addiction recovery

Recovery: Exercise, Prayer and Meditation

recoveryThe summer is an excellent opportunity to strengthen your program of addiction recovery. Especially if you find yourself with extra time on your hands. After all, you wouldn’t want free time to impact your program negatively, idle time being the devil’s plaything—and such. It isn’t a secret that addicts and alcoholics struggle with time management, and using their time beneficially. However, one can use downtime as an occasion to practice budgeting one’s time, to better round out their life.

For most people in recovery, their days often look somewhat similar throughout the year. The usual meeting, going to work, eat, sleep and sometimes a little idle time for relaxation in between. But many of those in recovery have seasonal jobs or go school. So, come summer you may be one of the people who finds themselves struggling to fill their day with healthy behaviors. To be sure, binge watching Netflix shows is not exactly conducive to strengthening your recovery. With that in mind, let’s delve into some practices that can increase your chances of avoiding relapse.

Exercise, Prayer and Meditation In Recovery

With the weather in high spirits, it is always a good idea to get outside and soak up some rays. Take a walk or hike, perhaps other members of your recovery circle will go along. In Florida, there is no shortage of sun or beachfront. You might try making a point of taking advantage of the sand and surf. Interestingly, it is when we are outside that we find ourselves most receptive to our “higher power.” A connection that is of the utmost importance.

While most people get down on their knees in the morning to pray and meditate, there isn’t any reason why you can’t take this beneficial practice outdoors. If you are with other people, take a moment to seclude yourself from the group, so that you can better establish contact with the spiritual realm of your recovery.

Spending an hour, or more, outside everyday can do more for your program than you might think. One way to look at it is like so, most of your substance use occurred indoors. So then, your recovery may flourish better in a setting that is not synonymous with abuse. Over the summer there are meetings you can attend that take place outside, weekly or at recovery retreats. Such gatherings can be a wholly spiritual experience.

Your connection to a higher power is paramount, but it is always worth remembering that your body is the temple that houses spiritual receptors. If your house is in disarray, it can be detrimental to your program. Eating poorly and not exercising can wreak havoc on your program. You may not like going to the gym, but during the summer you can exercise in the great outdoors. Walking, swimming and biking are few ways to better your health.

Getting Help This Summer

If you are still using drugs or alcohol, the aforementioned suggestions may not apply to you—yet. But they probably make some sense to you, either way. Maybe this summer is a good opportunity to break the cycle of addiction and seek help for the debilitating disease of addiction. Please contact us at Synergy Group Services to begin the process. Our holistic approach to addiction recovery has helped numerous individuals get their life back. Maybe this can be your summer of recovery. We can help.

Fentanyl Test Strips Could Save Lives

fentanylIt would be nice if everyone abusing opioid narcotics of any kind could be convinced that the best thing they could do today is seek help for their addiction. For unlike other substances that one could be addicted to, the likelihood of an overdose and potential death is so great with prescription opioids and heroin that it is simply not worth continuing.

Naturally, such a scenario could only exist if addiction were not what it is: A serious mental health disorder that fights to protect itself like a wolf backed into a corner. Addicts know that at any moment the drugs they are about to put in their body could be their last, yet they do it anyway because the thought of withdrawal sickness is so terrifying it is as if they have no other option.

There is not a formula to explain when an individual has had enough and will seek help. Even those who have survived an overdose will continue using despite the inherent risks. Which is why it is so vital that states and cities do their part to provide addicts with naloxone, clean syringes and a way to determine if the drugs they are about to do contain the deadly ingredient known as fentanyl.

Testing for Fentanyl

People can die from an overdose on morphine, they can die from an overdose on heroin. But if fentanyl is added to the equation the chances of an overdose death are exponentially greater.” The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) points out that fentanyl is anywhere from 50 to 100 times more potent than morphine. Used in even small amounts it causes severe respiratory depression that can be deadly.

The drug is commonly mixed into bags of heroin to increase potency, without users having any knowledge of its presence. However, there is a way that addicts could determine if their bag contains fentanyl. In New York City, a program in the Bronx has begun equipping heroin addicts with easy to use fentanyl test strips, NPR reports. At St. Ann’s Corner of Harm Reduction, a needle exchange program in the Bronx, ordered test strips from Canada and are handing them out at the exchange.

“If you’re doing dope,” staffer Van Asher says to one client, “we’ll give you a test strip so you can test and see if there’s fentanyl.”

The Road to Recovery

There are some who might argue that giving out test strips and clean syringes encourages continued use. But, in reality, such practices prevent the spread of deadly diseases and can help prevent a fatal overdose. Needle exchange personnel typically talk with addicts coming in off the streets about the value of seeking recovery. Letting them know that it is possible. A significant number of people have gone to treatment based on recommendations from such clinics.

If you are actively abusing opioids of any kind, please contact Synergy Group Services to begin the journey of recovery.

3 Reasons Why You Should Try Acupuncture

A women receiving acupuncture therapyYou might be surprised to learn that the healing art of acupuncture has been practiced for more than 3,000 years. And, it has even been recognized by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) as a safe and effective form of therapy for a wide range of physical and behavioral health conditions.

If you haven’t tried acupuncture before, you might consider trying this holistic therapy. It can help rebalance your mind and body while stimulating the natural healing response.

And, it is especially helpful for individuals who are in recovery from an addiction to drugs and alcohol. In fact, it has been shown to ease withdrawal symptoms and reduce cravings.

If you are working on your sobriety, talk to your addiction recovery team about incorporating acupuncture as part of your comprehensive plan of care. In addition to supporting your sober lifestyle, acupuncture can also offer a wide variety of holistic health benefits.

3 Ways Acupuncture Can Support Your Total Health

(1) It can help reduce stress.

Scientific research suggests that acupuncture therapy can actually help you manage stress at the molecular level by lowering the amount of stress-induced hormones in your body. And, given that chronic stress has been linked to higher rates of cardiovascular disease, obesity and depression, this holistic method of stress management can help support your overall health and well-being.

(2) Acupuncture can help you become more tolerant and patient.

One of the hidden benefits of acupuncture therapy is that it forces you to slow down and relax. After the needles are inserted, most acupuncture therapists recommend that you remain seated for 20 to 60 minutes during the therapy session. With regular practice, you can learn how to become more patient and comfortable experiencing life at a slower pace.

(3) With regular treatments, acupuncture can help treat pain holistically.

Many people live with episodic and chronic pain. But, there are effective alternatives to prescription painkillers that don’t carry the risk of opioid addiction. Acupuncture therapy has been shown to help ease pain and help individuals find relief. In one study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine, research participants who received acupuncture therapy reported a 50 percent decrease in pain symptoms as a result.

Holistic, Comprehensive Treatment for Drug and Alcohol Addiction

At Synergy Group Services, we leverage a wide spectrum of therapies designed to help individuals who are dealing with a chemical dependency. As part of our comprehensive approach, we also offer a variety of holistic therapies including acupuncture, massage therapy, biofeedback and art therapy. If you are concerned about your own use of drugs or alcohol and want help, don’t wait. Please contact us today at (888) 267-8070 to learn more about our approach to addiction recovery.



Brain Scientists

Brain Scientists Honored for Groundbreaking Addiction Research

Three UK-based brain scientists were recently awarded one of the most prestigious titles for their efforts in the field of addiction research.

Peter Dayan, Ray Dolan and Wolfram Schultz were honored by the Lundbeck Foundation’s major research award “The Brain Prize” for their work which explores how learning is involved with the reward system of the brain.

The three prizewinners investigated the underlying mechanics within the brain that contribute to compulsive gambling, drug addiction and alcoholism. Specifically, their research illustrates how dopamine neurons react when there is a difference between expectation and reality.

“The research of these three prizewinners offers far-reaching perspectives on our understanding of human behavior and how we make decisions. Their research has also provided a valuable key to understanding what goes wrong when people succumb to compulsive gambling, drug addiction, obsessive compulsive disorder and schizophrenia,” said Professor Sir Colin Blakemore, the chairman of the foundation’s selection committee.

Using a combination of mathematical modeling and human trials, researchers found that dopamine is released as a response to the difference between a reward we expect and the one we actually receive. The link between the brain’s reward pathway and dopamine has been studied previously. But, this research is new in that it demonstrates the compounding effect of the expectation of that reward.

“Mapping the connection between learning and reward is essential if we’re to understand human behavior and how to improve treatment of brain disorders. With elegant experiments and mathematical models, the prizewinners have described how dopamine plays a crucial role in the motivation that drives learning,” says Professor Morten Kringelbach, a brain researcher at the universities of Oxford and Aarhus.

At Synergy Group Services, we firmly believe in the value of addiction research. Using evidence-based insights, the addiction rehab community as a whole can develop new, and even more effective treatment modalities to help individuals dealing with substance abuse issues. We look forward to seeing more investments in the areas of biomedical and addiction-related research.

Speak to an Addiction Recovery Specialist Now

At Synergy Group Services, we specialize in helping individuals with an addiction to drugs or alcohol get the personalized care they deserve. We offer a wide spectrum of holistic services designed to treat the whole person including acupuncture, massage, art therapy and biofeedback in addition to traditional, evidence-based therapies. To learn more about Synergy Group Services, contact us today at (888) 267-8070.

Happy Friends dealing with stress in a healthy way

3 (Healthy) Ways to Deal with Stress in Recovery

If you’re currently in recovery from an addiction to drugs or alcohol, kudos to you for choosing a sober lifestyle! Now that you’re no longer dealing with the dark cloud of addiction, you can finally start to work towards building a healthier and less chaotic life.

During this time, it’s also important to work on building healthy coping mechanisms – especially ones that can help you weather the occasional storms of life. It’s all about learning how to deal with challenging times without using drugs and alcohol as a crutch.

Addiction recovery may not be easy, but it’s certainly worth it. To invest in your personal success, here are a few strategies that can help you navigate the natural ups and downs of life while protecting your sobriety.

(1) Learn how to open up to friends and family members. Drugs and alcohol have a way of making you more socially isolated as you prioritize spending time using and abusing drugs and alcohol. But, over time, it can actually just make stressful situations worse. Learning how to lean on your social network is an important part of building a sober lifestyle. If you’re struggling with a personal or professional challenge, don’t be afraid to talk to a friend or family member. No one is perfect and by reaching out to other people, you can lean on them for emotional support to get you through it.

(2) Think about how you’ve overcome challenges in the past. While the obstacle in your path today may seem daunting, you can gain strength (and leverage that positive momentum) by cataloguing hardships you’ve faced and overcome in the past. And, it doesn’t have to be a formal process. The next time you’re feeling a little overwhelmed by life, jot down a few of your accomplishments on the back of a receipt or on a paper napkin. You’ll remember the skills you used to succeed before – and it can help you better understand how you can use those same strategies again.

(3) Give yourself personal boundaries. People talk a lot about establishing emotional boundaries with others. Developing and establishing clear guidelines for relationships that are designed to support your emotional health. In that same vein, why not create some guardrails to help guide how you treat yourself? For example, if you know that you often wake up in the middle of the night and often overthink your personal obligations, make a pact with yourself to address those issues the next time you visit your therapist. That way, you can feel more empowered and in control of your thoughts and emotions.

Synergistic Outcomes with Unparalleled Success

We’ll work with you to examine past choices, behaviors, and consequences due to your abuse of drugs and give you the tools needed to take back your life and regain balance to your body, mind, and spirit. From detox to aftercare planning, our drug rehab provides a continuum of care designed to help you or your loved one establish a routine that will help minimize opportunities for cravings to grow, identify relapse triggers and develop coping processes to activate accordingly. Contact us at (888) 267-8070. Your call is confidential and we’re here to help you 24/7.

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