Zac Efron opens up about his struggle with addiction

Many child star celebrities find themselves the center of media hype and negative publicity through their every misstep. Adolescence and young adulthood characterize a time of experimenting with independent decisions, and learning the difference between things we regret and what we’re proud of. Zac Efron’s addiction struggle has proven to be an important milestone for him in establishing a difference between harmful choices he’s made in the past and the direction he would like to see for his future.

“I’m a human being, and I’ve made a lot of mistakes. I’ve learned from each one… I wouldn’t take anything back; I needed to learn everything I did.”

The 26 year old actor, who is best known for the “High School Musical” films, had admittedly wrapped himself too deeply into work, and used drugs and alcohol to manage stress and pressure. Suffering mounting consequences as a result, he found insight about the direction he was heading and how to change. He had to have his jaw wired shut as a result of injury from falling by an indoor fountain in his Los Feliz home; and several weeks later was questioned by police about his involvement in a fight with a homeless man after his car stalled in downtown Los Angeles in the early hours of the morning.

A self-described insomniac, he acknowledges he struggled with anxiety, becoming so wrapped up in work; he lost focus of how he was compromising his personal health and well-being. He had been living out of a suitcase traveling from hotel to hotel for a time, isolating from friends and family and increasing his drug and alcohol use to a destructive level.

After deciding to go to rehab, seeking outside therapy and additional help with support groups and a physical wellness plan, the actor decided to open up to the public about what he went through and the solution he’s found. Zac Efron’s addiction struggle may seem like one more child stars entrance into the highly publicized and fast paced world of Hollywood, but his down to earth solutions speak to his integrity. Realizing the impression he makes as a role model, the actor explains he wants to do the best he can to promote for young people how positive and healthy standards are just as “cool” as the many other messages they’re seeing advertised today.

The Health Benefits of Prayer and Meditation

Prayer and meditation are used in complementary medicine to improve health. Both practices come from religious and spiritual traditions. The NIH and WebMD state that people who practice prayer and meditation experience greater physical and mental health benefits. Prayer can be used for a variety of purposes such as finding inner strength or requesting help from some form of a higher being. Meditation has been shown to increase calmness, improve psychological relaxation, cope with illness, and enhance health and well-being. It must be noted that although there are benefits to prayer and meditation, they are not substitutes for conventional treatment.

The Benefits and Uses of Prayer and Meditation

Studies show benefits for both prayer and meditation when used during regular treatment. Prayer appears to have positive health effects, although most studies have been inconclusive. Similarly, researchers are unsure of the changes in the body caused by meditation, or which diseases it might be best for, but the effects appear to be positive. Some health benefits of prayer and meditation are:

  • Lower blood pressure
  • Sense of Inner Peace
  • Increased longevity
  • Reduced symptoms of depression
  • Alleviation of anxiety, stress, and pain
  • Help with insomnia and physical symptoms associated with chronic illnesses such as heart disease, HIV/AIDS, and cancer

Prayer and meditation are often seen as something specific for people who are religious. However, even non-religious people have said that prayer can bring on a strong sense of inner strength or power.

It must be emphasized that prayer can be useful when used alongside treatment, but a physician should always be when it is used. Meditation helps individuals focus their attention and become aware of their thoughts and feelings in a non-judgmental way. This usually results in a state of calmness, physical relaxation, and psychological balance. Although beneficial, prayer and meditation should not be used in place of medicine to treat illnesses; but used in conjunction with a with therapy and support groups as a complete approach to recovery.

The Importance of Cultivating New Friendships in Recovery

Alcoholics and addicts usually enter sobriety with their lives in shambles. Recovery is like a new world, and the less it overlaps with the old world, the better. This often pertains to friendships as well.

Cindy, who valued her new sobriety, decided to go out with her old friends for dinner and catch-up conversation. Her companions drank cheerfully while she sipped ginger ale.

Occasionally, someone would offer her a drink and she would decline. Finally, her best drinking pal said, “Hey, come on, this is a reunion! You’re in your own world over there. Just have a glass of wine, you’ll be fine.”

One glass of wine led to four more, which led to a stop at the liquor store on the way home, and to a disastrous relapse.

Rob, four months out of treatment, got a call from an old friend, who then came over to visit, sat down in the living room, and placed a bag of weed and a vial of cocaine on the coffee table. The sudden appearance of the drugs, their immediate availability, and the friend’s nonchalance about it all overwhelmed Rob’s new sobriety and he was off on a four-day binge.

They common element here is that the friends in both stories were either clueless—or didn’t care—about the dynamics of alcoholism and drug addiction, and the fragility of new sobriety.

It’s the first drink or drug that has to be avoided. Proximity to these, and encouragement to use them, makes abstinence harder.

Recovery is a communal experience. Sober people support each other’s sobriety.

Although groups contain a variety of people who would not normally mix, the common element of having hit bottom and emerging to a new and more satisfying life connects them.

Relationships based on a deep caring for each other’s welfare can become precious, life-long friendships.

Turning the Negative into Positive

Many families struggle with the hurt and disappointment of drug addiction and alcoholism. The disease of addiction changes families, and many people continue to suffer mental and emotional pain, long after the addiction is gone. Some families suffer a permanent change, as they watch their loved one’s life end because of addiction.

At times when addiction so terribly impacts the lives of family and loved ones, many people are left wondering how to pick up the pieces and move one. They may spiral downward and be plagued with depression and darkness, and they may think they will never live a happy life again. Some people have found that by working to help other families that are going through the same thing, they can heal their own lives as well.

Supporting Others

Losing a loved one to addiction is a terrible thing. Families feel pain and resentment, and may feel guilty for not being able to do something to help stop the addiction. It may be difficult to come to grips with the fact that they can’t do anything to bring their loved one back, but for some people, knowing they can do something to help other families helps a little.

Many individuals today that work in the addiction treatment field have been through the pain of addiction in their own family. They know firsthand the feelings that families of addicts feel. They start to heal when they are able to help other families overcome addiction and get their loved one back, safe and sound. They begin to put their pain behind them when they are able to share their story with others, in the hopes that other families will not have to suffer what they went through.

Addiction changes families. Those that experience crisis and loss because of a loved one’s addiction may eventually find a way to heal as they work to help others heal from this terrible disease.

Your Sober Living Guide

After years of escapism through drug and alcohol abuse, the recovery process must be met with a fair amount of optimism. Many adhere to a belief that the root of their issues lies with the addiction: eliminate the addiction = enjoy health and happiness. However, many who have embarked on this journey prior can tell you that health and happiness are not necessarily guaranteed by rehabilitation alone. As with anything worth having, these desires take a fair amount of persistence, thought and planning, to enjoy.

Steps to Sober Living

1 – Discover the stresses, problems and hurts that initially triggered the addiction. Divorce, business failures, family illness, and low self-esteem are not issues that will disappear simply because you have stopped using. Learning to understand and recognize these issues will allow you to place a focus on working through them rather than drowning them in drugs and alcohol.

2 – Gain an appreciation for your sobriety and the strength it took you to get where you are today. Rehabilitation is something that many people lack the courage to attempt, let alone make it through. Take pride in your achievement and use that as a base to maintain your sobriety long-term.

3 – Accept and understand that, while you may have made your share of mistakes, you deserve to enjoy the good in life just as much as the next person. Beating yourself up over past indescrepencies will do little to encourage your well being. Immerse yourself in the full spectrum of emotion that comes with sobriety – the good, the bad and the ugly.

4 – Steer clear of negative situations and people from your addictive past and instead spend time growing new relationships and memories with those who support you. Seek out inspiration, hope and positivity in these areas while emphasizing your own self-worth.

5 – Determine a purpose – an activity that promotes determination and joy. This can be something small and personal like parenting, or larger than yourself like volunteer work. The activity itself does not matter, so long as it provides you with goals, ambition, happiness and life! If it’s worth fighting for, you’re onto something good.

6 – Invest in your spiritual being to find solace within yourself. Some drive down Eastern inspired roads towards inner peace; others seek out a true relationship with God. The real goal is to construct an environment within your life where you can accept yourself for being you… every last inch and flaw.

Find more sober recovery tips and tricks at!

Sober Living – Activities For Recovery And Independence

For clients who have spent time at a drug and alcohol inpatient treatment facility, going directly home may not be the best choice. To go directly from having a high level of support to being completely independent could put a newly-sober person at risk for a relapse. A much better choice for sober recovery is to take the process slowly and continue to get support from trained counselors on an outpatient basis for a time after leaving the facility.

At first, it may appear as though the person in recovery is spending time just having fun, since the sober social activity list includes a number of enjoyable outings. People in recovery need to keep their days full so that they don’t have any “down” time. If they get bored or have a lot of time to themselves, they may be tempted to start drinking or using drugs or alcohol.

Moving on After Treatment for Drug and Alcohol Addiction

A client who decides to move into a sober living house who is also unemployed may need assistance to find work. This is part of moving on after treatment and starting to live a normal life once again. A client can stay at a house and get ongoing support indefinitely, but the ultimate goal is to have the person move into his or her own living space eventually.

Recreation Part of Recovery Process

When clients are in treatment at residential recovery programs, they participate in recreational programs. Part of getting well includes learning how to be healthy, which means looking after all aspects of one’s health. Some clients may not be used to exercising regularly, and some of the activities on the sober activities list can include physical activity.

Other examples of sober living activities include the following:

  • Going to the movies
  • Visiting a museum
  • Going to dinner
  • Shopping
  • Going for a drive
  • Having a game night
  • Going to a concert

An addict actively involved in the cycle of using drugs and/or alcohol may well have forgotten how to have fun. Sharing enjoyable activities with other people can help to form connections with others, heal broken relationships, and create new friendships. Clients who have recently left a drug and alcohol treatment facility may be feeling a little unsure of themselves and participating in sober activities with others is a way for them to begin learning how to interact with others in a healthy way.

It may look as though these clients are just having fun, but getting out and socializing is an integral part in their recovery and staying sober. The alternative is for them to sit alone, get bored, and be tempted to start using again, which results in the familiar spiral downward.

Sober Leisure Activities Part of Addiction Treatment Process

When clients are admitted to an inpatient treatment center to get help for their addiction to drugs or alcohol, they realize that they are embarking on a complete lifestyle change. To achieve long-term sobriety, they will need to be willing to let go of their old method of dealing with stress, depression or boredom, which was to get drunk or high.

Since a good portion of an addict’s waking hours are consumed with his or her addiction (thinking about using them, obtaining them, or recovering after using them), sober activities are used to fill in the time once taken up by the cycle of addiction. They help to provide structure for a person’s day. Boredom and being at loose ends are two things that should be avoided.

Examples of Fun and Sober Activities

Here are some examples of activities that would be appropriate for someone who is in recovery:

  • Go to the movies
  • Visit an amusement park
  • Go dancing
  • Go to a sporting event
  • Go for a walk or a hike
  • Spend time with nature
  • Go fishing
  • Go on a picnic
  • Visit a museum
  • Go to a concert
  • Sign up as a volunteer at a local organization
  • Join a gym
  • Sign up for a sports team
  • Read a book
  • Learn a new language
  • Take a course at the local college or university or online
  • Take an exercise class
  • Meditate

Not all sober activities involve being with other people. A person in recovery needs to be able to set aside some time for quiet reflection on a regular basis as part of the healing process. It will take some time to rebuild a recovering alcoholic or drug addict’s self-esteem, and each person will need to proceed at his or her own pace when deciding how many new activities he or she wants to take on after leaving the treatment facility.

At Above It All Recovery Center, clients are actively involved in a number of activities while in residence. Regular exercise is part of the treatment program, and clients can enjoy hiking, swimming and boating while working on getting well.  They will learn a new and healthier way of living life on life’s terms.

How to Safely Dispose of Unused or Expired Medication

If one of your goals is to get organized and de-clutter your home, be sure you add your medicine cabinet to your list of spaces requiring your attention. If you can’t remember the last time you disposed of any unused or expired medication, it’s time to go through these items to ensure you don’t have any possible hazards lurking in your home.

Prescription medications have a specific shelf life. After a certain point, they will no longer be as effective at treating the condition for which they were prescribed. Everyone has been guilty of not finishing a prescription given to him or her by a doctor, for whatever reason. In some cases, the medication did not provide the expected results or it produced unwanted side effects. In any event, the prescription bottles with the unfinished prescriptions end up in the cabinet. In some cases, they may sit there for years.

Medicine Cabinet Contents Pose a Health Hazard

You may not consider the contents of your medicine cabinet as possibly contributing to drug abuse, but addiction to prescription medication is a growing problem. While it may never occur to you to take a medication that has been prescribed for someone else, a family member may be experimenting with drugs or already have developed a dependency on a particular one.

The best thing you can do is to keep a close eye on the medications you are currently taking and clean out your medicine cabinet to dispose of other drugs safely.

Dispose of Your Unused Medications Properly

• Do not dispose of medications by flushing them down the toilet unless the instructions specifically state that this is the preferred disposal method.
• Contact your local pharmacy or household recycling service to ask about community drug take-back programs in your area. You may be able to bring the unused prescriptions to a central location for proper disposal.
• If there are no community take-back services available, remove the medication from its original container. Mix with used coffee grounds or kitty litter. The idea is to make the pills undesirable to someone who may come across them in your garbage. Place them in a sealed plastic bag or an empty can and then put in a large garbage bag for disposal.

If You Have Questions About Prescription Drug Abuse

Cleaning out your unused or expired medication is the responsible thing to do. If you find that after you have completed this task, you are missing pills from your current prescriptions or other events lead you to believe that you have an addict in the family, don’t wait to get help. Call us at 1-888-997-3006.

Above It All Drug Treatment Center Helps People Addicted To Prescription Pain Medication

A dependence on prescription medications for pain can start innocently enough. They may be prescribed following surgery or to treat an acute injury. In some instances, the medication is used to treat chronic pain. When the level of medication is not high enough to provide relief from the pain, you or your loved one goes back to the doctor to either ask about using a higher dose of the drug or to change to a different medication entirely.

No one wants to be in pain, and it’s understandable that you would be looking for ways to make the hurting stop. Unfortunately, it’s possible to develop a tolerance for these drugs over time, which means that you have to take higher doses to in an attempt to get relief from the pain. Some pain medications result in a physical dependency, where you must keep taking the drug to avoid going into withdrawal.

Signs of Prescription Medication Addiction

Some people think that they can’t have a problem with pain killers or other medications because they have been prescribed by a doctor. Nothing could be further from the truth. How can you tell there is a problem with prescription medication addiction that may require treatment or drug rehab in CA? Here are some signs that you or someone you care for may have a problem:

•Continuing to use the drug after the pain it was prescribed for has resolved
•Lack of interest in alternative treatment methods other than taking medication
•Seeing more than one doctor to get prescriptions for pain medication
•Taking a higher dose than the level recommended by the doctor
•Experiencing withdrawal symptoms when a dose is missed. These may include night sweats, muscle aches and insomnia
•Using prescriptions prescribed for other people
•Buying medication off the street

Prescription medication addiction is not “better” than any other type of addiction. It’s an addiction – period. Someone who is an addict needs help to get well.

Find a Treatment Center to Get the Help for Yourself or a Loved One

Often the hardest part of the process when dealing with any type of addiction is admitting that there is a problem. This disease is so wrapped up in guilt, shame, and embarrassment that it is difficult for people who are hurting to get treatment.

This is a problem that millions of people have had to deal with, and it’s more common than you realize. You don’t have to stay stuck in the cycle of addiction when you can get help from caring professional drug counselors. Contact the Above It All Inpatient Treatment Center today. Our phone lines are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

California Rehab Centers Offer Help for Addicts and their Families

Addiction is not a disease that exists in a vacuum. It affects entire families, and involves the whole family. You could even say that without the help of the family members, it can’t exist. If someone you love is struggling with dependence on drugs or alcohol, your focus should be on getting them into drug rehab in CA or a facility where they can get help to break free from the bonds of their disease. Since the disease also affects other family members, you should be looking for a facility that can offer programs to help everyone move forward into a new, drug-free lifestyle.

Types of Alcohol Inpatient Addiction Treatment Programs

There are a number of types of treatment that can help a person who is dealing with a substance abuse issue.

  • For a person who needs to focus on alcohol recovery, inpatient programs can be very effective. They provide a different environment and structure. Your loved one doesn’t have the convenience of being able to visit his or her usual hang outs to drink, and no alcohol is allowed on the premises.
  • Going to 12-step program meetings can be helpful to a recovering alcoholic. They offer support from people who are going through the same types of challenges. Spending time in a room with people who have “been there” can be a very positive experience.
  • One-on-one sessions with a substance abuse counselor may also be part of an inpatient program. A client can discuss his or her concerns with someone who understands and can offer guidance.
  • Group therapy sessions are another type of treatment that may be offered at an inpatient center. Clients can share anything they wish with the group to get advice or feedback about how other people would deal with certain situations. These sessions would be moderated by a counselor to help the group stay on track or focused on a particular topic.

Family Therapy Sessions

The addiction treatment center should also offer some treatment options for family members, either individually or as part of a group. By the time your loved one goes to treatment for alcoholism, the problem has probably been affecting your family for several years. During that time, you and your family members have developed some strategies for dealing with it that are probably not very healthy. Your coping mechanisms may include:

  • Denial
  • Anger
  • Covering up the problem
  • Being a martyr

You may have started drinking or using drugs yourself to deal with the stress of living with an alcoholic. None of these ways of coping are your fault, but they aren’t very healthy.

You and your loved one need to change to learn a new way to live and relate to each other, since alcohol won’t be a factor anymore. Let Above It All Alcohol & Drug Treatment Center help you and your family make that fresh start you want – and need.