Apps to Help with Addiction

Ridgeview Ranch knows that addicts face numerous challenges throughout the recovery process. This includes a lack of access to resources for patients after completing an intensive program. However, many have easy access to their phones, computers, or tablets. As a result, this connective technology has emerged as a resource for providing recovering addicts with a safety net.

Addicts face numerous challenges throughout the recovery process. This includes a lack of access to resources for patients after completing an intensive program. However, many have easy access to their phones, computers, or tablets. As a result, this connective technology has emerged as a resource for providing recovering addicts with a safety net.

Currently, there are over a dozen available apps designed to help with addiction. Some of them are simple and free, like a day counter for clean and sober living or a 12-step meeting locator. Others are sophisticated programs that include features like a panic button, or automatic alerts when someone goes near “risky” locations like bars.

Each app is created for use by either an addict, treatment provider, or both. The Freedom 365 app includes activities to reveal the causes of addiction and tools to create a recovery plan. It even has an “empowerment” button, to be pressed when there is a temptation to relapse and suggesting actions to take (such as “attend AA meeting”). Another app, WEconnect, installs its software on treatment center providers’ phones to help support and track patients after they have been discharged.

As convenient and helpful as these apps are intended to be in helping addicts recover and stay sober, their purpose is not to replace treatment from human counselors. One of their primary goals is to reduce the relapse rate, which is at least 60% according to many studies.

However, some of these apps do help recovering addicts find and create social networks among themselves. For some, it is difficult to attend meetings, and they can benefit from technology that encourages them to socially engage with other recovering addicts and find an alternative source of support.

When an app cannot address a recovering addict’s needs, seeking help is highly advisable. Treatment and support from a professional is the best option for addiction recovery. Ridgeview Ranch is here to help addicts on the path to recovery, including support for post-treatment individuals with sober living.

For more information on Addiction and how Ridgeview Ranch can help you, call 877-526-7706 or visit ridgeviewranchca.org

Un-Following the Trend of Social Media Addiction

Social media addiction is not officially recognized as a disease or disorder. However, many studies focus on parallels between people who display addictive behavior in their usage and drug, alcohol, or gambling addicts.

Describing someone as an addict means they exhibit a compulsive behavior that carries negative effects. Social media addiction is not officially recognized as a disease or disorder. However, many studies focus on parallels between people who display addictive behavior in their usage and drug, alcohol, or gambling addicts.

Behaviors and Effects of Social Media Addiction

One of the benefits of social media is how it makes people feel connected to others, but there are also cases where constant connection through technology causes feelings of isolation in the real world. Some might develop further dependence on social media as a result. Other signs of social media addiction might include, but aren’t restricted to, constantly checking Twitter feeds, intensely following someone’s social media profile—commonly called “stalking”—or spending hours on end posting and responding to comments.

A stronger sign of addiction is engagement with social media when doing so is dangerous, like while driving. At other times, like during a meeting or while at the movies, the behavior might be merely annoying to others, but it may indicate a problem.

“Am I Addicted to Social Media?”

If you’re wondering whether you’re addicted, ask yourself:
• Do you spend a lot of time thinking about social media?
• Have you felt increasingly strong and more frequent urges to use social media?
• Do you get restless or bothered when unable to use social media?
• Have you tried, unsuccessfully, to reduce your use of social media?
• Do you use social media so much that it has negatively affected your work or studies?

Answering “yes” to only one or some of these questions doesn’t necessarily mean you’re addicted. But if you did to most or all of them, you should seriously consider whether an addiction exists.

What Can You Do?

If you want to cut down on your social media usage, small changes can go a long way. Turning off alert tones can reduce the urge to react immediately to them. You could also commit to allowing yourself to check or make yourself stay away at specific times, like during meals or while out with friends.

The most successful kind of treatment for stronger addiction seems to be cognitive behavioral therapy. However, as with many officially recognized diseases and disorders, there is no “quick fix” for addiction. Each person is responsible for their own actions, and sometimes help from a professional can give them the edge they need in overcoming addiction.

For more information on Social Media Addiction and how Ridgeview Ranch can help you, call 877-526-7706 or visit ridgeviewranchca.org

Building a Healthier You in 2019

Many people overlook the idea that good health is a lifestyle, not a resolution. Ridgeview Ranch offers some tips to help you achieve a healthier life.

Like millions of others, you started 2019 with a resolution to improve your health. Or maybe you already made some progress during 2018 and want to keep it up. Many people overlook the idea that good health is a lifestyle, not a resolution. It’s great to say you’re resolved to achieve good health, but you need to take action to reach your goals. Here are some tips to help you reach a healthier life.

 

Start Small and Build

We live in a culture of instant gratification, but building a healthy lifestyle is best done by making gradual changes. Start with small things like a 10-minute light workout in your living room or a walk around the block right after you get home. When small changes become habitual, you can increase the intensity and time you spend.

 

Keep A Balanced Diet (Not a Strict One)

It’s common for people to go into a new year determined to keep a strict diet. However, they’re often setting themselves up for failure. Eating becomes like a chore instead of one of the pleasures that life offers us.

A balanced diet is key to healthy living and leaves room for enjoyment. Whether you actually love veggies or just want to sink your teeth into some meat once in a while, all the options are still on the table. Concern yourself instead with how you balance your diet. Eat meat less often but make sure it’s good quality. Choose fresh vegetables that contain more nutrients than canned or frozen. It’s also easier to ease back into a balanced diet when you do find yourself slipping.

 

Sleep Tight

When people think of health, they usually think of eating and exercising. Sleep is equally important. The amount of sleep you get affects how you think and act, and how your body responds to exercise. Ongoing sleep deficiency also increases your risk for chronic health problems. Make sure you get roughly the recommended 8 hours every night.

 

The Triangle of Health

Think of a healthy lifestyle as a triangle, which is the strongest shape. When all 3 sides (diet, exercise, and sleep) are equally balanced, your health is in strong shape. Pay attention to each of them while you go through the year, and we hope you’ll see the results you imagined when you made up your mind to live a healthier 2019!

For more information on Building a Healthier You in 2019, call 877-526-7706 or visit ridgeviewranchca.org

How Technology Addiction Affects Families

When most people think about addiction, they think about addiction to drugs or alcohol, or maybe prescription medication. But there is another kind of addiction that is perhaps even more common, and with harmful effects that might be harder to notice: social media and technology addiction.

We’ve all experienced it, the sudden realization that everyone gathered for family time in a living room or surrounded by friends at a restaurant table is actually glued to their smartphone. What seems like a few harmless minutes of scrolling adds up, and people who install “average screen time” monitors on their devices are often astounded at the results. Studies show that mindlessly scrolling through social apps actually makes us unhappy, and yet we continue to waste time looking at social media platforms on our devices instead of spending time on the tasks, work, hobbies, passions, and relationships that we truly want to give energy and attention to.

The scary thing about this addiction is that it is seeping into the daily – and nightly – routines of children at an alarming rate. Almost a quarter of children surveyed in a report by the BBC were online more than their parents.

Consider the impact our technology and social media addictions have on children. According to the BBC, 43% of parents surveyed across Europe were concerned that their children’s gadget use habits had negative effects, and yet many admitted that they set a bad example themselves.

Negative effects of social media discussed in the survey included a decline in both social skills and mental health due to excessive technology use.

Many parents in the survey responded that they weren’t sure how to deal with technology or social media addiction in their families. The BBC put together the following tips for how parents can respond to the technology use of their children in a healthy way:

  • Set house rules such as screen time limits, and what children are allowed to view
  • Talk to children about what they do and see online
  • Encourage them to communicate with friends in online social spaces
  • Teach children to think before they click
  • Use tech tools to limit how much inappropriate content they see
  • Discuss the risks of posting private data, images, and videos to social networks
  • Be a good role model

The scary thing about this addiction is that it is seeping into the daily – and nightly – routines of children at an alarming rate. Almost a quarter of children surveyed in a report by the BBC were online more than their parents. Ridgeview Ranch is here to help. Speak with the experts today!

It seems that when children are concerned, the impetus is on parents to set a healthy example. FastCompany suggests a few ways to curb a harmful habit that can easily spiral out of control:

  • Delete social media or other “time waster” apps from your phone
  • Use apps like Flipd to block addictive apps during certain times of the day
  • Ask your friends to hide your phone for periods of time
  • Consider switching to a non-smartphone (23% of Americans are currently paving the way!)

Think about it – when people talk about the harmful effects of addiction to drugs, alcohol, or medications, the common themes include: decrease in productivity, disconnect with loved ones, a negative example to children, and unhealthy mental health effects. Addiction to social media and technology yield the same results! Let’s work together to call it out as a real addiction and transform our habits and our families!

For more information on addiction recovery, call 877-526-7706 or visit ridgeviewranchca.org

How Your Environment Can Help or Hinder Your Road to Recovery

Environment plays a huge factor in developing addictions or substance abuse habits, as Adi Jaffe Ph.D. explains in Psychology Today. Environments also play a big factor in how successfully you can recover.

As Dr. Jaffe explains, there are several important factors in your environment that can make addiction more or less likely: Family, Peers, Work/School, and Community. If people close to you have or foster an addiction problem, you are more likely to develop an addiction to alcohol, drugs, or other substances.

Likewise, if you are on or want to be on a pathway to recovering from addiction, your environment is equally critical. If you remain around people who are still struggling from addictions or are using the substances you’re trying to break free from, you will have a much harder time staying on track in your recovery. And people are not the only factor. Physical aspects such as places or even rooms in your house can trigger challenges in your recovery.

If you are on or want to be on a pathway to recovering from addiction, your environment is equally critical. If you remain around people who are still struggling from addictions or are using the substances you’re trying to break free from, you will have a much harder time staying on track in your recovery. And people are not the only factor. Physical aspects such as places or even rooms in your house can trigger challenges in your recovery.

The importance of a healthy environment is one reason why a recovery program like Ridgeview Ranch is life-changing. By going to a recovery facility, you are giving yourself the freedom to be fully present in an environment completely dedicated to your wellbeing and recovery.

Wherever you are in your recovery journey, your environment and the people around you make a difference! Recently, Ridgeview Ranch’s Program Manager, Denise Maupin, was honored and recognized at the Long Beach Recovery Awards Ceremony. Ms. Maupin received awards and certificates from the City of Long Beach, Office of the City Council, Sixth District, the United States House of Representatives, Congressman Alan Lowenthal, and the State of California Senate for her awesome service and dedication to the Recovery Community.

What makes her so successful in changing people’s lives? Ms. Maupin has gone through years of personal recovery and understands what it takes to sustain and maintain sobriety. For that reason, she is dedicated to helping individuals heal and recover from substance abuse in all aspects of life. She goes the extra mile to help individuals achieve healing mentally, emotionally and physically. We’re proud of Ms. Maupin for so tangibly showing our community what it means to make a difference.

Ms. Maupin and the entire team here at Ridgeview Ranch are dedicated to creating an environment that is judgment-free and conducive to recovery. If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction or substance abuse, we encourage you to find out more about a community who cares and an environment that can help! Call 877-526-7706, or visit ridgeviewranchca.org

Life Beyond Addiction

It’s common to hear stories about celebrities and public figures falling into substance abuse and addictions. But the stories that really impact us – the stories we should care more about – are the stories of recovery. And while the dangers of addiction and substance abuse is very necessary to stay aware of, it’s important to remember that recovery is always possible! If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction right now, it’s important to see the big picture by recognizing people who have recovered even when it seemed impossible.

Success stories:

Jamie Lee Curtis told CNN that she is proud to be almost 20 years sober from her addiction to painkillers. She says her recovery hasn’t been easy but that she thinks it’s important to talk about how possible recovery is. “There really is hope,” she told CNN, explaining that she has worked hard to break a cycle that she has seen destroy families.

We often hear headlines about celebrities spiraling out of control because of drug and alcohol problems, but the comeback stories are the ones that stick with us.

Another inspiring celebrity success story is Robert Downey Jr.’s recovery from a decades-long battle with drug and alcohol abuse. Downey credits his wife Susan with helping him kick his destructive habits by giving him an ultimatum. Downey told the Daily Mail that he stays sober through a combination of yoga, meditation, therapy, and 12-step programs.

While the dangers of addiction and substance abuse is very necessary to stay aware of, it’s important to remember that recovery is always possible! If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction right now, it’s important to see the big picture by recognizing people who have recovered even when it seemed impossible.

Harry Potter star Daniel Radcliffe says that personal insecurities and the pressure of the spotlight led him to spend his 20s struggling with alcohol abuse. Radcliffe says that his alcohol problem took him farther and farther away from the person he wanted to be. He now maintains his sobriety by focusing on exercise, quality time with friends, and reading – one of his favorite hobbies.

American actor Rob Lowe spent much of his life in the habit of wild partying and alcohol abuse. He says that even as a teenager, he had a major drinking problem. But knowing his life was on a dangerous trajectory led him to pursue sobriety, live an inspiring success story, and even receive the Spirit of Sobriety award in 2015. To commemorate being a quarter of a century sober and to inspire those struggling as he had, Lowe tweeted “To those struggling with addiction, there is true, real, hope. Twenty-five years ago today, I found recovery and a life of promise. #Grateful.”

Success can be your story too:

As these recovery success stories remind us, hope is always within reach and it’s never too late to turn your life around. Ridgeview Ranch Treatment Center is committed to providing substance abuse treatment for men and women who are struggling with alcoholism, drug addiction, and co-occurring disorders. Don’t hesitate to find out what hope looks like for you by calling our confidential line at 877-526-7706 or use our convenient Contact form.

Pop Culture’s Responsibility for Displaying Addiction and Substance Abuse

From music to fashion modeling trends, much of pop culture glamorizes substance abuse and addiction, often by drawing a seemingly necessary correlation between substance abuse and fame and success.

This kind of portrayal not only leaves a misguided impression on people who might enter an addiction, but it’s also harmful to the addicts and loved ones of addicts who are navigating the very real and long-term horror of addiction.

Thankfully, some films are taking steps toward a more enlightened view. While A Star is Born might still be glamorizing addiction and substance abuse to some extent, but at least it’s showing some of the nuances of being in a relationship where addiction is involved.

One of the most important things to remember is the harmful effects that substance abuse and addiction have on relationships. At the same time, relationships are often some of the best healing paths for people struggling with addiction, because relationships make it harder for addicts to isolate themselves and makes compassionate intervention more natural. Whether it’s through relationships like in A Star is Born or not, the most important thing pop culture can do is remind us that addiction treatment and recovery are always options.

Because addiction is a disease, recovery isn’t a quick fix, but it is always possible. It’s a challenge to manage an addiction daily, which is why we need to remember to support recovering addicts as they navigate their unique challenge to maintain their relationships, jobs, family lives, and contributions to society. You need to call Ridgeview Ranch and speak with one of our Addiction Specialists today.

Pop culture’s responsibility is to navigate the fine line between showing the hope of recovery but also not watering down the dangers and negative effects of addiction and substance abuse. And while some movies like Requiem for a Dream do portray the authentic dark side of addiction, it also shows the addicts as beyond hope of recovery. Saying that recovery is out of reach is also harmful. Thankfully, culture’s perception is slowly changing, especially with the laws around narcotic possession. Many non-violent offenders are now given the option of going to addiction treatment instead of going to jail.

Whether we are making laws or making movies, it’s important to remember that there is always hope for addiction treatment and recovery.

The emphasis on hope is important in part because again, much of pop culture tends to display addiction or substance abuse as a choice, even as a “party lifestyle.” But once an addiction takes over, it isn’t a decision anymore, it’s a serious medical disease.

Just as the long-term effects of substance abuse are often downsized in pop culture, so are the recoveries, if they are shown at all.

Because addiction is a disease, recovery isn’t a quick fix, but it is always possible. It’s a challenge to manage an addiction daily, which is why we need to remember to support recovering addicts as they navigate their unique challenge to maintain their relationships, jobs, family lives, and contributions to society.

We need to do our best to empower our community towards understanding addiction better by removing both the glamor of substance abuse and the stigma of addiction treatment. If you or a loved one needs compassionate support and effective addiction treatment, we’re here for you with 30, 60, or 90-day Residential Treatment Programs. We believe there is always hope! Learn more by calling (800) 296-1868 or use our convenient Contact form.

Caffeine Overdose is No Joke

We like to joke, post, and wear t-shirts about being a “coffee addict,” or having “caffeine withdrawals,” but according to expert medical sources, it’s a real and very dangerous thing.

Most people know that caffeine is a stimulant that causes various effects on consumers, notoriously causing feelings of alertness by making brain-body messages travel faster. But many people don’t know that this can reach a dangerous – even deadly – level.

Caffeine overdose is rare, but the actual problem most often related to energy drinks or supplements that contain very high levels of caffeine. Overdoses most often occur in children and adolescents who are more susceptible to the effects of the stimulant. Since the conception of online databases, 92 lethal caffeine overdoses have been recorded.

What is considered an overdose?

Caffeine tends to start affecting the body once that the blood system contains more than 15 milligrams of caffeine per liter of blood. A concentration of 80-100 milligrams per liter can be fatal. Keep in mind that consuming too much caffeine happens easier when using caffeine supplements, especially if combined with coffee, tea, sodas, or energy drinks. Medical experts agree that caffeine powder is the most dangerous – just a teaspoon of powdered caffeine can be equivalent to 28 cups of coffee!

How to recognize an overdose

Typical symptoms of caffeine overdose can include very fast or irregular heartbeat, shakiness, nausea or vomiting, chest pain, rapid breathing, confusion, panic attacks, and more. Seek medical advice immediately if you or someone you know is experiencing these symptoms. The most common cause of death from caffeine overdose is from ventricular fibrillation- when the lower chambers of the heart vibrate rather than contracting regularly. This leads to cardiac arrest.

 How to avoid consuming too much caffeine

Be aware of your caffeine intake by understanding where your caffeine is coming from. Coffee, tea, cola, and energy drinks are the obvious caffeine culprits. But caffeine is also found in many workout supplements, cold and flu medications, chocolate, and other candies. Avoid mixing alcohol and caffeine, or consuming excessive caffeine when pregnant or breastfeeding. It’s advised that children and adolescents shouldn’t drink caffeine, as the full effects of caffeine on developing bodies aren’t fully known yet.

Most people know that caffeine is a stimulant that causes various effects on consumers, notoriously causing feelings of alertness by making brain-body messages travel faster. But many people don’t know that this can reach a dangerous – even deadly – level.

So what is safe?

Medical experts suggest that adults can usually safely consume up to 400 mg of caffeine per day as part of their diet (up to five 8-ounce cups of coffee). In addition to talking with your doctor, the key to staying healthy while enjoying caffeine is to understand exactly what you are consuming and paying attention to how it’s affecting you. Don’t forget to spread the word about the dangerous effects of too much caffeine and the surprising products where it’s found.

If you need an effective resource to help with caffeine addiction or overdose, speak with our addiction recovery and rehab specialists: 877-526-7706 or use our convenient Contact form.

How Employers Can Change the Problems of Addiction in the Workplace

Alcohol and drug use addictions in the workplace are wreaking havoc on American companies. Studies show that 20 million workers across the U.S. have reported alcohol-related impairment at work at least once in the past year. Drug abuse and addiction cost American companies $81 billion every year, with 1 in 25 Americans testing positive for illegal drugs in workplace test screens. In addition to the financial impact, these problems are affecting the morale and overall productivity in companies, and even accounting for 10% of workplace fatalities. But perhaps the most disturbing factor is that 75% of alcohol or illegal drug addiction cases remain undetected in the workplace, giving employers no indication to help their employees.

So, as an employer, what steps can you take to start changing these statistics? The first step is understanding how to recognize a problem that needs attention. Some common telltale signs of addiction in the workplace are when an employee:

  • Talks openly about money problems at work
  • Displays a decline in personal appearance or hygiene
  • Complains of failing relationships at home
  • Takes time off for vague illnesses or family problems
  • Disappears from the work premises for extended periods of time
  • Avoids coworkers and friends
  • Irrationally blames others for personal mistakes
  • Shows symptoms of withdrawal that seem to affect job performance
  • Demonstrates an inability to focus or concentrate
  • Takes needless risks that impact the company
  • Conducts sales of illegal drugs to coworkers or engages in other illicit activities

When you recognize the signs of addiction, it’s important that you approach the matter gently and carefully. Threatening to fire an employee will not help them recover from their addiction. Research your resources and consult your lawyer, as dealing with addiction can be legally tricky. Then, approach the employee as a friend and have a conversation. It’s important to offer them an effective treatment as an alternative to their current lifestyle, and it’s helpful to offer a treatment program that you already have in place.

Set up your business for success by proactively planning for abuse detection and treatment with structures such as:

  • Increased awareness and clarified expectations (EAPs)
  • Team awareness and peer-based prevention programs, including web-based programs
  • Regular Drug and Alcohol Screening tests
  • Addiction Treatment programs facilitated by or in the workplace

Help a returning or new employee re-enter the workplace in a way that encourages continual recovery, rehabilitation, and health. Remind them that they’re not alone and be part of helping them change their life. Set the example for office morale, open communication, and less stigma around abuse.As an employer, you can also help employees on the other side of an addiction. Returning to work after addiction treatment – whether it’s to a job held previously or a new workplace – is a challenge for the employee, due to stress around the stigma of abuse. Help a returning or new employee re-enter the workplace in a way that encourages continual recovery, rehabilitation, and health. Remind them that they’re not alone and be part of helping them change their life. Set the example for office morale, open communication, and less stigma around abuse.

If you need an effective resource to help an employee, speak with our addiction recovery and rehab specialists: 877-526-7706

Addiction Intervention – Tips for Success

Recent studies show that 1 in 10 Americans struggles with substance abuse. Many of us know someone who is caught in the trap of addiction. And most of us feel powerless to help. But not only are there effective ways to help, helping is crucial. The courage and compassion to intervene could mean everything and can possibly save the life of your loved one.Recent studies show that 1 in 10 Americans struggles with substance abuse. Many of us know someone who is caught in the trap of addiction. And most of us feel powerless to help. But not only are there effective ways to help, helping is crucial. The courage and compassion to intervene could mean everything and can possibly save the life of your loved one.

What is an intervention?

We often think of interventions as relating to alcoholism or use of street drugs, but interventions are also useful and potentially critical for loved ones dealing with prescription drug abuse, compulsive eating, or compulsive gambling.  Mayo Clinic defines an intervention as presenting your loved one with “a structured opportunity to make changes before things get even worse, and it can motivate him or her to seek or accept help.” It might sound dramatic, but it’s simply a way for loved to express their feelings constructively about the harmful effects of addiction. The goal is to show love, to show that you care enough to say something, and to show that you care about helping your loved one make a critical life change.

When to intervene?

So even if you know that an intervention is necessary, the conversation can be extremely difficult and intimidating. You should always seek professional help when navigating an intervention. Often, an addiction is not openly acknowledged or known. You might feel that you’re overstepping or wrongly accusing. But remember, your decision to show tough love is exactly what your loved one needs. Some indications that an intervention is warranted might include: secretive behavior, borrowing money, aggressive behavior, deterioration of physical appearance, lack of motivation or energy, problems at work or school, or unexplainable health issues. If your loved one is displaying one or more of these factors, you should consider an intervention and professional help.

How to intervene?

No matter how much certainty you feel about your loved one’s addiction, its hard to know where to start with an intervention. Thankfully, there are intervention specialists available to give professional support and guidance. For your own wellbeing and the wellbeing of your loved one, we don’t recommend attempting an intervention alone. A specialist can help you understand the best intervention strategy and help you and your friends and family prepare for both the conversation and the potential pushback. An intervention specialist will also help educate you on addiction recovery so that you are better prepared to successfully support your loved one moving forward.

But don’t be discouraged if the intervention doesn’t go as planned, or if there aren’t immediate results. Recognizing the need for an intervention and asking a professional intervention specialist for help are the first steps. Your brave and loving decision to intervene could save your loved one’s relationships, career, future, and much more. Your intervention could save their life. You’re not alone. Remember to ask for professional help for you and your loved one. Call us 24/7 for confidential and complimentary addition intervention guidance: (877) 526-7706.