Behavior and Spiritual Descent into Addiction

Behavior and Spiritual Descent into Addiction Consume more on: Our Master’s Camp

When a person struggles with prolonged drug use, they are literally not themselves.

Behavioral and Spiritual Descent into Addiction

To say that addiction is a slippery slope is an understatement. Once the door is opened, actions lead to actions with demoralization at the base. An explanation of this circumstance is known as behavior disinhibitions.

What Are Behavioral Disinhibitions?

Behavioral disinhibitions can be detected in anyone who consumes alcohol or drugs that act as depressants of the central nervous system (CNS). This includes benzos. Specifically, benzodiazepine use can damage the frontal lobe of the brain and disinhibit the frontal cortex from self-regulation and control. Behavioral disinhibitions in people who use benzodiazepines chronically and for a longer period of time refers to a lack of ability to control behavior, and engage in acts without considering the potential consequences. Read more about this here.

Matt’s Addiction Descent

Matt Brown, an author on Addiction Recovery Care , explains his descent into addiction and increasingly destructive behavioral disinhibitions in the article entitled, “Addiction — a mental and physical problem with a spiritual solution: Matt’s story”:

Once she and I divorced, I no longer had to hide my use. This also coincided with the beginning of what I call the oxy rush. It was everywhere, all the time. Life as I once knew it began to unravel quickly. I came to the sudden realization that my drug use was out of control.

I was half a million in debt from student loans, a house, and various other schemes. In a very short time, I had taken out multiple payday loans, maxed out every credit card that I could get my hands on, and had pawned everything I owned. Drugs had ripped away my dreams and my joy.

One day I looked around and found myself living in an empty house with no running water, no electricity, and nearing foreclosure. I even had to sleep in my car at times because I had accumulated a large amount of debt with some very bad people and it was unsafe to be home.

I remember hearing a guy say in an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting, “I used to drink from the bottle, but then the bottle began to drink from me.” That was my life in a nutshell. Learn more about Matt’s Struggle

Addiction as a Brain Disorder

Our understanding of addiction is always evolving and in many ways becoming more accurate to the reality of the situation rather then the personal beliefs of those who see it as a moral issue.

The Providence Women’s Recovery center, a women only drug rehab alternative located in Dalton Georgia defines addiction as:

Drug addiction is a chronic and overpowering compulsion to satisfy cravings in the brain through the repeated use and abuse of a substance, no matter how terrible the cost. More about their recovery programs here

ASAM LogoAccording to the American Society of Addiction Medicine, addiction is a brain disorder, though they do not discount entirely the emotional and experiential aspects of the diseases causes.

Their new definition of Addiction is as “a chronic brain disorder and not simply a behavior problem…and also describes addiction as a primary disease, meaning that it’s not the result of other causes, such as emotional or psychiatric problems… Brain circuitry that governs impulse control and judgment is also altered in the brains of addicts, resulting in the nonsensical pursuit of “rewards,” such as alcohol and other drugs.”

Emotions are involved in most basic brain processes from simple motor processes, to other cognitive processes such as judgement and decision making. In fact, impaired emotion processing directly prompts poor decision making via impulsivity by recruiting more motoric parts of the brain rather than cortical prefrontal areas of the brain.

Thus emotion cannot be discounted as secondary to a primary disease it is in fact a primary factor in many brain processes including cognitive processes. Read More

Forgiveness

Though the focus of this article circles around the behaviors related to active addiction, we would be remissed to not leave you with hope.

One of the paramount concepts involved with recovery is forgiveness, and even more specifically, self-forgiveness.

What you need most in recovery is strength and confidence, and these come through in forgiveness. It’s important that you rebuild the bridges which were burnt during your addiction, but before you seek anyone else’s forgiveness, you must forgive yourself.

Obsessing over past misdeeds and focusing on negativity will ultimately hinder your journey toward sobriety. Below are five easy ways to forgive yourself and move on with your life during and after recovery.

  1. Acceptance – The past is past. As much as you’d like to change it, it can’t be done. You have to live with the consequences of your actions. Dwelling on past…

  2. Identify – Identify why you felt like you needed to use. Were you depressed? Were you self-medicating? What caused you to begin using in the first place? Think about the causes…

  3. Examine – Take a hard look at the standards you’re using to judge your past, those around you, and yourself. Are you really being fair? Are you denigrating yourself based on a rubric of moral behavior that’s out of date or overly harsh? Are your values to blame…

  4. Share – It may help to join a support group and reveal your experiences to others. Recovery is a difficult process, but difficulty is always easier to bear when it’s apportioned out between individuals. Don’t feel that you need to bottle up your…

  5. Forgive – Allow yourself the chance to move on by really forgiving yourself. Each step you take toward recovery is a step further away from your past and the person you were before. Every inch of progress is an inch of freedom. If it helps, say these words…

Please read the full and complete steps to self-forgiveness by author Kelly Greene of Recovery Experts.com

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Earth Day and Faith

The website article Earth Day and Faith Enjoy more on: http://ourmasterscamp.org

Today, April 22 is Earth day. It is a day dedicated to increasing awareness of all types of issues related to our environment. While the original founder of this “awareness holiday” was not a Christian, many of the ideas being promoted do align with mandates within the faith. Earth Day

As Christians, we are called to be stewards of the Earth. Right from the very beginning in Genesis 2:15 the Bible says, “The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and keep it.” And in Psalms 24:1 “The Earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof, the world and those who dwell therein.” Since the entirety of the Earth is God’s, we are called to be good stewards of it, taking care of it, and preserving it. In Matthew 5:13, Jesus tells us that we, as Christians, are to be the salt of the earth. Although Jesus is teaching a theological lesson with this statement, it has environmental implications as well. Salt served as a key component in ancient fertilizers used in the soil, and it serves as a key nutrient in the fertility of soil today. Without that key ingredient, the fruits – both spiritual and physical – would be much more sparse. Read More…

How Was Earth Day Formed?

A common fear when speaking about history is that if we don’t take time to remember, we forget and repeat past mistakes.

The idea for a national day to focus on the environment came to Earth Day founder Gaylord Nelson, then a U.S. Senator from Wisconsin, after witnessing the ravages of the 1969 massive oil spill in Santa Barbara, California. Inspired by the student anti-war movement, he realized that if he could infuse that energy with an emerging public consciousness about air and water pollution, it would force environmental protection onto the national political agenda. Senator Nelson announced the idea for a “national teach-in on the environment” to the national media; persuaded Pete McCloskey, a conservation-minded Republican Congressman, to serve as his co-chair; and recruited Denis Hayes from Harvard as national coordinator. Hayes built a national staff of 85 to promote events across the land. April 22, falling between Spring Break and Final Exams, was selected as the date. – Read More…

Environmental Crisis Currently in the News

There have undoubtedly been many benefits created by putting in place environmental protection mechanisms that hold people personally responsible for egregious violations against our planet and public safety. One has to look no further than the Flint Michigan crisis in which water contaminated with lead was knowingly allowed to exist in tap water that people used for bathing and drinking.

We now know that officials with the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality decided not to use federally mandated corrosion control in Flint’s water, leading to corroded pipes that leached lead and other toxins into the water. The crisis has deprived Flint of safe drinking water for two years. Some residents have suffered the effects of lead poisoning. Twelve people died of the water-borne Legionnaires’ disease, which investigators suspect was caused by a lack of corrosion control. Read More…

Conclusion

It is unfortunate that in these days, many environmental issues have political agendas tied to them. But as one evangelical put it in the article entitled, “A Biblical Perspective on Environmental Stewardship”:

We believe sound environmental stewardship celebrates and promotes human life, freedom, and economic development as compatible with, even essential for, the good of the whole environment.

Opioid Addiction Cost American Employers Between $10-$25 Billion a Year

Opioid Addiction Cost American Employers Between $10-$25 Billion a Year is courtesy of Our Master’s Camp Service Blog

A recent study by the ASAM estimates that American employers lose billions of dollars a year of productivity due to opiate abuse. These losses appear in the form of missed work, injuries related to intoxication, and termination and training of new replacement employees. In some studies, that number has been estimated to be as high as $65 billion dollars per year in the US alone, but the problem is worldwide. opioids in the workplace our masters camp The study serves as yet another example of the reach and devastation related to the American addiction crisis, in its many and often hidden forms.

Nationally, according to the American Society of Addiction Medicine, employers are losing $10 billion a year from absenteeism and lost productivity due to opioid abuse. Nearly one in 20 workers who have received an opioid prescription, on average 4.5 percent, have demonstrated a pattern of drug abuse, according to the firm’s research. Among baby boomers, the prevalence of abuse is even higher at nearly 7.5 percent. Read More…

What makes this study unique is its assertion of an exact dollar figure regarding the damages caused by this issue, and the fact that a very large portion of these addicts are highly functional professionals and blue-collar workers. It also further illustrates the ever growing need for affordable drug treatment services and long term treatment centers.

The Real Faces of Workplace Drug Addiction

Michele Zumwalt, an author with 12 years in recovery, explains her own experiences of working while being high on opiates.

Three decades ago, the treatment Michele Zumwalt received for severe headaches involved a shot of the opioid Demerol. Very quickly, Zumwalt says, she would get headaches if she didn’t get her shot. Then she began having seizures, and her doctor considered stopping the medication. “I didn’t know I was addicted, but I just knew that it was like you were going to ask me to live in a world without oxygen,” she says. “It was that scary.” Zumwalt didn’t cut back. In fact, over two decades, the Sacramento, Calif., resident got an ever-a “I could show up at Xerox and put on a presentation, and I was high on Percodan,” she recalls. “I mean, fully out of it. I don’t know how many I had taken, but so many that I don’t remember the presentation. And do you know that people didn’t know?” Her addiction worsened, eventually forcing her to take medical leave. Read More…

Continued: Real Faces of Workplace Drug Addiction

Another interesting case study regarding opiates in the “blue-collar” work place involves a United Steelworker that was fortunate enough to work at a company that utilized an Employee Assistance Program (EAP).

Anyone who battles addiction knows that it’s much more than a bad habit or a moral shortcoming. Addiction is a compulsion so beyond our control, that we may as well be a feather fighting against a gale-force wind. Luckily for me, people at my workplace pulled me out of the storm. I was a hard rock miner at the time and fortunately my union, the United Steelworkers, had an Employee Assistance Program whose staff guided me to the treatment I needed. They accepted me as a person who has a problem, not a problem person, and put me on the road to recovering my sobriety and my dignity. Read More…

Overcoming Employee Addiction

Fortunately, many companies are putting in place programs to address these issues. Coupled with the evolution of the perception of drug addiction being a disease, many resources are available for companies to put in place such programs. employer guideOne such resource has been made available by Group Services Inc, a Canadian benefits and pensions company associated with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada. If you are an employer in need of this resource, you may download by clicking the image.

Freds Providence Ministries Recovery Story

Freds Providence Ministries Recovery Story was initially distributed to Our Master’s Camp

 

FRED: Providence Ministries Graduate

imageI was sitting in a jail cell from multiple DUIs over the last 15-18 years. I just prayed every day for God to show me and just give me a new start in life; Show me some sort of purpose for my life; To give me motivation and confidence… And to keep the patient.

Full Testimonial Transcripts

Hi. My name is Fred. I’m from Chattanooga Tennessee. I just want to share with anyone out there a little bit about my life, my struggles, and my experience.

I grew up in a very blessed family. I have 2 parents and I was an only child. They gave me everything I needed growing up in life. The love and the support. Growing up I struggled with my own identity, I believe. I had expectations at a young age to excel in everything I did and tried my best as a child to make everyone proud and live up to their expectations. But somewhere along the way I kind of lost myself.

Through losing myself I made bad decisions. Throughout my life I made bad choices thinking that I would be okay and that no one was looking, and I was wrong. Those bad decisions and choices cost me a lot of time and hurt, and I let a lot of people down.

Today Providence has helped me to humble myself. When I came into the program I just found that I wasn’t nowhere near as humble as I needed to be. I judge people before I got to know them. I looked at all the negative instead of the positive.

When God works through me I’m a lot more patient, a lot more humble. Willing to learn. Willing to step out of myself, try new things. Not only for me but for my family. He has given me the sight to see opportunity and to jump on those opportunities when they present themselves.

He put love back into my heart and I love myself today, and that’s a really great feeling because I feel like now I can give back that love honestly, and maybe help someone else out along the way.

Anything is possible through Christ.

He gave me life, and that was enough. It’s really up to me what I do with my life from here-on-out. It’s a choice, and were blessed to be able to choose.

Anyone that comes to Providence Ministries with the true intentions of changing… it’s here for the taking. It’s not free. You have to apply yourself. We can be taught something and never apply it, and it’s not worth anything.

I was sitting in a jail cell from multiple DUIs over the last 15-18 years. I just prayed every day for God to show me and just give me a new start in life; Show me some sort of purpose for my life; To give me motivation and confidence… And to keep the patient.

The Fallacy of People Pleasing

In this video, Fred explains how he used to live to please others and prove his own sense of worth through accomplishments and financial success. In the end, he found that man cannot justify himself, only God can.

He allowed Jesus to come into his heart and perceptions, and was able to develop a new and powerful view of his world. This has allowed him to become far less judgmental and critical of others, which in part has helped him to receive God’s message of forgiveness and salvation.

Seeking to transform your life and soul while healing from drug and alcohol dependance?

Visist us at OurMastersCamp.org Today, and Get a FREE Consultation.​ We provide men with an affordable option to traditional addiction care.

Virutal Reality and Addiction Treatment

Virutal Reality and Addiction Treatment is available on http://ourmasterscamp.org

One of the more troubling aspects of completing a treatment program for addiction is that eventually most people will need to geographically return home or attend a transitional housing program. For many, this is a great cause of apprehension, but a group of researchers at the University of Houston are using virtual reality technology to recreate the scenes and circumstances a person in recovery may eventually face.

“In traditional therapy, we role-play with the patient but the context is all wrong,” said Patrick Bordnick, an associate dean of research and one of the study leaders. “They know they’re in a therapist’s office and the drug isn’t there. We need to put patients in realistic virtual reality environments and make them feel they are there with the drug, and the temptation, to get a clearer picture and improve interventions,” Bordnick said. Read more…

The University of Houston study has positioned its virtual reality creation to be highly detailed, intuitive, and realistic, but this is not the first foray of virtual reality into the world of addiction. In 2013, a Duke university researcher also attempted to use virtual reality environments to both trigger relapse behavior and also voice advice on navigating the scenario.

A person using virtual reality for addiction treatment is hooked up to a simulator, and enters a virtual environment with one of their triggers, such as a crack pipe or bottle of alcohol. Someone in the scene offers them their drug of choice. Researchers slowly add cues to the virtual environment, or change the situation, based on the patient’s history. A voice tells the person to put down the joystick and look around the room without speaking, to allow their craving to dissipate. The voice asks them to rate their cravings periodically. Read more…

An interesting video on Ted Talks https://www.youtube.com/user/TEDxTalks discusses how virtual reality is helping people deal with real life. This video is not just about addiction, but it raises interesting questions about how we how we are drawn to substances, activities, behaviors, and foods. It is very informational.

In summary, these virtual reality applications are a step in the right direction because they are exploring the boundaries of how technology can improve our lives in areas we may be unaccustomed to. Does it work? Well like most treatments, everyone responds differently. The degree of how effective any therapy works can only fully be appreciated after the treatment, but it’s safe to say that simulating situations that are dangerous to sobriety will at the very least, open up their mind to the possibilities, and maybe even help train them on how to better protect their recovery.

Related Post: Virtual Reality Is Being Used to Treat Heroin Addiction

Are You Using Technology to Help You Stay Clean? Why Not?

The following content Are You Using Technology to Help You Stay Clean? Why Not? Read more on: http://ourmasterscamp.org

The Apps that Can Save You From Relapse

Apps that keep you clean Getting clean and staying clean are what these recovery related phone apps were created to help you accomplish. Just as there is no “one way” to achieve sobriety, this selection of different apps will not work for everyone. You will however, be able to use this list to aid you in shortcutting the selection and testing of these wonderfully thoughtful addiction recovery applications.

Simulate Facial Deterioration App

girl using iceeffexWant to give a young person a “healthy fear” of what drugs (specifically meth in this app) will do to their complexion and facial features? The Ice Effex App is currently very popular, especially amongst the youth, because it’s very visual, creepy, albeit a bit sensationalized. This app has made it possible to see what you would look like after months or even years in active meth addiction. This is a great tool to help shape the conscious of drugs, especially because it can be very difficult for people considering trying drugs to foresee the long term consequences in a way that is so illustrative and personal. Danielle Stewart, a writer at rehabreviews.com, has taken the time to compile the following apps:

Recovery Literature

12 Step Companion (iPhone, Android)­ – $1.99

Cover artIt is kind of a must-have for anyone who is sober through 12-step as it provides quick access to the entire Big Book (complete with Forwards to the first and second edition, The Doctor’s Opinion and the personal stories), appendices discussing the Spiritual Experience, the AA Tradition and both the short and long form of the 12 Traditions, prayers (morning, evening, one correlated to each step, St. Francis and the Serenity Prayer), the Promises (one for every step!) and AA’s Preamble, which is very handy if you want to conduct a meeting on the fly.

Sobriety Tracker

Recovery Elevator (iPhone, Android) – $.99

Cover artElevator, who also run a website, host a podcast and organize sober social meet-ups, this clever little app not only keeps track of how long you are sober but it also calculates how much money you have saved not drinking (or whatever you are tracking).

Inspiration

Happify (iPhone, Android) – FREE

Cover artHappify is chock full of inspiring games and activities that help manage daily stress and anxiety. While everyone can benefit from a little Happifyness in their lives, alcoholics and addicts are certainly at the front of the line (not because they need it more, per se, but because they got there early and secured their spot).

Social Connection

MOBER (iPhone, Android) – FREE

Cover artConnect with other sober people locally and worldwide using all the social media features we love, with a twist! Profiles include common buddies, sobriety dates, affiliated program, interests, activities, endorsements and the ability to post video and audio mini-shares.

Doing The Work

Spot Check Inventory (iPhone only) – $.99

The Spot Check Inventory app nudges you to do just that so you can see your part and right any wrongs. Or just see your part and then do nothing but stew on it for months until you wake up one morning hating life and don’t know why, at which point you can reflect back on that inventory and make things right. See the rest of the apps on Danielle Stewart’s original article…

Sober Grid – Connecting People in Recovery Because You’re Not Alone

sober grid Lastly, a relatively new app called Sober Grid aims to connect sober people in recovery.

It provides tools for those recovering from alcohol and drug addiction to connect with other sober people by users’ locations. Users can message each other and post updates on a news feed. The app has a nearly perfect 5-star rating on iTunes. The app is a creation of CEO Beau Mann. He said he thought of the idea one year while visiting the Sundance Film Festival. While waiting for friends, he wanted a way to connect with other people in the area. “We didn’t have a app that was location-based to help you connect with sober people,” Mann said. Read more…

Summary

People in recovery will often refer to the knowledge and skills they have gained while in recovery as being their “tool box”. By using these apps, you can increase the size of your recovery tool box. Please comment and let us know if you have found an app that you like, that has helped you stay free from your addiction.

Overhauling Opioids, the Leading Cause of Injury Death in the U.S.

The following entry Overhauling Opioids, the Leading Cause of Injury Death in the U.S. was published to Our Master’s Camp

There is a crisis in the U.S., and the cause of that crisis is opioid addiction in its many forms. Opioids are medications that diminish pain in the area of the brain that controls emotion, and because of technological evolutions, they have become even more powerful in the last few years. The results have been devastating, and by committing to overhauling their previously established stance, the FDA is taking positive steps to correcting bad policy. youzignIn response to this crisis, the agency has developed a comprehensive action plan to take concrete steps toward reducing the impact of opioid abuse on American families and communities. As part of this plan, the agency is committing to work more closely with its advisory committees before making critical product and labeling decisions; enhancing safety labeling; requiring new data; and seeking to improve treatment of both addiction and pain. At the same time, the FDA will fundamentally re-examine the risk-benefit paradigm for opioids and ensure that the agency considers the wider public health effects.

Drug overdose deaths, driven largely by overdose from prescription opioids and illicit drugs like heroin and illegally-made fentanyl, are now the leading cause of injury death in the United States – surpassing motor vehicle crashes. Read more

Our Need to Avoid Pain

Part of the problem is our basic but powerful drive to avoid pain at all costs, and not just the physical type. Haunting emotional pain that goes untreated can result in a cycle of self-medication with opiates, and what may have started as a small storm can escalate into a hurricane. Licensed counselor and writer for Goodtherapy Cindy Ricardo says in her article “A Healing Response to Pain: Mindfulness and Self-Compassion”:

Whether it’s physical, emotional, or mental, staying open and present to pain is challenging. What makes it so isn’t the actual sensation of pain; it’s the way we react to it. We catastrophize, worry, or ruminate about what happened, what it means, and how it will affect our future. Sometimes we go into mental gymnastics, trying to figure out how to make it go away. We use our energy in ways that are exhausting and don’t help. This only fuels the pain, morphing what might have been a temporary period of pain into a longer one. Read more…

Treating Emotional Pain

There are many ways to deal with emotional pain, but ultimately there is only one underlying provider of healing, and that is God. Many are familiar with His ability to heal us in the physical, but Jesus works in all ailments. This includes the emotional. “By His stripes you were healed.” 1 Peter 2:24. Sid Roth, of the Healing Scriptures Website explains how you can be healed:

The scientific community has recently changed its view on the brain. They agree the brain can change. Neural passageways that are fed a lie can addict you to alcoholism. But you can place the greater truth in your brain by meditation on the Word of God. This forms new passageways that will trump the addiction. God will form this truth in your spirit that will set you free!

  • Step one: Reject and repent of the lie.
  • Step two: Meditate on the truth (God’s Word). Step three: Walk in your freedom.

Stand, with undivided faith, upon God’s healing promises from the Bible. Do this whether you are believing for a healing from a physical problem or an addiction/emotional disorder. Read more

Preparing for the Worst

It seems that with medicine and science, we often take two steps forward and one step back, taking into account the true costs of innovation only in hindsite. This is irresponsible and detrimental to our society, and these new opioid related FDA policies take into account what should have been acounted for from the beginning. If you’re going to approve a highly addictive (and highly profitable) substance, you also need to have an action plan to treat the millions of cases of addiction this will inevitably cause. It’s just very unfortunate that the catalyst for this reform had to be the blood, misery, and deaths of lives cut far too short. Related Article: 100 Americans die of drug overdoses each day. How do we stop that? For Info on