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What to do for Meth Addiction Recovery
Jun 6th, 2010 by Patrick

What are some strategies for meth addiction recovery?  What is the best way to get clean from meth?

There are a number of things that a meth addict might do in order to try to straighten their life out.  One thing they might try first is to go to some NA meetings.  This is not necessarily the best solution for everyone, but it is helpful for most, and it is also free (unless you donate to the meeting.  They are supported only by donations).

Just going to an NA meeting might be of help for a variety of reasons.  One, you might get clean and sober and stay that way forever.  This is the ideal outcome, of course.  But even if that does not happen, you still might get some benefit by being exposed to NA.  One thing you might do is to learn if you are really an addict or not.  Some people just like to abuse drugs, but can easily walk away from the and leave them alone when they really want to.

Jump


 photo credit: Barnaby K

However, most drug addicts stay stuck in denial for many years, telling themselves that they could quit, only if they really wanted to, and that they just don’t want to.  This is denial if:

1) The meth addict continues to run into more and more problems due to their drug use.

2) All of the friends and family member of the addict think that there is a real problem.

3) The addict keeps dealing with real consequences due to their drug use but continues to justify them and rationalize them away.  (The police just have it in for me, etc.)

Denial is simply failing to see the truth of the matter, which is that drugs are just no good for some people.  If you are constantly getting into trouble due to your drug use, then you probably have a serious problem.  If you cannot, or will not put the drugs down, even in the face of heavy consequences, then you are probably an addict.

If you find yourself in this position and you have tried to go to an NA meeting, you might also consider going to rehab.  Now keep in mind that most rehabs are just going to expose you to more 12 step meetings, but they also offer a lot more than just that.  You have to use what works for you in recovery and ditch the rest.  If 12 step meetings are not your thing, you can still get a lot of value out of going to drug rehab.

Recovery from meth addiction can start when you are in residential treatment, and you start learning about how to deal with life without self medicating all the time.  You can also learn how to have fun again without drugs or alcohol, though  this may take some time for you to really start living it.  You will also meet a support system in rehab that can help you to stay clean when you leave on the outside.  Maybe you will also meet up with a good therapist who you really connect with, and this could become a form of ongoing support.

Really the best thing is to simply keep an open mind when going in to treatment, and try to take everything in and just soak it all up.  You may be against certain ideas, but just watch them, observe them, let them wash over you and then form your own opinions.  No one has to become a 12 step meeting freak in recovery in order to stay clean necessarily.  You can find your own unique path in recovery, even if all the 12 step folks say that meetings are the only way.  They are not.  Your recovery can take many forms.

The Facts About Drug Addicted Children
Jun 6th, 2010 by Patrick

While talking about children who are drug addicted is a very sensitive issue it is one that really does need to be discussed. This article will focus on drug addicted children and what can be done about it. This is a very serious issue and an issue that cannot be just swept under the rug. Children are supposed to have a carefree, happy and safe life, but what happens when that child becomes addicted to drugs. This article will cover both children being born with drug addictions and also children who develop a drug addiction during their childhood years.

A serious epidemic that has always seem to be present is children being born already addicted to drugs. This is a sad and harsh way for a child to enter the world. This can happen if the mother is taking illegal drugs or consuming alcohol during her pregnancy. A mother addicted to drugs will pretty much lead to a child being born fighting a drug addiction. Not only will the child have to face the withdrawal from the mother’s drug of choice, they may also be born with birth defects. Some of these birth defects can include developmental issues, behavioral issues, being born without fully developed arms and legs, or sometimes the can be born with clubfoot. Cleft palate and very low birth weight are also possible side effects. Fetal Alcohol syndrome is another scary possibility for babies being born to mothers who consume alcohol during their pregnancy. Babies who are born with a drug addiction will go through the same withdrawal process that anyone would. Really seems unfair to bring a child into this world, who has to struggle to stay alive. The key to preventing this from happening is education. There is so much documented literature available that no baby should be born this way. Seeking medical and professional help is crucial. Another key to preventing this is simple, do not use any illegal substance or consume alcohol while you are pregnant. All pregnant women should be receiving prenatal care.

Let’s look at the situation where children become addicted to drugs on their own. Statics do show that children who are raised in home where drug and alcohol use are present are much more likely to develop a drug or alcohol addiction. If you are raising children in a home where you or someone in your family is suffering from addiction, it is vital to seek professional help. Not only for your child, but for your own health as well. Children need to be educated and taught the dangers of drugs. As your child grows older and starts attending school, it is inevitable that your child will be faced with peer pressure. You are the tools that your child needs to stay away from drugs.

What if you suspect that your child is under the influence of drugs or alcohol? The first step is to talk to your child, confront them about this. You will probably need to seek professional help as well. Ignoring the situation will not make it go away, it will probably only escalate and get worse. Your child’s doctor should be able to help you understand treatments and things you can do to help get your child off drugs. It is very sad to see and hear about all the death of children that can be linked to the use of drugs. Children are very impressionable, so keep this in mind in all activities you do. Spend time talking with your kids and make sure they know the risks of using drugs. Seek out help soon, the sooner the better. Do not delay when it comes to a drug addicted child.

Ritalin Addiction is as Serious as Cocaine Addiction
Jun 6th, 2010 by Patrick

Ritalin addiction occurs when high doses of this drug are taken to lose weight by decreasing one’s appetite, improve concentration for schoolwork, or experience feelings of getting “high”. Also called methylphenidate, this drug is first prescribed in small doses that are gradually increased over time to slowly increase dopamine levels in the brain for specific health reasons. Dependency of this drug is similar to an addiction to cocaine and amphetamines.

The drug Ritalin is available in 5, 10, and 20 mg tablets or 10, 20, 30, or 40 mg capsules. It is used to treat a variety of illnesses such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder also known as ADHD or ADD. This disorder affects a person’s ability to solve problems, plan, understand, focus, and act on impulse. Those who experience dizziness and increased heart rate after sitting up from lying down on their back are also prescribed this medication. Those who suffer from narcolepsy also benefit from this drug. It keeps them awake and alert instead of feeling so extremely tired that they fall asleep at various times during their usual waking hours. It is also used to combat depression, obesity, and obsessive compulsive disorder also known as OCD.

This medication increases the amount of dopamine to the brain. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that affects brain activities such as movement, emotions, joy, and pain. Increased levels of dopamine improve focus, attention, concentration, and alertness. Many students use it to excess to stay awake and improve their concentration in order to do better academically.

It is just as easy to become addicted to this drug as cocaine and amphetamines and actually causes the same effects if snorted, injected, or taken in large doses. Side effects include nervousness, sweating, dizziness, and headaches. Loss of appetite, stomach pain, and nausea can result in weight loss. Some patients also experience insomnia, loss of hair, skin rashes or dry skin, dilated pupils, and dry mouth. Some users even suffer heart problems such as angina, arrhythmia, and changes in their blood pressure and heart rate. Symptoms of withdrawal are generally the same as the side effects but felt at a higher level. Addicts also experience confusion, aggression, and changes in their mood and behavior. Other signs include becoming feverish and delirious, uncontrollable twitching and other involuntary movements, and a craving for another dose.

Professional treatment to overcome this addiction may be required if the addict cannot manage to break the habit on his or her own. This treatment includes detoxification in a facility to monitor the patient’s health during the process. Counseling through individual and group therapy discovers the reason for the addiction, provides other methods of coping with the dependency, and alternatives to living without this medication. 

Addiction to this drug affects family and friends just like other addictions. Upon discovery of a family member’s addiction, surprised family members feel disappointment, fear, and panic. Parents and siblings experience anxiety from not knowing what to do to help and can only stand by helplessly if their loved one does not seek professional help. Arguments and disagreements arise from resentful family members feeling neglected due to the additional attention showered on the addicted family member. Once close relationships between the addicted person and other family members or friends become strained or deteriorate.

It is vital that those who become addicted to Ritalin realize that they have an addiction and take the necessary steps to regain control of their life. Failure to do so could result in major health concerns as well as death. There are many resources available such as hospital and rehabilitation programs, private and public counseling, and support groups to help those who are in need.

3 Warning Signs of Meth Addiction to Watch Out For
Jun 6th, 2010 by Patrick

Here are 3 warning signs of meth addiction that you should watch out for:

1) Physical appearance – this is the big one that you should watch out for.  The person will obviously lose weight, but they might also do other things to tip you off, such as to be unkempt, unshaven, and so on.  They will stop taking care of themselves and the big warning sign is deterioration in the teeth.  You might also watch out for any burn marks on the skin or even on the clothing.  Burnt lips are particularly common too for those who are smoking meth (or crack cocaine possibly).

Essence of Creativity


 photo credit: Antanith

2) Personality change – the meth addict may become hyperactive, or they might do the opposite and withdrawal from people entirely.  Watch for sudden mood swings that cannot really be explained by anything else.  They might become loud and obnoxious due to the meth use, and they also might lose all motivation for achieving anything decent in life.  So watch out for these possibilities.

3) Relationship changes – if they just started using drugs then they will likely be doing this with other people, friends that they have not known for very long.  They might also suddenly discard old friends or family relationships that they once found to be important to them, but are not anymore.  If they are suddenly hanging out with an entirely new crowd of people, then you know something must be going on.

These are the 3 basic warning signs, but of course there are some other things you might watch out for as well.  For example, one is money.  If the person is suddenly broke all the time, or asking to borrow money over and over again, then you know something might be wrong.  Another big one is school or education…if they are suddenly quitting school, dropping out, missing classes, and so on.  Same goes for work, etc.

So what can you do if you see these warning signs of addiction?  The obvious thing to do right off the bat is to confront the person and tell them that you are gravely concerned about them and you cannot even sleep at night because you worry so much for their welfare and that you think something is wrong.  If you cannot get them to confess their drug use then you might tell them flat out that you think they are on drugs, and you want to see them get help.

One thing you might do if you already have it pretty much confirmed that they are on some sort of drugs is to call a drug rehab center in advance and see what the options are.   You might be able to find out at least what it would take to get the person into treatment, what it would cost, if insurance would cover it, and so on.  You might also get an idea of when you can bring someone in or if they need to schedule in advance and so on.  You may not get all the answers you are looking for but you can probably at least get some guidance and direction by talking with some local drug rehab centers.

You can also declare that you will not be a part of their addiction and that you will only support them if they choose to get help.  Tell them that if they want to get help, you will do whatever you can to assist them.  But if they want to keep using, then you would rather just keep your distance from them.  This is knowns as setting healthy boundaries, and will help the addict to see that they are isolating themselves due to their drug use.

Help for Meth Addiction – Treatment Options for Recovery
Jun 6th, 2010 by Patrick

What is the best way to get help for meth addiction?  What are the best treatment options for recovery in this case?

Well like with any drug, your best bet is going to start out with going to inpatient rehab.  This is almost always the best choice for nearly any addict who is trying to get clean and sober.  The reason for this is because an inpatient drug rehab has the most resources available to help you with your drug addiction.  For example, they usually have 12 step meetings, but also counseling, therapists, group therapy, and so on.  They might also be able to refer you to outpatient treatment or to long term rehab if that is deemed necessary.  So going to an inpatient treatment center can be much more than just having a few weeks locked up without any drugs.  You can have real opportunities there to make real progress with your recovery and set yourself up for success when you leave.

Not Even Once


 photo credit: Nathan Jongewaard

Meth addiction in particular can be a bit tricky because you do not necessarily have to detox someone for meth.  Most rehab centers will actually not put you in the detox ward when you get to rehab, but instead just have you start attending groups right away.  Why is  this?  Because there are only very minimal physical withdrawal symptoms from a meth user, whereas other drugs can have much more intense withdrawal symptoms.  In fact, many drugs can actually be dangerous to come off of but Meth is one that is completely safe to stop using cold turkey, even with no medical supervision.

Why does this make it tricky?  Well in part, quitting meth is extremely easy, because there is no withdrawal from it.  So any meth user can just put it down with no major problems.  This is a good thing, right?

Wrong.  The fact that meth is easy to put down makes it that much easier to pick it back up again.  Meth addicts know that there is no real penalty when they quit cold turkey, so it is much easier to justify a relapse than it is with other drugs.

For example, take a heroin addict who is on the brink of relapse.  They know that if they shoot up again, that eventually, they will have to go through the withdrawal process from heroin, and they know how incredibly uncomfortable that will make them feel.  So the heroin addict has real incentive to stay clean and sober, because they know how miserable the detox process is.

The meth user has no such incentive.  Even alcoholics have a bit of built in insurance when it comes to this, because alcohol withdrawal is no walk in the park either, and can be quite miserable.  In fact, alcohol withdrawal is generally one of the most dangerous detoxes out there, and can be fatal if it is not properly supervised.

So give meth the proper respect it deserves in being a very difficult drug addiction to overcome.  Just because the withdrawal is quite minimal does not mean that you should not take the treatment for this drug seriously.  Residential treatment is still probably the best idea in most cases and some meth addicts will even opt for long term rehab.  Long term treatment makes a lot of sense actually, because meth is more of a lifestyle drug, and it can take quite a bit of structure and disruption to overcome those old habits.  Many meth addicts are more addicted to the lifestyle that meth use brings along with it than they are to the drug itself.  The late nights, the week long binges, the partying….it is all part of the total package that the drug addict tends to glorify in their minds.  Overcoming this lifestyle element is best done with long term rehab.

Addiction Treatment for a Crack Cocaine Addict
Jun 6th, 2010 by Patrick

What is the best type of treatment for a crack cocaine addict who continues to struggle with addiction?  What is the best treatment available for struggling addicts in general?  Are certain recovery strategies more effective than others?

Well there are actually a whole bunch of different addiction treatment services that are available to struggling drug addicts.  For example, they might start an addict out with some basic addiction counseling, where the addict would meet with a therapist a few times per month.  Or they might refer an addict to outpatient treatment, where the person would attend groups all day and then go home each night.

'Clochard' Rue Victor Hugo Lyon


 photo credit: FaceMePLS

Then you move up to the more intense treatment methods, such as inpatient drug rehab and detox.  This is where the addict would actually check in and stay for a while at a rehab setting.  There they would get the benefit of counseling, therapy, and peer interaction, as well as medical staff support.

It gets even more intense if you move up to long term rehab, where the addict would actually live in  sober recovery house environment.  There they would have random drug screens, meetings, group therapy, and so on.

Ideally, if an addict has tried one type of treatment and failed at it, they should consider moving up to more intense forms of treatment.  This is a general rule but it makes a lot of sense for people who are struggling and nothing has worked for them yet.

My own personal experience was that I was drinking every day, using marijuana every day, and I was starting to experiment more and more with crack cocaine and smoking the stuff.  I had gone to counseling in the past and at some point the counselor told me that he did not think we should see each other any more.  This is because I had no intention of stopping my drug use at the time and the therapist knew it.  So it was just a big waste of time for both of us.

After many more years of trying to use drugs (and being largely unsuccessful at it, because I am an addict), I finally came to a point where I was willing to go to rehab.  I checked into a place and stated there for about two weeks or so.  When I left, I had decided that alcohol was my problem and that I was going to quit drinking but continue to use marijuana.  As you can guess, this did not work so well, and I ended up going back to my drinking within only a few short weeks.

The next time when I really was willing to get clean, I was more willing to do whatever it takes.  So when they suggested long term rehab, I was willing to go.  In the past, I had never been willing to attend rehab, but now I was more than willing.  So I lived in a long term rehab for 20 months and this was the big turning point for me.

Long term rehab did for me what other treatment strategies could not.  It gave me the structure that I needed in order to stay clean and sober for good.  But it also did something else that was really important: it gave me a new set of friends.  All of my old friends were people who used drugs and alcohol.  So without this new set of clean and sober friends, I am not sure that I could have found a way to stay clean and sober at all.

So the bottom line is that you should seek professional help fro your addiction.  If it fails, then seek more intensive help the next time.  Repeat this process until you stay clean and sober for good.

Detox and Residential Treatment for Oxycontin Addiction
Jun 6th, 2010 by Patrick

Should a person seek out detox and residential treatment for oxycontin addiction?  Is this the best path for someone who is hooked on prescription opiates and wants to get help for their addiction?

My opinion is that yes, this is the best course of action for oxycontin addicts who want to get help.  There are several reasons for this.

First of all, detox at home cold turkey from opiates is not fun at all, and your chances of success in doing this are very low.  Most people simply cannot make it through the uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms, which resemble a bad case of the flu.

Sweet relief.


 photo credit: analytik

How does detox and treatment help with this?  What they do in rehab is to give you medication to help with your withdrawal symptoms.  Different rehabs may use different medicines for this, but most of them will normally use Suboxone and Subutex to help get patients detoxed from opiates.  These medicines do a good job of eliminating withdrawal symptoms for the most part.  You may still experience some slight amount of discomfort, but in the end this is a much better route than trying to detox on your own.

The second reason that inpatient treatment is good for opiate addiction is because of the support that you will get from the groups and the lectures at the residential facility.  It will not do you any good to get clean and sober, only to wander out of treatment and walk right into a relapse.  You have to learn some things about how to actually live clean and that is what they will attempt to teach you in rehab.

They might also expose you to 12 step meetings in a rehab setting.  For many addicts, this becomes the lifeblood of their recovery, and they go on to attend many 12 step meetings that become the cornerstone of their recovery.  Without treatment, they may never be exposed to these meetings or to this self help community.

Some addicts meet a therapist in treatment that goes on to help them for a long term basis.  They might continue to see and work with a counselor that they might really connect with in rehab.  Without attending rehab, they may never get the opportunity to meet with and work with this therapist.

Some addicts end up leaving short term residential treatment and attend a long term rehab facility or live in a halfway house.  This can be a huge factor in their ongoing success in recovery and again, without attending that first drug rehab, they would never have been introduced to a long term facility that eventually saved their life.

So basically, even though simply staying at a short term rehab for 10 days or 28 days might not make a huge impact, it can lead to things that might be the answer to your problem and can help you in the long run.   Short term rehab can be the opportunity that you need to find that next step in your recovery.  If you do not attend then you will not have the opportunity to find a solution.

Many people who attend rehab end up relapsing.  That is a fact.  But the truth is, it is still an excellent opportunity for anyone who really wants to get clean and sober.

It is not so much that rehab is a magic bullet or a sure fix….rather, it is that rehab gives you a chance at life again, if you want it.  Most people do not really want to be clean, even when they attend rehab, most people are still in a state of ambivalence, where they might not fully want to be clean.  A part of them wishes that things were different, but they do not really want to be fully clean and sober yet.

It takes what it takes.  For many people, they have to struggle for a few years before they “get it.”

Dealing with Marijuana Addiction and How People Justify It
Jun 6th, 2010 by Patrick

What is the best way in dealing with marijuana addiction?  How do people justify this addiction and what is the best way to overcome that justification?

The problem with marijuana is that it is a sneaky addiction that does not have a lot of in-your-face consequences.  For example, take heroin addiction.  There, you have people contracting diseases due to needle sharing, or they are overdosing and dying right on the spot, and so on.  Same goes for alcoholism.  People wreck cars, destroy marriages, and so on.  The consequences for these other “harder” drugs are more severe.

all quiet on the western front!


 photo credit: रोकावट के लिया खेद

Marijuana does not have severe consequences that smack you in the face, but it still has real consequences.  This is what many marijuana addicts fail to realize.  They are comparing the drug to other, harder drugs and saying “see, it is OK to smoke pot, because it is not so destructive at all.”

Now this is not to say that marijuana does not have medicinal properties, because obviously it does.  This is not to say pot is not a useful drug, because obviously it is.  And this is not to say that marijuana should be illegal, because obviously, marijuana SHOULD be legal.  All I am saying here is that marijuana can still be addictive for some people, and it can still cause some problems.

Let’s say you have a medical marijuana card and you smoke the stuff legally and that you also have a totally free and unlimited supply of the stuff.  What problems could possibly arise from this situation, you might wonder?  Well, you could:

* Smoke every day and not pursue other goals in your life.

* Slowly drift away from normal activities that you once enjoyed, such as exercise, sports, and so on…..because you are always getting stoned.

* Lose touch with important relationships in your life, because you are always self medicating your emotions (even if you do not mean to, but it happens anyway because you smoke every single day).  So you stop maturing emotionally and you no longer experience growth in your relationships.

* Isolate yourself because you only prefer to associate with others who get high.

* Stop eating healthy, stop exercising, stop learning new things because you are too busy getting high all the time.

And so on.  The consequences are definitely there, they are just more subtle than with other drugs.

So realize this and do not use it as justification for why you should keep getting high all the time.  If you are addicted to the drug then it is holding you back, and your life could be much richer, fuller, and more satisfying if you were not smoking weed every single day.

One way to really get some clarity is in doing a 90 day trial.  Take 90 days off from marijuana completely, and see what happens in your life.  Just leave the drug totally alone for 3 months and measure your response to this.  Do you resent not smoking it?  If so, then that is a red flag.

If you take 3 months away from the drug then you should see some positive changes.  It is just a matter of whether or not you acknowledge those changes and realize that being clean and sober has helped you or not.

Some people are not addicted to weed and so quitting will not necessarily benefit them.  But if you get honest with yourself and see any of those negative consequences due to your using, then you might try quitting for a while.  The key is to be completely honest with yourself about it and how marijuana is really affecting your life and your relationships.

Overcoming Behavioral Addictions in Recovery
Jun 6th, 2010 by Patrick

What is the key to overcoming behavioral addictions in recovery?  How can people develop a better life in which they are living healthy, which engaging in destructive behavioral addiction?

Perhaps the best way to avoid destructive behaviors is to first identify them and then develop a long term plan of recovery.  Obviously the first step is always going to be in raising awareness.  If you are not aware of a behavior pattern that you want to change then you are powerless to change it.  Likewise, if you do not recognize it when the behavior arises in your daily life, then you are also powerless to do anything about it.


 photo credit: Bruce W Martin II

So the first step is always going to be in raising your awareness of these behaviors.  And the only way to do that is to talk about them, think about them, write about them, and bring them to the forefront of your consciousness so that you can catch them when they are happening.

If you cannot even do this much then you need to take a step back and get some professional help.  I would suggest counseling or therapy so that another person can help you to learn how to recognize your behaviors when they occur.  You have to develop this awareness or you cannot make corrective changes.

Once you have learned how to identify your behavior addictions, then you need to start actively trying to change them.  I would suggest that you try to develop a zero tolerance policy for yourself if possible.  So for example, if your behavioral problem is gambling, then I would suggest: no gambling.  None whatsoever.  Now this becomes a problem when your addiction to something is a necessity in life, such as food addiction.  Then you need to become hyper aware of when you are eating for pleasure, and when you are eating to actually feed your body.  You can still have a zero tolerance policy with this, you just need to get honest with yourself so that you do not cheat and try to fool yourself at the same time.

Ultimately these behavioral problems stem from problems within your life that go beyond addiction.  You need to embrace recovery fully in order to get your life fixed in such a way that your behavior no longer is a seductive threat to you.  You can achieve this sort of life in recovery through hard work and holistic growth.

Basically, you need to embrace the idea of holistic, personal growth.  This means that you need to work on improving your life in every way as you grow in recovery.  You may work on physical fitness, for example, and feel better about yourself for doing daily exercise.  Or you may work on emotional balance, and feel better because your emotions are smooth and on an even keel throughout the day.  You may work on your relationships in your life, and feel better as you eliminate negative and toxic people from your life, and strengthen the bonds with those who are a positive influence.  And you may work on your spirituality, and strengthen your relationship with a higher power.  And so on.

This holistic approach is particularly powerful because it addresses every area that an addiction negatively affected.  Whatever damage your behavior was doing to your life can be restored with this sort of holistic approach.  And you can feel confident in your recovery that you are living a positive life now, because you will constantly be seeking new growth experiences.  This is actually the best form of relapse prevention, because you will not be tempted to go back to your old ways if your life is exciting, happy, and challenging with new growth experiences.

Can a Person Be Addicted to Work? Overcoming Work Addiction
Jun 6th, 2010 by Patrick

Many people have asked me if a person can become addicted to work, and if so, is there a good way to overcome work addiction.  My answer to that is that yes, people can definitely become addicted to work, and yes, there are ways to overcome this addiction and live a healthier life.There are several reasons that people become work addicts.  One is that they are escaping from something in their lives.   Maybe they have a bad relationship at home, or they might be addicted to spending.  Sometimes spending addiction can fuel a work addiction.  This can also be the case with compulsive buyers and compulsive shoppers.  They may need to work a lot more hours in order to support their spending habits.  Whatever the reason, being addicted to work is not healthy and should be corrected if possible.

MEN AT WORK IN DUBLIN


 photo credit: infomatique

So what are the steps to overcome this type of addiction?  Well you might start with a two pronged approach:

1) Identify the reason for the work addiction, and address that reason directly.

2) Strive for balance in your life and schedule mandatory leisure time.

These two things, when combined, can be very effective at restoring balance to your life and making you happier in the long run.

For example, say that you are a compulsive buyer or shopper.  This needs to be addressed immediately in order to stop the constant flow of money out of your life.  The compulsive shopper believes that they can buy lasting happiness with every new purchase that they make.  However, this rush of happiness that they get only lasts for a day or two, maybe a week at the most.  Then they have to buy something else.  They just move from one shiny object to the next, always thinking that the next purchase will be the thing that brings them lasting happiness forever.  Obviously this is no way to live, and they need to get a grip on their reckless spending before it totally consumes them.

You can do this in a number of ways, cutting up your credit cards, not going to the mall, not going into certain stores, and so on.  Basically you have to have a budget and stick to it.  No frivolous spending for at least 30 days.  You will find that the first few days will be miserable, but as you go along, you will find that you are just as happy as you were when you were spending every day.

So anyway, once you have the root cause of your work addiction under control, now you must restore balance to your life.  You can do this by forcing yourself to take leisure time.  Schedule the time just as if you were making out your work schedule.  Force yourself to do it.  At first, this may seem uncomfortable, but if you persist in taking some leisure time in your life, then you will get used to the balance eventually and be a happier person for it.

Another good thing to do is to work in a daily exercise routine.  This is a health benefit that goes beyond just getting into shape, and will help to bring balance to your life as well.  If you have exercise, leisure time, and work in your life, then you are already on your way to being very well rounded.  Add in friends and relationships and you have a very full life that now has a very smooth balance to it.

When you focus on just your work then you push all of these other aspects out of your life.  The key to restoring balance is to slowly bring them all back into your life, and consistently practice them on a regular basis.

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