OUR BELIEF IS...
That sometimes any aspect of life throws us curve balls e.g. work, relationships, family, finances, bereavement etc and we find ourselves in situations that feel difficult to manage. This bears no negative reflection on our abilities as people, it just might mean that things feel overwhelming and it is helpful to have someone to explore our feelings with. It can also enhance our awareness and so benefit our belief system and behaviours. We believe that YOU are the expert in determining the best choices for yourself and we are simply here to help facilitate that.
ADDICTION SPECIFIC BLOGS
In the face of difficulties it is a natural human response to try to make things feel better. Substances are just one of those coping strategies we turn to.
Notoriously this week in January marks the time that most of us who made those positive resolutions on New Years eve now falter. For those of you who made promises to yourselves and others to reduce your drinking or address your drug issues.... is now the time that you are struggling? If so it can be usual to feel a failure and disappointed in yourself, however we would encourage you to stop any negative thoughts taking you back down the road where you feel totally out of control. Understanding the difference between a lapse and relapse is key to your continued recovery and success. If this resonates with you and might be something you'd like to explore or understand better we are here to support that. Remember change is a process and the more you can understand that process the more likely you are to achieve your goals.
Cocaine and Business
Cocaine is “The high performance, high ego” drug making it the go to drug for a specific ‘high power’ group of people.
It is associated with high flying business men as it stimulates the mind and body to feel invincible and infallible whilst increasing energy levels.
The Evening Standard (May 2016) stated that London has been named ‘Cocaine Capital’ of Europe for the second year running, with an estimated 2.4 million young adults aged 15-34 having taken it in the last year.
Cocaine is less detectable as it doesn’t smell like weed or change behaviour like other drugs can. However, people can become addicted to the ‘high’ it induces and use can increase. This eventually can re-wire the brain and people can become less productive than before their use started. Tell tale signs of increased use are; constant sniffing, white powder residue around the nose, manic behaviour, grinding teeth and a clenched jaw.
According to the former drug tsar David Nutt, cocaine use amongst bankers is said to be common place in the city and an article in The Guardian (April 2013) even asked “Did cocaine use by bankers cause the global financial crisis?”
So, what goes up must come down and the cocaine come down is certainly not a pleasant one. Expect flu like symptoms, aches, pains, headache, irritability and agitation, irregular heartbeat, fitful sleep, lack of appetite, depression and dehydration. As cocaine is a stimulant it pushes our body to work hard, therefore it needs to recover.
If you recognise any of these symptoms, behaviours or feelings in yourself and you want support there is somewhere for you to access help.
The only service of its kind in Hampshire specifically catering for the working or retired professional.
COKE, C, BLOW, FLAKE, SNOW, TOOT........
Otherwise known as cocaine and we are currently in a cocaine epidemic.
In the UK we consume twice as much of it as our European neighbours.
The changing climate has shown that it is as easy as ordering pizza with dealers dropping flyers through doors and orders online being delivered within 20 minutes.
We are told that cocaine today is the purest in decades, with an average purity of 54% on the street and as high as 90% on the dark web.
We are often under the illusion that pure is safer..................NOT SO!
Statistics show that deaths due to cocaine in England and Wales has doubled in the past 4 years.
In 2016/17 12,000 people were admitted with cocaine related disorders such as:
Panic, anxiety, chest pain, irregular heartbeat, unable to breathe, sweating, convulsions, seizures, induced psychosis, delusions and hallucinations.
It leads to maladaptive behaviours and impairs our judgement. We stop meeting our responsibilities and work, life and relationships suffer.
If this resonates with you, if you need some help and support, contact Chilbolton Services. We are here for you.
ALCOHOL AND YOU
Do you plan your day around alcohol?
Do you require increasing amounts of alcohol to get drunk?
Do you find you are pre-occupied with when/where the next drink will come from?
Do you drink in spite of negative consequences in your personal and professional life?
Are your needs almost entirely limited to those involving alcohol?
What excuses do you give yourself for drinking too much?.....................
I’ve had a tough day
I haven’t got work tomorrow
The sun is shining
I need to get into the mood
I’ve got friends coming round
I’ve just been paid
Drinking at high levels causes difficulties with relationships at home and work as well as deteriorating your physical and mental well being.
If any of these resonate with you, there is help
Take back control.........
Are you feeling increasingly stressed, anxious or depressed?
Rising stress levels in today’s fast paced world are causing a huge rise in mental health issues in the UK.
Work related stress is by far the most common and factors cited for this include, tight deadlines, too much responsibility, lack of managerial support, lack of control, conflict in the work place and a rise in the ‘blame culture’ where people are too afraid to get things wrong or make mistakes.
A very worrying statistic shows that 12 men take their own lives every day in this country.
Over and above our working lives other contributing factors to pile the pressures on is money worries, our health, partners, friends, loss, drink and drugs.
So, are you more stressed than usual?
How are you managing your stress?
Is someone close to you concerned about your behaviours?
Many of us turn to alcohol or drugs in search of some release or some temporary rest bite. For many this remains a manageable strategy. For others it gradually gets out of control and actually begins to add to the stresses and pressures we feel.
Do you recognise this in yourself? If so there is help. A discrete, private, bespoke service which is tailored to accommodate your individual needs.
Make contact...........take back control.
Lets be honest
Last year Phil Collins spoke openly in the media about his increased drinking since retirement, even admitting that after giving up work. he had become an alcoholic NHS psychiatrist Max Pemberton responded by saying, that the sad thing is; Phil Collins story is not uncommon. He goes on to say that the image we have as a society, of problem drinking being either a young, binge drinking, bar brawling lad and laddette culture, or the pursuit of the bench dossing homeless person who swigs from a bottle wrapped in a brown paper bag, is far from the reality. In fact, he says he is increasingly seeing many well educated, well respected members of the community who, after having retired from successful careers and business, are now having problems with increased alcohol intake and full-blown alcoholism (2016: Daily Mail)
Phil Collins believes his issues were mainly due to the increased amount of time that he suddenly had on his hands after retiring. However, its fair to say that retirement is a huge life change, bringing into play all sorts of other factors, including possible loss of identity, change of pace and structure to life, children becoming fully independent and leaving home permanently, whilst physical health changes may negatively affect activity. All of this can mean that the reality of retirement vastly differs from the envisaged ‘dream’ and may lead people to reach for the bottle to cope with that change. ‘Wine o’clock’ can get earlier and earlier in the day, whilst a drink with dinner changes to a drink with lunch and slowly, before you realise it, the train hurtling toward a drink problem has begun its journey.
In a society that prides itself upon championing marginalised sections of the population, it saddens me that a recent study found there is a hidden middleclass problem with drinking, with the highest at-risk group being the upper echelons of higher income earners. As a practitioner with over 10 years substance misuse experience working in community and NHS settings, community drug and alcohol support services as they stand are largely populated by a very different clientele and it is of no surprise to me that residential rehab has become the main or only option for the middleclass professional working or retired person who has accepted and is seeking help for drinking.
However, rehab is a huge step and is one that is usually taken at the end, not the beginning of an incredibly brutal struggle with addiction, when all attempts at denial, self-control and bargaining have continually failed and relationships and lives have borne a massive consequence. It is also a very public admission that has further consequence on anonymity not only in day to day personal relationships but also more practically, medical insurances. Until that time people are suffering alone and are hidden away.
So, what if you’re reading this and some of it resonates with you and your situation?
What if you’re not sure, but you think you could do with some help but just don’t know where to turn? What if that train I mentioned earlier is slowly moving along the track of your life and your drinking is becoming more frequent, more problematic?
If you could find help in the community, quietly, discreetly and your ‘normal’ pattern of life could continue alongside you getting that support, would you take it? Ask yourself that question, very seriously…….. because the help is here, it’s called Chilbolton Services and it’s the only service of its kind in Hampshire, specifically catering for the professional working and retired professional, for whom discretion is paramount. Your business life has been, or still is successful, will you make that same commitment for success to your wellbeing? We’re only an email or phone call away ………..will you take this opportunity?
Ask yourself a few honest questions;
Are your behaviours affecting more than your wallet?
Is your ability to manage your work / family life beginning to suffer?
Is your mental / physical health becoming impaired?
Are you taking higher risks than you would ordinarily have done?
If you can identify with these few simple questions it could be that you are affected by addiction.
So just what is addiction?
Put simply addiction is a set of all consuming behaviours that produce a short lived 'high' or feel good factor at a long term detrimental cost to yourself.
These behaviours could include the misuse of substances such as drugs or alcohol, or be activities such as gambling, overworking, sex, porn and shopping to name a few, even relationships can become addictive.
You or someone you know may have an issue with something else not mentioned here, so it’s important you know that any behaviour can have the potential to become addictive.
Signs of addiction
In a nutshell it's dependency; this can be physical and/or psychological. With drugs or alcohol you will be physically dependent and suffer withdrawals without it. You may also find you have compulsive thoughts which are out of your control. Compulsive thoughts about other activities not involving substances could indicate psychological dependence.
Physical and psychological craving, losing control over the activity or substance and continuing to engage in it despite negative consequences are all signs of dependency.
Does this sound like you?
So why do some people become addicted?
This is a complicated question which can never be fully answered as no two people are the same and there are many differing factors to consider e.g genes, morals and personalities, plus scientific research also now tells us that brain chemistry has a part to play in addiction.
Trying to cope with stressful situations such as work, family, relationships, illness and life in general can culminate in people using substances or engaging in activities that could become addictive.
Again ask yourself honestly;
Are you more stressed than usual?
How are you managing that stress?
Are you or is someone close to you, concerned about your behaviour?
What part does ‘tolerance’ play in addiction?
After a while people will say that they don’t get the same’ buzz’ they used to when using a substance or engaging in a certain activity, this in part is due to what is now happening in the brain. It will also mean that people will do more of the addictive activity or substance, in order to try and replicate the original ‘buzz.’
If this feels familiar, you could be at an increased risk of potential overdose or of engaging in high risk behaviours that could prove very detrimental to your life.
Compulsion and craving
As tolerance increases you may find your thoughts getting more compulsive and obsessive, making you crave the substance or activity more and sometimes this can feel relentless. It is at this stage when you may feel you are losing control and are experiencing negative consequences in your life such as in relationships, finances, family, work or health.
If this is you or someone you know, there is hope and there is help available.
Becoming free of addiction
The first stage of freedom from dependency is recognising and admitting you may have a problem. The second stage is getting some support.
Support can help you to explore how you deal with everyday stresses and identify any deeper issues you may have. You may then be able to work at finding more helpful positive coping strategies.
However be prepared, honesty is ‘key’ in challenging and changing any negative behaviours.
NICE guidelines state that if you are using substances, especially alcohol and you think you may be dependent, you must NOT go abstinent without medical supervision, as this could induce seizures which could prove fatal. Your best chance of recovery is through integrated support and it is advisable that you seek medical advice in the first instance .