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Addiction Treatment

Meditation for Addiction Recovery

Much like a yoga practice requiring consistent attention and self-compassion, recovery is exactly that—a practice. It’s an evolving effort toward something that you can never truly master but always find space to grow. Making room for both joy and peace in equal measure is one of the best ways to make continual progress in your recovery practice and avoid becoming burnt out. 

Including meditation in your recovery plan is a versatile way to capture those feelings and many others. This unique tool requires dedication to a single goal: to look inward and discover the profound capability already there. So what is meditation, exactly? And how does it overlap so beautifully with addiction recovery?

Meditation & Recovery: Same, but different

While meditation and recovery are vastly different processes, they ask a few similar things of us: to be patient with our bodies and minds, to continue even when it’s frustrating, and to learn to observe our thoughts and feelings without acting on them. Both meditation and recovery mean accepting our past actions (and our future ones too) without judgement so that we can reconcile those things within us and find peace. Maybe that peace is brief, but the practice of reaching for it is the experience we’re after. 

Meditation doesn’t ask you to be someone different. It’s not asking you to show up without a past or without a future. Recovery is much the same. And, like meditation, you may find yourself frustrated as you try to exercise a new skill you haven’t accessed before, but no one expects you to get either perfect on the first or thousandth day of practice. 

How to begin 

It’s easy to get caught up in how long it takes to develop a habit, especially if you’re new to something and want to be able to gauge when it will feel like second nature. Trying to find that answer may just be setting yourself up for failure in meditation or recovery- so try starting from the beginning every day that you show up. 

You may choose to listen to a guided meditation, watch a video or remember your time in treatment benefitting from a meditation program like ours. No matter how you begin, remember that your mind will wander, and that’s okay. Let the mind wander as the body relaxes, and you learn to find your center. Celebrate the little successes when you show up for yourself, and in meditation, those successes may truly be little. Setting realistic goals and expectations for yourself is the most empowering tool you can give yourself as you begin a meditation practice. 

Benefits of Meditation for Recovery 

There are as many benefits to meditation as there are types of meditation. While you’ll be the best expert in what you need from a meditation practice as you begin to narrow down which style may be the right fit for you, there are a few constant benefits when paired with your recovery

  • Improved mental health comes from spending time clearing out the dust and settling into the spaces between them for a fresh perspective. 
  • Thought awareness will allow you to notice what you think and feel without attaching judgment or obligation to act on them. 
  • Stronger self-control results from the discipline to return to a practice that isn’t innate to how our world moves and will condition you to respond with patience and persistence to your body and mind. 
  • Experience more confidence in your thoughts and decisions, as well as your ability to navigate them when they feel overwhelming. 

Mantras and Reassurance for your practices 

It can be frustrating to try things you aren’t good at or contrary to the habits you’ve cultivated, even when those habits aren’t serving you. You’ve already done the hard work of recognizing that and reaching for healing that will benefit you in undertaking addiction recovery and now considering adding meditation to your daily practice. We’d like to offer a few mantras you can repeat to yourself when the complexity of emotions overwhelms you. 

“This is not a waste of time.”

“My efforts are my success, not the end result.”

“I am worth the energy to try.”

“I showed up today and that is good.” 

“I cannot force this.”

Each of these mantras represents an essential part of your empowerment in developing these practices alongside one another. Both your recovery and meditation efforts will benefit from taking the time to recognize your capability to continue to show up and put energy into yourself as you are. You do not need to be anyone else or let go of any of the core parts of you to succeed in connecting body to mind to move toward a harmonious future of healing. You are already something wonderful: you are yourself, and that’s a perfectly precise thing to be. 

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Addiction Treatment

Coping Skills for Addiction 

Addiction impacts everyone differently. Whether you are experiencing it for yourself or someone you love has a damaging relationship with a numbing agent, the impact extends into every facet of your being. From past to present and stretching well into the future, addiction has a way of lingering. For each of those instances, we want to ensure you’ve got a starting point to cope with what you’re going through and find healing when you’re ready. 

Discover the coping skills for addiction needed to successfully find healing on your journey.

When you’re addicted

There is a single most important skill, strategy, and reminder you deserve to have offered, today and every day until it is as innate as drawing breath and it is only one sentence long:

You are not your addiction, and it does not define you. 

Regardless of the space you’re in on your journey of stability and recovery, this is the truth. Addiction may define the choices you make or the actions you take, but it will never be the sum of your parts or the beat of your heart. You are a whole person, worthy of healing and compassion just as much as you are accountable for your hurt. 

In the thick of it 

Is it a daily battle to keep your tumultuous relationship with alcohol or other substances in check or under wraps from those around you? Are you actively denying your risky behaviors but still feel that twinge of discomfort reading this? 

Take a moment and read the paragraph above once more because even if it speaks true, you are still not defined by your addiction. When you’re in the middle of a raging storm, it may feel dangerous to take the first step toward safety- and it may well be. However, as you work toward that step of owning your struggle and seeking the support you deserve, there are steps you can take to cope with the space you’re in now. 

Wait. When you feel a strong reaction coming on or the urge to use, take a moment. It doesn’t matter if you use this moment to meditate, breathe, or listen to a favorite song but putting a pause between impulse and action can make a big difference.

Open up. Whether it’s to your journal, a friend, or a medical professional, telling someone you trust about the fears and worries you have about your use can begin to build a support system you’ll rely on as you move through the following stages of healing. We’re happy to be a part of that system if you’re ready, and you can reach us here

Throughout recovery 

Spending time in recovery can help you feel confident in the skills needed to maintain your sobriety and continue walking a path of holistic healing. Even in those times of recovery, you may find yourself drifting with old temptations nudging against your new lifestyle. You can move through them, and while your support network is the best place to turn to combat those things, there are small skills that will support your agency in your own recovery: 

Stay busy. Find a hobby, a task, or a skill that interests you and commit to learning it. Maybe it’s a single hobby like reading or a niche interest like knitting. Indulging in a consistent activity to keep the mind and body busy and engaged can circumvent the risk of restlessness. 

Talk. It’s that simple. Talk to a loved one, your counselor, a sponsor, or other recovery guide. Talk to your cat, or a song, or your journal. Just purge the silence of your uncertainty into a space you trust. 

Ground in gratitude. Start a gratitude journal that you carry with you, and every time something happens to make you feel unsettled, triggered, or doubtful, jot down something you’re grateful for. It doesn’t have to be big—maybe you’re particularly charmed by the shape of the clouds or that small moment of clarity during the morning’s meditation—but the act of focusing on joy and gratitude can change the focus of your emotional energy. 

Coping with a loved one’s addiction 

When someone you love is struggling or has struggled with a tumultuous relationship with substance abuse, it can be challenging to refocus the relationship and all the emotions that go along with that. Perhaps you’re supporting someone through their early detox, or you’re years in recovery with someone dear to you. Maybe you’ve got a new friendship with someone who has an old relationship with substance abuse. Having a collective of coping skills for addiction to support your loved one while caring for yourself is key. 

One particular skill you can develop is refocusing your social time together. Find activities that don’t include the focus of your loved one’s addiction- and that doesn’t just mean making sure they aren’t exposed to triggers during your time together. Try new hobbies and hangouts to avoid old feelings while they’re feeling vulnerable. 

There is a myriad of coping skills for addiction that we can focus on learning together at any stage of recovery.  Whether you are looking for ongoing support alongside your life or a residential reset to renew your commitment to your healing, we have options that will help you to strengthen not just your coping skills but your flourishing power as well. 

 

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Addiction Treatment

Addiction Recovery Steps for Women

Addiction recovery is definitely not something that will happen overnight. And you cannot just know that you have an addiction, wish that it will go away – and sit back to watch it happen. If overcoming addiction were that easy the term addiction probably wouldn’t even exist. 

Addiction recovery is tough. It is a struggle. There will be days when getting out of bed and facing the world will feel like the hardest thing you have ever had to do. The work and dedication you have to put into overcoming your addiction may even have you questioning if it is all worth it. Wouldn’t it be easier to just give up and continue to live this new life of addiction, pain, and heartache? Never. 

In this article, we’re sharing the essential addiction recovery steps for women so you can begin to plan your recovery journey.

Addiction Recovery Steps for Women

Letting go of the woman you once were is not an option. You have to fight for yourself. You have to give everything you’ve got to fight through your addiction and get to the other side. Will it ever be easy? Well, not actually – even though it may feel like it gets a little easier with time. Why? Because you get stronger! 

As you begin your recovery journey, there are certain steps you will likely take. 

Here are seven addiction recovery steps you will need to take on your journey.

1. Admit There is a Problem

When it comes to anything in life, you can’t begin fixing something if you don’t believe there is a problem. The same holds true for your addiction. Until you are willing to accept that you may need help and are able to verbalize that to your friends and family – and most importantly yourself – you can’t get started. You have to truly know you have a problem before you can address it – and find freedom from it. 

2 . Have a Support Team

Overcoming addiction is not something you do on your own. You need professional help throughout the recovery process, helping you prepare for all the ups and downs and tough challenges you will face. Friends and family can be great beacons of support, but also be sure to invest in those who have dedicated their lives to helping people in your situation. From addiction to mental health and all that goes with the recovery process, seek help. It will give you the greatest opportunity for success. 

3. Make it Through Detox

Before you can get to the real work of recovery, you have to join a detox program for women. This will take place during the first few days of the recovery process. You have admitted you have an addiction and you have surrounded yourself with supportive people – now this is where you take the first step toward getting yourself on the other side. Detoxing is the process of going through withdrawal and removing all the drug’s harmful properties from your body. 

Detoxing can be scary, leading to many unpleasant physical symptoms. But it is important to remember that it is all temporary. And, every moment you spend detoxing is one more moment closer to finding freedom from addiction. 

You can do this. 

4. Approach Daily Life In A New Way

If you continue to do the same thing, you will get the same results. If you want to make positive changes in your life, then you need to change your daily routine and begin approaching life in a new way. Take note of times when your thoughts would turn toward your addiction or any triggers you may encounter. And start turning things around. Quash isolation and loneliness with the support of others and change your habits to be more productive at caring for yourself. 

5. Celebrate Your Accomplishments

Recovery Road is a long, treacherous one. There will be a lot of struggles and tough moments. But when you get through them, you need to celebrate it. You need to acknowledge that you made it through something really tough and challenging. And that you are going to be ok. 

The more you focus your attention on your victories, rather than just the challenge, the stronger you will begin to feel — and the more victories you will have. 

Celebrate along the way. You deserve it. 

6. Don’t Allow Relapse to Take Over

You may be walking through life entirely free, feeling strong and over your addiction. And then something happens — you find yourself getting a little sad or feeling a little lonely. Or maybe you have reconnected with some old friends because you feel like you are strong enough to be friends since you are recovering successfully. Then again, maybe you are dealing with a huge life-altering situation such as the death of a sister. 

Just because you feel free, doesn’t mean relapse isn’t real. In all that you have learned, you must recognize your triggers and symptoms so that you can take the necessary actions and keep yourself from relapsing. Admit when you are feeling vulnerable or weak and seek support. It is the only way you will stay out of the dangerous cycle of addiction. 

7. Keep On Keeping On

When you find freedom in recovery, you can exhale. You know you have worked hard to get here and you wouldn’t do anything to compromise that. Let the new routines and habits you formed become permanent ones. Do not allow yourself to fall back into old habits — always, always be aware of your triggers. And, most importantly, learn to practice gratitude for all that you have, all that you have been through, and all the good things that are to come. 

The above steps are not part of a formal program, but instead, offer you guidance in the steps you can take to pull through. Of course, having the help of a women’s holistic treatment center is always a positive step in the right direction, too.

Recovering from addiction is one of the toughest things you will ever have to do. And even if it doesn’t seem like it is possible for you, it is. Seek help today, my friend. You are so worth it. 

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Addiction Treatment

Stress and Addiction: What You Need to Know

Life is stressful. It doesn’t matter whether you are single or have a family, work as a grocery store clerk or a CEO, have enough money to pay your bills or live paycheck to paycheck., etc. Life is stressful for everyone. Sure, there are times in life when stress increases. Maybe it’s the loss of a job, a broken relationship, the terminal diagnosis of a loved one, etc. It happens. And it is all part of life.

There exists a connection between stress and addiction. It once was thought using a substance a few times can lead to addiction. And, while it can, stress can lead to addiction, too. 

The Dangers of Too Much Stress

First, let’s talk about how the body reacts to stress. When life gets really stressful, you may feel the physical aspects associated with the stress – and that is because there is so much more going on within the body.  The response comes from your nervous system, endocrine system, immune system, and cardiovascular system. Short-term feelings of stress can result in rapid heartbeat, sweaty palms, and pounding headaches. In the long run, however, high blood pressure, insomnia, back pain, gastrointestinal issues and more can stem from stress sustained over a long period of time. 

See, when you are stressed, your body releases cortisol. This is the boost that is meant to help you deal with the stressful situation. However, when you have chronic stress in your life, the constant elevated level of cortisol can be harmful over an extended time. This leads to a great number of health issues. 

  • High blood pressure
  • Tension/migraine headaches
  • Vascular inflammation like coronary arterial disease
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Obesity
  • Diabetes
  • Gastrointestinal problems
  • Sexual reproduction problems
  • Musculoskeletal problems, such as back pain
  • Increased risk for heart attack and stroke

Stress has an incredible physical impact on the body that can lead to a lifetime of damage if not addressed — and not learned how to be dealt with properly. 

The Relationship Between Stress and Addiction

Think, for a moment, of those addictions that require treatment programs, such as rehab facilities and support groups, but don’t involve a substance. For instance, things like gambling, shopping, sex, online, food, etc. are all examples of things that people become addicted to, but they are not a substance. We call these process addictions.

What does this mean? Well, it means that the perception that people get addicted because a substance itself is magically addictive may not be so true after all. Perhaps there is a deeper reason – one of which is the link between stress and addiction. 

Some researchers believe that there is a link between the stress hormone cortisol and the feelings associated with using a substance. But we do not even need to get that deep to see the connection between stress and addiction. It boils down to the way our brain handles certain life stressors. Some areas of the brain lead to greater susceptibility when it comes to addiction. 

We put our brains in a vulnerable position when we encounter repeated stressful (most often negative) events in life. However, it is important to note that different types of abuse, as well as mood disorders and anxiety disorders, can lead to the same response. 

Our physical actions and how we handle stress also impact addictions. Chronic stress requires a set of healthy, readily available means of managing it, otherwise known as coping skills. Yet, so many of us turn to substances to handle stress. You may spend an evening drinking your cares away. You may seek out various substances as a means of escaping for the day. But once the substance wears off, then more is needed. The stress was never dealt with and then the relief from the substance is no longer there. Since it felt so good, more is needed to keep that peaceful feeling. These cyclical patterns can very easily lead to addiction. 

It is important that we point out that substance abuse can lead to stress, too. Which can make it all a very damaging cycle if it is not addressed appropriately. Things like health issues, financial issues, unstable families, relationship issues, and more can result from addiction and put more stress and strain on one’s life. 

The Power of Stress Management

The best way to handle stress so that it reduces the chance of addiction is to learn tips and tools of stress management. Don’t choose another hit or another drink. The more you do, the more dangerous it may be. Instead, choose healthy ways of managing your stress. These include: 

Exercise. When you feel stressed or anxious, get your body moving. Go for a walk or run. Join a kickboxing class. Ride your bike. Exercise is one of the top natural ways to help your body deal with stress. Not to mention that breathing the fresh air when exercising outside can also feel good. 

Eat a well-balanced diet. Eating foods that are highly processed, full of sugar, chemicals, and additives can impact your body negatively and make it harder to feel in control of it. Eat a healthy diet full of whole foods, leaving the processed junk out. Your mental clarity will be stronger and your stress will be easier to manage. 

Sleep well. Stress requires sleep. With all that cortisol, your body is on overload. Give it rest – good, quality rest – to help you face the new day. 

Finally, if you find yourself dealing with stress and battling an addiction, then it is important you seek treatment. This should not be from just any facility, but one that practices the whole-body wellness of women. Stress management tools should be taught and ways to handle everything life throws at women today should always be part of the program. 

Life is full of stress. It’s not going to go away. So being equipped to handle it properly is the best way to a healthy future.

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Addiction Treatment

6 Myths About Women and Addiction

It is no surprise that women experience the world differently than men. And the relationship between addiction and women is no exception. For years, addiction was thought to be a man’s thing. Drug abuse and substance abuse was never prevalent among women. That is, until recently. Women are catching up at alarming rates. 

Let’s face it – gender does impact the way we experience things, process things, perceive things, and more. That’s why, if we want to properly and effectively treat women, we need to know how to approach addiction in relation to gender. 

To get started, we first need to debunk the myths surrounding women and addiction. 

Myth #1: Women are Less Likely to Develop an Addiction

Truth:  While women weren’t historically as likely to develop an addiction, the gender gap is quickly closing. 

As we said, men have carried the torch in the world of addiction for years. Today? Not so much. The gender gap is closing as women are becoming more addicted – and continuously so – to things like prescription drugs as well as illicit drugs.  Rumor has it that men tend to start using earlier than women, once both start they are both just as likely to continue using. 

Myth #2: Both Men and Women Get Addicted for the Same Reasons

Truth: Women get addicted for very different reasons than men, including hormonal, social, unresolved trauma, etc. 

There are many reasons why women become addicted that are both the same and different from men. For instance, women are often much more in touch with their feelings — and feel their feelings much stronger. As a result, they also are known to experience anxiety and depression at higher rates. As these are difficult experiences to navigate, many women turn to substances as a form of self-medication. Unsurprisingly, this leads to addiction. 

Women are also more frequently experience domestic violence, childhood trauma, sexual abuse, and so forth than men. These things can lead to post-traumatic stress disorder and, similar to mood disorders, result in women turning to drugs and alcohol to cope. 

Further, an explanation for the higher rates of prescription drug use among women can be attributed to higher levels of intense pain — and the use of prescription drugs to reduce it. Women are more commonly diagnosed with chronic and inflammatory conditions like osteoarthritis and fibromyalgia. 

Another reason women become addicted is due to social influences. Women often feel pressure from others, especially friends no matter their age. The social pressure experienced may begin as an innocent association, such as a group of moms who get together to unwind with a glass of wine. However, this constant connection between dealing with the stress of being a mom and knowing that a glass of wine will relieve that stress, for instance, can lead to addiction without it even being realized. 

Myth #3: Women are Impacted by Addiction in the Same Way as Men  

Truth: Women become physically dependent on substances much faster than men. 

The truth is that women can become addicted to drugs and alcohol at a much faster rate. Everything happens so quickly for women, compared to men, from the first use of a drug all the way through to dependence. 

The impact of the drugs and/or alcohol seems to affect women faster and harder – so that even when they make it to treatment, the medical, behavioral, and psychological effects are so strong, even despite a relatively short time of substance abuse. 

Myth #4: Addiction Stigma is the Same for Both Men and Women

Truth: Women experience greater stigma about their substance use than men. 

For one reason or another, women seem to take the brunt of it. Women are made to believe their role is a nurturer and caretaker and responsible person which makes seeking treatment embarrassing – and why it is often avoided. This stigma also forces women to carry heavy burdens of shame and guilt. 

Men who suffer from addiction face a stigma too, but it is nowhere near as powerful as the one faced by women. 

Myth #5: Relapse Rates and Reasons are the Same for Men and Women

Truth: Relapse rates for women are lower than they are for men. 

Believe it or not, women relapse less often than men. While there is no scientific reason as to why, it could be due to their willingness to ask for help when they need it, such as during times of feeling weak or facing triggers. Also, they are more willing to make necessary changes and allow therapy to help them to work through emotions and feel empowered.

Women in recovery programs will often open up and be less resistant to the process. This can lead to a much more positive outlook. 

Myth #6: Women Seek Treatment at Higher Rates Than Men

Truth: Women seek treatment at lower rates than men. 

Many people assume that women seek treatment for their addiction at higher rates than men. However, this is simply not true. As previously discussed, women are so heavily stigmatized when it comes to substance use, and it is often not normalized for them to receive the help they need. Add that to the fact that they often have great family responsibility and carry financial burdens that limit their ability to receive support at treatment centers at the same level as men. 

Women are often particular where they choose to receive treatment and begin their recovery journey. Many often prefer a facility that is solely for women. Not only does this help them remain comfortable, but it is often more equipped to handle addiction as it impacts them specifically. Addiction treatment for women needs to be able to address issues of trauma and co-occurring mental health conditions, in addition to the primary substance use. Focusing on holistic wellness can give women the tools they need to grow in their recovery. 

As we have discovered already — women are impacted by addiction much differently than men. This needs to be reflected in treatment. 

Addiction is Different for Women

When it comes to addiction, men and women are impacted very differently. Women are unique, intricate beings that feel things on many different levels – and that is why treatment for their addiction needs to address all aspects of their lives. Meeting women where they are is the only true way to support them on their recovery journey. 

Discover the benefits of holistic addiction treatment at Villa Kali Ma and begin your healing journey. Whether you suspect you may have a problem with alcohol or you’ve been struggling to overcome addiction for years, Villa Kali Ma can provide the care and guidance you need to heal your mind, body, and spirit.

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Addiction Treatment

What Does A Typical Day Look Like At Villa Kali Ma?

You’re coming around to the idea of residential treatment. You can admit that there are things that haven’t gone as planned, unintentional casualties caught in the crossfire of you trying to figure things out, and it’s time to call in some extra help. But that doesn’t mean that you’re willing to go in blindly. You want to know what to expect at a residential addiction treatment program.

First Things First—What You Need to Know

The most important thing to know about Villa Kali Ma is that we are a treatment center for women. We have an all-women staff, and we have created our environment intentionally to be a place where women can openly express the hurt that they carry inside. As a female-focused treatment center, we believe in empowering women to empower themselves to overcome the things that are holding them back. 

Second, we are a holistic treatment center that expertly blends clinical and holistic methods of healing. We are a mind, body, and spirit program, and we are not under any illusions that we can heal from our addictions without addressing each aspect of our being. Each of the holistic healing methods we offer complement the clinical work of group and individual therapy sessions, where we offer cutting edge clinical practices like EMDR and evidence-based modalities like Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Dialectical Behavior Therapy

When you arrive at Villa Kali Ma, each day will be an opportunity to learn more about yourself, learn more about how to live without addiction, and learn more about the person you want to be. Keep reading to learn more about the opportunities each day holds. 

The Daily Schedule at Villa Kali Ma

Here at Villa Kali Ma, typically programming starts at 7:30 AM and it usually ends around 8:00 PM—it is a pretty structured program. Ultimately, we want to make the most of the time we have with each client. 

If you’re worried about our full schedule, know that while clients at Villa Kali Ma are going to be spending a lot of time moving through their clinical and holistic sessions, there will be pockets of free time so that they can decompress.

Here, we start our day off with a mindfulness practice and an awakening group. For this, clients will read from recovery material and do a heart meditation. This way, they begin their day collectively processing their morning, and then engage in a yoga practice. Starting this way, we establish the movement and mindfulness that carries throughout the rest of the day. 

From there, they start doing groups together and breaking off for individual sessions. The groups might be more clinically-driven like CBT and DBT, or might be focused on mindfulness and self-compassion or Earthing. In total, Villa Kali Ma has 30 different kinds of groups that are integrated into our monthly program.

Some of these groups include teaching about neurobiology and substances. We also have a group focused on life purpose and meaning. We offer goal setting and journaling as well. There are many different kinds of groups that we will introduce you to during your stay with us. 

When clients are not in group therapy, they will spend time one on one with their practitioners. Each client has about five individual sessions a week. This includes their primary therapist, their EMDR therapy—processing trauma, which we find it’s very important in their journey here—their case management, and they also have holistic sessions. We are very proud of both our clinical and holistic team, and the way they set the tone for the rest of the program and staff. 

Here at Villa Kali Ma, we have 11 holistic practitioners that all have their own gifts, from  Yoga to Reiki, to Craniosacral Therapy, to massage therapy, among other holistic practices (Click here to learn about all the ways we heal). These trusted practitioners come on-site and facilitate their particular modality in groups and individual sessions. 

In the evening, clients will have time to wind down after the recovery meetings we attend in the evenings. We are lucky to work out of a very beautiful center with a pool, garden, and labyrinth with a lot of really unique areas where clients can go meditate and be by themselves. There will be pockets of time during the day for that. Of course, clients will all join together and enjoy three delicious organic plant-based meals each day. 

While each day will vary slightly, this is what a typical day-to-day looks like here at Villa Kali ma. We run a pretty structured program, but we know that we only have about 30 days with our clients and try to do as much as we can in the time that we have.

If you’re interested in learning more about the unique treatment environment that we offer here at Villa Kali Ma, please contact us today by calling 760-496-9747 or filling out the form on our site

Categories
Addiction Treatment

How to Detox from Alcohol Safely

If you’ve developed a dependency on alcohol, understanding how to detox from alcohol safely is critical.

When this happens, it’s important to seek professional help to guide you through the detoxification process. Joining a detox program for women will ensure you’re in good hands as your body clears the toxins from your system.

In this article, we’re taking a closer look at how to detox from alcohol safely.

How to Detox from Alcohol Safely

Heavy drinking over time can do a lot of damage to the body. There are so many waste products and toxins that build up – and rely on you to keep drinking. When you stop, the body begins to cheer as it rids itself of all this buildup. 

You likely won’t be cheering, however, as you go through detox. It can be a tough, painful process. The higher the alcohol consumption and the longer it’s been used, the tougher the detox. 

Good news, though — on the other side of detox, you will find feelings of clarity and peace. So, let’s get started on how to detox from alcohol safely. 

Here’s how to detox from alcohol safely.

The Timeline

The detox process is different for everyone based on personal factors. Having a timeline of the detox process will allow you to have an understanding of what to expect and can help you see that the process is moving along. 

The Industrial Psychiatry Journal gave an overview of the detox timeline: 

6 Hours

Believe it or not, withdrawal symptoms (minor symptoms) can begin within 6 hours after the last drink. Those who are heavy drinkers can experience more severe symptoms within this time frame. 

12 to 24 Hours

During this time frame, it is common for those going through detox to experience hallucinations. This means seeing or hearing things that aren’t there. Though it may freak some people out, most medical professionals are not overly concerned with these hallucinations. 

24 to 48 Hours

More minor symptoms will start to arise during this period. Shaking, upset stomach, and headaches are the most common. While they may peak during this time, these symptoms may actually last up to 5 days before disappearing. 

48 to 72 Hours

Not everyone will experience this, but delirium tremens (DTs) also known as alcohol withdrawal delirium can cause sudden and severe issues within the brain and nervous system. It can lead to a very increased heart rate and body temperature as well as seizures. 

72 Hours 

Detox symptoms reach their peak at this time – and they are usually the worst. For some, moderate versions of withdrawal symptoms can last up to a month. 

The Process

The first step in getting sober – and ridding your life of alcohol – is detoxification. Generally, the detox process is followed by a treatment program that offers support and healing to overcome addiction. 

There are 3 steps in the detox process. 

  1. Initial Intake: When you have chosen to let go of alcohol, a medical team will review your history of alcohol/substance abuse, as well as any medical or psychiatric history you may have. This gives them a picture of your overall health and how impactful the detox may be to your mind and body. 
  2. Medication: Through the detox process, decisions will be made based on your health about giving medication to help reduce the symptoms. 
  3. Finding Stability: When the detox symptoms begin to dissipate, various therapies will be used to help heal the mind and body. This is often done with the support of a longer-term treatment program.

The Side Effects of Alcohol Detox

Alcohol affects the body’s nervous system – hence the relaxed feeling you get from drinking it. Trying to keep the balance, your brain makes more neurotransmitter receptors to stimulate the nervous system. So, when you stop drinking, the old and new receptors are losing their steady – and expected – flow of alcohol. The result? The nervous system is on overload. 

The most common withdrawal symptoms are: 

  • Sweating
  • Increased heart rate
  • Nausea
  • Irritability
  • Anxiety
  • Tremors
  • Vomiting
  • Insomnia
  • Shakiness

More severe alcohol withdrawal symptoms include: 

  • Seizures
  • Increased body temperature
  • Hallucinations
  • Illusions
  • Paranoia
  • Heart failure

As you move forward in life after detox, the coming weeks and months are often met with some additional withdrawal symptoms. These include: 

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Insomnia
  • Restlessness
  • Decreased appetite
  • Mood swings

Treatment

When undergoing alcohol detox in the care of professionals, measures are taken to keep the body in the best state of balance possible as this reduces the chance of any physiological upsets. 

Medications are often used in alcohol detox treatment, such as benzodiazepines or the anti-convulsant, Keppra. Drugs like Valium and Ativan reduce the withdrawal symptoms and significantly reduce the incidence of seizures. 

Due to their addictive nature, these drugs should only be used when recommended and handled by a medical professional. 

Getting Help

Detoxing alone or at home without the constant monitoring and care of health professionals can increase your risk of something happening.

Dangers of alcohol detox are plenty — and potentially fatal. This can be a risk for anyone, but especially for those who have a long history of alcohol abuse. 

What are the dangerous symptoms? 

  • Seizures
  • Aspiration pneumonia
  • Heart arrhythmias
  • Kidney or liver dysfunction
  • Fever
  • Extreme nausea 

Seeking help from a facility that has a deep understanding of alcoholism and its withdrawal process can help you get through withdrawal safely. Further, they will be able to guide you through recovery.

Many different options of detox and rehab programs are available, but you should look for one that offers a holistic approach to healing. One that uses an evidence-based approach to overcoming the strongholds of alcohol addiction. 

Getting through the detox process is hard. You will encounter some physical and mental feelings that you may have never experienced in your life. And you will likely question whether you have made the right choice in getting sober. However, choosing to go through detox with the support of others is always the right choice. 

So many of us have sought alcohol as comfort during tough times, expecting it to be there for us and care for us when we didn’t have any other option. Instead, alcohol is a beast that tears lives apart. Ridding your life of this beast is not going to be easy because alcohol detox is a serious thing, but it is sure to be worth it. 

Are you ready to take the first step today? 

 

Categories
Addiction Treatment

Anxiety and Substance Abuse Among Women

There are several clear connections between anxiety and substance abuse among women. When these two disorders are combined, it’s considered a co-occurring disorder and requires a more holistic treatment.

In this article, we’re taking a closer look at the connection between anxiety and substance abuse among women.

Anxiety and Substance Abuse Among Women

Life can be overwhelming and leave you feeling like you can’t keep your head above water. In fact, some days it may feel like you are drowning. There are work demands, responsibilities at home, relationships to nurture, problems to solve, bills to pay – the list is endless.

And you are supposed to hold it all together as if it were simple and easy, right? It’s no wonder so many women find themselves filled with anxiety. And there is even a special class of anxiety called high functioning anxiety, for those women who can deal with their anxiety while accomplishing all that they have to in their lives. 

Let’s be real, though – anxiety is disruptive and unpleasant. It can cause so many women to want to run away from life, or escape. And that’s when substance abuse often enters the picture. 

Here’s what you need to know about anxiety and substance abuse among women.

What is Anxiety?

According to the Anxiety & Depression Association of America, anxiety is experienced by 40 million people in the U.S. in any given year – and nearly 20% of the female population! 

Everyone experiences anxiety from time to time. It is a normal part of living, such as worrying about getting bills paid on time or making it to your kid’s baseball game before he is too late. We may find it hard to breathe and our heart rate may increase, but it’s a normal reaction to the present circumstances. 

Dealing with anxiety all the time in life is a bit different. When you have intense worry or fear about things outside of your control on a daily basis, this may be better classified as an anxiety disorder. 

Anxiety can easily steal your joy — leaving you searching for new ways to rid yourself of it. 

Symptoms of Anxiety

There are many symptoms of anxiety, but not everyone experiences each symptom. Some are more severe – and more troublesome – than others. Below is a list of the most common anxiety symptoms: 

  • Nervousness
  • Restlessness
  • Tense feelings
  • Increased heart rate
  • Hyperventilation
  • Sweating
  • Trembling
  • Insomnia
  • Gastrointestinal upset
  • Difficulty with focus and concentration
  • Feeling a sense of impending doom
  • Feeling weak and tired

Types of Anxiety Disorders

Anxiety disorders may present themselves in various ways. Maybe you are fine with working and handling daily life but have a crippling fear every time you have to leave the house or interact socially. There are types of anxiety disorders that affect only portions of life. Here are a few of the most common. 

Agoraphobia: This is the irrational fear and avoidance of places or situations that may leave you feeling trapped, helpless, or embarrassed. Examples would be traveling on an airplane, standing in a line, being in a crowded concert, etc. For some, everywhere begins to feel unsafe, and never leaving home seems like the most logical explanation. 

Social Anxiety Disorder: Just as its name suggests, this disorder involves high levels of anxiety and the avoidance of social situations. This is often due to feelings of embarrassment, being judged negatively by others, or being overly self-conscious. 

Generalized Anxiety Disorder: This is of the most commonly diagnosed mental disorders and it includes persistent, excessive worrying about everything.

Unfortunately, even though these anxiety disorders may only impact a part of your life, you may still find yourself seeking something to get through them — and that something is often a substance. 

How Anxiety Affects Women, Specifically

Anxiety disorders are more common among women. Why is that? Well, women are unique and more susceptible to anxiety. For instance: 

  • Anxiety disorders come as a result of our fight or flight response. This response in women lasts longer than that of men. This means there is a great chance for an anxiety disorder to take hold. 
  • Women have a lot of hormonal changes, such as puberty, pregnancy, and menopause that can cause great shifts in hormones – which have been linked to anxiety. 
  • Victims of sexual and physical abuse tend to experience higher levels of anxiety. Most of these victims are women. 

Anxiety and Substance Abuse: What’s the Connection?

It has long been questioned whether anxiety or substance abuse comes first. 

Many women will be faced with irrational worry and fear and find life hard to manage. As a result, they turn to a substance of choice to help cope and get through the day. This even includes medications prescribed by doctors to help with anxiety. The reason addiction takes root is because these medications are incredibly effective. However, only for a short time, and only for as long as you continue using them. However, making this part of your regular routine can quickly lead to addiction as one becomes dependent on the substance to manage the anxiety. Long term, using medications as a solution tends to only make the anxiety worse.

Others find themselves happy-go-lucky without a worry or fear in the world. They begin using drugs or alcohol (socially, even) and find themselves with a bunch of anxiety dumped in their lap. This may be a reaction or side effect from the drugs or even a withdrawal symptom. The result – substance/medication-induced anxiety – is often that more of the drugs or alcohol is consumed to help battle the feelings of anxiety — and a vicious cycle is formed. 

Seeking Treatment for Both

If you suffer from anxiety, then seeking treatment for substance abuse needs to also include treatment for anxiety. A dual diagnosis, holistic treatment facility will be able to address the root of both conditions and work on helping you overcome them. Focusing on one or the other without paying attention to the connection between them will not work. 

Dual diagnosis treatment programs will give you insight on how your anxiety and substance use are related to one another by digging deep into both. For instance, this type of treatment will allow you to get to the root cause of your anxiety while learning coping skills to get through it – rather than turning toward a substance. And, it will allow you to get to the root cause of your substance abuse. 

Life is too precious to miss. Spending countless hours filled with irrational fear and worry and using drugs or alcohol to try to balance it will not lead to a healthy outcome. Millions of people are suffering from anxiety at any given moment. Seek out a treatment facility that will allow you to work on – and heal – your whole self.  

 

Categories
Addiction Treatment

The Benefits of Holistic Addiction Treatment

Substance abuse and co-occurring disorders impact women in many different ways. For this reason, holistic addiction treatment is often the best approach to overcoming destructive behavior patterns and thought processes that prevent inner peace, self-love, and lasting happiness.

In this article, we will explore the many benefits of holistic addiction treatment.

The Benefits of Holistic Addiction Treatment

Holistic addiction treatment involves a unification of mind, body, and spirit. This unification is driven by positive emotional, mental, and relational experiences.

The more that we learn to treat ourselves with love, kindness, and compassion, the more readily we are able to extend this grace and joy to others. This beautiful interaction between ourselves and others is the catalyst that both births and sustains our holistic journey of recovery from substance abuse and addiction.

Let’s take a closer look at some of the many benefits of holistic addiction treatment.

Mind

The mind is an intangible concept, comprised of the invisible influence of our thoughts, feelings, and experiences on our daily lives.

Many of the current treatments for mental health tend to focus on the chemistry and connections going on within our brains, but our minds are much more than the organ contained within our skull.

Holistic treatment views healing as taking place with the restructuring of our subjective realities in a way that brings peace and wellness. Learning to direct the orientation of our minds can improve our mood, our relationships, and our future.

Mindfulness

Many of the negative experiences that we endure center around our failure to accept things just as they are. In our attempts to argue with ourselves, cast blame, and frantically find solutions, we are often making the situation worse.

With mindfulness, we learn to quiet our inner critic and roll along with the waves of our daily journey.

Mindfulness allows us to maintain a nonjudgmental perspective, which, in turn, creates the space necessary to make sound and rational life decisions.

Talk Therapy

There are many distinct types of talk therapy available, each with a specialty in working with individual personality preferences and treating specific disorders.

Talk therapy is useful in addressing hindrances to individual growth, assisting in navigation of relationships with others, and overcoming difficulties with moving forward from traumatic experiences of the past. The connection that is made with the therapist within the privacy and confidentiality of the session creates a safe space for self-exploration, emotional expression, and healing of old wounds.

Coping Skills

While it is preferable to not have to deal with uncomfortable thoughts, feelings, and temptations at all, the reality is that these unwelcomed experiences are part of our journey as human beings.

The most effective approaches toward these inevitable occurrences involve the use of coping skills. Holistic treatment will provide you with a customized tool kit of mental tips and tricks to use when coping with the ups and downs of your recovery.

Body

Our bodies are the vehicle which allows our conscious minds to navigate around the planet. When the health of our body is compromised, it can be difficult to obtain the mental clarity necessary for becoming the successful authors of our lives.

Treating our bodies with attention, care, and kindness rewards us with both life-giving energy and an increased connection with our inner selves.

Nutrition and Exercise

The body is a biological machine. Just as with other types of machines, the body benefits from regular maintenance and high-quality servicing. The foods that we eat provide the fuel for our bodies to continue to function, and the physical exercise that we engage in keeps the gears running smoothly.

A holistic approach to wellness will include a focus on education surrounding the benefits of good nutrition and regular exercise on our overall wellness. As we take charge of our physical health, we gain the confidence to take on even more challenges.

Yoga

The practice of yoga has increasingly been integrated into holistic treatment.

A unique characteristic of yoga is the ability to address all aspects of existence through the practice. While the focus of yoga can be adjusted according to preference, the exercises are designed to engage the physical body in a conversation with both the mind and spirit.

Skilled practitioners of yoga are able to obtain a state of inner peace and connection with themselves and others.

Physical Therapies

When our bodies are relaxed, it is much easier to calm our emotions and obtain a peaceful state of mind.

Holistic treatment programs will offer options for relieving your body of pent-up stress. Typical options for this include traditional massage therapy, acupuncture, sauna, and reiki sessions.

Spirit

Much like the concept of mind, the existence of spirit is not empirically observable.

While the outward manifestation of our minds can be categorized and observed by others, however, the nature of spirit is a very private and subjective experience. For those practicing holistic wellness, finding a way to connect with and nurture the spirit within us – as well as connect to the experience of spirit which transcends our own humanity – provides a path to the insight and revelation necessary for moving successfully forward along our individual life path.

The following are some of the options for spiritual healing which are offered during holistic addiction treatment.

Meditation

Meditation is comparable to an advanced state of mindfulness. With mindfulness, we learn to become aware of our inner experiences as they occur. With meditation, we are purposeful in crafting an environment and experience which provides us with the opportunity to connect with the invisible world in a way that transcends our daily reality.

Nature

For some, the connection to spirit lies in connection with Mother Earth. When we spend time in nature, we are feeding our souls. This spiritual experience can be gained by visiting places of natural beauty, interacting with non-human animals, or cultivating the foliage through planting trees or gardening.

Shamanic Journeys

It may seem counterintuitive to approach substance abuse by introducing another substance, but the healing power of ancient psychedelics is increasingly gaining the attention of our modern world.

Unlike the types of drugs that are used to escape the painful realities that we face, shamanic practices utilize carefully and focused drug applications for the purpose of increasing the awareness of our full reality.

Once we have gained the ability and courage to face our true selves, we are empowered to make the changes necessary for our own, inner, healing.

If you find yourself turning to prescription drugs or alcohol regularly to numb uncomfortable feelings, consider exploring our holistic healing program.

Take the first step to healing your mind, body, and spirit today.