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Addictions & Answers_Stress - Both Good and Bad - Can Affect Health and Trigger Addiction

Addictions & Answers_Stress - Both Good and Bad - Can Affect Health and Trigger Addiction

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Published by: David Moore, PhD CDP on Jan 15, 2011
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Stress - both good and bad -can affect health and triggeraddiction
ADDICTIONS & ANSWERSFriday, April 30th 2010, 4:00 AM
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As America ages, Parkinson's couldbecome more widespreadAustralia vows 'most hard-lineregime in the world' on cigarettelabelsCanadians boast longer lives, better health than Americans: studyDoes having more sex improve your health?BILL:People Magazinerecently askedJeremy Londonwhy he felt both his career and his marriage had ended in disaster.Addiction to prescription pain killers washis answer. “I was treated like royalty,” saidthe star of "Party of Five" and "7th Heaven." “It was hard for my brain to accept.” Dave, itsounds like while the outer world wasshowering him with money, fame andadulation -- DR. DAVE: --inside he felt he was not worthit. Prescription drugs can help blur thatnagging fear that you are a fraud.BILL: In my drinking days, I had one friendwho would never let me down. If I could just get past this time when someone - usuallymy weeping wife - was berating me for boozing so much; if I could bear her tears fiveminutes more, I could go around the corner and find my secret friend, a pint of gin, and Iwould be all right again. But, Doc, by using gin to numb myself up, I avoided facing that Iwas perpetually at war with myself - hated myself - because I HAD to drink to feel normal.DR. DAVE: Self-hatred can become lethal. WhenFreddie Prinze- one of the best knowncomics of the '70s - found thatQuaaludescould no longer bring him back to normal, heturned a shotgun on himself at age 22.BILL: So recovery begins when you come to see that this secret friend is not your friend,but an enemy who wants to kill you. Dave, how do you that?DR. DAVE: The first step is find the kind of intervention services that can help the addictsee the irrationality of using a chemical to weather every bump in life’s road.BILL: Note to readers: To understand the intervention process, or find a professional inyour area, go to the website for theAssociation of Intervention Specialists.DR. DAVE: Their partner organization is theNational Association of Addiction TreatmentProviders, one of the best addiction programs in the country.BILL: And the second step is to give up the false notion that what psychologists call '"lifestressors," are something to be feared.DR. DAVE: New challenges, satisfying and uncomfortable alike, cause life stress thatrequires new choices, decisions and growth. We never hear about what is called“eustress” - the exhilarating process of positive growth. It is the unpleasant cousin,“distress,” that gives the whole idea of stressful life changes a bad rap.BILL: Are you simply saying stress can be good or bad?DR. DAVE: Depending on how you deal with it. One solid piece of health research is theStress Test created by Holmes and Rahe. It compares what is going on in your life tolevels of stress that cause health problems.BILL: I assume that means the potential for relapse?DR. DAVE: Exactly!  The scale totals up all the stressors, no matter whether it comesfrom good or bad events in your life, to see if you are getting towards overload.BILL: I took theonline self-scoring versionof the Holmes and Rahe. Now I see why youaddiction specialists say to not make any major decisions in your first year of sobriety!Just changes in work hours or family relationships or health, good or bad, give yousomething like 25 points of stress. Get married to the person of your dreams, and youget hit with 50 points of stress!DR. DAVE: And even successfully graduating from rehab is worth 28 points of stress.Which is why going to 90 meetings in the first 90 days of recovery makes sense.BILL: And marital reconciliation?
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7th Heaven (TV Show)Party of Five (TV Show)Jeremy LondonStressMental HealthHealth and FitnessSeattleDavid MooreArgosy UniversityPeople MagazineFreddie PrinzeQuaalude1 comments |See All Comments »To comment,
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 [Discussion guidelines]12:04:53 PMApr 30, 2010Report Offensive PostExcellent column. I know very well about stressors. A week ago a verydear friend died, unexpectedly. I went to meetings and shared about itand I will share about this death until I no longer need to. I am notputting any time limits on sharing. I did not drink nor do I want to drink.Question: you mention the word relapse. Can you relapse from anaddiction? If, you get sober, you stay sober one day at a time but youare never cured. Relapse is an interesting word I hear at meetingstoo often. Alcoholism and drug addiction cannot be cured ( despitewhat some advertise on television.)
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DR. DAVE: That scores you 45 points. Plus, if you stop fighting with your family, you loganother 35 points. Which brings us back to Jeremy London. Change, whether it takes usup or down, requires the difficulty of adapting to the “new you”.BILL: For drunks like me, it also helps if you give up the notion that immediategratification is not fast enough.
Dr. David Mooreis a licensed psychologist and chemical dependency professional who isa graduate school faculty member at Argosy University 'sSeattlecampus. Bill Manville is a writer and novelist who has been sober for over 20 years. His most recent non-fictionwork, "Cool, Hip & Sober," is available at online bookstores.
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