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7 of the Best Tips on How to Help Someone Battling Addiction

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There are few experiences more difficult or heartbreaking than watching someone you love struggle with addiction. When someone you love is being controlled by their addiction you’re often left feeling helpless and powerless. It seems like there’s nothing you can do to help them.

Even if you feel like there’s nothing you can do to help someone who’s battling addiction, there are some ways you can be helpful. Wondering what you can do? Here are a few suggestions.

1. Educate Yourself

There are a lot of persistent misconceptions about addiction that make it really hard to understand.

For example, many people still believe that addiction is a choice. They believe that if the addict tried hard enough to quit or wanted to quit enough that they would be able to quit. This belief is based on the misconception that addicts are people with weak willpower, who cannot “just say no.”

In reality, addiction is a disease of both the body and the mind. The disease of the body manifests as the physical addiction to the addict’s substance of choice. Addiction is also a mental illness that manifests as an obsession with consuming the addict’s substance of choice, often to escape co-existing mental illnesses like depression and anxiety.

If you want to help someone struggling with addiction, you’ll need to understand how the disease of addiction works, how it manifests in their life, and how it can be treated. One of the best resources for learning about addiction is the book Alcoholics Anonymous, which is the basis of the 12-step program of the same name.

Books published by Hazelden Publishing are also very helpful resources for understanding addiction.

If you’re going to turn to the Internet for your information about addiction, be sure to find reputable sources. Webpages that end in .org or .gov are more likely to have accurate information.

Being well-informed about the disease of addiction and why addicts act the way they do will help you to talk to your loved one with compassion and empathy.

2. Let Them Know You Care

Addiction is often called the disease of loneliness, and anyone who’s battling addiction can tell you why. Addiction isolates people from those they love because the addiction becomes more important than relationships. And many addicts end up ruining their close relationships because their behavior, driven their addiction, causes them to hurt those they love the most.

This leaves most addicts feeling like there isn’t anyone in the world who cares about them. So, if you do care about someone who is struggling with addiction, it’s important to let them know you still care.

Tell them how much you love them and how important they are to you. And tell them that you care about their health and what happens to them.

Finding out that someone does, in fact, care about them and what happens to them will let the addict know that they are not as alone as they believe and that what they do to themselves does matter to someone else.

3. Tell Them the Truth

While addicts do need to hear that people care about them, they also need to hear the difficult truths about how their behavior is impacting others. Many people who love addicts fear telling them the truth because they don’t want to upset the addict, who may lash out at them or use substances as a result of the uncomfortable conversation.

Though it’s hard to do, it’s very important to be honest with those you love who are struggling with addiction. They need to know that their behavior doesn’t impact just them. They need to know that their behavior is hurting you. They need to know that you worry about them all the time.

If they get angry at you and refuse to listen, accept that they aren’t yet ready to hear the truth. Try again later. But no matter what, keep being honest. Sugarcoating how you feel about their addiction won’t help them at all.

4. Encourage Them to Get Help

To get and stay sober, addicts need to receive treatment for their disease. Anyone who truly has the disease of addiction will not be able to stop using substances without help.

It’s incredibly important for you as the loved one of an addict to understand that you are not qualified to help your loved one get sober. Unless you’re a certified substance abuse counselor or a recovered addict yourself, then you don’t have the necessary training or experience to get them sober.

And even if you are a certified substance abuse counselor or a recovered addict yourself, you’re probably not the one that your loved one wants to receive treatment from. You’re too close to the situation to be truly helpful.

So, it’s very important to encourage your addicted loved one to seek professional treatment. Help them find an inpatient or outpatient opiate rehab and addiction treatment program. Or suggest that they attend a 12-step program.

If they are resistant to getting treatment, continue to reinforce that addiction is a disease that requires treatment.

5. Let Them Know You Believe in Them

Many addicts don’t seek treatment because they are convinced that it’s impossible for them to stop using substances. They’re so afraid of failing to get sober that they don’t even try.

This is where you can provide the boost they need. You can assure them that you believe they are capable of getting and staying sober. Remind them that anyone can get sober if they are willing to seek treatment and commit to their recovery.

Letting them know that you believe in them may provide the confidence they need to attempt sobriety. And reminding them that you believe in them can provide the support they need to stay sober once they seek treatment.

6. Give a Little Tough Love

There’s a fine line between providing love and support to an addict and enabling an addict. Sometimes the actions you take that you think are helping the addict are actually helping them avoid the consequences of their addiction.

Addicts need to experience the consequences of their disease before they get sober. If they don’t understand that their disease is hurting them and others, they won’t see the need to get sober.

One of the most painful things to do when you love an addict is to give them tough love. This may look like telling them that they can’t live with you anymore. Or it may look like cutting them off financially. It may even look like telling them that you can’t associate with them anymore because their behavior is so harmful to you.

As painful as it is to dish out this tough love, it’s necessary for the addict’s well-being. And more importantly, it’s necessary for your well-being.

7. Take Care of Yourself

When you’re trying to be helpful to an addict, it’s essential to put your well-being first. Though they don’t intend to be, the disease of addiction makes addicts energetic vampires. They’ll suck you dry if you let them.

Addicts will also break your heart over and over if you let them. They don’t mean to, but they can’t help it. Their addiction rules their life and it makes them do things they would never do if they weren’t in the throes of their disease.

So, you need to take care of yourself when you’re helping an addict. If they’re hurting you, you need to stop trying to help. If your mental health is suffering from trying to help, you need to stop. If they’re taking advantage of you, you need to stop trying to help.

You cannot let an addict drag you down with them.

Helping Someone Battling Addiction

Helping someone who’s battling addiction is a difficult task. You can try these suggestions, but it’s important to remember that you have no control over the addict or their addiction. It’s possible that they may not get sober, no matter how much you try to help.

So, do what you can, but keep your expectations low. Try to help, but be willing to disengage if the addict is being harmful or you’re getting hurt.

Surrey604 is an online magazine and media outlet based in Surrey, BC. Through writing, video, photography, and social media, we secure an intimate reach to the public. We promote local events and causes.

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Self-Care Strategies to Help Stay Healthy This Holiday Season

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With the COVID-19 pandemic added to the typical cold and flu season, many are wondering what they can do to protect themselves and others this holiday season and how to respond if they get sick.

“As we enter this cold and flu season, it’s so important to practice self-care,” said Dr. Ian Smith, a physician, best-selling author and host of “The Doctors.” “Key preventative measures like washing your hands often and covering your nose and mouth with a tissue or the inside of your elbow when you cough or sneeze can be extremely effective in preventing the spread of germs. With COVID-19 also in the picture, there are a lot of questions on everyone’s mind around how to stay healthy and correctly identify and treat symptoms of the cold and flu or COVID-19.”

Flu vs. Covid-19

If you get sick this season, your first question will likely be whether it’s the flu or COVID-19. Both the flu and COVID-19 are contagious respiratory illnesses caused by viruses. The flu is caused by the influenza virus and COVID-19 is caused by a coronavirus called SARS-CoV-2.

Some of the symptoms of flu and COVID-19, like fever and cough, are similar, making it difficult to tell the difference based on symptoms alone. Testing may be required for a proper diagnosis. If you have questions or concerns about your symptoms or about COVID-19, consult your health care professional.

Cold And Flu Treatment

For the common cold or flu, there are a variety of products available that contain several active ingredients commonly used to treat symptoms of respiratory viral infections.

For example, Mucinex DM contains dextromethorphan, which helps to control cough and guaifenesin to help thin and loosen mucus and lasts 12 hours when used as directed. You can identify the right formula to provide relief based on symptoms you are experiencing by using the online tool at Mucinex.com, where you can also find more information regarding self-care remedies.

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Surrey Hospitals Foundation Invests in Research with Prestigious Funding from Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research

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Investment includes funding COVID-19 clinical research team and study on a virtual rehabilitation clinic

Photo: A healthcare worker at Surrey Memorial Hospital’s ICU unit

Surrey, B.C. The Surrey Hospitals Foundation is supporting COVID-19 medical research in Surrey with an investment of $150,000, and has received a prestigious $150,000 matching grant from the Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research (MSFHR). The combined funds will go towards enhancing COVID-19 research initiatives and capacity to advance innovative life-saving protocols and interventions in Surrey.

The funding enables the hiring of an essential research team including a Clinical Research Coordinator, Clinical Research Nurse, and a Clinical Research Assistant at Surrey Memorial Hospital, headed by Clinical Research Lead Christopher Condin, under the guidance of Kate Keetch, Director of Evaluation and Research Services at Fraser Health.

With original seed funding of $25,000 from TELUS Friendly Future Foundation, the Surrey Hospitals Foundation is also helping fund a COVID-19 research study on the viability of a virtual rehabilitation clinic.

“We are facing a healthcare crisis with COVID-19 and it is absolutely critical for us to invest in COVID-19 research to improve the health outcomes of patients,” says Jane Adams, President and CEO of the Surrey Hospitals Foundation. “We are so grateful to the Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research for this timely grant and we are proud to support COVID-19 research initiatives and the establishment of this COVID clinical research team in Surrey.”

Dr. Greg Haljan is the head of Surrey Memorial Hospital’s critical care department and is also the Regional Medical Director of Research for Fraser Health. He will be leading the COVID-19 research study to examine whether a multi-disciplinary virtual recovery program providing pulmonary rehabilitation for COVID-19 survivors improves rehospitalization, patient quality of life and health outcomes.

He hopes to launch a COVID-19 virtual rehabilitation program at Surrey Memorial Hospital led by critical care physicians and experts. It has the potential to transform outcomes both during recovery from the pandemic and beyond, and to create measurable improvements in the quality of patients’ lives by extending the impact and reach of physiotherapy services and post-discharge care.

“Research has shown that 17 per cent survivors of similar critical illnesses, including SARS and influenza etc., are re-admitted to hospital within one month of discharge, 30 per cent by three months and 40 per cent by six months, and COVID-19 numbers could be very similar,” says Dr. Greg Haljan, Head of the Department of Critical Care at Surrey Memorial Hospital and Regional Medical Director for Research for Fraser Health. “We need to prevent the onset of COVID-19 hospital re-admissions by developing a patient-centric, virtual critical care rehabilitation program led by critical care physicians and experts.”

“In the midst of this second wave of COVID-19, and given that Fraser Health has the highest number of cases, it is essential that we build up our COVID-19 research capacity so that we can contribute to vital evidence-based knowledge needed to combat the pandemic,” says Dr. Kate Keetch, Director, Department of Evaluation and Research Services at Fraser Health. “Our critical care physicians, including Dr. Haljan, are the most experienced in COVID-19 treatment and care, and helping support them to do cutting-edge, patient-centred research and knowledge translation as part of their clinical care, is why I head into work every morning.”

Previous research indicates that early mobility and rehabilitation, after being discharged from hospital, reduce mortality and acute care utilization in multiple critical illness survivor cohorts. Even 14 days of quarantine without hospitalization impacts fitness and mobility. Pulmonary rehabilitation improves the full spectrum of cardiopulmonary, cardiovascular, neuromuscular, and mental health domains, including surprisingly, depression, anxiety and cognition.

For more information on how the Surrey Hospitals Foundation continues to support research and innovation, as well as their current Children’s Health Centre and Surgical Centre campaigns, visit https://surreyhospitalsfoundation.com.

About Surrey Hospitals Foundation:

Surrey Hospitals Foundation is the largest non-government funder of health care for families in Surrey and surrounding Fraser Valley communities. The Foundation supports the major health facilities in the region, Surrey Memorial Hospital (SMH) and Jim Pattison Outpatient Care and Surgery Centre (JPOCSC), as well as numerous specialized programs for newborns, children, adults and seniors.

The Foundation invests in the future of health care by funding innovative research in Surrey that can lead to medical breakthroughs. https://surreyhospitalsfoundation.com

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How to Remain Fit and Healthy Amid the COVID-19? A Brief by EJ Dalius

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The things that are good for your heart are naturally good for your mind. In light of this, breaking sweat regularly boosts brain health in many ways. Exercise associates with an improvement in cognition rates, including better memory, executive function, and attention.

Moreover, due to aging people are in the vulnerable group forcontacting of the virus.The physical activities of many older adults have entirely stopped which is not good for them. Eric Dalius suggests getting sedentary with the usual lifestyle, and ignoring exercise entirely is a negative step towards remaining fit and healthy.

Exercise and the Brain Functioning

Physical activity is also known to slow down age-related cognitive reduction. With age, a person becomes susceptible to losing memory and thinking skills. In older adults, it aids in retaining the current cognitive function; in your spare time, you can perform a few simple activities. Every activity that increases the physical count can ward off the sedentary lifestyle, making us healthy.

Consult a Professional

Older adults can consult a healthcare professional before beginning an exercise routine. With conditions such as heart diseases and hypertension, the medical professional will help you decide on a safe yet effective practice that can attune your fitness levels and your ultimate goals of staying fit.

Due to several restrictions, many telehealth consultation facilities are available, and EJ Dalius recommends leveraging such moves without physically going to the health center. Several entrepreneurs have rendered their help for the wellbeing of the people, and are incorporating innovative techniques to combat such uncertain times.

When to Start?

Eric J Dalius states that many exercise guidelines public and private authorities publish state that adults should shoot for at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise or 70-75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity every week. Ideally speaking, the moderate and vigorous-intensity workouts should spread across many days or on alternate days for the body to recover.

  • Examine your schedule and try to remove at least half an hour initially for the workout. It is wise to keep a fixed timing every day, helping better in regularizing your routine.
  • Start with simple exercises and eventually get your hands on the tough ones. Remember that exercises can do wonders; therefore, it is never too late to start exercising as everyone benefits from doing some physical activity.
  • You can also opt for walking down the stairs, swimming, gardening, biking, and dancing. Such activities interest a person and can result in targeting two goals at one time.
  • Activities, such as Zumba, are energizing and can act as a much-needed break from your hassle-loaded routine.
  • For older adults, simple exercises for joints and bones are essential.

Most of us always have the excuse of not having time in hand to pursue a regular exercise routine. However, a simple walk of fifteen minutes is better than no exertion at all. Take baby steps to compile exercise into your daily routine.

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Put Your Back In to It!: How to Strengthen Your Back Muscles

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Your back is home to 140 muscles that connect to the rest of your body. That makes your back a central component to whole-body wellness and strength.

If you want to feel strong and have an effective workout, then you must start with a sturdy core and proper posture. This will also reduce stress on your body that causes chronic back, neck, shoulder, and even limb pain.

Use these exercise, stretches, and good habit tips to build your back muscles and start feeling and looking like a new healthy person.

Start With Your Posture

Most people work all day at a desk, commute while sitting in a car and continue to sit at home watching TV or socializing online. That’s a lot of sitting and more opportunities to slouch.

If the muscles of the back aren’t inline then they are putting pressure on your organs, joints, and connecting muscles.

Recognizing your bad posture habits is the first step to understanding the importance of your back. It can affect your whole body in the long-term as it can lead to arthritis and chronic back pain.

So, whether you are sitting, standing, or lying down remember to keep your back straight. This will help with the following exercises and stretches.

Finding the right physical therapist can also help improve your posture through an assessment of your back pain. But, not all therapy is equal. Discover more here to find the proper help you need.

Stretches

You may think that stretching is only good for back pain, but it can also be a preventative measure. It keeps your back flexible, which helps in everyday activities like bending, lifting, and reaching while making your back stronger.

Try these stretches to keep your back limber.

Lying Lower Back Twist

Lie on your back using a mat. Use your right hand to grab your left knee and pull it across your lower torso toward the floor.

Keep your opposite arm elongated and stretched perpendicular to your back. Your shoulders should continue to touch the floor. Look toward your opposite arm by turning your head.

Hold the stretch for 20 seconds, focusing on lower right back pain. Then slowly come back to the center. Repeat using your left arm and right knee.

Knee to Chest

This stretch uses your legs to lengthen the lower back muscles. It also pulls the pelvis away from the muscles, giving them room to breathe.

Lie on your back with your knee bent and your feet flat on the floor. Use both hands to pull your one knee at a time toward your chest. You can keep your head flat on the floor or bring your forehead to your knee for a deeper stretch.

Hold for 20 seconds before switching knees. Repeat as needed.

Cobra Stretch

You may have seen this stretch in your yoga class. This pose does wonders for middle back pain while strengthening your stomach, shoulders, neck, and of course your whole back.

Lie on your stomach with your palms down close to your ribs. Slowly use your arms to push your chest up while lifting your head toward the ceiling.

Arch your back slowly and to the point where it is comfortable. Your arms will extend as much as possible as you rise to your comfort zone. Hold for as long as you like without any pain.

Exercises

Stretching prepares your back for more strenuous movements. While stretching gives you more flexibility, back exercises offer you increased strength through gaining mass.

Use these exercises to build back muscle.

Lifting Legs Laterally

Since your back is supported by your pelvis, strengthening your hips can offer grounding stability for back muscles.

Lie on your side with your bottom arm bent and your head rested in your palm. Keep your legs straight and your hips in line with your torso.

Slowly raise your leg about a foot from the ground. Be sure to keep your abdomen tight and your leg straight. Hold the leg in the air for a few seconds and then slowly lower it back to the ground.

Do as many repetitions as desired until your leg feels like it can lift no more. Switch to the other side and repeat.

Superman Hold

Relieve upper back pain while strengthening muscles along the spine in this exercise. This will improve your posture and build a stronger core along your spine and pelvis.

Lie on your stomach with your arms stretched out in front of you. Keep your legs together and straight.

Lift both arms while keeping your head facing the floor. Slowly raise your legs at the same time. Raise your limbs as high as is comfortable.

Try to bring your chest and eventually your stomach off the floor to slightly arch the back.

Hold this position for several seconds and release. Repeat the exercise as desired.

Plank Arm Raises

Shoulder pain is a direct cause of weak back muscles. By working out your shoulder blades and the muscles in between, the posture of your upper back will improve.

Get into a plank position by lying on your stomach and lifting your body by extending your arms. Your arms should be straight with your elbows locked. And your hands should be in line with your shoulders.

You should be on the tips of your toes with your legs hip-width apart.

Lift one arm at a time toward your chest with the elbow close to your ribs. Alternate moving each arm up and back down to the floor.

Do 8 to 10 reps at a time while taking deep breaths as you go up and down.

Strong Back Muscles Prevent Injury and Illness

Having strong back muscles can keep your whole body free from harm. Better posture will take pressure off of your organs and improve circulation while making you more flexible.

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Living with MS: 5 Tips For Dealing With Multiple Sclerosis

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Multiple sclerosis is an intensely painful neurological condition that affects over 2.3 million people across the globe.

The pain from MS can keep you from doing the things you love the most and spending time with those you care about. But an MS diagnosis doesn’t mean you have to be a shut-in for the rest of your life.

Living with MS gets far easier once you learn how to manage it. Here are five tips to help you start your journey.

1. Educate Yourself

Learning that you have MS can be scary, to say the least. But as the saying goes, knowledge is power.

By learning about the disorder, you can get a better sense of what you can expect. Dive into every (well-sourced) book, article, and journal you can find that deals with MS and soak up as much info as you can.

The good news is that you’re already off to a good start. By reading this article you’re increasing your chances of a happy, healthy life!

2. Stay Cool

Bad news for those who live in a high-temperature area or love the heat: Heat tends to worsen MS symptoms by a considerable amount.

While heat doesn’t bring on any new symptoms, it does heighten the effects of pre-existing issues like fatigue, headaches, and mental fogginess.

Fortunately, heat tends to be easy enough to counteract. Keep your home A/C set to a comfortable temperature and invest in cooling aids like gel packs and light clothing.

3. Lean on Your Professional Support System

You already know that your friends and family care about your well-being. But don’t forget that you have a whole professional network of experts that care about you, too!

Great multiple sclerosis services aim to understand what you’re going through. Your doctors and physical therapists will do their best to ease your pain and provide helpful advice. So don’t be afraid to pick up the phone and give them a call.

4. Do Your Best to Say Active

When your MS is acting up, hitting the gym is the absolute last thing you want to do. Still, research indicates that maintaining an active lifestyle can keep the pain associated with MS at bay.

Go easy on yourself. You don’t need to run a marathon to stay active. A simple walk around the block a few times per week is more than sufficient.

5. Stay Well-Rested

The fatigue that comes with MS is bad enough as it is. But when you consider how MS causes a whole array of sleep issues, it can seem as though there’s no winning.

While you can’t offset all of your fatigue, you can minimize it by taking a few simple steps.

For starters, go to bed and wake up at the same time each night. A regular sleep schedule can improve the overall quality of your rest.

And if you’re struggling with muscle pain, tell your doctor. You may need medication to help relax your muscles.

Final Thoughts on Living With MS

Living with MS can feel downright impossible at times. But don’t give up. By following these five tips, you can improve your quality of life and help keep your MS at bay.

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