Drug Education 101: How drugs affect the body

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How much do you know about drugs? You may have picked up a few generic tid- bits along the way—in 2017, most of us know that smoking can cause cancer, and we’ve written extensively about the impact alcohol can have on the body. But when it comes to other drugs, like LSD, Shrooms and even Acid, many of us know a lot less.

This fantastic infographic by TrueRecovery.com lists 14 drugs and shows us how they affect the body. From the brain, right down to the stomach and our reproductive system, the short and long-term affects of these substances show how dramatically they can influence the body.

Have you ‘normalised’ any of the side effects of drugs, assuming that you (or a loved one) could come off them any time you want? This infographic shows that it’s not that easy, and using any sort of drug can have life-long repercussions. Let us know what surprises you the most about the infographic in the comment section.

Are you concerned about your use of alcohol or other drugs? Do you have a loved one using that you are concerned about? Call Colleen on 0434 337 245 or Duncan on 0434 331 243 for a FREE 10 minute consultation. To make an appointment, go to BOOK NOW.

So you’ve finished Dry July. What’s next?

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If you’re one of the 19,000 people who signed up for Dry July, you’ll be eagerly looking forward to the end of the month and a casual drink. But for those of us who partook and realised there could be more to this dry life style than meet-the-eye, we want to invite you to continue the journey.

Perhaps you felt more clear-headed over the month, saved a lot of money or realised you’re a lot more dependant on alcohol than you think—if you want to explore sobriety, then we have the tools to help you along the way. This may simply be trying another month sober through our 30 Day Challenge, or it could be a complete lifestyle overhaul that we establish through ongoing counselling.

In this article printed in Warcry magazine., Colleen takes people through the next steps to take back control of your life from alcohol dependence. Take a look, and if it resonates with you, sign up for our 30 Day Challenge in the side bar and give us a call.

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Discovering Dry July 

Dry July does much more than raise funds for cancer patients and their carers across Australia, it’s also an opportunity for people struggling with alcohol dependence to break free and enter sobriety, writes Colleen Morris.

In its tenth year, Dry July has become a celebrated part of Aussie culture as people abstain from alcohol for a good cause. The phenomenon also shines a light on the less talked about part of our society—the fact that 17% of Aus­sies are classified as ‘lifetime risky drinkers’ by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (meaning they consume at least two standard drinks of alcohol per day).

Alcohol dependence leads to a myriad of problems, from liver poisoning to relationship breakdowns and cancer, so Dry July gives people the kick-start they need to begin the journey to sobriety. But when you struggle with addiction, this path is filled with obstacles.

If you have only recently become sober, then the chance of relapse is very high. Having a structured program to keep you focused and distracted from thoughts of alcohol is essential to recovery. To ensure recovery, it is important that you also get to know yourself better. Here are three steps to help you on your way.

  1. Discover the right counsellor for you
    People frequently put off seeking professional assistance because they have tried counselling before and it was not helpful at the time. This might be due to a variety of reasons:
    • your readiness to change;
    • you did not feel that the counsellor connected with you;
    • the counsellor’s particular style of intervention did not
    work for you.

Don’t be put off. It frequently takes a few different counsellors before you come across the right one for you. Don’t do it alone. You need ongoing professional help to keep you on track, motivated and accountable. 

  1. Discover who you are
    Alcohol robbed you of your identity. You may not have a clue as to why you became so dependent upon alcohol. You may not know what your particular ‘triggers’ are or why you are so vulnerable to those particular triggers. Who are you without a glass of alcohol in your hand?

 Don’t know where to start? Counselling can act as a ‘guide’ to self-discovery. A counsellor is skilled in the art of listening and asking the questions that can help lead you to your true identity.

  1. Discover what you are passionate about
    Do you know what you get excited about when you don’t have a drink in your hand? It is likely that you have not thought about what you are passionate about for a long time. It is passion that will get you out of bed in the morning and motivate you to keep doing the things you need to do to stay sober and focused.

Think about your passions, and discuss them with your loved ones and a counsellor. When you discover them, use these to motivate you on the journey to sobriety and you will live a more fulfilled life.

Have you conquered Dry July and want to continue the journey? Are you concerned about the amount of alcohol you consume? Call Colleen on 0434 337 245 or Duncan on 0434 331 243 for a FREE 10 minute consultation. To make an appointment, go to BOOK NOW.

The Long-Term Effects of Crystal Meth

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People once assumed that the drug Crystal Methamphetamine was typically used by young adults in night clubs. Today we know that it is actually used by people of all ages, ethnicities and classes either recreationally to experience a high, or to make it through the day.

Typically known as Meth, Ice, Tina or Glass, Crystal Meth has a number of short and long term effects on the body, and many people begin using it to alleviate depression (because meth increases the rate of dopamine in the brain), lose weight and feel a prolonged sense of euphoria.

Meth is extremely accessible and popular, and most of us have heard about the Ice crisis and potentially know someone who takes the drug themselves. But far from a simple feel-good drug, Crystal Meth actually has some deadly effects that can not only impact the individual, but also the people around them.

This infographic by Addiction Blog details how Crystal Meth works in the body, and shows the way in impacts long-term health, employment, self-esteem and relationships. Take a look and see if you learn anything new.

Crystal Meth is a highly addictive drug, and by it’s nature it can transform a whole, healthy person into someone almost unrecognisable. However, there is hope. It is possible to recover from Crystal Meth addiction, and the first step is to ask for help.

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Do you rely on Meth to get you through the day? Are you concerned that a loved one may have an addiction? Call Colleen on 0434 337 245 or Duncan on 0434 331 243 for a FREE 10 minute consultation. To make an appointment, go to BOOK NOW.

How to identify the phases of alcohol addiction and recovery

Many people like to have an alcoholic drink, but for some this becomes more than a luxury, it becomes an addiction. So how do you identify if you or a loved one are experiencing addiction or are in danger of falling into it? The Jellenik Curve (pictured below) describes the common phases of alcohol addiction, and helps us to do just this.

Whether you’re at the beginning of the curve and have the suspicion you’re drinking just a little too much, or are in the middle and are experiencing increased black outs, this will show you what is and isn’t currently healthy about your lifestyle. Even more importantly, it shows you that it is possible to enter recovery.

If you’re concerned about the health of you or a friend, take a look at this infographic by the Watershed Addiction and Recovery Programs and see what part of the ‘rollercoaster’ you’re on. By observing addictive traits in yourself early, you can change your behaviours and prevent a downward spiral into alcohol addiction.

Alternatively, if you have overcome addiction in the past, this curve is a fantastic way to moderate your behaviours. If you find yourself falling into old habits, start making phases 4 and 5 a priority again. And if you’re not sure you can be objective, ask a friend to honestly assess where they think you’re at in comparison to the Curve below.

Do you want to revolutionise your life and see what you can achieve without alcohol? Sign up for the free Watersedge 30 Day Challenge and have a tip sent to your inbox every day for a month. Find out more information here.

Do you rely on alcohol to get you through the day? Are you concerned that a loved one may have an addiction? Call Colleen on 0434 337 245 or Duncan on 0434 331 243 for a FREE 10 minute consultation. To make an appointment, go to BOOK NOW.

15 Reasons to Give up Alcohol

15 Reasons to Give up Alcohol

If you’ve tried Dry July, or have chosen to remain sober for a set period of time, you know the health benefits of giving up alcohol are astronomical. While it’s not bad to have a drink in moderation every now and then, if alcohol is negatively impacting your life and your health, you may need to take steps to stop drinking it all together.

A while ago, Watersedge put together the 30 Day Challenge, where we challenge you to go one month without drinking alcohol. Aside from having a clearer head, staying sober is better for your liver, your wallet and often, your relationships.

Take a look at this infographic by Recovery Steps that shares some of the other benefits of going alcohol free.

If alcohol is negatively affecting you or your loved ones, sign up for our 30 Day Challenge here. We’ll send you a FREE tip everyday, empowering you to take care of yourself, nurture your relationships and life a fulfilling life.

15 Reasons to Give up Alcohol Infographic

Are you concerned about your drinking habits? Do you want to make hang overs and intoxicated arguments a thing of the past? Contact Watersedgecounselling on 0434 337 245 for a FREE 10-minute phone consultation on how we can best help you or press book now to book in our online diary.

The Enneagram, Addiction and Recovery

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We have long appreciated the personality theory of the Enneagram. It enables us to better understand one another, and means we can pin point what motivates people into a healthy and unhealthy state.

That begs the questions—could the Enneagram help us understand the path to addiction? And if so, perhaps it could assist people as they enter recovery.

This video interview from Enneagram Studies tackles these questions, intertwining a person's narrative or story with the Enneagram to provide insight into addictive behaviour.

In this video, TALK Editor Evangeline Welch interviews Renee Siegel for Enneagram Association in the Narrative Tradition. The interview identifies the typical patterns of addiction for each space—being what they refer to as Head types (Types 5-7), Gut types (Types 8-1) and Heart types (Types 2-4). They also delve into how each type behaves in addiction.

Focusing on the body as an energy system, the interview discusses what prompts different types to enter addictive behaviors, and what these often look like for each type, from eating disorders, gambling, workaholism, substance abuse, alcoholism or sexual acts.

Take a look at this video and let us know what it teaches you about the Enneagram’s role in addiction and recovery.

Are you or a loved one struggling with addiction? Do you want to learn more about the Enneagram and how it can help you enter recovery? Here’s what you need to do: contact WatersedgeCounselling on 0434 337 245 for a FREE 10-minute phone consultation on how we can best help you, or press book now to book in our online diary.

The Do’s and Don’ts Of Supporting a Loved One In Recovery

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We all desperately want to help a loved one in need. Families will often see first hand the dramatic side effects of drug and alcohol use, and it is natural for us to try and aid those we care about so they enter recovery and break the cycle.

All too often though, we can feel like more of a hindrance than a help. Everything we do to ‘help’ leaves us empty, and our loved one remains unchanged. This infographic by Morningside Recovery shows us the Do’s and Don’ts of supporting a loved one in recovery from an addiction.

Breaking down the stereotype that we need to confront them aggressively about addiction, and rather approach them openly and honestly, it shows us that we need to be willing to go through the long haul of recovery with them and stay committed to the journey.

Take a look at the infographic for more Do’s and Don’ts, and let us know how you support a loved one recovering from an addiction in the comment section.

The Do’s and Don’ts Of Supporting a Loved One In Recovery

Do you want to know more about supporting a loved one to break addiction? Do you struggle with substance abuse? Then here’s what you need to do: contact Colleen on 0434 337 245 or Duncan on 0434 331 243 for a FREE 10-minute phone consultation on how she can best help you, or press book now to book on the online diary.

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The Long Term Effects of Heroin Addiction

It is increasingly common for people of all walks of life to use heroin. It is no longer just a teenage fad, but a drug which enters workplaces, damages relationships and can do long term harm to a person’s health. You may be able to identify when a person is using heroin, but do you know the long term effects of the drug use?

This infographic by Addiction Blog shows us the science and the consequences of heroin use. Far from being a substance you can just ‘shake off,’ heroin enters your blood and affects many areas of the brain, including the cerebral cortex (your vision), brain stem and your spinal cord. Often people who continually consume drugs find themselves upping their dosage to receive the same high they did when they started. Their tolerance of heroin increases, and this is due to the opiates enacted when the heroin reaches our brain.

So how does the science of heroin use impact our body?

The amount of side effects that come with heroin use is staggering, and among them are nausea, pain modulation, sedation, delusions and hallucinations. While heroin use may initially feel good, the high covers a variety of dangerous symptoms that can severely change our lives.

Permanent side effects include kidney failure, a damaged brain stem and infection of the heart lining and valves, and we see that any use of heroin will dramatically alter your body. Reversible side effects include a running nose, watery eyes and blood poisoning. Not very glamorous, is it?

And if you think this a drug you can take once and stop, think again. Heroin is one of the most addictive drugs available, and each time you take it, it is increasingly more difficult to stop. We find heroin use continually takes over every aspect of a person’s life. Not just their health, but their mental and emotional state, their capacity to work and their relationships.

Do you know anyone who takes heroin? Are you concerned for their health and wellbeing? Check out the infographic here and educate yourself so you can help them.

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Do you struggle with heroin use? Do you need support with a loved one who has a heroin addiction? Then here’s what you need to do: contact Colleen on 0434 337 245  for a FREE 10-minute phone consultation on how she can best help you, or press book now to book on the online diary.

Be Daring, Be Original, Be You and Celebrate 30 Days Alcohol Free!

Be-Daring-Be-Original-Be-You-and-Celebrate-30-Days-Alcohol-FreeOne of my best moments of celebration was during a family caravan holiday to the Grampians, a beautiful location marked by mountains and forest. Being a couple with young children, our caravan was typically well equipped with every necessity for a happy, enjoyable and relaxing holiday – or so I thought. Unfortunately I made one important oversight – we forgot the board games which were a standard essential for children easily bored and looking to their parents for entertainment (These were the days before iPads and Facebook).

Not to be defeated and with a very fertile imagination, I came up with a game that involved the four of us hunting for clues around the park for the 4 day period. It was a fantastic holiday, made memorable by our family game and the way I celebrated at its completion. I danced, jigged, sung and hollered like a mad woman as I circled around one of the huge trees in the park. I loved it. It felt good. The feeling of happiness, fun, and joy as I gave myself up to that moment of celebration was delicious and infectious and I remember it to this day!

Celebrations are important to our lives. They mark certain moments as meaningful and memorable; opportunities to take time out to acknowledge the significance of who we are, what we have achieved, where we have come from and where we are going. A celebration is like an oasis – an opportunity to relax, recover and be present to the significance of what we have ascribed value to.

I wonder if it is in celebration that we experience the necessary ‘permission’ to be a child again? To laugh loudly and retell family stories, to dance enthusiastically (even if you have ‘two left feet’); to eat good food and recapture the sheer joy of being alive and present to the people you care about. Times like these are priceless.

What are your best memories? Most of us learn ways to celebrate through our family, community and cultural experiences. The things you celebrate, where you celebrate, who you celebrate with and what you consume as you celebrate, are all to a greater or lesser extent, informed by former experiences.

What was the role of alcohol in your childhood experience of celebration? Was it central to the celebration or something of little consequence? In many cultures, including Australia, alcohol is regarded by many to be necessary to ‘having a good time’ because of its power to release inhibitions that generally bind and restrict us. However it is increasingly alarming to observe the negative impact alcohol is having on our society; domestic violence, family and relationship breakdowns, road trauma and acts of violence are being reported by the media every day. We need to turn the tide and one way to do this is to practice ways of celebrating that are less reliant on alcohol and more reliant on your capacity for fun and creativity.

I have great memories of celebrating Australia Day down at the beach with the church community that my family was a part of; getting buried in sand, building sandcastles, playing in the water, listening in to the conversations of the adults around me, sharing food, joining in the ‘mandatory’ game of beach cricket. These are carefree days where the normal routine of our lives could be put aside for a moment in time so that we could relax and be together.

More recently a family celebration around my outdoor dining table was memorable by its theme which was the death of my beloved father in law 12 months previous. Whilst that might sound morbid and depressing, it was in fact, a delightful opportunity to come together as a family to remember a person whose loving and kind ways made him dear to all of us. Food, non-alcoholic drinks, good company and lots of laughter defined our celebration and will remain long in my memory.

If you took the Go 30 Day Alcohol Free Challenge at the commencement of 2015, you are near completion which is cause for celebration. Well done! Sustaining any commitment takes effort, self-discipline and determination. The argument to ‘have a few drinks because you deserve it’ is very persuasive but also dangerous. Consider how you will celebrate and who you will celebrate with. Put some of the tips you received from Watersedge Go 30 Day Alcohol Free Challenge into practice and have some fun!

This year there will be plenty of celebrations going on in backyards and at the beach. Celebrate days that will be long remembered, days that your children will remember – laugh, dance, eat lots, play games. If alcohol is a part of the day, minimise the amount to ensure the safety of your guests, your family and yourself.

If you would like to take the opportunity to do the Go 30 Days Alcohol Free Challenge for the month of February, you can sign up for FREE now or anytime over this month. It is a great opportunity to take a ‘personal lifestyle stocktake’ and at the same time challenge your need for alcohol.

Should you or someone you love have an alcohol-related issue that is impacting your life, you can contact Duncan on 0434331243 or Colleen on 0434337245 for a FREE 10 minute consultation as to how we can best meet your need. If you are ready, you can make an appointment by going to the BOOK NOW button and following the prompts.

Alcohol and the Workplace

Have you ever shown up to work with a hangover? It makes for an ugly and difficult day, but for many of us it has become normal. In fact, this infographic by Recovery Connection tells us that 15% of all workers in the US are under the influence of alcohol at one time or another. It is easy to assume alcohol only effects ‘alcoholics,’ but the truth is that most alcohol related issues within the workplace come from social drinking. Whether we drink before work or arrive with a hangover, it is something which impacts not only our productivity in the workplace, but also our personal health.

This infographic gives us a list of the industries most likely to contain ‘problem drinkers,’ and it shows that people who do evening, night or sporadic shift work are at the top of the list. In fact, construction and mining, retail, and hospitality all made the top five. And you don’t have to drink at work to be effected by alcohol; research shows that sick days, sleeping at work and trouble with tasks and colleagues are all side effects of problem drinking.

Problem drinking can affect anyone. If you are younger, are a male and work in a managerial position, research shows you are more likely to fit into this category. Do you think you struggle with alcohol at work? Ask yourself these questions:

Do you frequently drink before/after work?

Do you often arrive at work with a hangover?

Do you feel the need to drink in order to cope with the stress of your job?

Have you ever made an error at work due to being intoxicated or having a hangover?

Do you regularly struggle with your co-workers due to your alcohol use?

If you show signs of being a ‘problem drinker,’ you don’t have to struggle through life anymore. You have the ability to manage your alcohol consumption and in this, bring your A game to work on a daily basis.

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Do you need help to manage alcohol in the workplace? Do you desire to be bold, be daring and be you? Sign up for our free ‘Go 30 Days Alcohol Free’ Challenge here and step into 2015 with new confidence. For more support, check our estore for a special deal on the 30 Days Guide and Workbook. You can also contact WatersedgeCounselling on 0434 337 245 for a FREE 10-minute phone consultation on how we can best help you or press book now to book in our online diary.