Medicine Wheel Clinic
Medicine Wheel Clinic Self-Care Corner
Information About Self-Care, Substance Misuse, Behavioral Modification, Medication Assisted Treatment, and more.
Welcome To the Medicine Wheel Clinic Self-Care Corner!
We will be posting information on self care, mental health, addiction, and more. Our hope is to provide more options for patients to have a better understanding of their condition and things they can do to improve quality of life. The information found on this website is not meant to take place of medical advice from a professional. We are also not endorsing any individuals, schools, organizations, businesses or their practices or other content by posting this material. It's just a place to share interesting videos and articles our staff has come across related to addiction and self-care. We hope to post two or three times a month based on interest, but time will tell. Thanks for reading :)
Why it is hard for addicts to feel pleasure without drugs?
With time, practice, and stopping illicit drug use, you can discover or rediscover things that bring you joy. A struggle that is very common for those that are new to recovery is difficulty feeling pleasure or joy without drugs. When you take mood altering substances, especially in large amounts or for a long period of time, it changes the way your brain regulates emotions. Our limbic system controls pleasure and reward. It gives us a 'hit' of feel good chemicals when we do good things (like eating, sleeping, time with loved ones, achieving goals, doing something fun, etc). If your brain has forgotten how to produce those chemicals on it's own because you keep flooding it with chemicals unnaturally, you can develop anhedonia. Anhedonia is a condition where your brain struggles greatly to enjoy things. It is extremely common in those who are newly sober or struggling with long term depression. Just like physical therapy for a physical injury, you have to exercise your brain to rebuild it's ability to function in a healthy way on it's own. You do this by doing things you know are good for you even if they don't make you feel good in the moment. And as you start having good feelings, it increases the ability to produce these chemicals on your own. That way joy isn't something you have to buy. Real joy and satisfaction can often be obtained again through effort, patience, and professional help. Some people also have a more long term or clinical depression causing anhedonia. A variety of psychiatric medications can help if you aren't able to produce the happy chemicals on your own. You deserve to be happy at least some of the time! Be your own detective and figure out what might bring you joy. Then just do it no matter how you feel about it!
Medication Assisted Treatment information from the Wall Street Journal
This wonderful piece by the Wall Street Journal gives a great overview of Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT). It discusses how it is a best practice of patient care for people who are addicted to opioids (heroin, pain pills, etc). It also talks about the stigma and the fact that many spaces, even within the field of addiction recovery, are still on a learning curve about how beneficial and life saving MAT can be.
Free Naloxone and Training at Medicine Wheel 09/17/2021
Naloxone is a medication that is used to reverse an Opioid overdose. Georgia Overdose Prevention will be setting up a table to distribute Naloxone kits to any at risk person who is in need of one. Please join us at the clinic on Wednesday, 09/17/2021 from 5:30-11:00 to get your free medication and training. You can also request a free kit from Georgia Overdose Prevention by clicking the link below. Naloxone saves lives! Don't let you or someone you love become a statistic. We can work together as a community to reduce the impact of the opioid epidemic. See you Friday, 09/17!
You Can Get Addicted to Anything that Feels Good
Did you know that a lot of people with substance use disorder struggle with other forms of addiction? Anything that makes your brain feel good can become compulsive with overuse. This means you can get addicted to things other than drugs (like love, food, sex, gambling, exercise, validation, games, television, phones, etc). Too much of anything can turn destructive, even healthy things. This video talks about an addiction to love. If you have received messages throughout your life that you are difficult to love or unlovable, one of the reactions can be to seek proof that you can be loved. Humans are not solitary creatures, we are meant to be in loving community with each other. Learn to give yourself the love and appreciation that you are seeking from others. Be a lover to yourself by celebrating who you are and spending time with others who do the same.
Relapse Prevention and Addiction Triggers
This video goes through a lot of the reasons addicts justify relapse or ongoing substance use. This video challenges the viewer to really be radically honest with yourself about your beliefs about drugs. It's important to consider those beliefs about relapsing and if those beliefs are actually true or a justification for relapsing. Try these tips and tricks for working through the decision making process. You can always choose a new way of dealing with feelings, difficult situations, fun, and so much more. It's work to retrain your brain to cope with things and enjoy life without the use of drugs. You can change so much if you try new things over time and see what works to keep you on track and free of relapse.
Trauma and the Brain
This video talks about trauma and its impact on the brain. When we go through severely traumatic events like violence, abuse, neglect, humiliation, abandonment, etc your brain has to produce chemicals to deal with the stress. Especially in the cases of sustained abuse over a long period of time, it can change your actual brain chemistry and the ability to feel safe and relaxed. Addicts report a higher rate of experiencing trauma or abuse, especially as children. Destigmatizing trauma and its effects on the brain helps addicts to understand their behaviors more. If you have experienced trauma in your life, it may be important to receive additional therapy to explore how these experiences hurt you. You may not be able to make sense of some of the terrible things that happened. But with work you can address the impact that it had on you and your brain. You are not your trauma, even though it can feel that way sometimes. You can build a more stable present than your past, one decision and one day at a time.
There are chemicals in everyone's brain that drive your emotions. The happy chemicals are Dopamine, Oxytocin, Endorphin, and Serotonin. Drugs fill the brain with these feel good chemicals unnaturally. With continued use, the brain struggles more and more to experience these happy feelings in a natural way. The good news is most people can improve their limbic system. Just like working out, it can be hard at first, but over time you get stronger and it gets easier. Some people also have psychiatric issues where they may need a temporary or long term mood stabilizing medication in addition to doing things that make you feel good naturally. Get back to enjoying things again. You deserve it.
Grieving After an Overdose
Losing a loved one to a drug overdose is an incredibly tragic event. This video shares the stories of several people who have experienced someone close to them dying of a drug overdose. Grief has five major stages (Denial, Bargaining, Depression, Anger, and Acceptance). Everyone's grieving looks different, there is no set schedule for how long it will take to stabilize after a major loss. Overdose death is preventable with appropriate treatment. If you or someone you love is struggling with addiction, seek help today. When using drugs, you never know if it may be the last fix. Fix the problems that are making you want to escape through drugs so you or your loved ones don't have to grieve this kind of tragic loss.
Rewired: A Bold New Approach To Addiction and Recovery
There are many books and resources out there about addiction. I suggest you check out Rewired by Erica Spiegelman. See below for what Good Reads has to say about this fascinating book on reframing addiction and regaining control.
"An addiction expert introduces a revolutionary and empowering approach to addiction recovery that addresses the whole self--mind, body, and spirit
Rewired is a new, breakthrough approach to fighting addiction and self-damaging behavior by acknowledging our personal power to bring ourselves back from the brink. Centered on the concept of self-actualization, Rewired will guide you towards not only physical sobriety, but a mental, emotional, and spiritual sobriety by learning to identify key principles within yourself, including authenticity, honesty, gratitude, and understanding a need for solitude.
Rewired addresses the whole self; just as addiction affects every part of one's life, so too must its treatment. By helping us to build a healthy space to support our own recovery, we can rewrite the negative behaviors that result in addiction. Usable in conjunction with or in place of 12-step programs, Rewired allows for a more holistic approach, helping to create a personalized treatment plan that is right for you.
Each section in Rewired includes:
- Personal anecdotes from the author's own struggles with alcoholism and addiction
- Inspiring true success stories of patients overcoming their addictions
- Questions to engage you into finding what is missing from your recovery
- Positive affirmations and intentions to guide and motivate
With all the variables, both physical and emotional, that play into overcoming addiction, Rewired enables us to stay strong and positive as we progress on the path to recovery. Rewired teaches patience and compassion, the two cornerstones of a new, humanist approach to curing addiction. Remember, addicts are not broken people that need to be fixed--they just have a few crossed wires."
Free Naloxone and Training at Medicine Wheel 03/17/2021
Naloxone is a medication that is used to reverse an Opioid overdose. Georgia Overdose Prevention will be setting up a table to distribute Naloxone kits to any Medicine Wheel Clinic patient who would like one. Please join us at the clinic on Wednesday, 03/17/2021 from 5:30-11:00 to get your free medication and training. You can also request a free kit from Georgia Overdose Prevention by clicking the link below. Naloxone saves lives! Don't let you or someone you love become a statistic. We can work together as a community to reduce the impact of the opioid epidemic. See you 03/17!
Making New Friends as a Part of Recovery
Making new friends can be challenging, especially when you are changing your life. There is a culture and community that comes along with drugs. Or maybe as your drug misuse escalated, you lost friends along the way. Many times, disconnecting from the drug community is a big part of changing your life and turning from addiction. But human beings aren't meant to be alone, so how do you fill that void? The people we spend our time and energy with influence our day to day lives. Start looking for people you adTo start with, recovery meetings are a great place to find people that at least are on the path to not use. Maybe you have a hobby you've always wanted to try? A church you've thought about attending? An online recovery group? An art class? You will probably find people with shared interests while you are figuring out what your interests are. The part of your brain that controls motivation to make friends is also impacted by drugs. Flex those motivation muscles by saying hi, introducing yourself, or making small talk with someone who seems interesting. You never know, you might click with that person more than you thought you would.
Break Your Phone Addiction
How many times a day do you get distracted by your phone? Many people who struggle with substance use disorder also have other addictive behaviors like compulsively checking the phone. Cellphones are an important part of modern life. There are many apps, communities, and tools we can use to help us in many positive ways. But just like with medication or anything else, you can misuse it in a way that's not helpful or can even harm you. Our phones are a reliable friend we can turn to when we are uncomfortable, bored, lonely, want to be distracted from something, and so much more. But here's the thing, studies have shown that most people cannot really multitask. When most people stop in the middle of one thing to do something else (like check your phone) it makes it harder to complete the task. You could start by turning off your phone for a set amount of time. Notice your emotions. Did you feel cravings for the phone? Does it remind you of other addictions you have struggled with when you want to make yourself feel better? Advertisers want us to look at our phones as much as possible and spend a lot of money to get our attention. If you reduce how much you look at your phone, what could you create with the extra time in your day? See the video below for more information on phone addiction and how it impacts your focus, attention span, and success.
Pump the Gas or Breaks on Motivation
Many people see motivation as simply a matter of will power or character. It is much more complex than that. You might be interested to know that motivation is directly connected to a chemical system in the human body. It's called the limbic system. When you are addicted to drugs that make you feel good unnaturally, that part of your brain that is motivated to do things is busy working on getting the drug. Over time, the brain becomes more and more dependent on those chemicals to feel good until eventually nothing feels good or motivates the person but the drug. Flex your motivation muscles by challenging yourself to do new things or things that you used to enjoy, even if it's uncomfortable at first. It's best to start with small attainable goals. This will help you feel more successful along the way to reaching your big goal.
-Get a Drivers License
-Get the study book from the department of motor vehicles
-Study the book
-Collect the documents the book says you need to bring with you
-Pass the written test to get your learners permit
-Have someone teach you to drive in an actual car
-Pass the drivers test and get your drivers license
Do you see how breaking things down into smaller goals gives you more opportunities to celebrate your success and feel good about it? You can improve your motivation by learning when to pump the gas or the breaks on what you feel motivated to do.
Battling Addiction During a Pandemic
Below you will find a video from VICE News on battling addiction during a pandemic. It talks at length about the ways that the addiction treatment community has had to adapt in order to serve those in need safely. Click below to learn more about changes that have happened regarding take home medication, in person meetings, telehealth, and more. Isolation is a huge trigger for relapse. We all need to be creative in finding ways to connect and support each other despite needing to be farther apart. Please remember, if you need someone to talk to, you can always call or text the CARES warm line!! They are available from 8:30am-11:00pm every day of the year. Please see below for further information.
What is a Co-Occurring Disorder or Dual Diagnosis?
Sometimes people take mood altering drugs to try to feel better from an untreated mental illness. You may have heard of the terms Co-Occurring Disorders or Dual Diagnosis. What that means is that there is more than one behavioral health issue for the same patient. So for example, a patient may be schizophrenic and also have substance use disorder. Our master's level counselors provide referrals to patients who are in need of more specialized care in addition to the treatment that they receive at Medicine Wheel This can include conditions like eating disorders, clinical depression, severe trauma or abuse, personality disorders, etc. Each person's situation is unique and a patient's care should be too. Learning how to take care of your body, heart, mind, and spirit is a learning process that takes time and practice, especially when you are first changing your relationship with drugs. Click below to learn more about living with co-occurring disorders.
10 Celebrities Who Battled Addiction
This video is about 10 celebrities who battled addiction. Addiction touches every class, creed, and walk of life. I hope their stories inspire you!
The Stages of Change
This video is about the stages of change. I have also listed the stages below with some information. What stage are you at right now regarding changes you want to make in your life?
Pre-Contemplation is when you aren't even thinking about the change yet. Maybe you don't want to admit to yourself that things have gotten out of control. Maybe you don't think change is possible. Maybe you are trying to think and feel as little as possible. Whatever the reason, you aren't quite ready to think about changing yet.
This is when you are actively thinking about change. Maybe you fantasize about a life where you aren't dependent on drugs. Maybe you experienced some consequences for your behavior that wake you up and make you realize that this is a bigger problem. Whatever the reason, you've started to think about what it would be like if you changed.
This is when you are thinking through the steps of what it would take to change. Would it be asking for help? Starting a treatment program? Reducing or stopping your drug of choice? Attending meetings? How do you plan to do that? Whatever the reason, you've started to plan how you might make take actions that will result in the change you want.
Action is probably the most important step in the behavior chain! You can think about things all day and not actually accomplish your goals. Action is where real change happens. So you've realized you want to change, and planned how you're going to. But if you don't take action on your thoughts and feelings, then the behavior chain stops. Maybe you start treatment with a program. Maybe you stop buying your drug of choice. Maybe you move out of an environment that is triggering. Whatever the reason, you've gone from thoughts and feelings to actual changes.
Maintenance is what you do to keep the change going. Once you've made a change, you can maintain it. Maybe it's going to routine meetings to help stay strong in the face of cravings. Maybe it's making new sober friends to help support you and the changes you've made. Maybe it's consistently taking medication. Maybe it's starting new hobbies, spiritual practices, or jobs that will give a sense of meaning and purpose. Whatever maintenance looks like for you, you're taking actions every day that support the changes you want.
Relapses are often a part of the recovery process. It's important to take responsibility for relapse and to consider how your choices contributed to the relapse. The good news is that there are things that can be done each time to learn about your addiction and different ways to react or respond to triggering situations. Did you watch a show about drugs that made you want to do them? Hang out with a friend or relative that does the drug? Have a stressful situation that you just wanted momentary escape from? When you go back on your change, write down what might have contributed to the step backwards. Make a plan for what you will do next time instead. The most important thing is to not give up when you stumble. You start the stages of change again. Go back to contemplating why the change is important and how you are going to change it. The process of change can be discouraging, but it's never too late to try again. With practice, you'll gain more and more skills on how to maintain real change and stay on the right track.
New Year's Resolutions - A Motivational Speech
This motivational speech is about reaching your goals. The little steps are what make the outcome possible!
Overcoming Holiday Triggers
The holidays are different for all of us this year! But many holiday triggers remain the same. Click below to hear tips from Smart Recovery on how to overcome holiday triggers.
Opioid Epidemic in the News!
Did you know that the company that produced OxyContin is in the news? Yesterday, a house oversight hearing was held regarding Purdue Pharmaceuticals and the crimes that were committed. An 8 billion dollar settlement was reached earlier this year. The settlement money is intended to provide relief to the patients and communities that were harmed by the company's actions. Please click below if you are interested in checking out the complete hearing.
A Big "thank you" to Georgia Overdose Prevention
Medicine Wheel Clinic would like to extend a big "thank you" to Tom and all of the wonderful people at Georgia Overdose Prevention. 62 rescue kits were distributed at the facility during the event. Stay tuned, as they will be returning for another Narcan/Naloxone distribution day in roughly 90 days. Remember, you can also request a free kit from Georgia Overdose Prevention before then by clicking the link below. Don't let you or someone you love become a statistic. Narcan/Naloxone saves lives! Don't run, call 911.
The Stages of Change
This video from Smart Recovery is about the stages of change. Making long term changes is hard and relapse is often a part of the process. Click below to learn more about getting back on track and tools to help you stay there.
Expressing Gratitude Helps!
This article from Psychology Today talks about practicing gratitude and the ways it helps your mental health.
What is Seasonal Affective Disorder?
Another name for Seasonal Affective Disorder is Seasonal Depression. There are many reasons some people are more prone to depression during a certain season. Click below to learn more from the Mayo Clinic.
Free Naloxone and Training at Medicine Wheel 12/04/2020
Naloxone is a medication that is used to reverse an Opioid overdose. Georgia Overdose Prevention will be setting up a table to distribute Naloxone kits to any Medicine Wheel Clinic patient who would like one. Please join us at the clinic on Friday, 12/04/2020 from 5:30-10:30 to get your free medication and training. You can also request a free kit from Georgia Overdose Prevention by clicking the link below. Naloxone saves lives! Don't let you or someone you love become a statistic. We can work together as a community to reduce the impact of the opioid epidemic. See you 12/04!
What is Addiction?
This video explains how misusing drugs causes addiction and makes it more difficult to create the chemicals that make you feel good naturally.
The Psychology of Narcissism
This video is about different kinds of Narcissism. It discusses Narcissism as a personality trait and some things that cause it. It also explores the difference between narcissistic personality traits and someone who has an actual Narcissistic personality disorder. Dialectic Behavioral Therapy and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy can help greatly with the anti-social qualities that come along with self absorption or Narcissism.
How to Find Your Passion
This video is about finding your passion. Dopamine plays a big role in motivation and productivity! Work out those dopamine muscles by trying new things. You may be surprised at how creating things or pursuing interests can increase your dopamine to make you feel good naturally. More creation, less consumption!
Anger Management Warning Signs
This video is about noticing warning signs that you are getting angry. If you notice the signs before you blow, you can make better decisions about what you want to do about what's angering you.
Stigma and MAT
This talk from Chase Holloman shares his story about how MAT changed his life. He now helps others as a social worker and advocate for Medication Assisted Treatment. There is a focus on misinformation about medication, access to care, and the stigma he experienced through his journey with Opioid Use Disorder, Methadone, Buprenorphine, and the Medical System. MAT has been licensed to be used as a drug treatment in the US since 1972. It is now getting the respect and attention that it deserves as we face the needs of those impacted by the Opioid Epidemic. MAT changed Chase's life. Contact us today if you are ready to change yours.
DEA National Rx Takeback
One of the biggest triggers to use is easy access to drugs! Turning in old medication can help you and the community. Below you will find a listing of locations where you can drop off unused medications on 10/24/20 (or any time!).
Family Systems & Addiction
Addiction impacts the whole family. Learn more about families and how family relationships can impact addiction.
Nutrition and Addiction
Many people don't consider the link between nutrition and successful addiction treatment. Eating a healthy diet provides essential nutrients to the brain to help it heal from drug misuse and create a healthier state of well being. This video discusses a variety of different drugs and their effects on the brain, along with foods that help boost your immunity and improve brain health.
Calm Down with Breathing Exercises
Did you know that your lungs are directly connected to the system that controls anxiety? Hack your emotions with some breathing exercises! Expressing emotions is very important. It's also important to increase control of your emotions and your ability to cope with stressful situations. Being calmer over all reduces triggers to use for many people. Next time you feel overwhelmed by something, try to take a pause and do a breathing exercise. It might just bring you back to center faster than you expect.
Since Getting Sober
This video asks people in drug treatment different questions like "What's one thing you are proud of since getting sober?", "What's one thing you do every day to take care of yourself?", etc. The answers are interesting and inspiring! What kind of life do you want to live?
The Science of Depression
This video discusses the science of depression.
Roadmap for Recovery: Creating a Routine
This video from SAMHSA discusses the importance of creating a routine. One of the side effects of substance use disorder is often disorganization and reduced interest in self care. A lack of consistency can be destabilizing. Click below to learn more about schedules and how making certain kinds of self care a part of your regular routine.
Triggers and Cravings: What is Addiction?
This video from SAMHSA discusses triggers and cravings. Getting a handle on what triggers you and how to redirect your thought process is an integral part of stabilizing addiction. Click below to learn more about triggers and how to manage them.
September is Recovery Month! A message from SAMHSA.
September is national recovery month! SAMHSA (The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration) published this speech from Dr. Elinore McCance-Katz to discuss it further.
The 5 Types of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
This video discusses five types of PTSD
Smart Tricks to Boost Your Mood
This article from Psychology Today gives some ideas to boost your mood. You might be surprised with what you find!
About SMART Recovery Support Groups
The SMART in SMART recovery stands for Self-Management and Recovery Training. Click below to learn more about how they help addicts improve the quality of their lives.
Codependency and Substance Use Disorder often go hand in hand. Codependency is giving excessively or relying on another person excessively, to the point that it makes the relationship unhealthy. The stronger and more independent both parties become, the more they can take responsibility for themselves and reduce controlling or self-neglecting behaviors. This can improve both the relationship iteself and stability over all.
Sleep Disruption During the Pandemic
Many people have experienced a change in their sleep due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This can be from changes in schedule, worry, illness, and more. This article discusses sleep hygiene. Sleep hygiene is basically setting things up for the best chance at good quality sleep. Click below to read more about improving sleep quality and sleep routine. A good night's rest sets you up for success!
What Happens When You Stop Smoking?
This video discusses what changes with your health when you quit smoking cigarettes.
This video discusses the different phases of relapse, how to notice them, and ways to keep you from giving in to drug cravings.
Virtual Support Group
Do you miss your recovery meetings? The Georgia Council on Substance Abuse is providing free virtual meetings through Zoom. Please see below for further information.
CARES Warm Line - Support is just a phone call away
Did you know that The Georgia Council on Substance Abuse provides a free warm line? You can call any time from 8:30-11:00 to speak with someone about your challenges. In the times of COVID where support groups are less accessible, it's especially important to find new ways to connect with support.
From the U.S Surgeon General: Stigma and its role in the Opioid Epidemic
This video by the current U.S. Surgeon General, Jerome Adams, discusses stigma and the ways it prevents addicts from seeking treatment.
Peer Support Groups
Many patients seek peer support groups in addition to the therapy they receive in MAT treatment. We encourage patients to do this. It is a great way to meet new people who are also working on their addictive behaviors and recovery and to find new sources of support. Here is information on three different support groups for substance misuse:
Smart Recovery - www.smartrecovery.org
Smart Recovery is a good option for people in Medically Assisted Treatment. They openly support MAT and discuss it's benefits at length on their website. You can see more about their stance on MAT by clicking here. This is what they have to say about who they are and what they do:
"SMART Recovery is a global community of people and families working together to resolve addictive problems. In our free group discussion meetings, participants learn from one another using a self-empowering approach based on the most current science of recovery."
Celebrate Recovery - www.celebraterecovery.com
Celebrate Recovery is a Christ-centered 12-step program. It is a good option for people who feel more comfortable in a support program that is geared specifically to Christians in a church environment. Celebrate Recovery does not make a public statement about MAT or their stance on it. You can read more about Celebrate Recovery's history by clicking here.
Narcotics Anonymous - www.na.org
Narcotics Anonymous is a long standing program that was established in 1953. It is a good option for people seeking structure and multiple levels of accountability. The program focuses on recovery through the 12-step process, big book, chips for abstinence achievements, and peer support and accountability through sponsors who are also in the program. This will likely be the easier of the three groups to find, because there are many groups out there. Please bear in mind that there is ongoing controversy in the organization regarding MAT. Stigma can be experienced due to their views on MAT, abstinence, and how that is defined. However, many people in MAT have found wonderful support and life changing results through anonymous groups despite this. You can find more about NA's stance on MAT by clicking here.
Anhedonia: Why it's difficult to feel pleasure when you first stop misusing drugs.
This video discusses Anhedonia. Anhedonia is the condition that makes it difficult for addicts in recovery to feel pleasure, especially at the beginning of your journey. With time and effort, you can retrain your brain to take pleasure in healthy things such as food, sleep, sex, relationships, hobbies, spirituality, volunteering, and so much more.
The Power of Showing Our Real Feelings
This article from Psychology Today is the importance of recognizing and showing our true feelings and the balance between vulnerability, intimacy, and safe communication.
What is Methadone? How does it treat opioid addiction?
This helpful video goes through the basics of Methadone and some common questions and misconceptions about Medically Assisted Treatment.
How to Reverse an Opioid Overdose with Naloxone/Narcan
Narcan saves lives! Opioid overdose can be reversed with this medication. Ask a staff member for more information about how to obtain Narcan or it's use.
Self-Care: 12 Ways to Take Better Care of Yourself
This is a great article from Psychology Today on 12 ways to take better care of yourself. Taking care of your physical and mental health makes you strong and sets you up for success!