You wouldn’t refuse to aid and support a friend, loved one, or coworker if they fell unwell. But what if the same person had an alcohol problem or was abusing drugs? Would you offer assistance as promptly as possible? Would you know what to do or say in such a situation?

Like other chronic diseases like diabetes, hypertension, or asthma, addiction is a medically diagnosable condition called “alcohol use disorder” or “substance use disorder.” If left untreated, addiction can be fatal.

It’s natural to be hesitant when determining whether or not to talk with a relative or friend about their drug addiction. These are difficult talks to start, yet they can save lives. Here are five things you may be telling yourself about your friend’s circumstance and why you should reach out nonetheless:

“I’m not willing to jeopardize our friendship.”

Many people think that bringing up the subject of addiction would end their relationship, but in actuality, the reverse is more likely. Addicts frequently secretly hope that a buddy will open the door and inquire about their situation.

“How much my friend drinks or if they get high is none of my concern, and I wouldn’t want someone instructing me what to do.”

Assume you’re in a restaurant, and someone at a table close is having a stroke. If you knew how, you’d perform CPR immediately, wouldn’t you? Or, if you didn’t know CPR, you’d seek assistance. It’s just as essential to deal with a friend’s substance abuse problem. 

Addiction is a primary cause of death globally, and drug or alcohol misuse is the cause of many hospitalizations. You could literally save your friend’s life by reaching out and speaking to them about drinking or drug abuse.

“My friend likes to drink, but he is not into drugs.”

There is a tendency to discount the dangers of alcohol misuse compared to the level of worry you might feel if your friend was using heroin, meth, cocaine, or other illicit narcotics. Alcohol is an addictive drug, even if legal and socially acceptable. Excessive drinking is now responsible for one out of every ten deaths among working-age individuals in some parts of the world.

“If the situation is that awful, I’m certain my friend’s family would mention something, but I’m only a friend.”

Family members may not recognize the magnitude of your friend’s problem if they have been drinking or doing drugs for a long time. Some families choose to ignore the situation to protect themselves. 

The confusion and anguish that drinking and drug abuse brings families are one of the tragedies of these diseases. Another factor to consider is that heavy alcohol or drug use is normal; thus, family members may be the last to notice the need for treatment.

“How do I know I’m saying it the correct way? I don’t really want my pal to be offended or wounded.”

It’s challenging to bring up something as intimate and emotional as heavy substance use, even with a close friend. You don’t want to shame your friend or damage their pride. It’s possible that your friend will grow enraged. That’s why it’s crucial to take a nonjudgmental attitude and keep the talk focused on the actions and outcomes you’ve witnessed from your friend’s substance abuse.

When Should You Talk to Your Friend?

When dealing with a friend, timing is crucial. When your companion is drunk or high, they can’t appreciate what you’re telling them, and the scenario could get out of hand.

Instead, speak with your pal when they are in a better frame of mind. Reach out to your friend when s/he is hungover or remorseful after a drinking or drug-related incident when the negative results are still vivid in their minds. It’s okay if you can’t meet with your friend immediately; in any case, you’ll want to bring up a larger pattern of occurrences rather than a single instance.

How Do You Begin a Conversation?

Don’t sweat it if you don’t express everything perfectly. The most important message is to express your worry for your loved one compassionately and honestly.

You might wish to bring along someone who understands your worry for your friend’s condition, such as a member of Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) or a similar organization. You might also tell someone what you’re up to and have them call you for assistance. It’s also good to meet your pal somewhere neutral, rather than in a restaurant or pub where alcohol is served.

Important Points to Remember:

  • Be encouraging. 

Your friend is not a bad person, no matter how “awful” their recent behaviour. Addiction is an illness, and the American Medical Association has recognized it since 1956. As a result, refrain from blaming or criticizing. You’re speaking openly because you love your friend, not because you’re trying to force them to “get their act together.”

  • Describe what you see in detail. 

Instead of broad remarks like “You never keep your word,” bring up specific occurrences like “When you postponed our plans the other day.” It’s also good to frame the discussion using “I” terms like “I noticed” or “I’m afraid” because your buddy can’t contradict your impressions.

  • Encourage one another. 

Discuss how your friend’s alcohol or drug usage affects whatever is most important to them: profession, children, sports, etc. Your acquaintance may not be worried about their circumstances but may be concerned about the influence on their kids, for example.

  • Prepare yourself. 

You might wish to write down whatever you want to say, depending on your connection level: intimate friend, casual acquaintance, or coworker. Aside from the few ideas offered, your friend could answer in various ways. The most important thing is paying attention, sticking to the facts, expressing how much you care, and telling them you are there for support.

 

Dealing with a teen going through an experimental stage in their life can be very rough. Helping them out as early as possible is the best way to ensure they do not cripple themselves with addiction. If you think your teen needs residential treatment, here are five signs to look for: 

  1. No signs of improvement from current treatment 

If your current treatment isn’t improving your teen’s condition, then maybe it’s time to up the ante. Try out outpatient treatment or partial hospitalisation programs to increase the intensity of the treatments. Outpatient addiction treatment is for those experiencing mild to moderate substance abuse challenges and is motivated to abstain from drug abuse before it develops into an addiction. This procedure does not require more than a 24-hour hospital stay. Instead, it is administered throughout a few visits to a private counselling office or clinic.

Meanwhile, a partial hospitalisation will help clear your teen’s psyche and thoughts. This focuses on handling the mental warfare that entices them to indulge in these substances. Furthermore, these programs typically run for several hours a day. 

  1. Repeated Relapse

Many factors can cause your teen to relapse, like a bad relationship, overwhelming stress, and other emotional triggers. If you notice that your teen shows signs that they’ve been using again, it means they’re having trouble breaking the pattern. If that’s the case, you should bring them to residential treatment. This will help them take the extra steps of getting rid of their substances for good. 

Furthermore, please do not wait for your teen to keep having relapses until they get hooked on their preferred substance. We suggest that you strike while the iron is hot, do not wait for the situation to worsen before you take action. 

  1. No identified cause 

As much as nobody wants to admit it, sometimes even therapists and trained medical professionals can’t figure out the root of the problem. The diagnosis can sometimes depend on whether your teen opens up about the emotional or psychological distress they are undergoing. 

Dual diagnosis occurs when an individual has both an addiction and a mental health disorder. This adds a lot of complexity to the assessment, so it can be hard to identify them early. If you want to determine if your teen has a dual diagnosis, subject them to a period of detoxification and sobriety. This will help tackle both problems about their substance abuse and mental health. 

  1. Self-harming tendencies 

Self-harm occurs when someone who has accumulated emotional baggage begins to feel overwhelmed. They tend to use self-harming as a means to numb or pour out the agony. Furthermore, cutting is viewed as an addiction, as many youths want the catharsis provided by self-harm activities. 

If your teen exhibits behaviours that endanger your life, their life, or the life of others, then you must take the necessary step of finding a treatment centre that benefits both your family and your teen. A residential treatment centre is your best option, even if they haven’t undergone any of the previous intense levels of care. 

Residential treatment isolates your teen from external influences. Furthermore, they ensure that your teen will be surrounded by a supportive environment. 

FINDING A TREATMENT CENTER

If you and your loved ones agree that you need to take your teen to a treatment centre, we want you to know that you are taking a significant step. The treatments centre you choose will be the defining factor of whether your teen will improve or not. Thus, you should find the treatment centre that best suits your family’s needs.

Always make sure to research and read about the best facilities in your area. We suggest you find a place you may access so you can check up on your teen from time to time. Furthermore, only look into centres that are licensed and accredited, do not consider centres without the bare minimum requirements to assist your teen. 

Before you delve into drug rehabilitation for your teen, make sure you consult your local mental health professional and get a full psychological assessment to be fully aware of the type of treatment you should be giving your teen.  

It would help if you also understood that addiction is a vicious cycle of losing control and relapsing, and it is not something you can erase overnight. 

Most importantly, the only people you should be seeking help from to diagnose and assist your teen with their drug addiction should be licensed and certified medical professionals, nobody else. Being the parent, do not think your insight into the situation is enough to help treat your teen. 

It is always best to seek help and get a second opinion from trusted and fully licensed individuals. This article is merely here to assist you or kick start your journey of helping your loved ones.

Seeking Help from A Professional

As much as you think you can alter your teen’s mental state, you need to understand that you are not a medically trained consultant. If you wish to get the help your child needs, you need to seek help from a professional. If you have tried everything within your power, your next step is to pursue a more effective treatment method. 

Getting help from professionals won’t necessarily fix all your problems. Still, it is an effective method of attacking the most significant issue your teen has, which is overcoming the fact that they have a problem that needs to be fixed.

 

It’s not uncommon for those struggling with addictions to relapse at least once in their rehabilitation process. Some people even go off the wagon multiple times before finally getting sober. Even though there are recognized therapies for nicotine, alcohol, and opiate addiction, many who start treatment will relapse.

The first step in preventing one is to understand what can cause you to relapse and have a plan to deal with these triggers. You should think about and discuss five motivations with your therapist or counsellor.

  • Negative Emotions

Those struggling in the area require effective methods for coping with, controlling, and understanding the negative emotions they encounter regularly. You can no longer rely on alcohol, substances, or addictive habits to bring brief comfort from those feelings.

Recognize that the unpleasant emotions you’re experiencing aren’t necessarily a warning of a looming setback. Everyone feels emotions that are bad or difficult. You have to deal with them in a certain way.

Consider these feelings as an opportunity to learn and grow. By taking inventory of your emotions and asking yourself why, you can learn a lot about yourself. Learning to deal with your feelings without succumbing to addiction is, in fact, a lifesaver.

When you’re feeling down, consider writing your thoughts, meditating, or even praying. Find a healthy approach to let go of your angst and improve your mood. Additional coping methods can be developed with the support of an addiction professional or another mental health therapist.

  • Seeing the Object of Your Addiction

During recovery, a relapse might be triggered by reminders of your addiction. At the initial stages of quitting, the smell of cigarette smoke, seeing others sip cocktails in a club, or a couple wrapped in an erotic embrace seems to be everywhere.

It’s common to want to relapse into your addiction. For one thing, it’s a destination you’ve been to before. On the other hand, recovery isn’t only about “quitting” and “abstaining,” but also about creating a new life where it’s easier—and more appealing—to avoid using.

Concentrate on the adjustments you’re making and the fresh start you’re creating. Consider the negative repercussions of your addiction, such as the people you injured and the connections you lost due to it. Whenever you see these reminders, you may think you are missing your previous life, but in truth, it only brought you misery and hardship.

Having a substitute behaviour, such as going to a yoga session or taking a long bath, might also assist when you’re feeling provoked. Positivity exercises, such as chanting positive mantras, might also help you fight these temptations. Work with your therapist or counsellor to figure out how to deal with these memories more effectively.

  • Stressful Situations, People, Tasks, Environments

One of the most common motivations for relapse is stress. As a result, many people struggling with addiction resort to their preferred substance or activity as a non-adaptive way of dealing with it. If the substance or behaviour was the primary coping technique for the person, research suggests a greater desire for the substance, alcohol, or addictive behaviour during stressful situations.

Evaluating the stress you’re facing is one method to be ready for this trigger. It’s impossible to get rid of everything and everyone in your life, but you can avoid circumstances that bring you a lot of stress. As a result, it’s a good idea to make a list of all the people, environments, and things that make you stressed out.

Are you in a destructive relationship, for example, or is your financial condition putting you under a lot of pressure?

It’s also crucial to develop positive stress-reduction or stress-management techniques. You might be able to do this by:

  • Mindfulness and relaxation training
  • Better managing your time.
  • Implementing healthy eating and moderate exercise as part of a healthy lifestyle

Not just finding healthy methods to deal with stress and identifying when you’re in a tense environment and doing something about it can help you avoid a relapse.

  • Celebrations and Festivities

Positive events, such as birthdays and special days, can also act as triggers. You may be content, in charge, and convinced that you can handle a single drink, cigarette, or flirting with an attractive stranger. What about if you can’t seem to keep things under control?

Those struggling usually lose their ability to recognize when to stop. As a result, a drink or two could develop into a spree. Treating yourself to a new pair of shoes that you don’t need may lead to a shopping binge.

If you are at risk of complications, having a companion can be beneficial. If you ever do start to relapse, find somebody you respect and trust to gently but forcefully encourage you to quit what you’re doing.

  • People and Places That Act as Triggers

Whether or not they are currently drinking, smoking, or taking drugs, individuals who participated in your addictions are possible relapse triggers. Similarly, you may be triggered by certain areas that remind you of your addiction. Even your loved ones, especially if they make you feel unsafe and childish, could be a trigger for you.

It’s critical to have effective methods for dealing with your feelings when you’re made aware of your addiction. It could be good to have a specific response ready if you’re an alcoholic and a bunch of drinking buddies asks you to go out or if you observe folks from work going to happy hour.

If you or a friend needs professional help regarding addictions, you may reach out to Calm Rehab Bali. They offer private rehabilitation services.

Dealing with people’s drug and alcohol-related problems are much more complicated than they seem. Often, many jump to unnecessary conclusions. This is why there is still a stigma around different types of addictions. 

When it comes to substance abuse, many feel that it is merely a product of bad choices. S/he should just have said no. Others, meanwhile, believe that addictions are just bad habits they need to remove in their life. Some even think that “addicts” are just weak or are merely moral failures.

But these do not present a full picture of what an addiction is. There are a lot of factors involved and we cannot paint everyone with a broad brush. This is why a rehab must employ a highly effective and proven clinical approach to dealing with people who suffer from the condition.

Aside from the treatment program, an overlooked aspect of treatment is the environment. Many people do not realize how big a factor this is for those who want to recover. Here is a list of some major reasons why the environment is crucial for treatment.

A suitable environment shields a person from old cues of addiction.

There is a smart reason why people opt to go to rehab facilities overseas. There is something therapeutic about going to a new and exotic place that helps in recovery.

One of the main reasons for this is that it is hard to leave old habits behind when you still see old friends who were part of your addiction. How can you be on the road to recovery if you still see temptations regularly?

The key here is aside from the willingness to leave old patterns of behaviour behind, this must be supplemented by physical distance. If not, no matter how hard one tries, one small environmental cue can bring them back to their old life. 

So it is necessary to enter a new place where there will be no opportunities to go back easily. In the same way that a bad environment can have negative effects, a facility with relaxing surroundings will greatly help people stay sober as well.

Nature helps speed up the process of recovery.

How would you feel if you are confined in a small, dark, and damp place when you are already anxious and stressed? Would you be inspired to feel and be better in such an environment?

Now compare that picture with an area with many open spaces, where you are surrounded by lots of lush trees and plants. When you look up, you can see the blue skies and feel the warmth of the sun on your skin.

Now is this a more suitable place that’s conducive to rest and recovery? It is, right?

In fact, studies have shown that after adequate exposure to greenery, some people reported losing appetite for cigarettes, alcohol, and the like. If you want to recover quickly and effectively, nature is your friend. So when you are looking for a rehab for you or your loved ones, look at places where you have access to nature.

Being close to nature has calming effects for most people.

Entering a rehab facility is a stressful experience. One will be away from friends and family to live in a new place and be with new people. In addition, s/he knows that it will be a time to confront destructive life habits. The prospects of all of these can be overwhelming for anyone.

But if one is surrounded by nature, s/he will be more at peace. 

An open environment that allows physical activities has many benefits.

Another important ingredient of recovery and rehabilitation is the introduction of safe and appropriate physical activities. 

Obviously, you do not want to make participants train as if they are competing in the Olympics. This will just add unnecessary stress and pressure. This is not the point of having exercise in the recovery program.

What we mean here is that those in the facility must be allowed to engage in regular exercise. When one is active, his/her body produces endorphins. These are naturally-produced happy hormones. 

A workout program will also help participants’ mind activity as exercise helps promote active brain function.

Conclusion

If you or a loved one needs the help of addiction professionals, do not hesitate any longer. This is a decision that can save not just one life, but many generations.

These days, since we know more about struggles with alcohol, drugs, and other substances, there are more effective methods that respect people and where they are coming from. What’s great about newer methods is that they are designed specifically for each person’s needs. A lot will depend on their background and short- and long-term goals.

This does not have to be a traumatic experience as well. A lot of facilities now know the importance of a relaxing and peaceful environment. These are not just optional requirements for treatment, but necessary ingredients that will help participants in their journey to recovery.

When you are looking for that perfect facility, just make sure that they employ a holistic approach that factors in clinical treatment, nutrition, recreation, and environment, among others. Most of the time, successful treatments happen overseas because of the benefits we have just mentioned. When you research, for sure, you will find a drug and alcohol rehab in Bali that has all these components.

The road to recovery is not an easy process that you can achieve overnight. It is a must that from the beginning, you have committed to be better. You also need the help and support of your family and friends. Of course, you must have an institutional partner that is equipped to help you, such as a drug and alcohol rehab in Bali. It is advisable to enter a facility that will help you holistically.

When you have all these, recovery and rehabilitation is more attainable. But of course, while you are still in the process, there is a lot of learning and unlearning to do. A good start would be when it comes to your mindset. Having a positive one will help a lot with your treatment.

Here are a few tips that may be useful for you as you begin your recovery program:

Have a growth mindset.

One of the things you need to remind yourself is that things can change. Yes, everything may seem rough right now, and you may think you are at a dead end. But the truth is, people undergo various kinds of challenges. What you are going through is also a challenge that you can overcome.

A lot of problems stem from the thinking that if it is bad right now, it will always be bad. This is not true. There are a lot of people who have been in the same situation and with proper support and guidance, they were able to overcome their challenges. Drug and alcohol issues are not impossible to overcome.

However, the question is, are you willing to grow and change? This is something you need to answer early on. Remember, it starts with what you decide in your heart and mind. If you have made a firm decision to make things better, it will happen.

Always think about why you want to recover.

What is your motivation to change and leave the past behind? Is it your loved ones? Is it your wife or children? Do you want to have a more rewarding and fulfilling career? Is your priority your health?

No matter what your inspiration is, it would be better to always think about why you are doing what you are doing. This will encourage you during times when you want to give up. It will also inspire you to look forward to something good and positive in the future.

The key is to look beyond your present circumstances because they can change. If you look towards your goal, you will be able to surpass challenges and even temptations that will come your way. 

So it is important to assess for yourself why exactly you want to recover and be better.

Have compassion for yourself as well. Blaming yourself all the time is not going to help.

One of the worst things you can do is to constantly talk down to yourself. If you will not believe in yourself, who else will be able to do that?

Yes, some of the mess is because of your personal decisions. But at the same time, some factors are beyond your control. So it would be counterproductive if you would focus on the mistakes of the past. What you can do is think about things that you have control of, which is your future.

Look at yourself in light of everything that you have gone through. Do not just focus on the negative stuff like failures, bad habits, and wrong choices. There are also positive aspects of your life and your personality that you can think of. This way, you will have a more balanced view of your current situation and your future self.

Look for inspiring people and stories.

When we are in the middle of challenges, there is a tendency to think that we are alone. We think no one could relate to us because no one else has experienced such problems. But this is a lie that is meant to discourage you further.

The truth is, if you are to have an honest conversation with people, they all have stories of addiction and recovery to tell. Others have experienced the same struggles, and some have gone through worse. 

So the key is to look for people with whom you can relate. Listen to their stories, ask for tips, and use them as your inspiration. People are often more willing to help others than we realize. The problem actually lies with us because we do not ask for help.

Give yourself a pep talk instead of entertaining negative thoughts.

All of us have this voice inside of us that always has negative things to say about everything that we do. It does not matter whether we accomplish great things or we fail, that voice is always there. So is there no chance to get rid of it?

One way to drown it is to encourage yourself. Do not be afraid to remind yourself of your good qualities and of the progress you have been making, no matter how small they seem.

When you do this, you are training that positive voice to be louder than your negative thoughts. Do not allow negativity to rule your life. 

Remember, there is always hope for everyone. You have family and friends who believe in and are rooting for you. When you choose the right facility, its staff can also help you make lasting positive changes to your life.

Since the pandemic, people around the world have been experiencing grief, loneliness, and hopelessness. In return, there has been a spike in the consumption of alcohol and drugs. Thus, we can conclude that the impacts of COVID on humans go beyond the physical symptoms. Instead, the pandemic has caused a great deal of emotional and mental stress on people and in this article, the team at Calm Rehab take a look at some of the causes.

What is COVID stress syndrome? 

According to a 2021 Australian study conducted by Flinders University, people are experiencing severe traumatic stress symptoms as a result of the ongoing worldwide pandemic. Furthermore, it has aggravated various mental health issues, such as anxiety, depression, psychosocial dysfunction, and pre-existing PTSD.

The COVID stress syndrome is a complicated condition characterised by numerous forms of worry, checking and reassurance-seeking, re-experiencing symptoms, and other related behaviours like excessive crowd avoidance and panic buying.

The components of the COVID stress syndrome: 

1. Danger and contamination fear: Fear is a natural human response to danger. It directs our decisions and        actions to save us from putting our health and lives at risk. The coronavirus outbreak has heightened fears and concerns. Furthermore, fear shows itself through unnecessary self-isolation, crowd avoidance, panic purchasing, and other excessive behaviours.

2. Socioeconomic concerns: The Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak has not only brought an unparalleled health catastrophe but has also caused severe economic downturns throughout the world. Since the global economy is heavily linked and interdependent via global supply networks, COVID-19 caused irreversible damage. Furthermore, it quickly resulted in catastrophic socioeconomic consequences such as income loss, company disruption, and health issues.

Specifically, during the COVID-19 epidemic, unemployment reached unprecedented highs. In fact, it was said to have surpassed those of the Great Depression. These employment and income losses, however, were not felt equitably. Several studies have found that certain ethnic and age groups have experienced greater financial challenges.

Meanwhile, the virus imposed long-term consequences for companies. Several businesses laid off staff and halted critical projects and plans. Due to financial constraints, several firms intended to seek funding. Additionally, the adverse effects vary across the different industries. Reports on retail, entertainment, and food businesses have implicated job losses of more than 50%. Finance, professional services, and real estate-related firms, on the other hand, faced less impact since these industries were better prepared to transition to remote production.

3. Xenophobia: Fear and uncertainty are natural in the middle of a pandemic, but they should not be used to excuse xenophobia and racism. Xenophobia is the fear and loathing of outsiders or foreigners in general. Furthermore, racist and xenophobic events have been common in the aftermath of the pandemic. They include verbal and physical attacks, social isolation, denial of access to products and services, commercial boycotts, discriminatory mobility restrictions and quarantine regulations, and other forms of harassment.

4. Traumatic stress: People have experienced various emotional challenges due to the pandemic. Furthermore, people who are experiencing severe stress are those who lost a family member as a result of COVID, those who have learned of the death or danger of death of a family member or friend, and those who have been exposed to unpleasant and unspeakable facts. This caused people to have nightmares, changed behaviour, and other life-changing shifts.

5. Compulsive checking and reassurance-seeking: Behaviours associated with this include panic purchasing and the usage of personal protection equipment. Panic purchasing caused by a fear of running out of goods is fueled by emotions and social factors, and it provides people with a sense of control over the situation. During natural catastrophes and health crises, people may exhibit these unusual behaviours to cope with the many anxieties and uncertainties that follow the current situation. During COVID, individuals have also been storing up on protective gear such as masks, gloves, face shields, gowns, and more.

How to deal with COVID stress syndrome: 

Now that we’ve identified the many sources of stress brought on by the pandemic, here are some strategies to assist you to cope:

1. Be more gentle with yourself: High-stress situations may bring out the best and worst in individuals. While some argue that now is a good time to focus on yourself and become the best version of yourself, it is fine if you are moving at a slower rate than others. Furthermore, remember that it is okay to have breaks and take a deep breath. Don’t be too harsh on yourself if you want to spend the day watching your favourite movie and playing with your pet.

2. Do things you love: Setting time in your busy schedule to do fun activities will help you relieve stress, improve your mood, and broaden your social network. Taking some time to do things you are deeply passionate about will help you briefly forget your obligations, stay present, and perform self-reflection.

3. Spend some time outside: Nature will elicit a wide range of good feelings, including tranquillity, joy, and creativity. Not only that but going out to get some fresh air can also help you with your overall focus. The nature connection is also related to reduced levels of poor mental health, namely lower levels of sadness and anxiety.

4. Consume healthier meals: A nutritious, well-balanced diet can improve your ability to think clearly and feel more awake. It also helps with concentration and attention span. 

5. An insufficient diet, on the other hand, can cause tiredness and poor decision-making.

6. Prioritise good sleep: Finally, sleeping allows us to recover from both mental and physical fatigue. Sleep and health are inextricably linked; bad sleep increases the likelihood of poor health, and poor health makes it more difficult to sleep. Furthermore, fixing your sleeping schedule and making sure you have enough rest is one big step to reducing stress during these trying times.

It doesn’t take a lot to become a gray area drinker. For those of you who don’t know, gray area drinking refers to consuming alcohol in different spectrums. People who fall into this category usually don’t consider themselves alcoholics because they feel their alcohol consumption is completely under control. Or is it?

The problem with gray area drinking is that it gives you a false sense of security. While you may not be physically dependent on the substance, you often use it to help achieve a state of mind like relaxation and happiness. Society has made gray area drinking the norm which is why people are having a tough time identifying it as an issue.

Just because everyone is comfortable doing it, that doesn’t mean you should too. Here are a couple of tell-tale signs that you may be a gray area drinker and how you can address this situation.

  1. You’re becoming concerned about your drinking habits

Have you ever woken up in the morning feeling remorseful after a drinking session? Yet you go on with your normal routine like working out, eating a healthy diet, and functioning properly at work. Sure, your drinking isn’t affecting your life drastically, but you know in the back of your mind that it’s something worth paying attention to.

This is how most gray area drinkers feel. They’re quite unsure whether their drinking habits are starting to get out of hand or not. Still, they engage in alcohol consumption because nothing bad is happening as a result. 

Alcohol Addiction

  1. You drink between two extremes

As a gray area drinker, you’re far from hitting rock bottom and you’re most definitely not a now-and-then drinker either. You fall somewhere in the middle where your alcohol consumption is either sporadic or intense. One day you find yourself drinking a pint or two and the next day you end up half drunk.

This is what tricks gray area drinkers into believing their drinking habits are okay. Because they don’t end up getting hammered, they think they have everything under control.

  1. You stop drinking alcohol but jump back in again

Say you were working on your fitness goals and you stopped drinking or you swore on your New Year’s resolutions that you would cut down on alcohol. You maintain sobriety for days — even months on end, but something comes up like a surprise party or a promotion at work.

You find it hard to turn down alcohol and back again in the drinking carousel you go. You immediately regret how much you’re drinking and you can’t seem to stop as easily as you did last time.

  1. Your drinking habits don’t look alarming to those around you

Gray area drinkers are surrounded by people who engage in the same activities they do. If you talk about your drinking with your social and business circles, you probably know who drinks much more than you. Knowing this, you tell yourself that your drinking habits aren’t that bad and your colleagues don’t view it as a problem.

  1. You view alcohol as a reward

As a gray area drinker, you consider alcohol as a reward. It’s how you enjoy life and unwind after a stressful day at work. Everything in moderation, right? Yet, you’ve lost count of how many times you’ve woken up with a hangover and swearing not to drink too much ever again.

Gray area drinking is like a slippery slope and the societal pressure to keep drinking is strong. Friends and family members will come to you and say “Let’s have a drink” and while your initial answer is no, you end up drinking because it’s only this one time. 

Gray Area Drinking

 

How to combat gray area drinking

Gray area drinking can be addressed by making small, meaningful changes to your life. Be honest with yourself; what’s the reason you engage in gray area drinking? Do you use alcohol as a way to relax and have a good time with friends? Or do you drink to ease the frustration and anxiety?

Find other ways to spend time with your loved ones. You don’t need alcohol to enjoy the companionship of friends or family as you can engage in other healthy activities like playing sports and working out. Look for alternative avenues for dealing with your frustration and anxieties that don’t involve drinking. As you learn to replace your drinking habits with positive ones, you can slowly step out of this gray area and live your life completely sober

Reach out to healthcare professionals that understand your drinking concerns. Gray area drinking is real and there are many qualified coaches, therapists, and healthcare practitioners who understand the root cause of this problem.

If you’re dealing with gray area drinking and would like to receive professional help, you can reach out to Calm Rehab. Calm Rehab is a drug rehab in Bali that specialises in both drug and alcohol rehabilitation. With a team of qualified clinical professionals on our side, Calm Rehab sets the stage for helping you make lasting life changes and step away from gray area drinking once and for all.

Most gambling problems start with an innocent diversion. Keep playing long enough, however, and it can turn into an unhealthy addiction with serious consequences. Whether it be poker, roulette, or even scratch cards, anytime you play the game of money, it’s not only your cash that’s at risk but your mental health as well.


Gambling addiction (also known as pathological gambling) is the obsessive need to engage in any gambling activity whilst neglecting the potential implications of it. People with gambling addiction often find themselves in casinos, betting houses, and clubhouses, even if they have limited resources with them. It affects their work, their relationships, and their financial standing which can quickly cause turmoil if left untreated.

If you or someone you know is suffering from a gambling addiction, do know that there is a way to stop it. In this article, we’ll be taking a look at the signs and symptoms of gambling addiction, how to deal with gambling cravings, and how you can reach out for help to regain control of your life.

Signs and symptoms of gambling addiction

Gambling addiction is often called a hidden illness because the person affected does not exhibit any physical signs like those found in substance addiction. The person may even deny they have a gambling addiction despite engaging in gambling activities frequently. But there are telltale signs that indicate a gambling addiction and these are:

 

  • You’re secretive about your gambling – You start gambling in secrecy because you feel that the people around you don’t understand you or you want to surprise them with a big win.
  • You’re struggling to control your gambling – Whether it’s after work or during the weekends, you constantly find yourself in casinos and gambling clubs. You feel compelled to gamble and spend your last dollar before walking away.
  • You’re running out of money – You start selling your belongings, borrow money from friends/family members, and you may be even tempted to steal from others just to have money for gambling.
  • Your friends and families are worried about you – When you hear your close friends and family members express their concerns about your gambling, then it’s likely that you’ve developed a gambling addiction. 

Gambling Addiction

Dealing with gambling addiction

The most important step in overcoming a gambling addiction is to acknowledge that you have a serious problem. It takes a lot of strength and self-awareness, especially if you’ve suffered broken relationships and lost a lot of money along the way. But despite those shortcomings, you can still turn your life around and establish healthy coping mechanisms that will help free you from the grips of gambling.

Learn how to manage your emotions in positive ways. Do you gamble when you’re bored, lonely, or stressed out? Most people gamble as a way of soothing unpleasant emotions and this can turn into a destructive habit very quickly. Instead of going to the casino, look for other ways to de-stress yourself like taking up new hobbies, exercising, spending time with people who don’t gamble, and more.

Surround yourself with the right people. As the old saying goes, birds of a feather flock together. You are who you choose to be with. If you constantly hang out with people who gamble, you’ll find yourself doing the same thing. It’s about time you surround yourself with people who have your best interest at heart and oftentimes, it’s your closest friends and families who are willing to give you a helping hand.

Treatment options for gambling addiction

Seeking help from a professional does not mean you are weak or incapable. All forms of addiction require the attention of healthcare professionals and mental health experts to kickstart your recovery and help you make better life choices. Each person is unique and you’ll need a recovery program that best fits your situation and preferences.

  • Inpatient or residential treatment and rehab programs. These programs are geared towards individuals with severe gambling addiction (i.e. being unable to stop gambling without round-the-clock support).
  • Treatment for underlying conditions that contribute to gambling addiction like mental health problems ( anxiety, depression, OCD, ADHD), and substance abuse disorders. The treatment involves medication, therapy, and lifestyle changes. Gambling addiction can also be a symptom of bipolar disorder which should be ruled out by a therapist prior to making a diagnosis.
  • Cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT) CBT focuses on changing unhealthy gambling thoughts and habit. It also teaches the individual how to resist gambling urges and solve problems that stem from gambling whether it be work, finances, or relationships. CBT can help provide the necessary tools for coping with gambling addiction throughout the person’s lifetime.
  • Family therapy and marriage, career, and credit counselling. These can help the person work through specific issues that have arisen from gambling addiction and lay the foundation for fixing broken relationships, careers, and financial aspirations.

Recovering from gambling addiction requires two things; the willingness to change and the determination to make lasting life changes. As difficult as it can be to see someone suffer from their gambling problems, ultimately the decision to quit has to be theirs. With the right support system and an appropriate recovery program in place, you can free yourself from the shackles of gambling addiction and move forward with a renewed perspective.

Of you require any additional information, do not hesitate to get in touch with us at Calm Rehab, who is the leading rehab centre in Bali, servicing clients from across the globe.

Addiction is a complex health issue that is characterised by a strong, uncontrollable craving for a substance or behaviour. Some people enjoy using drugs or drinking alcohol, but do not actively seek them on a regular basis. Others may try a substance out of curiosity and get hooked almost immediately. The question is, why do some people develop an addiction to certain substances or activities while others can take part in them without being addicted?

Anyone can be affected by addiction and there’s this long-standing belief that some individuals simply have addictive tendencies. This is known as an “addictive personality” which, according to some people, is a set of behavioural/emotional patterns that increases one’s risk of addiction.

But is there really such a thing as an addictive personality? Most health experts agree that addiction is a brain disorder and not a personality disorder. To clarify this, the leading rehab in Bali will be discussing what an addictive personality is to find out if it really does exist.

Addictive Personality

The supposed traits of an addictive personality

There’s no clear definition of what encompasses an addictive personality. Rather, the term is used to describe a set of inherent traits and behaviours that some people believe puts an individual at risk of addiction.

Some of the traits linked to an addictive personality are:

  • impulsiveness
  • risk-seeking behaviour
  • dishonesty
  • lack of responsibility
  • selfishness
  • low self-esteem
  • constant irritability
  • mood swings
  • social isolation

Why is the concept of an “addictive personality” harmful?

At first glance, the idea of an addictive personality might seem reasonable for preventing addiction. If we can identify those who are at risk of addiction, it would be much easier to help them. But narrowing down the complex nature of addiction to a simple personality can prove harmful in several ways:

  • It can make people believe they aren’t at risk of addiction because they don’t exhibit any of the traits related to an “addictive personality”
  • It may convince people who have an addiction that it’s in their nature and there’s nothing they can do about it
  • It suggests that people with addiction automatically exhibit negative traits like manipulating others, lying, etc.

Why is an addictive personality a myth?

Fundamentally, the idea concept of an addictive personality is a myth and this comes from scientific research. Until now, no real evidence suggests that a set of “addictive traits”  makes a person more vulnerable to developing an addiction. The whole spectrum of human character can be found on people with addiction, despite the stereotypes that are associated with it.

In fact, only 18% of addicts have a personality disorder characterised by manipulative behaviour, lying, stealing, and being anti-social. This means that 82% of individuals with addiction do not exhibit the supposed addiction personality.

Real factors that can affect a person’s risk for addiction

Now that we know that an addictive personality is inconclusive at best, what are the actual factors that can increase a person’s risk of addiction? Health professionals have outlined several factors that can lead to addiction and these are:

  • Childhood experiences A person’s upbringing can play a role in developing addiction. Growing up with neglectful parents can increase one’s risk of substance addiction. Experiencing trauma and abuse as a child can potentially lead to substance abuse earlier in life.
  • Biological factors – Genetics accounts for at least 40-60% of someone’s risk of developing addiction. Age can also play a part as teens are at a much higher risk of drug misuse due to peer pressure and curiosity.
  • Environmental factors Another factor in developing addiction is the person’s environment. If they regularly interact with colleagues, friends, or family members that are addicted to drugs, their risk for addicton increases. Another environmental factor is early exposure to illicit substances. Having access to drugs within the neighbourhood, school, or workplace can increase the risk of addiction development.
  • Mental health concerns – Mental health issues like depression or anxiety are linked to addiction and can increase one’s risk of developing the disease. Bipolar disorder or other personality disorders characterised by impulsivity can also contribute to addiction development.

What to do if you are dealing with addiction

While the burdens of addiction can lead to traits that are often associated with an addictive personality, there is not a single personality type that contributes to the disease. Understanding that addiction is a health issue and not a personality issue is very important to let people know that help is available. They don’t have to just accept it as part of their “DNA”.

If you or your loved one is suffering from addiction, do not lose hope. With a team of professional psychologists, medical staff, and counsellors, Calm Rehab provides the support and healing you need to recover from addiction. Our goal is to help you make lasting life changes and pursue a healthier future by taking your recovery one step at a time. For more information about our services, feel free to contact us today and we’ll be happy to hear from you.

When it comes to approaching a sustainable recovery, individual therapy and group therapy are two of the most important components that come to mind. While most people may think that these two therapies are at odds with each other, they actually complement one another in many ways than one. It helps to have a better understanding of how these modalities work in order to form an effective treatment plan. This article will discuss what individual therapy and group therapy is all about.

What is individual therapy?

As the name suggests, individual therapy is about a client working with a licensed mental health professional on a one-on-one basis. This private session allows the client to openly discuss their thoughts, emotions, and feelings to gain a better sense of identity and self-knowledge. The therapist creates the entire frame of the therapy from where the sessions will be conducted, how the client’s progress will be measured, and which approach best fit the client’s needs.

Usually, individual therapy is conducted in a therapist’s office, but this can be conducted in almost any outdoor setting provided that privacy can be reasonably maintained. A typical therapy session consists of both the client and the therapist working together and setting goals for the client to commit to. Such goals may include staying sober for the next three days or participating in a new recovery activity.

With modern therapeutic methods, the therapist focuses more on motivational interviewing instead of the traditional confrontational approach to encourage clients to make lasting life changes. Some recovery programs use contingency management to motivate clients and reward their commitment with either tokens or incentives.

Individual Therapy

There are plenty of benefits to individual therapy and it has enormous potential to positively affect a client’s life. Some of the major advantages of individual therapy are:

  • Learn to establish safe, trustworthy relationships
  • Identify bad habits and work on replacing them with healthy ones
  • Develop accountability for one’s own actions
  • Communicate feelings more openly
  • Improve one’s self-awareness

What is group therapy?

Compared to individual therapy, group therapy gives multiple people the opportunity to learn healthy coping methods, enhance their communication skills, and draw strength from their peers all in one session. For people who’ve succumbed to the grips of addiction, they’ve witnessed their interpersonal relationships become ravaged because of it. With group therapy, individuals can learn from each other’s experiences and use them to maintain strong, healthy relationships in the future.

A licensed mental health professional leads the group therapy session where everyone is encouraged to participate. Like with individual therapy, group therapy follows a detailed program constructed by the therapist with goals and progress in mind. Clients can open up and discuss things related to their struggles, successes, and setbacks. Of course, the therapeutic approach to group therapy is slightly different and the therapist must have specialised training to ensure the sessions are safe, dynamic, and collaborative in nature.

Group therapy sessions reinforce a very important message and that is regardless of the outcome of the treatment, the client is not alone when facing difficulties with recovery. Group therapy is entirely different from mutual or self-help support groups since the latter is often led by community members instead of trained professionals. The wealth of input can help group members better understand their life decisions and become more self-aware of their situations from a different perspective.

The benefits of group therapy come from our innate ability to relate to others. It’s the feelings of connection and understanding that empower each group member to make lasting life changes as they continue on with their recovery. Some of the benefits of group therapy are:

  • Develop better relationship skills
  • Build trust in other people
  • Improve communication skills
  • Be more open to other thoughts and perspectives
  • Learn to set healthy boundaries in relationships
  • How to listen and respond courteously

Which therapy is best for you?

No single treatment modality can cure the disease of addiction. Often times, it’s a combination of multiple therapies in order to improve one’s physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual state. This means that individual therapy and group therapy are not mutually exclusive. Instead, they form a yin-and-yang-type bond to give clients the best chance of recovery. If we’re talking about weighing the benefits of both modalities, it all comes down to these factors that are specific to you:

  • Your personal preference
  • Your needs and requirements
  • Which therapy you feel most comfortable with
  • The amount of support you receive
  • Desire for accountability

Individual therapy sets the stage for in-depth self-reflection while group therapy is more towards establishing a meaningful connection. In addition to both therapies, advanced treatment programs incorporate other modalities such as medication therapy, exercise therapy, expressive therapy, and nutritional therapy to help maximise their benefits.

You don’t have to choose a single therapy for your recovery. You’ll find that as you go through various modalities, you’ll gain a better understanding of yourself, the people around you, and your own addiction. This, in turn, will boost your chances of success and get you one step closer to achieving sobriety for the long haul. Individual and group therapy are equally effective and when combined together, can amplify their effects and help people make lasting life changes.