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All across this country in small towns, rural areas and cities, alcoholism and drug abuse are destroying the lives of men, women and their families. Where to turn for help? What to do when friends, dignity and perhaps employment are lost?

The answer is Palm Partners Recovery Center. It’s a proven path to getting sober and staying sober.

Palm Partners’ innovative and consistently successful treatment includes: a focus on holistic health, a multi-disciplinary approach, a 12-step recovery program and customized aftercare. Depend on us for help with:

If You Booze, You Could Prevent Muscle Growth

Author: Shernide Delva

It is now mid-February, and by this point, some our New Year resolutions have started to fizzle away into oblivion. Suddenly, going to the gym is not as appealing as it once was. Perhaps the idea of staying at home while binge watching the newest season of your favorite show trumps doing squats at the gym. Totally understandable, right? Right.

However, a rare few of us are determined to make big changes in 2017, and are not stopping just yet.

Despite your determination, if your goal is to get strong and ripped, there is one thing that could deter all your progress. Regardless of how healthy you eat and exercise, if you still drink alcohol, you’re putting a major damper on your results. In fact, alcohol consumption has been found to hinder the muscles’ ability to repair itself after a workout.

Essentially, if you drink alcohol, you will miss out on some major muscle gains regardless of how heavy you lift.  In case you were looking for more motivation to stop drinking, there you go. When you workout, your muscles desperately crave the right nutrients to create new muscle tissues. Alcohol affects that process negatively in a variety of ways.

Here are 3 reasons to cut it out of your diet:

  1. Empty Calories

    Alcohol is full of empty calories. It provides no nutritional value to your diet. A 6 oz glass of wine has anywhere between 110-300 calories depending on its sweetness and alcohol content. You could have another small meal for that amount of calories or even a dessert. I don’t know about you, but it is much more satisfying to eat calories rather than drink them. Drinking high-calorie alcoholic drinks is one-way alcohol slows down your overall progress.

  2. Muscle Growth

    Want some serious gains? Walk away from the booze.

    Protein synthesis is a fancy name for the process your body goes through in order for muscles to grow. It is achieved through regular exercise and proper nutrition. The right balance of exercise and nutrition allow muscles to repair and increase in mass. The process occurs 24-48 hours post-workout, and consuming alcohol during this time can negatively affect it.

    When you neglect this process, your body enters a catabolic state. In a catabolic state, your muscle tissues are breaking themselves down rather than building themselves up. Alcohol disturbs the protein synthesis process and does not allow your muscles to repair themselves the way they should.

  3. Hormones

    There are two hormones that determine muscle growth: Testosterone and the human growth hormone. Alcohol can affect the hormones in our body significantly. Drinking alcohol impacts a number of hormones your body releases by up to 70 percent. Without the right balance of hormones, your muscles struggle to repair and rebuilt.

Whether you are trying to lean out or put some gains on, alcohol clearly does nothing to improve your progress. Alcohol is a low nutrient, high-caloric liquid that dehydrates your body and makes it difficult to achieve that physique you always wanted. Therefore, if you want to see those chiseled abs and shoulders, ditch the booze for a protein shake.

More importantly, sobriety is the most important goal to accomplish this year. Now you have another reason to stay away from alcohol. Alcoholism has damaged many lives. In recovery, you learn to stop using substances like alcohol as a clutch. Instead, you learn healthy coping mechanisms that will make you a better person overall. Do not wait to seek help. You are not alone. Call now.

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Drug Addicted Men in Treatment Turn to Crossfit


Drug Addicted Men in Treatment Turn to Crossfit

(This content is being used for illustrative purposes only; any person depicted in the content is a model)

By now, we know how beneficial exercise can be to our health. Exercise can be an excellent alternative to drug addiction because exercise relieves stress and reduces the chance of a relapse. Now, drug addicted men are turning to the popular fitness program Crossfit to help them in their recovery process.

Whether you are addicted to drugs, alcohol, sex, or any other addiction, you understand how your addiction can help you temporarily escape the stresses of daily life. Fortunately, exercise releases the same chemicals in the brain, like dopamine, that help with increasing mood and reducing stress. It can be very helpful to establish a routine exercise pattern to help heal the mind and body from dependency on drugs

Furthermore, the Charlotte Rescue Mission out of North Carolina, is setting a new approach to drug addiction recovery by incorporating Crossfit exercise for more than 100 men in addiction recovery. The Mission is a treatment program that brings in people with drug and alcohol addictions for a 90-day treatment program.

The Mission brings addicts into their in-house program for free and helps them get on the path to recovery. Just recently, intense exercise was added as another element to the healing process.  Crossfit instructors volunteer their time to help the men in recovery.

“Just to instill this idea that proper movement is going to help you feel better,” Michelle Crawford said.

Michelle Crawford is one of many instructors donating their time to teach CrossFit classes to men at the Mission each day.  The Mission has been around for over 70 years but only recently have they implemented such an intense exercise regimen into their program. More than a dozen gyms got together and donated equipment to fill a full-size gym at the Mission.

Those who run the facility insist that the exercise program is helping men recover from the physical pain their drug and alcohol abuse has done to their bodies.

“I think it give them some confidence in their physical abilities, some of which they’ve neglected over the years,” Charlotte Rescue Mission’s John Snider said.

Fighting Drug Addiction With Exercise

This is not the first time exercise was considered to be an excellent treatment for drug addiction. Scientists have done extensive research to understand the relationship between drug addiction and exercise. Exercise, as we all know, gives us endorphins which in turn, make you a much happier person. By replacing the endorphins released from drugs with exercise, addicts have a much lower desire to return to their addiction.

Over the past decade, Crossfit has become a huge fitness craze. Everyone is doing it.  Soon, rehab facilities started to pay attention to the program and many, like Mission in North Carolina, have implemented similar intensive exercise programs as part of their treatment plan.

In a 2012 study, researchers examined the impact of running on neuro-biological rewards and it garnered positive results. However, not everyone enjoys running and Crossfit is a great way of incorporating repetitive exercises in an exciting way. Crossfit allows addicts to strive for a goal. Invitational meets are held for the chance to compete in CrossFit Games which is an exercise version of the Olympics. The program airs on television on a yearly basis.

The numbers are in and it reveals that exercise greatly benefits those recovering from addiction. Still, one must remember to use exercise in a healthy way. It is possible that exercise can become just as addictive as drugs. However, when used in moderation, exercise can be the stepping stone to a healthy life after sobriety. If you or someone you love is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, please call toll-free 1-800-951-6135.

Could Creatine Help Treat Meth Addiction?

Male athlete holding protein drink

(This content is being used for illustrative purposes only; any person depicted in the content is a model)

Could a workout supplement help treat meth addiction? According to recent research, this may be a real possibility. Researchers at Montana State University just launched a study to determine if the supplement creatine monohydrate could treat dependence to meth.

Creatine is an insanely popular muscle building supplement well-known in the fitness industry for its ability to help with gaining muscle mass. Creatine works by allowing the body to produce more energy rapidly. With more energy, you can train harder and that produces faster results.

It was interesting to read that a supplement so popular in the fitness community could be beneficial for meth addiction. Furthermore, Tracy Hellem, PhD, an assistant professor of the College of Nursing at Montana State led the study to examine the amino acid’s efficacy in reducing symptoms of depression and anxiety in meth users.

Participants in the study were male and females between the ages of 18 and 59 who had symptoms of depression and anxiety. They were given eight weeks of treatment with creatine and two follow-up visits. The results were positive.  Participants who suffered from mental illness and used meth found that the drug helped them by boosting their energy levels and decreasing their appetitive. The drug was also able to create the need to sleep. However, consistent use also led to feels of depression which increased the user’s intake of the drug.

Hellem first thought of the idea of treating meth addiction with creating when she was finishing her studies at the University of Utah. During her studies, her professor of psychiatry, Dr. Perry Renshaw, had used magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS) to determine that people with mood disorders and substance abuse issues actually had deficiencies in their brain cell production. As a result, both Renshaw and Hellem hypothesized that creatine used by athletes to build body mass and strength, as well as energy and stamina, might also reduce the depression and anxiety in these individuals.

The study was initially successful in producing favorable results which prompted more studies like this one just released. The current study included patients with anxiety disorder as well as addiction to methamphetamine.

“This will be the first study of creatine that includes a triple diagnosis: depression, anxiety, and methamphetamine dependence,” said Hellem.

Creatine is one of the most researched sports supplements and has gained immense popularity over the few years as more fitness professionals are recommending the supplement for its muscle building potential. Creatine has been proven to work for activities like weight training, sprinting and other sports. It is effective in helping build muscle fibers in those who combine the supplement with exercise. Some side effects ranging from cramping to kidney problems have occasionally been reported however for most people, creatine is very safe to use.

Overall, creatine could be an effective supplement to use to help aid with meth addiction; however it is not a cure, simply a treatment option. There are a lot of nutritional options to help with rebuilding energy depletion when overcoming symptoms of withdrawal. It seems as though the supplement would benefit with treating symptoms of withdrawal and dependence due to its energy lifting properties. The more healthy a person feels, the better chance they have of a full recovery.

Still, it is only one part of the equation of treatment and a person with a meth addiction should treat their condition in s trained professional atmosphere with careful monitoring.  Still, learning different options that can aid with the recovery process is very beneficial as a whole. If you or someone you love is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, please call toll-free 1-800-951-6135.

Author: Shernide Delva

5 Steps to Building a Better Body Image

5 Steps to Building a Better Body Image

(This content is being used for illustrative purposes only; any person depicted in the content is a model)

Author: Justin Mckibben

Body image is the way you feel and what you see when you look at your reflection, or what you image when picturing yourself in your mind. It is what you believe about your appearance, and not just about how you look but also how you feel in your own skin, and a lot of people who have struggled with other issues like eating disorders, drug abuse and other compulsions can relate to that sense of feeling out of place even in your own body. A negative body image is often a distortion of your perception. A lot of times it can be a feeling of failure, anxiety or being self-conscious, and typically it contributes to an obsession with dieting or exercise.

The National Eating Disorders Association has a slogan that states:

Be comfortable in your genes.

That is a tribute the fact that your body type has a lot to do with your genetics, and is not a personal failure but a biological signature. It puts the emphasis on the idea of taking comfort in our genetics to remind us of that fact.

When we look in the mirror, most of us focus more on what we don’t like. It’s almost easier to point out our shortcomings than to celebrate our beauty. We allow our feelings and our body image to be dictated by the expectations set in the media, which portrays the ideal body as the coveted actor/actress or supermodel, making it harder for us to appreciate a body that isn’t as “perfect”. The truth is NO body is prefect.

But just as we can be conditioned to expect something abstract and unattainable, we can also condition ourselves to value our bodies and construct a better body image. Here are 5 steps to building a better body image.

  1. Give yourself some credit

One thing that’s very important is to actually allow yourself to admire the things you like about yourself. A gratitude list a great tool in life, especially for those in recovery. You can start by making a list of things you like about your body, and then every day say some of them to yourself when you wake up, like an affirmation. Try and change it up too, that way it doesn’t just become routine and you actually connect with what you’re saying. But this isn’t all a beauty pageant, so be sure that some of the things on that list aren’t related to your appearance, but instead highlight your worth as an individual.

  1. Stop comparing

At the end of the day, the reality is that nobody is perfect, and no body is perfect either. No matter who you are, there is always someone out there that might be stronger, faster, or thinner. Someone will always make us feel less than attractive or insecure. The funny part is, there is someone who makes them feel the same way, and it just might be you for a reason you never expected.

Constantly comparing ourselves to others makes us feel inadequate. That grass-is-always-greener mentality will never makes us truly happy with ourselves.

  1. Treat yourself

You shouldn’t punish yourself for your body image, instead you should treat yourself for all you do to take care of yourself. We are always our worst critics in life, especially when it comes to our bodies. You are probably much harder on yourself than anyone else, and letting go of that prejudice will make it easier.

Give yourself a break once in a while. Treat yourself, and try not to regret or feel guilty about the rewards you give yourself for healthy behaviors.

  1. Dress the part

They say dress for the job you want, not the job you have. Well, after coming into the office a half dozen times dressed as Batman it donned on me that being practical and comfortable wear more important than a cape and cowl.

Some people try to wear oversized clothes to hide their weight, but it often draws more attention to your size. The same can be said about clothes that are too tight. Dressing in something comfortable that works with your body type is much better.

Comfy NOT baggy…

Fitted NOT tight …

Some say when you look good, you feel better.

  1. Believe

Body image always comes back to the mind and our perception. If the way we perceive ourselves is as a failure, and we describe ourselves in our minds with negative self-talk while we nitpick our bodies, we will remain trapped in the picture we are constantly painting of a negative self-image.

By believing in yourself, and turning the negative problem thinking into positive solution based thinking, you can overcome a lot more. Look at yourself and congratulate yourself on your progress. Tell yourself that anything you want to improve you can, and believe it. But also remind yourself that you will be beautiful either way.

Adjusting your mindset can change everything. Celebrating things for what they are instead of ridiculing them for what they are not won’t achieve anything for growth. For a better body image, you have to look past the surface and find a love inside for who you are on the outside.

When struggling with things like eating disorders, mental health or drug abuse it can seem nearly impossible to find the things you love about yourself, but it doesn’t mean those things aren’t there. Getting the right kind of help can open your eyes to the best parts of you that you forgot how to look for. If you or someone you love is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, please call toll-free 1-800-951-6135

6 Most Common Compulsions of People in Recovery

6 Most Common Compulsions of People in Recovery


Author: Justin Mckibben

The word compulsion is a noun, and the definition of compulsion has three main categories:

  1. The act of compelling; constraint; coercion.
  1. The state or condition of being compelled.
  1. A strong, usually irresistible impulse to perform an act, especially one that is irrational or contrary to one’s will

So In short form, compulsions are the things that we feel most compelled, or that we feel are most necessary, to do in order to keep on an even keel. Our compulsions can be simple rituals that we develop over time that are healthy patterns, or they can become obsessive and harmful habits.

So here we are going to discuss some of the 6 most common compulsions of people in recovery, because it is safe to say that we as addicts and alcoholics are pretty good at creating harmful habits and getting ourselves stuck in a loop of dependence on a questionable practice.

  1. Chain-smoking

Drugs and alcohol typically go hand-in-hand with smoking cigarettes. Many people in recovery know that when drinking and using drug a decent majority get used to smoking more. Some people who are not smokers will pick up smoking just to replace the habitual behavior, but either way it is common that addicts and alcoholics smoke more when they stop using drugs and alcohol, especially in early recovery.

Now with the invention of electronic cigarettes it seems people are making a slight shift, but despite the popularity and the debated ‘health benefits’ of switching to electronic cigarettes there is still a fair amount of individuals in recovery who make a habit of using their gadgets too frequently, and it becomes a compulsion to use it everywhere at all times because it currently is more acceptable.

  1. Eating

A lot of us addicts and alcoholics don’t eat much when we are using and drinking excessively. I know I was personally on a very strict diet of drugs and liquor for a long time, with brief moments of actual food included. So when we start taking steps toward recovery in treatment, or even outside of treatment in sobriety we become more and more indulgent in our appetite for food.

While this can be a positive thing when we are nourishing ourselves for the first time in a long time when eating healthy, we can also do serious damage by binge-eating or just creating patterns focused around especially unhealthy foods.

Eating compulsion can become especially dangerous for addicts and alcoholics while struggling with self-image and self-control because we run the risk of developing an actual eating-disorder. In recovery it is important that we know the necessity of moderation with a common compulsive behavior like eating.

  1. Collecting

A pretty common compulsion, especially for people with OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder) is to start up massive collections. These collections can be material objects, significant memories, or even people. In recovery people can quickly start up collections compulsively to try and fill some kind of emptiness of time and energy in their day to day, or just because they believe adding these things will add value to their new life without drugs or alcohol.

Collecting relationships is not necessarily a bad thing as long as these a genuine connections, but when people begin to view other people as objects in their collection it puts a gap between real human connection and just self-seeking surface- friendships.

Hoarding can become a problem too because as we take on too much material possessions to fill our lives, someone in recovery could easily waste time and energy focused on objects that they have no real use for other than to sustain their urges.

  1. Energy Drinks

Energy drinks can be something that are useful once in a while, maybe. But they do come with plenty of their own health risks. Some energy drinks are more harmful than others, but drinking energy drinks at an alarming rate is pretty common in recovery as a compulsion we almost completely overlook.

Energy drinks in many ways will substitute how people used to drink alcohol once they are in recovery. This change is often subconscious and people do not realize the way they are making the exchange. But if you pay close enough attention, energy drinks are consumed on a massive scale when sober people are out and about, not to mention throughout the day when they are trying to stay active and awake.

This compulsion creates its own brand of dependence, and some have debated that energy drinks and even coffee should be considered mind and mood altering substances that are not to be taken lightly.

  1. Fitness

The compulsion to work out and be fit beyond belief is also pretty relevant for people in recovery. Once people take a step away from the drugs and alcohol and start noticing the changes and the state of their physical well-being, they may also become much more conscious of their appearance and athleticism.

Now while being fit and taking care of you is important, the compulsive side of this behavior to become excessive and obsessive in exercise and dieting can cause problems as well. Putting far too much focus on appearance and performance of the body is dangerous and often disastrous if there is no focus put into the mind and spirit. This is why holistic styles of treatment are great because they help set a tone for continued balance with mind, body, and spirit through growth in recovery.

  1. Social Media

Social media gets a lot of a bad rep, and this is not going to help its case too much, so I’ll just say that it is incredible the tools we have today as far as smart phones and Facebook and Twitter and every other amazing way we are able to digitally transmit information and communicate through art and music and culture like never before. This new age has ushered in so awesome stuff as far as the availability to find, educate, and connect with each other.

That being said, people in recovery have to be careful when it comes to ANY compulsion, and social media is no different. Even ‘normal’ people become drawn into hours of drama and speculation and away from their lives when they can’t help but obsessively check their Facebook account, or can’t stop taking photos of everything (in my case- myself) for social media.

As awesome as social media is, when it becomes a compulsion, like it does with so many of us without even noticing, it can start to interfere with life on the larger scale. So next time you go to update your status or tweet about your evening, be sure your taking care of your real life encounters and relationships.

 Some habits we pick up are almost as harmful to our health and relationships as the drugs and alcohol we put down in recovery. It is up to us to make sure we apply our principles and awareness to the things we still partake in and the aspects of our life we put focus on. Addiction and compulsion go hand in hand, so we need to make sure we are working toward the right direction. If you or someone you love is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, please call toll-free 1-800-951-6135

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