Addiction is trying for everybody regardless of age, social status or sex. Men and women, however, may face different issues due to expectations, placed on them by society.
In most cultures, men are viewed as strong independent leaders, and while that classification is long outdated, society still frequently sees a display of emotion or vulnerability as a deviation from that image.
Why People Are Getting Addicted to Drugs?
Canadian physician Gabor Maté believes that addictive behaviors are woven into the very fabric of our materialistic society and that there is a direct link between childhood trauma and further self-abusive behaviors in the future.
Consequently, an alarming number of men prefer to hide or deny their addiction instead of getting appropriate treatment.
Am I An Addict? 5 Qualities Different Drug Users Share in Common
Attempts to define predispositions to drug addiction resulted in numerous psychological researches and theories. Even though there is no 100% accurate profile of an addict-would-be, scientists believe that people who have higher chances to get addicted, do share specific personality traits.
As there are genetic predispositions for different diseases such as diabetes or epilepsy, there are psychological characteristics which make a person more prone to substance abuse.
Although every addiction story is pretty much unique, they all share something in common. So in order to protect ourselves and our beloved ones, it is important to be aware of existing risk factors. Here are some of the particular qualities that might lead to addictive behaviour.
Medical staff knows pretty well that addicted people, who undergo holistic rehabilitation (find out more), differ from others in a specific way. There is always something extreme about them – they are either withdrawn or way too active, very nervous or overly laid back.
Psychologists confirm – extreme personality traits play a major role in increasing the odds of addiction development. People that have a prominent and accentuated personality experience difficulties in regulating their emotions and behavior which eventually may result in drug consumption as a kind of destructive self-regulation mechanism.
2. Five-factor peronality model
One of the most popular models to describe a person is a so-called five-factor model (FFM). This model characterizes a person using five main pairs of opposite traits such as openness to experience (curious or cautious); conscientiousness (organized or careless), extraversion (an outgoing and energetic extravert or solitary and reserved introvert); agreeableness (compassionate or detached) and neuroticism (sensitive and nervous or secure and confident).
By using questionnaire and testing these traits among drug addicts researches came to the conclusion that there is a significant difference in the psychological profiles of drug users and non-users. In general, addicted people are characterized by higher neuroticism, openness to experience and lower agreeableness and conscientiousness. It means that drug users are prone to experience such negative feelings as loneliness, anxiety, depression, fear, and anger more often, than people, who don’t use drugs.
Addicted people are also less goal-oriented and might be undependable; they show lower self-discipline, display spontaneous behavior or find it hard to stick to a plan.
3. Distressing feelings
Anxiety and depression seem to be one of the biggest challenges modern people struggle with. Evolutionally worry and anxiety exist to help us be aware of the environment and look out for dangers that we might face. However, when anxiety becomes excessive, it starts working against us – we become afraid of things and situations that mean no harm.
These unreasonable levels of anxiety paired with depression often become a trigger for drug abuse that over time evolves into addiction. Patients in holistic addiction treatment centers often refer to drugs as both anxiety reducing and, ironically, anxiety boosting substances – when addiction is established drugs may cause even more anxiety than a person initially experienced due to withdrawal symptoms.
Depression is another psychological and physiological condition that may serve as a predisposition to drug addiction. Depressed individuals desperately seek rescue from negative things they experience and often find remedy in drugs.
Both anxiety and depression might indicate a person’s general vulnerability and problems that he or she experiences in interaction with the world and other people.
4. Mental disorders
Drug consumption also may start as an attempt to get rid of the psychological discomfort caused by mental illnesses. A person may not be aware of a disorder she or he has but suffer from its symptoms without proper treatment.
One of the ways to diminish these symptoms is substance abuse. Disorders that correlate with drug abuse include schizophrenia, anxiety disorders, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and bipolar disorder.
5. Sensation seeking and troublesome drug users
Analyzing existing traits that are connected with addictive behavior, researchers divide addicts into two major groups. The first type of drug users are “experimentalists”. They are characterized as straightforward, open to new experiences, and sensation-seeking. They mainly resort to using drugs as one of the ways to achieve specific states of mind and experience unusual mental sensations.
This drug user profile also correlates with impulsivity – a personality trait due to which an individual gets engaged in unplanned behavior, acts quickly without proper consideration of possible consequences and outcomes. Another type is a so-called “troubled drug user”.
These people are generally reserved, emotionally vulnerable, susceptible and compulsive. Thus, they use drugs to get rid of distressing emotions and feel more peaceful. Understanding the psychological profile of a drug user is extremely important in creating personalized holistic recovery programs.
Taking into account described characteristics, people have more personality predispositions to substance abuse need to be more self-aware to prevent it. It’s necessary for them to learn self-regulation techniques, reduce anxiety, control impulsiveness, and be able to restore inner balance.
7 Warning Signs That You Are Already Addicted to Opioids
Whether it is used for pain management after surgery to manage the pain of diseases or you just like to smoke a few paths of opium from time to time like artists and other curious minds did since centuries – opioid drugs can be a useful and even mind-opening tool.
While effective, opioid drugs have very high addiction potential. If not carefully monitored and supervised by medical personnel, you can quickly become dependent on opioid drugs—and that can pose serious issues for your mind and body.
If you are currently using opioid drugs and find yourself using them beyond the prescribed amount, this is a cause for concern. The following article highlights 7 warning signs that you are already addicted to opioids.
If you find yourself displaying these warning signs, addressing professional help immediately is the best solution. Alternatively, you can try kratom. What is kratom, you may be asking? It’s a plant used in Asian traditional medicine since ages, known to cure insomnia, relief pain and… overcome opioid addiction.
Before you consider treatment, ask yourself honestly you have noticed some of these signs that can mean that you are already addicted to the opioids.
Sign #1: You are Preoccupied with Your Medication
The first sign that you may be addicted to opioids is the fact that you become increasingly obsessed with when you can take your next dose. Additionally, you also think if that dose is enough for you. There may be instances where your preoccupation with your medication makes sense. Examples of this include taking your medications right after surgery or if you need to take your medications right after dental work.
However, if your preoccupation with your medications goes on for extended periods of time, you may be addicted to opioid medication. It is important to note that addiction occurs when you are both physically and emotionally drawn to a drug. When obtaining and using your medications takes center stage, you are addicted and need help.
Sign #2: You Aren’t Taking the Prescribed Amount
Opioid medications are potent and must be taken under the close supervision of experienced medical personnel. When doctors prescribe your doses, they do so for you to manage your pain and to minimize the risks of dependency. If you are taking more than the prescribed amount or are stretching out your doses to make your medications last longer, you may be addicted.
If the dosage you are taking is not adequately managing your pain, you cannot play doctor on your own and adjust your medications. It is essential to contact your doctor right away and explain your issues with the medication. Trying to control things on your own will lead you down the path of dependency and opioid addiction.
Sign #3: Doctor Shopping
Another telltale sign of opioid addiction is if you are engaging in the practice of doctor shopping. This occurs when you seek the same prescription from more than one doctor. When you become addicted to your medication, your primary doctor raises the red flags in why you need more medications. If your primary doctor refuses to give you what you need, you may seek out other doctors to write you a prescription or seek out doctor known to overprescribe medications.
Sign #4: You Use Other Sources to Get Your Medications
If you are addicted to opioid medications, your doctor may be aware of your addiction and refuses to give you any more. Other doctors may also be mindful that you are obtaining these medications to use them beyond what they were prescribed initially. To get more medications “that you need,” you may have already started shopping around.
You may have ordered medications online or obtained what you need from family and friends. You may have resorted to stealing these medications from medicine cabinets or bought other people’s prescription drugs. Worse yet, you may have resorted to hurting yourself on purpose so you can go to the emergency room to get more medications. If you are resorting to these tactics, you are addicted to opioids.
Sign #5: You Use Opioid Medication for Longer Than Intended
When you started off using painkiller medications, you did so because you had legitimate pain issues. However, these medications are only intended for short-term use and under strict doctor care. If you are still using these medications daily and long after the pain should have subsided, you may have a problem.
The reasons why you still take these medications vary. You may like the way you feel when you take them, or you may have intense cravings for these drugs. No matter the reason, they are telltale signs that you are dependent and even addicted to opioids.
Sign #6: You Get Defensive About Your Usage
If you are abusing prescription medications, your family and friends have noticed. If your loved ones have talked to you about your drug use and you become irritated and defensive, it is a sign that you may be addicted and need professional help.
Sign #7: Your Personal Appearance Drastically Changes
When the use of drugs takes over your life, everything else takes a backseat—including your personal appearance and hygiene. You may look ragged from not getting enough sleep, and your eating habits have drastically changed. You may look pale and unkempt, and you may be moodier or on edge. If you or others are shocked in how you have transformed for the worse, you are in the grips of addiction.
If you are displaying any or all of these signs, you need to find professional help immediately. Opioid drugs are potent, and quitting cold turkey can create significant health issues. With the structure and programming found in a reputable drug treatment facility, you can regain your health and sanity.
Effects of drug abuse and addiction on the body
Everybody knows that drugs and alcohol can be detrimental to human health and cause addiction, but how exactly does it happen? Turns out, drugs affect the production of various neurotransmitters and hormones, either boosting or decreasing it.
You can think of neurotransmitters as carriers for signals that the brain uses to identify and analyze external and internal stimuli and change the way we feel accordingly. For example, when some activity, like eating, is pleasurable, our brain treats it as beneficial and releases dopamine, a chemical that regulates emotions and the feeling of pleasure. Then, orbitofrontal cortex, an area in the brain responsible for decision making, picks up on the dopamine release and begins forming a habit.
After some time, the brain adjusts to the presence of a drug in a person’s system, and the level of dopamine when the person is not using drops dramatically, causing depression, pain, and cravings. The body then has to redefine what it perceives as a normal level of this neurotransmitter. This is why detox is one of the first stages in treatment, and one of the toughest, too.
Alcohol and drugs also affect our psychological state. The feelings of euphoria and relaxation can be incredibly tempting, especially when the circumstances are favorable and there are triggers like daily troubles, mental or physical illnesses, tough life situation or simple unawareness of how dangerous a “just this once” attitude can be.
Sometimes people like the way drugs or alcohol make them able to express certain traits that they usually hide. This way, men who are normally shy and reserved may become more sociable and comfortable sharing their feelings with others when they’re drinking. Likewise, men who grew up in an environment that condemned violence may become more aggressive and openly irritable under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
Here’s why many men find it hard to start the treatment
The rates of drug abuse are currently higher in men than in women. Physically, addiction strikes everyone in a virtually identical way, although there are still subtle sex-dependent differences. For instance, men generally find it easier to quit, but they tend to seek treatment later than most women.
Despite the wide variety of available and affordable men-only rehabilitation centers (read more here), resources and programs, nearly 95% of those in need of treatment don’t actually get it. There are several common causes to explain that.
In our society, men are expected to be independent and self-sufficient, which often makes them prone to denial of their condition. This way, male addiction can be particularly hard to treat because of the clients’ reluctance to openly share their feelings and issues, discuss vulnerabilities and accept help. In addition, men often have trouble acknowledging weaknesses and analyzing problems that cross into the domain of feelings.
They might feel insecure, lack trust, and develop concerns for their privacy and the way treatment will affect their image. This prolonged period of indecisiveness and doubt can result in feelings of guilt and self-loathing that delay the decision to enroll in a men’s rehabilitation program even more.
Abuse and withdrawal symptoms
Although sometimes it can be hard to recognize drug use and addiction since the effects vary from person to person, there are some signs worth looking out for:
- abrupt or gradual withdrawal from family, avoidance of interactions with friends;
- rapid mood swings;
- lack of interest in hobbies or activities that used to be enjoyable;
- memory, attention or concentration problems;
- constriction of pupils;
- heaviness in limbs;
- a strong craving for the drug and inability to function without it.
When a person enrolls in a treatment program or facility, the first thing they need to go through in order to begin the recovery process is detox. Their system has to be clean of the drug before therapy can begin.
The withdrawal period is hard, and patients usually receive medication to ease the painful or unpleasant symptoms. Those effects may include anxiety, depression, seizures, tremors, restlessness, insomnia, headaches, flu-like symptoms, nausea, and others depending on the type of drug.
Challenges of gender-specific treatment
The main advantage of men drug rehab facilities is the understanding of specific problems that men face in life and staff’s readiness to account for them.
While many hardships are the same for men and women, certain traits, situations, and experiences are almost exclusive to men and can significantly hinder the recovery process without professional attention and guidance.
Let’s take a look at a few of them and discuss how they are frequently tackled in therapy.
Cognitive behavior therapy relies greatly on an individual’s ability to disclose and process their own feelings and emotions. Men often find it embarrassing to display sadness, anxiety or fear, talk about their relationships, health and financial problems.
This contributes to reluctance and tension during the therapy. In this case, clinicians sometimes may apply self-disclosure, a technique when trust of the patient is gained when the therapist gives example by talking and showing vulnerability first, thus letting the client know it’s okay to start sharing.
Through self-disclosure, therapists may also help bring some sensitive topics into the light by broaching the subject without shame and guilt.
Stereotypical approach to masculinity
Many male patients share some behaviors and beliefs, based on their gender role socialization. These can vary greatly from completely traditional to absolutely extraordinary, so clinicians have to determine the values, views and the patient’s definition of masculinity to find the best approach.
Since men are usually quite reserved and hesitant to ask for help, especially for problems concerning drug abuse, it is important for the therapist to outline the major circumstances and motivations that prompted their patients to seek treatment.
Aggression and competitiveness
Due to the way testosterone affects the body, men are hormonally predisposed to be quite aggressive.
Combined with society’s inflated expectations of men being competitive and often toxic views on masculinity, this can result in male patients being resistant to their therapist’s suggestions and developing the need to prove themselves to their treatment group members, family or even themselves.
Clinicians may need to tackle that resentment and rejection by reframing their advice as conclusions that were reached collaboratively during therapy.
Benefits of men-only rehab programs
Rehab for men utilizes behavioral and pharmacological therapy to help patients go through detox and withdrawal as painlessly as possible and develop healthy coping mechanisms that will help prevent relapses. One of the most important parts of the treatment is connecting a client to a suitable therapist who will work closely with them and create a safe comfortable environment for the person to relax and open up about their problems.
Therapist’s gender, race, culture, knowing a bit about where the patient grew up, having a common interest or area of expertise can all play a role in establishing a trusting relationship. Below is a brief overview of some of the perks that man-only rehab has to offer.
1. Individual approach
Male clients may feel uncomfortable seeking treatment in the first place, so it’s important that they spend some time with their therapist talking about common and neutral topics like work and hobbies in order to build trust and rapport before the initial assessment.
A clinician will try to understand what led a male client to the decision to receive treatment in order to get a better grasp of his unique circumstances, values, and motivations.
3. A specialist’s ability to relate to the client
In men-only addiction treatment programs, therapists are trained to address specific issues that their clients face. Sometimes they may acknowledge common fears or problems related to sensitive topics that men are often reluctant to talk about, including relationships, family, health and financial issues.
4. Structured approach with specified milestones
Men typically find it easier to accomplish something when there is a defined path to follow, with clearly visible progress and logical actions required to reach the top. They are generally socialized to be goal-oriented. Therefore, it can be helpful to conceptualize the treatment process as a series of steps and check-points. This way, each small accomplishment will be documented in some way and help the client build confidence, support his sense of control and prevent him from abandoning treatment.
8 Ways Yoga Can Help to Tame Your Drug Addictions And Activate Your Inner Strength
Yoga is one of the most used meditative practices in the world, and for good reason- it has numerous proven mental and physical health benefits for those who practice it and it is no wonder it has become so popular for centuries. This article will take you through the benefits of yoga to recover your body from drug abuse and never have to deal with drug testing again.
While there are many options for drug abuse recovery, some quite effective, both patients and those who treat them are continuously looking to better alternatives. Traditional drug treatment methods can be improved or complemented with non- traditional therapeutic methods such as yoga.
Yoga provides a more holistic approach to drug abuse treatment and recovery targeting the physical, mental, emotional, and social. All which contribute to drug problems.
Benefits of practising asanas (yoga poses) on regular bases are quite well known- nicely shape body, flexibility, more inner peace and healthy calmness, nice visual experiences of interacting with women in sexy yoga pants… 😉
But how can you use yoga to recover your body from drug abuse?
1. Physical Pain Relief
Physical pain is common with people who are recovering and withdrawing from drug addiction and yoga is very helpful in alleviating pain and laying physical and mental conditions for the body to deal with this pain.
Sometimes, it is the physical or mental pain which leads people to relapse or us become dependent on drugs in the first place and can result in strong cravings for drugs.
Sustained yoga practice makes you more flexible and physically strong by strengthening muscles, skeletal posture and your mind. They say healthy body healthy mind for a reason!
2. Mental Well Being
One of the biggest challenges of overcoming addictions or abuse is the mental struggle and the ability to hack your brain to overcome the problem mentally. Your own brain is the key for your recovery.
Drugs use influences the way the brain functions and yoga has been found to help with brain repair and setting it into a healthy mode. Oftentimes mental problems and anxieties put us into developing addictions, so tackle them first through a healthy practice, will give the necessary inner strength to solve the issues which put us into addictions and later fight against our unhealthy habits.
Studies have shown an increase in the levels of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) in yoga practitioners. Our brain uses GABA as weapon to control anxiety and stress – so common with people recovering.
3. Sexual Energy Boost
And I don’t only speak about a sexy toned body you achieve through practicing asanas on a regular base.
When you continue working on yourself through yoga, meditation and practicing everyday mindfulness, not only your life becomes more joyfully peaceful, but your sexual energy raises too. It’s damn attractive! Plus, isn’t better to use your fire in bedroom instead of burring it in your addictions??
4. Stress Reduction
Yoga was designed to make people chill. All the asanas practiced in special, fun and engaging combination are the ultimate defense and cure for stress.
Yoga works on your breathing and mental state and calms you down, it relaxes emotions and generally leaves you in a state of calm and relaxation devoid of stress. This relaxing and calming effect helps deal with and prevent the psychological distress that may be experienced during recovery.
5. Anxiety and Emotional Stability
Yoga deals with anxiety and emotional issues which are a must for those recovering from drug abuse. Drug abuse manipulates the ability to control emotions and impulses as well as making clear decisions. Yoga heals the brain and helps to heal emotional functioning and boost the ability to control anxiety.
6. Better Self-control And Self-discipline
As much as drug abuse is triggered by so many issues, self-discipline and self-control play a big part in whether someone will abuse drugs or not. Yoga gives you the mental fortitude to face challenges and problems without necessarily resorting to drugs and for recovery, the strength and clarity to stay the course to be clean and healthy.
7. Inner Peace
Mental serenity is important for recovery from drug abuse but even more important is inner peace. Yoga is a quick route to inner peace for those who are recovering from drug use. It promotes mindfulness which leads to a sense of inner peace.
8. Better Sleep and Appetite
Sleep problems especially insomnia and a lack of appetite are common during drug use and during withdrawal. Yoga helps to put sleep patterns back on track and to boost appetite because of the physical aspect and energy increase as well as the mental clarity it brings.
Yoga as a great component for drug abuse recovery and treatment- it fights the effects of drug withdrawal and cravings to reduce and prevent a relapse. Yoga touches on all aspects of one’s being: emotional, mental, physical, and spiritual and has a comforting and healing effect on all these spheres of human life.
Use these benefits of yoga to recover your body from drug abuse. But before that, there need to check up the body first from any diagnostic center like Test Country.
Yoga encourages one to focus inward which enhances more self-awareness. Recovering from drug abuse is one of the most difficult and testing endeavor- it is very stressful and since yoga is an effective method of coping with stress, it is a great and effective tool to help with drug abuse recovery.
All in all, it is important to remember that addiction is a serious problem that is often impossible to overcome by yourself. Acknowledging your condition and accepting the responsibility for it takes courage and strong character. And when this first vital step is made, getting professional treatment is a matter of following the shortest and most efficient path to recovery.