow its progress, but it will get worse over time and can eventually cause kidney failure. In these cases, dialysis or a kidney transplant is necessary to survive.
How Does Alcohol Affect the Kidneys?
One of the main risk factors for developing CKD is high blood pressure, and regular alcohol consumption can play a large part in this. Binge drinking is defined as drinking enough to bring a person’s blood alcohol concentration over .08%. While infrequent occurrences of this will only cause temporary blood pressure elevation, doing so consistently can have long-term negative effects. Frequent heavy drinking can cause chronic high blood pressure, putting the kidney at a higher risk of being damaged.
The kidneys are also affected by heavy alcohol consumption because of the strain that it puts on the liver. It is well known that chronic drinking can cause liver disease, and if the liver is not functioning properly, the kidneys have to work much harder. Damage to the liver impairs its ability to regulate blood flow going into the kidneys, and without this regulation, the kidneys cannot filter the blood properly. Because of this, liver disease and kidney disease often go hand in hand.
How to Prevent Chronic Kidney Disease
There are several things that can be done to help prevent kidney damage including:
- eating a healthy, low-salt diet
- exercising regularly
- monitoring and treating high blood pressure
- refraining from smoking tobacco
- limiting alcohol consumption
Alcoholism or frequent heavy drinking can cause a multitude of health problems, including kidney damage or disease, but treatment or rehabilitation can help prevent this from occurring. Make your health a priority and live a longer, fuller life by contacting Tangu Recovery for a free consultation and assistance with treatment.
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Addiction is a disorder of the mind. It is a deceiver and a manipulator, placing drugs and alcohol above all else in your life. Substance abuse disorders thrive on the lies they tell you, convincing you that they make life better, easier, or more manageable. Recognizing the lies addiction feeds you will help you break the cycle of drug abuse or alcoholism.
10 Dangerous Lies Addiction Tells You
Life without using is worse.
Addiction wants you to believe what lies beyond drugs and alcohol is unbearable misery. It wants you to continue using illicit substances to bury your pain. Addiction doesn’t want you to heal; it doesn’t want you to grow.
You’re fine— you don’t have a problem.
Social attitudes toward substance abuse convince us that it has a specific face. We tell ourselves that we have things under control because we maintain employment or because only drink at night. Don’t fall for the social misconceptions surrounding drug and alcohol abuse. If you have to convince yourself your drinking or drug use isn’t a problem, it probably is.
Nothing bad will happen to you.
The optimism bias, or the belief that nothing bad will happen to you despite obvious dangers is a serious risk when it comes to addiction. Fatal drug overdose is at an all time high, and yet we continue tempting fate under the false belief that we are somehow immune. Even past close calls may not be enough to break the bonds of addiction. The only way to protect yourself from the dangers of overdose is through recovery.
Overdose happens to other people.
This one goes hand in hand with the false sense of invulnerability. Overdose is a real and constant threat for people living in active addiction. Every drink or dose is a game of chance you can’t ensure you’ll always win.
What you do is nobody’s business.
Yeah, okay, maybe you have a problem. But that’s no one else’s business, right? Except substance abuse has a direct impact on the lives of everyone you know and love. Your friends worry, your family suffers; your children are scared and they’re watching you.
Rehab is a scam.
Addiction wants you to think it’s a life sentence. It wants you to believe you’re doomed to spend the rest of your days fighting off withdrawal symptoms and seeking the next buzz or high. Distrust in addiction treatment programs and rehab facilities keeps you from regaining control of your life.
You don’t need help– cold turkey is the way to go.
Addiction recovery is more than just gritting and bearing it through the pains of withdrawal. Because substance abuse is a disease that affects the mind and body, recovery requires more than just quitting, and often attempts to go ‘cold turkey’ fail without the proper support and guidance. Not to mention the inherent danger of attempting to detox without clinical intervention– it could be fatal.
You can slow down any time you want.
Ah, yes, moderation. The lie addiction whispers to you when it feels you slipping from its grasp. It says you can get things back under control without actually having to give up anything. You can cut back from a six pack per night to just one or two beers. You can use less, back off of the harder stuff and be fine. Until the cravings become too much and you give in. The dangers of relapse are greatly increased when desperation overtakes caution. Additionally, your tolerance may decrease, meaning what was once an average dose could easily become fatal.
At least you’re not as bad as ‘that guy.’
Odds are you know ‘that guy.’ Of course you do, watching them spiral makes you feel better about yourself. The problem is that type of comparison is inherently flawed. Someone else’s struggle does not negate the gravity of your own addiction.
We’re all going to die anyway.
This is the most morbid of all the lies addiction tells you. Human mortality doesn’t mean you have to rush to the grave. Living the life you were destined for begins by leaving drugs and alcohol behind.
Start with us today.
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Recovering from addiction is not an easy journey. When you have a loved one who is working hard reclaim control of their lives, it’s important to learn how to be part of their support network. If you don’t have personal experience with addiction, understanding the challenges of substance abuse disorders can be difficult. While you may not understand what addiction is like from the inside, learning to be a positive influence is your loved one’s recovery journey can help.
Learn What Enabling Behaviors to Avoid
For many people who don’t have experience with addiction, watching a loved one struggle is difficult. We want to help, but too often attempts to do so only compound the problem. Bailing loved ones out of trouble, making excuses for their behavior, or covering up drug or alcohol abuse only enable addiction to continue reeking havoc on their lives. This creates strained relationships and can lead to more serious legal and personal consequences. Sometimes the best thing you can do for your loved one is tell them no.
Encourage Professional Help
If you discover that a loved one is struggling with drug or alcohol addiction, encourage them to seek professional help. Addiction is a complex disorder that affects the mind and body. As such, recovery requires the specialized care and support of clinicians and behavioral health professionals with the knowledge and experience to help one overcome substance abuse. Comprehensive, personalized addiction treatment programs focus on the individual needs and challenges faced by people in recovery, helping them to build a solid foundation for a healthier, brighter future. Many people in recovery build their support network through the friendships forged during treatment, helping to support and encourage each other to remain dedicated to sobriety.
Understand What You Can About Addiction
Stigmas and misconceptions surrounding substance abuse disorders are incredibly harmful to people living with addiction as well as our families and communities. Challenging these harmful stereotypes can help bridge the gap between people in need and life-changing treatment.
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Navigating sobriety is more than resisting the urge to use. Addiction recovery is active, not passive. Each day we choose to avoid known triggers, practice mindfulness, and use positive means of coping with life’s challenges. For people in early recovery, recognizing common addiction triggers is vital to long-term sobriety.
What are Common Addiction Triggers?
Substance abuse often stems from underlying emotional and mental distress. We use drugs and alcohol to cope with the things we don’t want to feel or deal with. Self-medicating for depression, anger, anxiety, or stress does nothing to quell the problem, only serving to compound the issue. If you are experiencing urges due to overwhelming emotions, remember: turning to your drug of choice will never make things better. Practicing mindfulness and continuing to participate in outpatient levels of care can help you manage the emotional challenges of recovery without relapsing.
Underestimating the dangers of physical triggers is a common misstep in early recovery. We make the mistake of wanting to prove ourselves recovered by returning to the places and people we once frequented to test ourselves, consciously or not. Going back to the bars, street corners, or drug dens we used to know is only tempting the devil forward. The friends and people we knew in active addiction can also serve as triggers. Part of the recovery journey is letting go of that which holds you captive to your past. It’s okay to let these things go.
The most dangerous triggers are the ones we don’t consider. Unanticipated triggers can blindside us, quickly leading to relapse and related dangers. Some common triggers people often overlook include:
- Seasonal changes
- Lack of sleep
- Use of substances other than your drug of choice
- Relationship troubles
If faced with sudden urges, it’s important to stay focused on the reasons you choose sobriety over active addiction. These thoughts and feelings are temporary and never worth the distress and shame that comes with relapse. Take a moment to ground yourself. Distract yourself with your favorite hobbies or self-care techniques. Contact your sponsor, go to an extra meeting, or surround yourself with supportive family and friends.
What to Do if Relapse Happens
Relapse doesn’t have to be the end of your recovery journey. It doesn’t have to lead to dangerous benders. If you experience a relapse, the more important thing to do is be safe and get back on track as soon as you can. We can help.
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Each day we wake up with a chance to write our own story. Each year is a new chapter, and the details you fill the pages with will largely depend on you. If you are recovering from a substance abuse disorder, it may seem difficult to write your own story, but it is possible. Since it is January, there is a whole year ahead of you to make strides in your recovery. We have collected a few resolutions that may fit your goals for the upcoming year.
1. Resolve to Find Help
Whether you are just starting out on your recovery journey or you are well on the road to sobriety, achieving recovery is difficult without a supportive environment. Reach out for professional help. For you that might be spending time in rehab, or it could be a simple weekly session with a therapist. Finding the right support system is individualized, so don’t be discouraged if the first professional system isn’t a perfect fit. Keep trying.
2. Actively Participate in Groups
It can be hard to open up about your struggles, especially when you want to be perceived as in control of your life, but participating in a group setting is an important stepping stone in your recovery journey. Resolve to attend a group regularly, whether that is a therapy session in a rehab setting, an outpatient program or 12-step meetings. Make it a goal to participate at least once during each session, even if it is just to agree with another sharer or offer your support.
3. Reach out to Friends and Family
Poor familial relationships are not an uncommon problem for many adults, none more so than those in recovery. Reach out to friends and family in the new year to rebuild broken relationships. Express your commitment to sobriety, and mend bridges were necessary. Remember, not every relationship can or needs to be saved, so pick the relationships that are most important to you and focus on those. Having a support system is important to your recovery.
4. Work on Maintaining Healthy Relationships
People living with substance abuse disorders have a difficult time maintaining healthy relationships. As a person in recovery, it is a good idea to make a resolution to maintain healthy relationships (and rid yourself of unhealthy ones). This type of resolution takes a fair amount of introspection, and you will need to examine your relationships, the reason for their health (or lack thereof) and you must be willing to accept blame where it is necessary.
Finding your footing during the substance abuse recovery journey can feel really difficult. Setting small, manageable goals may make it feel a bit less daunting.
If you are currently on the journey of recovery and need additional resources, contact us today.
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The holidays are a time when friends and families come together to celebrate. An overabundance of food and alcohol seems to be everywhere. For many, it’s one of the hardest times of year to remain sober. Fortunately, there are many family-friendly activities in Atlanta that focus on wholesome fun. Start new traditions this holiday season, and enjoy all the area has to offer– for FREE!
CHRISTKINDL MARKET – presented by the German American Cultural Foundation
Don’t miss the sights, sounds, and smells of the annual Christkindl Market. Stroll the traditional market area featuring endless rows of unique German products. Nutcrackers, glass ornaments, and one-of-a-kind handmade items abound. Local school bands fill the air with Christmas music. Authentic German specialties and sweet treats are available around every turn. Located at Atlantic Station, this FREE outdoor festival runs through December 23, 2018.
ATLANTIC STATION LIGHTS
The Atlantic Station lights up the night sky with over 250,000 lights covering an 8-block radius. Walk through this amazing FREE display as the snow falls from 6 pm to 9 pm nightly. Take pictures around the 50-foot tall Christmas tree and enjoy the surrounding area.
THE BATTERY ATLANTA HOLIDAY LIGHT SHOW – presented by the Georgia Lottery
The Battery Atlanta comes alive every night from 6 pm to 9 pm with Celebrate the Season, an immersive sound and light display. Held hourly in the Plaza, the Holiday Light Show is a FREE event that runs through Christmas day.
WINTER SOLSTICE YOGA – presented by Mystic Lotus Yoga and Nirvana Yoga
Winter Solstice Yoga is held on December 21, 2018, at the North Public Grounds of the Oakland Cemetery. Welcome the new winter season with meditation, stretching, breathing, and deep relaxation. This special holiday class is FREE and open to people of all ages, abilities, genders, and faiths. It is a great way to release the stress of the holiday season.
Visit the “Perfect Christmas Town” of Dahlonega. FREE holiday events include strolling carolers and festive entertainment. The village sparkles with holiday lights on display through December 31, 2018.
COUNTRY CHRISTMAS LIGHTS AT THE ROCK RANCH
Country Christmas Lights at The Rock Ranch is a tradition started by S. Truett Cathy, founder of Chick-fil-A. On Christmas night, from 6 pm to 10 pm, the ranch opens its gates. Visitors can drive through more than a mile of twinkling Christmas lights for FREE. Admire the beautifully decorated scenes that light up the farm.
BASS PRO SHOP
Every Bass Pro Shop in the Atlanta region offers Santa’s Wonderland. Games, holiday crafts, and activities are available throughout the day. Santa will be on hand for FREE photos.
As 2018 comes to an end, enjoy a sober holiday in Atlanta!
Addiction / Featured
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December is National Impaired Driving Prevention Month, designated as such in response to the irreparable damages impaired driving causes during this time of year. According to the Mothers Against Drunk Driving organization, about two in three people will have some sort of involvement in a drunk driving crash. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration showed over 10,000 people lost their lives in drunk driving incidents in 2017. For that reason, National Impaired Driving Prevention Month is more than a month to spread awareness but one for personal change and action. Here are a few ways that you can make a difference this month for the sake of ending drunk and high driving.
Know Your Limits
One of the most important things to know is just how much alcohol impacts your ability to drive safely. The legal blood alcohol concentration limit is a concentration of .08% for general licenses and .04% for commercial drivers. The amount of drinks it takes to stay under or go above the limit depends on your body chemistry and it’s best to never gamble with the numbers. Overestimating your limits could result in legal consequences, or more detrimental results. Needless to say, there are tools and resources on the internet that could help you determine what your BAC might be based upon your weight and other factors. Knowing an estimate of your drinking limits may be an effective way of preventing yourself from over drinking before taking the wheel.
Educate Yourself and Others
Another great way to make a difference on National Impaired Driving Prevention Month is to educate yourself and others on the facts and statistics about impaired driving. Many people might be unaware of how drugs and alcohol will affect their mind before driving under the influence, especially because alcohol lowers inhibitions and distorts one’s perceptions. The personal stories and tragedies of the people affected by drunk and impaired driving illustrate the devastation of a momentary lapse in judgment. Overall, the more you learn and share, the better. Even if you impact one person’s mindset, you could potentially save the lives of others down the road.
Getting actively involved during National Impaired Driving Prevention Month can be done in a few different ways. There are plenty of powerful organizations that work endlessly to put impaired driving in the past and safety in the present and future. Many of them have volunteer opportunities in which you can get involved and dedicate part of your time to the cause. If that’s not your thing, then another great way to get involved is to take a pledge of honor to not drive drunk, drowsy, or high. Altogether, taking action is a very effective way of making a difference in your own life and the community around you.
Take Care of Yourself
This month may be designated for national awareness but it’s also the perfect opportunity for you to reflect on your relationship with drugs and alcohol. Remembering the countless lives that were taken due to impaired driving accidents will remind you of the dangers that abusing alcohol and drugs can bring. If you’re struggling with an addiction, getting treatment will save your life and may prevent you from ever getting into an accident while drunk or high. You are never alone nor do you have to suffer in silence because your life is worth the time and patience. If you have any questions about our treatment programs, please don’t hesitate to contact us. We are here for you and all the questions you may have!
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With Thanksgiving recently passing, we are officially fully into the holiday season! Whether you celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, or just use this time of year to reconnect with the people you love, the upcoming festivities are both exciting and stressful. For people in recovery, the holiday season can also include hidden triggers we often don’t anticipate including the abundance of alcohol often available during such times.
Want to avoid the easy temptation of drinking during the holidays? Include these 5 non-alcoholic drinks for your holiday party!
This holiday classic doesn’t need alcohol to be delicious! Easy to make yourself or buy at your local grocery story, eggnog is a crowd pleaser everyone can enjoy. If you want fresh, homemade eggnog, follow this simple recipe from Delish.
Cranberry Apple Cider Punch
Few flavors are more symbolic of the holidays than cranberries, and this drink is no different. Bright and cheery, it looks great and tastes even better. Want to be extra? Garnish it with real cranberries and fragrant rosemary for an Instagrammable drink your guests will love!
Get the recipe from Say Yes.
Crimson Christmas Punch
Have a sweet tooth and want an over the top holiday drink? This sugary treat will definitely lift spirits and add a little more joy to your festivities. Family friendly and flavorful, make this punch with raspberry sherbet, ginger ale, three types of juices, and this recipe from Dessert Now, Dinner Later.
Double Chocolate Hot Chocolate
What’s better during cold holiday nights than hot chocolate? Double chocolate hot chocolate combines bittersweet and milk chocolate for a full bodied, rich holiday treat for chocolate lovers everywhere. Skip the whiskey and add marshmallows! Find the recipe on Delish.
Peppermint Bark Milkshake
Yet another holiday classic, peppermint is in everything this time of year– so why not in drinks for your holiday party? Easy to make and delicious, peppermint bark milkshakes only need four ingredients. Learn how to make them from Two Peas and Their Pod!