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Redpoint Center Blog How to Talk to Teens About Addiction

How to Talk to Teens About Addiction

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How do you talk to a teen about addiction? Do we really need to talk to teens about addiction? Adolescence is a time of experimentation. Teens engage in high-risk behavior such as drug use, alcohol use, sexual relationships, and potentially illegal behaviors. Every year there are stories about how some of these teen behaviors have gone wrong. No parent wants their teen to be hurt. In addition, no one wants to see teens make decisions that can cause them harm. Or worse, that could affect the rest of their lives.

Talk to Teens About Addiction

Relationships are all about connection. Furthermore, this connection comes through communication. At our drug rehab, The Redpoint Center, in Northern Colorado, we work with families and teens to create healthy, realistic conversations about drug and alcohol use. We often receive questions from parents asking us how they can have conversations about addiction with their teens. Below are some tips to how to talk to your teen about their drug or alcohol use:

  • Think about the setting. It is not recommended to bring these topics up with other people around. Wait until your teen is relaxed and calm so you can truly connect.
  • Avoid a punitive or condemning tone. The idea is to have a conversation about drugs and alcohol that is reasonable. In addition, it is key to emphasize that no one is in trouble. You just want to learn more and share ideas on the topic.
  • Open-Ended questions spark discussion. Ask open-ended questions. These are questions that lead to deeper conversation. The answer would not be “Yes” or “No.” For instance, “What have you heard about opiates in school?” is a very different question than “Have you heard about the opiate problem in school?” The first question requires discussion.
  • Support positive peer awareness. Ask what your teen has heard and seen about drugs and alcohol in their peer groups. Has anyone been hurt? Has anyone had to get treatment?
  • Be curious and conversational. If you know your teen has used drugs and alcohol in the past, ask what the experience was like. This is not always easy to hear, we know. Try to stay curious without getting activated or worried. Ask a teen if they ever felt like they were having a problem with drugs and alcohol what would they do? In addition, make sure there is a clear support network. If you’re not the person they wish to come to, make sure they feel they have folks they can rely on. That might be a close family friend, a teacher, a priest or a pastor. The key is ensuring teens have the support they need.

Supporting Teen Mental Health and Awareness

The key to positive mental health and good communication is awareness. When we model awareness for our children, they learn through action, not just through words. This is very important. Model patience, kindness, and a willingness to forgo judgment. This doesn’t mean we don’t teach discernment. We do. But, we also share the wisdom of positive life skills for developing minds. And this means everything.

Here are some steps to cultivate deeper awareness.

  • Teach teens how to respond to trouble. Do teens know what to do if someone is in trouble? What if they’re offered a substance? Do you have a codeword or phrase to share within the family in case a teen is in a situation they don’t want to be in? This is a powerful way to forge a solid alliance of trust.
  • Set boundaries. Each parent or caregiver will need to decide how they want to relate to their loved one and substance use. It is completely acceptable to let your teen know what the response will be if they continue to use these substances, this can include consequences.
  • Be sure they talk. Most importantly, even if your teen does not want to talk to you about these subjects, encourage them to find someone, anyone who is a safe person to discuss these problems with. Let them know that they can come to you if they need help, that you will not punish them for seeking help.
  • Seek professional support. Lastly, research options for treatment and therapy in your local community before talking to your teen. If they disclose that they would be open to some type of treatment, make sure you have options on hand.

Seeking Guidance

What teens really need is us. Adults need to talk to teens about addiction and substance use. And, they need our attention, openness, and compassion. It is not always easy. Teens can test even the strongest adult. But the payoff of truly attending to our kids is beyond measure. If we cultivate relationships every step of the way, during a child’s life, we build trust. Hence, trust is the bedrock of a solid relationship.

Redpoint Center Teen Addiction Treatment

The Difference Between Adult and Teen Addiction Treatment

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What are the differences between youth and adult addiction treatment?

As rates of suicide, suicidal ideation, depression, anxiety, and substance use disorder rise in Colorado, and the United States, more teen addiction treatment expands. Furthermore, parents seek teen addiction treatment that also provides mental health counseling and professional support for the family unit. Hence, families, in general, are more aware of addiction and mental health concerns and their systemic nature. Therefore professional addiction treatment that supports the entire family is key.

Teen Addiction Factors and Treatment Modalities

Although the teen addiction treatment paradigm is generally the same as adult: Residential, PHP, IOP, OP, etc., the needs of adolescents vary significantly from adults. While, for adults, the predictive factors for recovery are employment, financial stability, community engagement, duration of use, the intensity of use, marriage, parenthood, mental health treatment, etc., for youth there are different predictive factors.

For teens and adolescents, the factors that support positive recovery are: educational engagement, positive family influences, positive peer influences, pro-social leisure activities, etc. In addition, high school drug and alcohol use and abuse concerns, as well as rates of youth mental health and suicidal ideation, drive deeper concern. Teen addiction treatment centers need to respond to these specific needs. Furthermore, teen treatment needs to provide options that don’t just treat the symptoms but address the cause.

Hence, both adult and adolescent care require professional support but teen treatment requires family integration.

Parenting Teens with Substance Use Disorder

It’s important that parents receive professional support during the teen addiction treatment process. When an adolescent is struggling it impacts the entire family. In addition, there is often a previous trauma or behavioral pattern that informs destructive habits. Consequently, parents need guidance and therapeutic care during treatment. Along with professional support, parents need tips on dealing with teens when it comes to teen rehab treatment.

Here are some simple tips to remember.

  1. Breathe. It’s going to be OK. Stress plays a role in mental health and substance use struggles. Minimize it as best as you can. This means slowing down, taking a breath, and remembering that deep breaths help your parasympathetic nervous system mitigate stress.
  2. Be compassionate. It’s scary for you AND your teen to navigate this time. So hold compassion for all involved.
  3. Practice self-care. When we care for ourselves, we can show up for others as our best selves. This is crucial for parents.

Addiction Treatment & Professional Support

At The Redpoint Center, a teen and adult addiction treatment in Longmont, Colorado, we offer specific treatment programs that address the individual. In our adult program, we focus on practical recovery tools so clients maintain their sobriety while living in the community. For our youth treatment program, we focus on family relationships, educational support, leisure activities that expose teens and young adults to healthy habits that do not involve substance use. In addition, we provide parent support groups and parenting workshops. Parent counseling is a key part of any good treatment plan. Compassionate care treats clients holistically, meeting them where they are.

“It’s important to treat the individual compassionately, based on where they are in their lives.”— Cody Gardner, Founder of The Redpoint Center.

As always, when considering a treatment program for your loved one, it is recommended to ask questions about how that treatment center will specifically address your loved one’s needs.

Redpoint Center Treatment Interventions

What is an Intervention?

By | Addiction, Alcohol rehab, Longmont Drug Rehab, Mental Health, Treatment | No Comments

Interventions are a strong first component of recovery. Not only do they help families through a complex process, but they also provide professional guidance for treatment. Furthermore, interventionists help reduce the burden of shame and stigma. This value is immeasurable. Over the past 15 years, the stigma of addiction in America is decreasing. What used to be considered a moral or ethical failing is now considered a treatable condition. Groups like Facing Addiction, SAHMSA, and Shatterproof, work tirelessly to help others. In addition, these nonprofits help Americans understand that addiction and alcoholism can be overcome through treatment, communities, and cultural compassion. Interventionists do the same and offer powerful support along the way.

As more people learn that addiction is a treatable condition, people ask, “How can I get someone help?” Furthermore, when someone is in destructive patterns, it can be hard to stop. Also, it can be even harder to convince them they need to change their ways.

What is an Intervention?

Premiering on March 6, 2005, “Intervention,” an A&E TV show, depicts family struggles when helping a loved one to seek drug rehab or mental health treatment. The show depicts participants using drugs and alcohol and subjects use interventionists as a wake-up call for family members. Interventionists are a key part of the process.

Interventionists usually make contact with the family, to start, to get a better understanding of what’s happening. Following an information gather process, the interventionist meets with the family to determine a course of action. In addition, they may work with clinical support to ensure the methods chosen are sound. They may also use various tactics to implore the person to accept treatment help. Following acceptance, the person goes immediately to treatment, generally for a minimum of 60–90 days.

In 15 seasons of the TV show, only 4 participants refused treatment. While the TV show can be helpful for families to understand the process there are many factors that can impact the experience. Therefore, it is best to find the right interventionist for each situation.

Questions to Ask Regarding Interventions

  • What credential does the interventionist possess? There most highly coveted credential is the Certified Intervention Professional (CIP).
  • What style of intervention will be used? Johnson Model, Love first , ARISE Model, Not all models are equal.
  • Is the interventionist a licensed therapist or registered psychotherapist?
  • What will happen if my loved one refuses? Will you continue to help?
  • Is there any type of follow-up from the interventionist following next steps?
  • Does the interventionist help with aftercare.

Make sure all of your questions are answered. As an advocate for your family, you have every right to make sure you have all the information you need. This is critical. It is also vital that you gain the support and trust of a seasoned professional in the field.  At The Redpoint Center, in Longmont, Colorado, we can help with conducting an intervention. Our licensed, trained staff conduct dozens of interventions a year. Supporting families as they navigate the complex system of treatment is a core component of our mission. We regularly refer families to different treatment center’s when our program is not the right fit. This is what a good interventionist does—they work for you.

Call today for a complimentary phone assessment. We are here for you and your family every step of the way.

You are not alone.

Redpoint Center Addiction Drug Rehab Information

The Truth About Addiction Drug Rehab

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Addiction drug rehab can be scary words. If you are thinking about addiction treatment or alcohol treatment, you are not alone. It’s so important to know this. Many have been right where you are. The truth is, it can feel overwhelming. And you may wonder whether this is something you really need. That’s OK. You’re right where you need to be. In addition, welcome to the start of a wonderful new life. Only those who are brave and committed will see it through. That’s you. Below are some tips to help navigate the process. Also, we offer details about the varied phases. Ask questions. Seek professional input. The key is being open to change. Therefore, you need support, but know that you can do it. Help is available.

The Facts About Addiction Drug Rehab

When thinking about addiction drug rehab or alcohol rehab it is best to understand the options for treatment. Addiction can be a long road, but with professional support, healing is possible. In addition, when we commit to self-care and healthy living, we can live a life beyond our imaginings.

Here is the basic continuum of care for substance abuse treatment.

If you or someone you know is thinking about rehab, the first step is to speak to someone. A professional in the field can assess you for which level of care is the best fit. There are other types of addiction drug rehab treatment, but below are the ASAM levels of care:

  • Detoxification, otherwise known as detox. Detox is
    • Usually a 3-7 day medical process in a hospital or medical setting.
    • Overseen by a licensed medical doctor and registered nurses.
    • Designed to help someone become physically free and clear of the drugs and/or alcohol.
    • May include group therapy and case management to determine next steps and aftercare.
  • RTC or Primary Residential Treatment:
    • Is the general type of rehab we think of when we think of treatment.
    • Usually lasts between 30 and 90 days.
    • Has a medical provider onsite and includes group and individual therapy.
    • Is designed to continue stabilizing, educating and preparing the person for aftercare.
    • Can include many holistic therapies such as equine, yoga, nutrition, etc.

Addiction Care and Intensive Outpatient

Many believe that RTC is the main type of treatment. However, there is unsubstantial evidence to concur that 30 days of treatment can fix or solve what for many is a multi-year, sometimes multi-decade condition.

  • PHP (Partial Hospitalization Program) or Day Treatment:
    • The next stepdown level from RTC and it includes a person living at home and attending 5 days per week, 5 hours per day or outpatient treatment.
    • Includes medical services, case management, group therapy, and individual addiction therapy.
    • Can be done for those that cannot leave their job or home for 30-90 days.
    • Also is a stepdown for those coming from RTC and re-integrating.
    • Most times lasts 2-4 weeks.
  • IOP (Intensive Outpatient):
    • Consists of 3 days per week for 3 hours per day.
    • This level of care can be completed for most without having to sacrifice their jobs or families.
    • Generally is both mornings and evenings.
    • Can be completed at a rate of 5 days per week in certain situations.
    • Usually includes individual therapy, group therapy, case management, and urine drug testing.
    • Typically lasts a minimum of 90 days.
    • Most often does not include medical or nursing services.
  • OP (Outpatient):
    • Outpatient care can be anything that is less than 9 hours (IOP) level of care.
    • OP generally consists of 1-2 group therapy sessions, ongoing urine drug testing, case management, and individual therapy.

Individualized Care

Taking the first steps toward recovery can feel like a solitary experience. But there is support all around, once you decide you’re ready to make a change. And rest assured, once you make the decision, the rest will unfold for you to live your best life.

“I think one of the most important things to remember when starting on the path to recovery is that you are not alone. It can be hard to hear, but what you’re experiencing is not unique. In addition, there is a solid, loving community of recovery waiting to support you on your journey. You just need to be willing to ask for help,” says Cody Gardner, founder of the Redpoint Center.

At The Redpoint Center, in Longmont, Colorado, we apply compassionate care to ensure clients are held every step of the way. Although we offer “PHP” and “IOP” levels of care, we are much more than an IOP. During treatment, each participant receives the PHP/IOP services. In addition, we provide individualized nutrition, fitness, recovery coaching, family, and medical services. Furthermore, as each person has unique needs, we create a compelling vision for the future. Hence, this begins with individualized, high quality, recovery-oriented services.

If you or someone you know is thinking about addiction drug rehab in Colorado, or anywhere in the country, contact us. You can call our expert team at (888) 509-3153. We are here to help. If our services don’t fit, we will personally help you find resources that do.

Redpoint Center Blog Post Vaping Crisis

The Facts About the Vaping Crisis

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Vaping is in the news a lot lately. Many are calling it a vaping crisis. Children are being hospitalized. Parents worry. Following years of questions and speculation, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) is taking action. On Friday, September 6, 2019, the CDC issued a formal investigation notice regarding the effects of vaping and e-cigarettes. According to the government organization, vaping is connected to over 450 cases of lung illness and hospitalization. Five deaths directly related to vaping are confirmed in California, Illinois, Indiana, Minnesota, and Oregon.

What Vaping Does to the Body

What is the vaping crisis about? Vaping nicotine is dangerous to one’s health—potentially no less harmful than cigarettes. And due to the lack of regulation, users can’t be sure what they’re ingesting when they use e-cigarettes. We know nicotine is a toxic, deadly substance. It is responsible for approximately 1300 deaths per day.

“Tobacco kills more than 480,000 people annually – more than AIDS, alcohol, car accidents, illegal drugs, murders and suicides combined. Tobacco costs the U.S. approximately $170 billion in health care expenditures and more than $150 billion in lost productivity each year.”   —says Tobacco Free Kids, a nonprofit dedicated to protecting youth from the harmful products

In addition, nicotine raises blood pressure and adrenaline, which can increase heart rate. It is directly connected to the risk of a heart attack. Vaping brings forth many questions. Without proper labeling or monitoring, we can’t know what one is ingesting. There is a lot we don’t know about vaping. Furthermore, we don’t know how it affects physical health over time. This past week, the FDA sent a warning to a vaping brand, Juul, letting them know they illegally market their products as safer than cigarettes. The tobacco industry overall has a long, detailed history of predatory marketing practices. The famous organization truth.org publicly campaigned for years to bring these facts to light. Marketing to younger people creates lifelong addictive behaviors. Therefore, lifelong consumers.

Health Alerts

Habitual nicotine use can lead to addiction. And that’s just one concern. Over the past few months, there have been many hospitalizations due to vaping and approximately five deaths. Doctors don’t know what’s causing the epidemic. The symptoms might start with coughing, shortness of breath, fever, and lung congestion, to start but other potential symptoms include headaches, weight loss, and diarrhea.

“Many victims have ended up with acute respiratory distress syndrome, a life-threatening condition in which fluid builds up in the lungs and prevents the oxygen people’s bodies need to function from circulating in the bloodstream.” —reports the Washington Post

Nicotine, Vaping, and Addiction

Studies show that for those who struggle with substance use and alcohol use disorders, cessation of smoking and nicotine products play a role in long-term recovery. Statistics on the issue range, but quitting smoking can raise long term abstinence from substance and alcohol use disorders anywhere from 15% to 40%. For many early in recovery, nicotine is hard to quit, but it greatly benefits long-term, sustainable sobriety.

Vaping in Colorado

Just 2 weeks ago, Boulder, Colorado, officials moved forward with plans to ban the sale of flavored electronic cigarette products. In addition to banning flavored e-cigarette products, Boulder City Council is asking voters to move the minimum purchase age to 21 for all tobacco products.

Colorado, specifically, has seen a rise in vaping and other e-cigarette consumption. The market grows and e-cigarettes are money-makers. With new warnings from the CDC, it re-enforces the idea that vaping, and e-cigarettes are equally, if not more problematic than traditional smoking.

The Redpoint Center, in Longmont Colorado, can help those that wish to find freedom from substance use disorders. This includes recovery from vaping or smoking. In teen addiction treatment the problems of vaping and smoking are especially prevalent.

We believe in a holistic model of care that helps to provide support, medication, therapy, and community immersion for those that are struggling. If you or someone you know is struggling with any type of addiction, contact us. We’re here to help.

The Importance of Self-Care in Recovery

By | Addiction, Alcohol rehab, Community, Longmont Drug Rehab, Mental Health, Therapy, Treatment | No Comments

Self-care in recovery is key. After struggling, a person can believe that they are not good enough. And they may feel they don’t measure up. This is what I thought about myself.

In active addiction, I didn’t take care of myself. I wouldn’t wear my seat belt all the time. In addition, I had a bad diet. Furthermore, at times I would even skip showering.

Substance use disorder negatively affects self-perception, mood, motivation. Also, it can hinder personal well-being. It can make you feel overwhelmed and bad about yourself. Hence, at times it seems there is no way out.

When I finally got sober I wasn’t sure what self-care meant anymore. There were mentors to show me the way, including our founder at Redpoint. I also internalized self-care as being selfish. During my active addiction, I had been selfish for so long that the last thing I wanted to do was pay attention to the things that I needed.

Self-Care in Recovery — The Opposite of Selfish

I realize now that there is a difference between being selfish and taking care of yourself. What I learned was that you need to implement self-care when you get sober so that you can replace selfish, addictive behavior with healthy alternatives.

Once you are addicted to alcohol or other drugs, it is common to use these addictive behaviors to cope with negative feelings. Some even use these addictive behaviors as a type of reward system for themselves.

During my active addiction, it got to the point where I would tell myself, “I worked all day today, so I deserve to get high.” Or “my boyfriend made me mad, so I can get high to make myself feel better.”

Now, I take care of myself. Self-care in recovery means I work out, do art, get my nails done, and take time out of my day to just sit and think. By doing this, I can change my own thoughts about myself and my life.

Now, the more I take care of myself and the better I feel, the more I want to keep that feeling going. I also know that in order to keep this positive feeling going, I need to keep working on myself, help others and maintain my sobriety.  This self-growth is an important part of self-care.

When I was using, I couldn’t take care of myself, let alone help someone else. Now that I take time out for myself, I have more positive energy to help other people.

I’m a huge fan of self-care now. If you haven’t tried it, I would HIGHLY recommend it. Don’t miss out. You deserve to be truly happy.

-Samantha

Is Addiction a Family Disease? 

By | Addiction, Alcohol rehab, Community, Longmont Drug Rehab, Mental Health, Therapy, Treatment | No Comments

Is addiction a family disease? What does this mean? Those suffering from addictive behaviors are suffering. And their loved ones suffer immensely, too. It goes without saying that living with substance use disorder is incredibly difficult. 

When someone using drugs begins to hurt their family, they may experience various behavioral symptoms. They may show disrespect to their siblings and parents. In addition, they might lash out, challenge boundaries, or project their emotional struggles. Furthermore, other family members may modify their behaviors to manage the stress of it all. Some may try and help the individual using drugs or alcohol to protect them from getting into trouble. Thus, becoming the enabler. Others may take on the role of caretaker and attempt to compensate, providing care that may be lacking. These are only a few examples of the dysfunctional roles that family members might play.

Addiction: A Family Disease

In a recent study at Texas Tech University, the saying, “addiction is a family disease” took on new meaning. Not only is the addicted brain affected by the substances. In addition, the family members’ brains actually change as well. The study found that family members suffer as a result of the addict’s behavior. The prefrontal cortex of one using substances shuts down when faced with temptation or triggered to use drugs. Research shows the family members’ prefrontal cortex malfunctions as well. Hence, studies validate that addiction is a family disease. Parents and siblings can actually crave patterns. They seek to rescue and care-take their addicted family member. Therefore, this is similar to the substance abuser who craves their substance of choice. 

The conclusion of the Texas Tech study, states the following: 

“The present study provides preliminary evidence that family members’ symptomatic behaviors associated with a loved one with a substance use disorder (such as fear-based behaviors), as hypothesized, may be related to altered brain functioning. Given these findings, problematic symptoms and behaviors may likely not decrease simply because the loved one struggling with a substance use disorder finds abstinence or engages in a process of recovery. Should altered pathways be present in the brains of affected family members as has been found in individuals struggling with substance use disorders, it becomes of great importance to help family members recognize their own personal need for support, therapeutic treatment, and/or recovery. Part of the recovery process should include family-based therapeutic support, and it is therefore important to make sure that the appropriate systemic and relationship training is available to helping professionals.” 

Family Therapy Changes Outcomes

This study proves the concept of addiction as a family disease. The entire family needs to participate in treatment. Family members who turn to support groups such as Al-Anon or partake in family therapy find great success. Consequently, they are able to change their behavior. Also, families learn “the three C’s”: You didn’t cause it, you can’t cure it, and you can’t control it. If the alcohol or substance user is the only one getting treatment, it’s a vacuum. And then they go back into an environment where the rest of the family is still unwell. Hence, the individual’s likelihood of success goes down. The disease of addiction is viciously contagious. Therefore, it is important for everyone to seek help. 

If you or a loved one is struggling with alcohol addiction, drug addiction, mental health problems, The Redpoint Center is here to help. You are not alone. The Redpoint Center treats both adults and youth struggling with addiction and alcohol. To learn more, call us 888-509-3153.

Canine-Assisted Psychotherapy in the Treatment of Addiction

By | Addiction, Community, Media, Mental Health, Misc, Therapy, Treatment | No Comments

Canine-Assisted Psychotherapy utilizes therapy dogs in mental health and substance abuse treatment. Animals enhance the benefits of therapeutic modalities. As an animal-friendly program, we see the impact animals have each day. Furthermore, there are many ways that dogs impact us through the human-animal bond.

Research shows Canine-Assisted Psychotherapy benefits:

  • Behavioral problems
  • Addiction
  • Learning Disabilities
  • Autism
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • PTSD
  • Treatment Resistance

Dogs provide unconditional love and acceptance. This can promote health and healing when used in substance abuse and mental health therapy. Also, this positivity provides clients with healthy bonds. The connection creates an opportunity for clients to feel self-love and self-acceptance. Furthermore, animals can help decreases stress and anxiety. Hence, this is positive for the therapeutic process.

Dogs, Emotions, and Self-Regulation

Dogs provide immediate feedback. And they connect on nuanced levels. They can reflect emotions. Also, they help people to identify emotions and practice emotional regulation. Therefore, this allows clients to practice healthy coping skills. This is enhanced with the support of a clinical therapist.

The therapeutic experience can be challenging and stressful at times. A therapy dog can help to decrease anxiety. In addition, time with animals can increase feelings of well-being. This value is significant. As a result, physical activity and dog training can help to improve physical health, communication, and patience.

Benefits of Canine-Assisted Therapy include:

  • Strengthen the therapeutic alliance between therapist and client
  • Increase self-confidence
  • Improve psychosocial functioning
  • Decrease symptoms of anxiety, depression, and PTSD.
  • Decrease Stress
  • Improve communication skills
  • Better Mood
  • Improve anger management
  • Better physical health

It is important to ensure that both the client and the therapy dog are comfortable. Also, it is key to ensure that both will benefit from the therapeutic encounter. Consequently, this happens prior to engaging in canine-assisted interventions.

At Redpoint, we are lucky to have our own therapy dog named Parker. Parker is generally in the office on most days of the week. He is happy to sit in on a client’s therapy session if he isn’t busy chewing his toys.

Studies reveal the efficacy of animal-assisted modalities. In conclusion, animals have a positive impact. Our furry friends bring love and more!

If you or a loved one is struggling with alcohol addiction, drug addiction, or mental health concerns, we are here to help. The Redpoint Center treats both adults and youth struggling with addiction and alcohol abuse. Learn more about our program.  Call us any time 888-509-3153.

More information on Canine-Assisted Psychotherapy:

  • Incorporating animal-assisted therapy in mental health treatments for adolescents: A systematic review of Canine-Assisted Psychotherapy

Melanie G. Jones, Simon M. Rice, Susan M. Cotton

  • Research on Benefits of Canine-Assisted Therapy for Adults in Nonmilitary Settings

Janet S. Knisely, Sandra B. Barker, and Randolph T. Barker

  • Patient benefit of dog-assisted interventions in health care: a systematic review Martina Lundqvis, Per Carlsson, Rune Sjödahl, Elvar Theodorssonand   Lars-Åke Levin

The Redpoint Center Staff’s Favorite Songs About Addiction, Drug Use and Recovery

By | Addiction, Community, Media, Mental Health, Misc, Therapy, Treatment | No Comments

Stories of addiction and drug abuse have worked themselves into our culture in the form of books, music, theater and songs for centuries.   Often times, a song we love is actually about addiction and drug abuse and we aren’t even aware of it until we take the time to really look at and listen to the lyrics.  This isn’t surprising, considering the fact that addiction and drug use is common among singers, songwriters and musicians that we listen to on a daily basis.  We also know of a multitude of extremely talented singers and members of popular bands who have died from addiction and drug overdoses., so it is not uncommon to find stories about drug and addiction in their music.

 

Just last month, the staff at The Redpoint Center, an outpatient substance abuse treatment program in Longmont, Colorado, shared their favorite movies about addiction and recovery.  We therefore found the next logical step was for us to recount our favorite songs about addiction, drug use and recovery.  The following is a summary of our musings, in no particular order, along with a link to the song and the staff member who chose it.

 

  • Semi-Charmed Life by Third Eye Blind- This song is the title track from the rock band’s self-titled debut album that was released in 1997.  Despite the easy going and peppy pop sound of this song, it is actually about using crystal meth and the shiny looking outside of people who are sick and hurting on the inside.ur medical director, Dr. Honor Ashbaugh.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=beINamVRGy4

 

  • Under the Bridge by The Red Hot Chili Peppers- “Under the Bridge” appears on the Red Hot Chili Pepper’s fifth album, titled Blood, Sweat, Sex and Magik. Anthony Keidis, the rock band’s lead singer, wrote the lyrics of this song to depict feelings of loneliness and despondency, and to relay the impact that a heroin addiction had on his life.  This song was picked as a favorite by our clinical director, Nikki Summers, and therapist Quddus Maus.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GLvohMXgcBo

 

  • Hurt by Nine Inch Nails- Hurt is a song that appears on Nine Inch Nail’s second studio album, The Downward Spiral, released in 1994. The song includes references to self-harm and heroin addiction.  Others contend that the song acts as s suicide note written by the song’s protagonist.  Nonetheless, the entire album is about a period in the singer’s life when he abused drugs and fell into a deep depression.  This song, and the cover by Johnny Cash, was picked as a favorite by The Redpoint Center’s founder, Cody Gardner.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kPz21cDK7dg

 

  • Hurt cover by Johnny Cash- In 2002, Johnny Cash covered the song “Hurt”.  Reznor, the Nine Inch Nails lead singer, said he was flattered when Johnny Cash wanted to cover this song, but was worried that it was a “bit gimmicky”.  After seeing the video, however, which was best music video of the year by Grammy’s and CMA Awards, Reznor liked what he saw.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vt1Pwfnh5pc

 

  • Soul to Squeeze by The Red Hot Chili Peppers- “Soul to Squeeze” was released as a B-side on the The Red Hot Chili Peppers “Give it Away” and “Under the Bridge.” It was then released as a single in 1993.  “Soul to Squeeze” Is thought by some as depicting the entire mental process between addiction and recovery. It focuses heavily on what recovery has to offer rather than glorifying or self-deprecating the addictive thought process.  This was picked  a asfavorite by The Redpoint Center’s Drew Dyer..

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0XcN12uVHeQ

 

  • Lost in the Cold by Twiddle- “Lost in the Cold” was also picked as a favorite by Drew Dyer. In his own words, the song reminds him of “grabbing onto the fear of recovery and facing it rather than hiding from it.”

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u0NyOcf7h8c

 

  • Heroin by The Velvet Underground- The song “Heroin” was released by The Velvet Underground on their 1967 debut album called The Velvet Underground & Nico. The song was written by Lou Reed and beautifully depicts heroin use and abuse.  The song “Heroin” neither endorses nor condemns the use of heroin, which has made it a troubling song in the eyes of some listeners.  This song was picked as a favorite by The Redpoint Center’s wellness coordinator, Shane Niemeyer.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qFLw26BjDZs

 

  • Not if You Were the Last Junkie on Earth, by The Dandy Warhols- This song was released in 1997 on the second studio album released by The Dandy Warhols, called The Dandy Warhols Come Down.  The song, according to front man Courtney Taylor-Taylor, was written about his girlfriend (at the time) who got addicted to heroin while he was on tour. This song was picked as a favorite by The Redpoint Center therapist, Desmond Cohen.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=APrpB-i4d_E

 

  • Down on the Bottom by The New Basement Tapes- Down on the Bottom was the first song recorded by The New Basement Tapes on their album titled “Lost on the River.” The lyrics were written by Bob Dylan in 1967, and are interpreted to be about drinking and hitting rock bottom with nowhere to go but up.  This song was picked as a favorite by The Redpoint Center’s Katie Fischer.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cXXEG6kY96E

 

  • You’ll Never Walk Alone by The Dropkick Murphy’s- This song first appeared in a 1945 musical called Carousel. It has been covered by many different bands and musicians, and appeared on The Dropkick Murphys album “11 Short Stories of Pain and Glory” when it was released in 2017.  This song, explains bassist and vocalist Ken Casey, came on when he was leaving a wake for a friend who had overdosed on opiates.  It summed up to him how he was feeling at the time- sad but knowing that there is hope. This song was picked as a favorite by The Redpoint Center’s therapist Stephanie Winkler.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q8SK8JHKn1k

 

  • Lover I Don’t Have to Love by Bright Eyes- “Lover I Don’t Have to Love” was released by the American, Indie Rock band as a single in 2002. The Redpoint Center’s family advocate, Taylor Cole, picked this song as a favorite about addiction and shared her words.  “I listened to this song throughout the throws of my addiction when I was touring with a band the year before I got sober. I knew I was an addict and I was not ready to get sober. I wanted to put myself into so much pain it would force me to get sober or I would just not make it. Every time I listen to it, I remember that feeling and am grateful that I don’t have to live like that anymore.”

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iuXkhE0VMcw

 

  • Staying Alive by Cursive- The song “Staying Alive”, by Cursive, was also picked by Taylor Cole as her favorite song about recover. She quotes, “Bad ass song that makes my insides feel warm and fuzzy. Choosing life and looking forward.”

 

 

  • Suicidal Thoughts by Biggie Smalls- “Suicidal Thoughts” was the last song on the debut album, “Ready to Die”, released by Notorious B.I.G. in 1994. Although not strictly about addiction, the song was listed as very meaningful to The Redpoint Center’s founder, Cody Gardner, who states that he “used to write the verses of this song on all his notebooks” while in rehab.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s4M8GjgfG9k

 

  • Alive by Sia- “Alive” is the lead single from the Australian singer songwriter’s 7th studio album, titled “This is Acting.” The Redpoint Center’s admissions director, Rachael Messaros, notes that this song is one of her favorites about recovery. In her words, “On my 6th sobriety birthday I put all of my songs on shuffle, and this song came on. I cried because I was like, holy shit, I survived.”

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t2NgsJrrAyM

 

  • Billy Walker, by Israel Darling- Billy Walker was released in on the album by Israel Darling titled “Dinosaur Bones & Mechanical Hands.” This song was picked as a favorite by one of The Redpoint Center’s therapists, Jay Fullam. In his own words, “I heard this song when I got sober at an open mic.  It really stuck with me and I listened to it regularly during my first year of sobriety.”

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q2rS0chMWFw

 

  • Needle and the Damage Done by Neil Young–“Needle and The Damage Done” first appeared on the Harvest album which was released in 1972. This song was written by Neil Young to describe the destruction caused by the heroin addiction of musicians he knew, including his friend and Crazy Horse bandmate, Danny Whitten. It previews the theme of a later album, “Tonight’s the Night”, that expresses Young’s grief over the subsequent overdose deaths of both Whitten and Bruce Berry, who was a roadie for Young and Crazy Horse. This song was picked as a favorite by The Redpoint Center’s Executive Director, Donnie Hagenbart.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hd3oqvnDKQk

 

 

  • Rehab by Amy Winehouse- Rehab appeared on Winehouse’s second and final album, Back to Black, in 2006. The lyrics are in fact autobiographical, and describe Winehouse’s refusal to enter into a rehabilitation clinic for substance abuse and addiction. The song won three Grammy awards at the 50th Winehouse, as most know, subsequently died of alcohol poisoning on July 23rd, 2011.  This song was picked as a favorite by one of the Redpoint Center’s adolescent therapists, Bridget Camacho.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KUmZp8pR1uc

 

  • Mansion by NF- The song Mansion, by NF (which stands for Nathan Feurstein) is a song on this American rapper’s debut album, titled the same, which was released on March 31, 2015. This song was picked by The Redpoint Center’s Samantha Jackson. In her own words, “I like this song because for so long I was in my head about a lot of things and I thought keeping that to myself was a lot safer than talking about it or getting help. Also, I thought using was a good way to take care of my problems, but it just acted as a temporary fix. This song is a good reminder to myself that I don’t want to be in such a dark place again. It also puts me in the mindset of when I was still using and how much I didn’t like what I was doing.”

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uF5QE3-ox4o

 

 

We hope you enjoy this compilation of The Redpoint Center staff’s favorite songs about addiction, drug abuse and recover.  If you think you or your loved one might have an addiction or problem with drug or alcohol use, The Redpoint Center can help.  Please call us with any questions, as we’re here to help.

 

If you or a loved one is struggling with alcohol addiction, drug addiction, Mental Health problems, The Redpoint Center is here to help. The Redpoint Center treats both adults and youth struggling with addiction and alcohol. To learn more about our Longmont Drug Rehab, call 888-509-3153.

EMDR in the Treatment of Addiction

By | Addiction, Community, Mental Health, Therapy, Treatment | No Comments

EMDR to Address Trauma During Addiction Treatment

EMDR is a powerful tool for healing trauma. Studies show that trauma is a risk factor for addiction and substance use disorder. In addition, treatment of trauma is key for individuals to recover from addiction. At the Redpoint Center, we use several different types of treatments for trauma. These modalities differ from talk therapy. One reason talk therapy doesn’t always effectively address trauma is that the memories are stored in the hippocampus, part of the midbrain. Talk therapy doesn’t effectively access these memories stored in the midbrain—it tends to involve the utilization of our frontal lobes. Furthermore, trauma is often stored in the body, requiring somatic attention. Hence, EMDR is a powerful intervention.

Using EMDR to Cope With Trauma and Stress

EMDR (eye movement desensitization and reprocessing) therapy is a positive tool. It helps us access and process memories stored in the midbrain. Our use of EMDR is expanding and helping more people with issues that cause distress. People with substance abuse issues commonly have a history of trauma. In addition, they struggle to cope with stress and often benefit from EMDR.

Research shows that EMDR causes changes in brain chemistry that reverse the damage caused by trauma or acute stress. Bessel van der Kolk, an expert, and researcher, in brain chemistry and trauma, shares several brain studies to support this approach. His PET scan photographs of the brain before and after EMDR sessions show the benefit.

EMDR and the Brain

The PET scans of one who is remembering trauma light the amygdala in the brain. This is part of the limbic system that is responsible for emotions, survival instincts, and memory. The amygdala is activated when one experiences trauma and acute stress. It is the “smoke detector” that scans the environment and lets us know of a threat or event that is relevant to survival.

When people experience a threat the amygdala becomes activated. The frontal lobe, where cognition and understanding take place, is quite dim because the amygdala is more heightened. Hence, when people are experiencing “normal” day-to-day happenings, the frontal lobe is bright and outshines the amygdala.

Studies Show the Benefits of EMDR

In one study, van der Kolk had several individuals go through EMDR sessions. Before the sessions, the PET scans showed a brain in a trauma state. After the EMDR sessions, the brain appeared normal when the client was bringing to mind the same stressful event. The memory was no longer held as a traumatic memory but as a normal, processed memory.

We found another study where van der Kolk showed that subjects with a complicated traumatic history, after six EMDR sessions, had greatly reduced PTSD symptoms that continued to decrease even more for up to six months after the study.

We do not know exactly how psychotherapy affects the brain’s neurobiology. However, we do know that when people are upset, their brains cannot process information normally. EMDR is similar to what occurs naturally during dreaming or REM (rapid eye movement) sleep.

During REM sleep, the information from the day is being processed. When people experience trauma, the amygdala becomes hyperactive and stores traumatic information and memory. This makes it difficult to process this information. EMDR creates the same stimulation that occurs during REM sleep. This assists the brain in processing the trauma or issues related to stress.  The end result is that people see disturbing information in a new and less distressing way. Consequently, they are better able to process information.

Getting Started with EMDR in Treatment

We know addiction is connected to acute stress and often trauma. Once a client has dealt with trauma and acute stress through EMDR, he or she is better able to cope. Therefore, they experience healthy relationships, cope with stress, and live a happier life.  In addition, people can recover from addiction since they are no longer, or less affected, by their distress.

If you or a loved one is struggling with alcohol addiction, drug addiction, Mental Health problems, The Redpoint Center is here to help. The Redpoint Center treats both adults and youth struggling with addiction and alcohol. Learn more about our Longmont Drug Rehab, by calling 888-509-3153.

We are here to help.



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The Redpoint Center
1375 Kenn Pratt Blvd
Suite 300
Longmont, CO, 80501


Phone

(888) 509-3153


 

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