Drug Abuse Facts

Your brain is who you are. It’s what allows you to think, breathe, move, speak, and feel. The brain is always working, even when you are sleeping. At Eden Recovery Centre, we explain to patients that the brain is made up of many parts that work together as a team, each with a different and important role to perform.

Eden unpacks what happens when drugs enter the brain.

Drugs are chemicals. When someone ingests these chemicals, either by smoking, injecting, inhaling, or eating them,  they tap into the brain’s communication system and tamper with the way nerve cells normally send, receive, and process information. Different drugs—because of their chemical structures—work differently. We know there are at least two ways drugs work in the brain:

  • Imitating the brain’s natural chemical messengers
  • Overstimulating the “reward circuit” of the brain

Eden Recovery Centre educates their patients that some drugs, like marijuana and heroin, have chemical structures that mimic that of a neurotransmitter that naturally occurs in our bodies. In fact, these drugs can “fool” our receptors, lock onto them, and activate the nerve cells. However, they don’t work the same way as a natural neurotransmitter, and the neurons wind up sending abnormal messages through the brain, which can cause problems both for our brains as well as our bodies.

Drugs affect three primary areas of the brain:

  • The brain stem is in charge of all the functions our body needs to stay alive—breathing, moving blood, and digesting food. It also links the brain with the spinal cord.
  • The limbic system links together a bunch of brain structures that control our emotional responses, such as feeling pleasure when we eat chocolate.
  • The cerebral cortex is the mushroom-shaped outer part of the brain (the gray matter). In humans, it is so big that it makes up about three-fourths of the entire brain. Some areas process information from our senses, allowing us to see, feel, hear, and taste.

At Eden Recovery Centre, we are constantly warning people of the long-term effects of drug abuse on the brain.

Drug use can eventually lead to dramatic changes in neurons and brain circuits. These changes can still be present even after the person has stopped taking drugs. This is more likely to happen when a drug is taken over and over. Over time, drug use can lead to addiction, a devastating brain disease in which people can’t stop using drugs even when they really want to and even after it causes terrible consequences to their health and other parts of their lives.

If you are concerned about the damage drugs is doing to you or that of a loved one. Don’t hesitate to contact us. For information on Eden Recovery Centre’s Treatment Programmes and advice, please feel free to contact the Eden Recovery Centre. You can depend on full discretion.


10 signs of alcoholism

It’s hard to be objective when it comes to figuring out whether you or your loved one has a problem with drinking. Here are 10 of the most important things to look out for in yourself or your loved one:

  1. Lying about or hiding your drinking: At Eden Rehabilitation Centre we have come to understand that denial is common with people having problems with alcohol. They might drink secretively or lie about how much they drink to make it seem like less of an issue.
  1. Drinking to relax or feel better: Almost all people who visit Eden Recovery Centre and are struggling with addiction, abuse their substance of choice for emotional reasons. Whether it’s stress, depression, anxiety or anything else that serves as a temporary quick relief solution.
  1. Blacking out regularly: Drinking so much that you have no memory of what happened is another red flag for a problem with alcohol.
  1. Being unable to stop once you start: If you always finish a bottle of wine once it’s opened, it’s another sign you aren’t in full control of your drinking and you may have a problem.
  1. Drinking in dangerous situations: This is a red flag for us at Eden Recovery Centre. We find that drinking when you really shouldn’t, like before work, before having to drive somewhere or drinking against your doctor’s orders when you’re on medication is a worrying sign of problem drinking.
  1. Neglecting your responsibilities: If you’re having problems at work, school or with your family and household responsibilities because of your drinking, then you could have a problem.
  1. Having trouble in your relationships: If your drinking is causing problems with your closest friends, your significant other or your family, we at Eden Rehabilitation Centre, recognise this indication that alcohol could be a bigger priority than even the most important people in your life.
  1. Being able to drink more than you used to: Tolerance is another key sign of addiction that we look out for at Eden Recovery Centre. So if you can drink more than you used to and need to drink more than you did before in order to get drunk, it’s a strong indicator that you’re becoming an alcoholic.
  1. Experiencing Withdrawal: Withdrawal is different from a hangover. It’s the reaction to the lack of alcohol rather than too much. If you start to feel irritable, tired, depressed, nauseous or anxious when you haven’t had a drink, there’s a possibility you could be going through withdrawal.
  1. Trying to quit but being unable to: If you have realised your drinking is becoming a problem and tried to make a change but have been unsuccessful, you should seriously consider seeking help at Eden Recovery Centre.

If you can successfully tick the above warning signs about addiction, or need advice on different treatment plans, please feel free to contact the Eden Recovery Centre. You can depend on full discretion.


Golden rules for relationships when you’re in recovery

DON’T get involved in a new relationship for at least one year. You’ve heard this one a million times (okay, half a million)It may be tiresome to hear again, but at Eden Recovery Centre, we urge you to treat this rule as sacred. Why? A new love takes your focus off what must be your first, second and third priorities in the early stages of recovery — staying sober.

DON’T get bogged down by guilt. At Eden Recovery Centre, we often hear this from recovering guests in therapy. “I feel so guilty for everything I’ve done. I can’t live with myself if I mess up again.” This kind of thinking can create unbearable pressure instead of focusing on getting better.

Have empathy for your partner’s feelings. Addicts are self-absorbed; it’s hard to make space for someone else’s feelings when you’re all about getting your next fix. Now that you’re sober it’s important not just to ask your partner what’s on his or her mind, but to practice empathetic listening. This means that while your partner is talking don’t interrupt. At Eden Rehabilitation Centre, we encourage guests to wait 10 seconds after he or she is finished speaking so you have time to give a thoughtful answer.

DO have empathy for yourself, too. The most important relationship you will ever have is with yourself. So it’s essential to treat yourself with compassion. Likely one of the reasons you succumbed to addiction was self-loathing: I’m not worth anything. Why shouldn’t I throw my life away? At this pivotal time of your recovery, practice self-affirmations: I’m a worthwhile person. I deserve the best life possible

If you are concerned about entering a relationship while in recovery or need advice on different treatment plans, please feel free to contact the Eden Recovery Centre. You can depend on full discretion.


Did you know alcoholism is a progressive disease?

Alcoholism is recognized by most people today as a disease, however not as many people recognize it as a progressive disease.

This simply means that slowly over time, alcohol gradually gains control of the drinker’s life. It may have started in a subtle way, but it eventually takes over every part of the alcoholic’s life. At Eden Recovery Centre, most visitors claim that their drinking problems escalated over time, and not overnight.

Although the alcoholic does not always recognize the progression in his disease, it is obvious to others that his drinking has progressed and now negatively affects his work, his relationships, his decision-making and his general quality of life and seeks help and recovery. He does not notice the gradual change from the occasional drinking binge to regular abuse and now full blown dependence on alcohol.

At Eden Recovery Centre, we recognise that the disease is chronic in that there is no cure. Progressive in that it gets worse over time. At the age of 18 an Alcoholic may have some control with the occasional laps into drunken behavior but as time passes the incidents of loss of control become more frequent and the behavior more destructive. At Eden Rehabilitation Centre, we teach visitors this in recovery, so they are aware their addiction didn’t happen rapidly.

The problem with alcohol, is that it gets its claws into you slowly over time. Eventually it becomes so strong, that reputation, personal care, family and career are sacrificed and an alcoholic will continue to drink despite serious health, family, or legal problems.

Those who use alcohol may begin to show early signs of a problem, then progress to showing symptoms of alcohol abuse; if drinking continues, they may later show symptoms of alcoholism or alcohol dependence.

If you are concerned that your drinking or that of a loved ones is progressing and out of control, please get in touch with us. For information on Eden Recovery Centre’s Treatment Programmes and advice, please feel free to contact the Eden Recovery Centre. You can depend on full discretion


Eden Recovery Centre delves into the addict’s personality

At Eden Recovery Centre, our guests ask us time and time again. Why can some people use drugs and alcohol in moderation, but others become dependent? Why can some people stop after 2 glasses of wine with dinner, but others feel compelled to keep drinking and land up in recovery? That’s because drugs and alcohol are addictive substances, and people react differently to them.

So what is an addictive personality?

At Eden Rehabilitation Centre, we teach our patients that an addictive personality is a set of personality traits that make addiction more likely. Addictions can come in a wide range of forms, including drugs, alcohol, gambling, exercise, pornography and more. This can negatively impact their lives and personal relationships as an addict becomes dependent.

Personality Traits of an Addictive Personality

Simply because you fit the description of several traits of an addictive personality does not necessarily mean that you have one. However, we at Eden Rehabilitation Centre strongly advise that you watch your relationship with harmful substances and activities because you may be more prone to addiction.

At Eden, we have identified a few personality traits may be indicative of someone with an addictive personality.

Impulsive Behavior

Impulsive behavior means acting without thinking about the negative impact of your actions. It’s kind of like eating a large piece of cake when you’re on a diet or staying out drinking even when you have to get up early the next day. A person who engages regularly in this type of behavior habitually is exhibiting impulsive behavior that can be indicative of an addictive personality.

Sensation Seeking

A second personality trait that may be indicative of someone with an addictive personality is sensation-seeking. Eden Recovery Centre identifies this means a person is constantly seeking out new experiences – new flavours, new travel locations or new sources of adrenaline rushes such as extreme sports. People who are sensation-seeking may also be the first to try a form of psychoactive drugs. This constant desire for new experience can lead to more experimentation, and later abuse, of drugs and alcohol.

Valuing Nonconformity

At Eden Recovery Centre, we have noticed that placing a high value on nonconformity can contribute to having an addictive personality. When combined with the achievement goals valued by society, this personality trait can lead to greater chance of addiction. If you have less of a desire to achieve goals valued by society, you may be less likely to notice when substance abuse or other forms of addiction begin to negatively impact personal, social or work life.

Compulsive Behavior

The final personality trait often present in those with addictive personalities is compulsivity. Compulsive behavior refers to engaging in activities even when they may result in negative consequences.

Understanding the signs of an addictive personality can help you better understand how you may deal with potential addictions. It can help you identify why you or someone you know may be more susceptible to addictions than others. Understanding is the first step to living an addiction-free life.

If you are concerned about an addiction that seems out of control or that of a loved one, please contact Eden Recovery Centre. For information on Eden Recovery Centre’s Treatment Programmes and advice, please feel free to contact the Eden Recovery Centre. You can depend on full discretion.

EDEN – Breaking Free From the Chains of Addiction


The devastating effects of drinking and driving

At Eden Recovery Centre, we know that the holidays and long weekends see some of the most tragic road accidents, with families being injured and losing members due to drinking and driving related incidents.

With upstarts like Uber challenging the conventional taxi industry by offering cheaper fares, and many companies offering drive-me-home services, getting behind the wheel and drinking and driving should not be an option.

But what about those that suffer from addiction? We at Eden Recovery have come to realise that alcoholics tend to lack judgement and make decisions that can impact themselves and others on the road. That’s why seeking help for an alcohol problem is not just advantageous to your health but to the lives of others as well.

So what happens if you get caught drinking and driving?

  1. You will be arrested for being over the limit

Arrive Alive states that the legal alcohol limit of 0,05g/100ml is exceeded after just two standard beers. If you are suspected of driving over the limit, you will be Breathalysed.

  1. Your blood will be taken

If the Breathalyser tests positive, you will be taken into custody and sent for further testing at an alcohol testing centre.

A registered nurse will take a blood sample from you. The sample will be securely stored and transported by the police to a laboratory.

  1. You will be detained

Once you have been arrested you will be taken to a police station, where you will be detained in the holding cells for at least four hours to sober up.

The JMPD’s spokesman, Wayne Minnaar says that on busy nights, like on weekends, it could be longer before you are processed and released.

A docket will be opened and you will be allocated an investigating officer who will follow up your blood test results.

Now would be a good time to alert family or friends to your arrest, if you haven’t done so already. If you do not have a phone, you will be permitted to use one at the station.

  1. Bail

The bail amount for driving under the influence varies depending on the jurisdiction of the police station, says Mamonyane, but most require R500.

  1. Your car will not be impounded

If you have been arrested for drinking and driving, your car will be taken to the police station. Your keys will be held and returned to you once you have been processed and paid bail.

 “Being a very irresponsible adult”

If you have been arrested with children in the car, Mamonyane says most officers try to protect the minors from experiencing the ordeal, “so as to not expose them to the trauma of witnessing the arrest”.

Don’t make decisions that will impact the rest of your life.

If you feel like your, or the drinking of a loved one, is out of control, and are making decisions that are affecting your safety and that of others on the road, contact Eden Recovery Centre. It takes one bad decision to alter the events of the rest of your life. Guilt is not something you want to live with for the rest of your life.

We are here to assist you and help you break free from the chains of addiction.

You can depend on full discretion.


The effects of alcohol on ageing

Can drinking alcohol really speed up the ageing process? Well, the truth is that yes, it can make you age faster. At Eden Recovery we have noticed the extreme effects drinking has on ageing. This includes premature wrinkles, loss of collagen, elasticity, redness, dehydration and puffiness.

To begin with, there are no nutrients in alcohol so you age faster. In fact, alcohol can adversely affect your nutrition levels by causing a depletion in healthy nutrients that aid in carrying oxygen throughout your body. At Eden, we are aware that alcohol can have a huge negative impact on your vitamin A level, which is a very important antioxidant for your skin/body and it is vital in the regeneration of new cells.

Alcohol is also very dehydrating in that it acts like a diuretic. The more you drink, the more dehydrated you will be. The more dehydrated you look, the older you look.

At Eden Recovery Centre, we have identified the ways in which alcohol can make you look older?

Your skin

Alcohol dehydrates the skin and takes away nutrients, making it dull and tired. It also dilates the facial blood vessels, making it more likely you’ll end up with spidery red thread veins.

Your hair

Not being properly hydrated can also affect your hair – regular drinking can leave it dry and brittle. If you drink too much it can even deplete iron levels and can cause hair loss.

Lack of (beauty) sleep

Drinks before bedtime can damage your natural sleep cycles and mean you need to get up during the night to go to the toilet. It can all leave you tired the next day.

Nails

Good nails depend on a good intake of nutrients and water. If your nails are brittle it could be a sign you are drinking too much.

Your weight

Alcohol is of course packed with calories that contain no nutritional value. To make matters worse, alcohol lacks essential nutrients and can lower blood sugar levels making you feel hungry and more likely to overeat.

Don’t let alcohol steal your good looks.

If you feel like your, or the drinking of a loved one, is out of control, don’t hesitate to contact Eden Recovery Centre. We are here to assist you and help you break free from the chains of addiction.

You can depend on full discretion.


Different Types of Sexual Addictions

Sex addiction can refer to a range of behaviors that are done in excess and significantly

impact one’s life in a negative way. Sexual addiction is defined as any sexually-related compulsive behavior which interferes with normal living and causes severe stress on family, friends, loved ones, and one’s work environment.  Like an alcoholic unable to stop drinking, sexual addicts are unable to stop their self-destructive sexual behavior.

Warning Signs of Sexual Addiction

Sex addicts have varying patterns which can result in very different ways of acting out. Below are some general warning signs of sex addiction:

Eden Rehab Centre unpacks secretive or Dangerous behaviours of sexual behaviour

  • Lying about or hiding sexual activities
  • Having sex regardless of the consequences (e.g., the threat of being caught or facing financial problems, or the risk of contracting a sexually transmitted disease)
  • Engaging in the practice of voyeurism or exhibitionism in ways that bring discomfort, pain or legal problems
  • Legal or career problems due to sexual behaviors

Uncontrollable, Compulsive Sexual Behaviors or Thoughts

  1. Unsuccessfully trying to stop troublesome sexual behavior on your own
  2. Feeling that life is unmanageable because of compulsive sexual thoughts or behaviors
  3. Feeling you could do more with your life if you were not so driven by sexual pursuits
  4. Inability to concentrate on other areas of life because of thoughts or feelings about sex
  5. Obsessing about a specific sexual act even though these thoughts bring pain, cravings or discomfort
  6. Wishing you could stop or control sexual activities for a given period of time
  7. Losing count of your number of sexual partners

What Are the Different Types of Sexual Addictions?

There are no distinct categories, but sexual addictions can come in different forms, including addiction to:

  • Pornography.
  • Prostitution.
  • Masturbation or fantasy.
  • Sadistic or masochistic behavior.
  • Exhibition/Voyeurism.
  • Other excessive sexual pursuits.

Get help for sex addiction

It is important to understand that although sex and porn addiction are not “formally” diagnosable, these conditions exist and often present with very adverse consequences and high levels of distress, guilt, and emotional turmoil.

If you can relate to the symptoms mentioned above, or know somebody who meets this criteria, do not hesitate to contact Eden Recovery Centre. You can depend on full discretion.


The 4 stages of alcoholism

What we at Eden Recovery Centre have come to understand is that alcoholism is a progressive disease. We often compare the disease of addiction to cancer because no one chooses to get cancer, just like no one chooses to become an alcoholic. Both diseases need rehabilitation and professional treatment and both diseases have stages.

Allow Eden Recovery Centre to walk you through the 4 stages of alcoholism.

 Stage #1: Binge Drinking & Increased Tolerance

Are you drinking to get drunk?

This may sound like an odd question. Who doesn’t drink to get drunk?

The truth is that the average drinker without the disease of alcoholism doesn’t aim become intoxicated when they drink. The average drinker doesn’t like to feel that loss of control; the feeling of oblivion. Alcoholics on the other hand, love it. When I was drinking, oblivion was the feeling I sought most. I continued to drink because it felt good to me. When I was hammered drunk, I felt normal.

When I was in Stage #1 I didn’t drink every day. When I did drink however, I had a purpose: to get intoxicated. I would embarrass myself by falling down stairs, dropping my drink, and hanging on random strangers at the bar. Where it used to take two beers and a couple shots to get me to where I wanted to be, I started to have to drink more to reach that feeling of oblivion.

In Stage #1, you may think that you’re a “functioning alcoholic” because you’ve kept your job, your car, your relationships with friends and family – but you’re not because once you take the first drink, you have little to no control over how much you will consume.

Stage #2:  Drinking as a Coping Mechanism

Do you drink to feel better?

Drinking to unwind sounds perfectly reasonable. It’s not uncommon to want to unwind at the end of the day with a glass of wine or a cold beer. Relaxing with some girlfriends on Friday night over margaritas is a lot of fun. However, this isn’t what I’m talking about. What I’m talking about is the mental obsession that comes before the drink.

Over time, I really began to have no other coping skills for life. There wasn’t any negative feeling that alcohol didn’t make better. On the flip side, when I was happy, alcohol increased my mood even more. Every Friday was a celebration.

Sure, I didn’t have to drink. I wasn’t physically addicted to alcohol. I didn’t shake in the morning. I made it to work on time every day. My appearance wasn’t altered in anyway. Sure, I was hungover a couple times a week, but who wasn’t? I just liked to party and cut loose.

In Stage #2, you might feel like you’re a “functioning alcoholic” because you still have your job – even though you’re hungover some mornings, you still have your car, and your relationships still seem intact. But you’re not a functioning alcoholic because drinking is your only coping mechanism. You are drinking to deal with stress. You are drinking to deal with success.

Stage #3: Isolation/ Legal Problems/ Depression

Do you have consequences yet?

Have people begun to question your drinking? Stage #3 is all about managing your drinking.

I had to start managing my drinking when the consequences started piling up: People were starting to question me about my drinking, my life, my state of mind, the people that I spent my time with. Alcohol was slowly becoming my only friend.

Isolation: Friends and family have made you feel uncomfortable about drinking around them. Maybe they have had to remind you about the night before because you can’t remember. You feel embarrassed and either chose to stay home and drink or go out by yourself.

Legal Problems: Have you been caught drinking under the influence? This too can cause you to stay home and drink rather than go out.

Depression: It begins to hit hard, too. Alcohol acts like a depressant inside of our minds and bodies. Alcohol in chemical form begins to make us feel down and sometimes hopeless.

In Stage #3, you might feel like you’re a “functioning alcoholic” because you still have a job – even though you may have changed jobs a few times, you still have your car – even though you may drive intoxicated,  and you still have some relationships – even though they’re not the same.  

Stage #4: Change in Appearance, High Blood Pressure, Liver Issues

How does your body look and feel?

Once you hit Stage #4, your body is no longer what it used to be.

When you are looking in the mirror, do you recognize yourself? There is nothing pretty about this stage. Outward appearances begin to really change. There is sometimes a flush to the skin. A distended stomach, or “beer belly.”

In Stage #4, you may think you’re a functioning alcoholic, but let me ask you:

  • You might still have a job, but what is your performance like?
  • You might still have a family, but are you present for them?
  • Your body may still be working, but for how much longer?

In Stage #4, you’re not a “functioning alcoholic” because you’re not performing well at work, you’re not present for your family, your body is deteriorating, and it takes everything in you just to “function.”

If you are concerned that you could be in any of the four stages of alcoholism, please contact us. We may be able to assist with signs to look out for, as well as advice on how to deal with the situation.

For information on Eden Recovery Centre’s Treatment Programmes and advice, please feel free to contact the Eden Recovery Centre. You can depend on full discretion.


Drugs in South African schools

What we discovered here at Eden Recovery Centre which is extremely interesting is that it’s not the shady man who is hanging around on street corners that is placing drugs into the hands of school-going children but rather it is the students themselves who are bringing drugs into South African schools and selling them to their fellow students.

According to research done by Anti-Drug Alliance South Africa showed that people are using drugs more than ever before and that around 69% of the teenagers who took part in the survey said that they could buy drugs from those who they attended school with.

Types of drugs in South African schools

The most common drug found sold in schools is dagga while cocaine and tik (methamphetamine) were also easily available. Nyaope use, a mixture of heroin and other substances, is another South African problem drug that is growing in popularity among those who are buying drugs at school.

Regular drug raids of schools is not enough to curb the increasing drug problem. Eden Rehabilitation Centre discovered through research that doing drug tests is another method that is being used to see which pupils are abusing drugs in an attempt to get children the help that they need. These tests will usually need to be approved by the parents of students who are suspected of taking drugs. But neither of these methods are 100% effective in preventing drugs from being used or sold in schools. Instead drugs use is thought to be on the rise schools and drugs continue to be sold to children of all ages.

Those who are found drugged at school or who are found in possession of drugs while at school will usually end up being expelled. Those who have been expelled end up staying at home because very few schools will want to accept them. This one act of adolescent stupidity, done because they didn’t think about their future and the consequences of their action, ends up compromising their entire future and can land them up in rehabilitation and the long road to recovery.

School children and drugs

Although you might have the mental image of a naughty teenager trying to be cool by making some extra cash through a drug sale, in South Africa drug sellers in schools have been found to be as young as 9. Sometimes these children are selling drugs that have been supplied by career drug dealers, on behalf of the dealer, while other times children have bought drugs to resell at school.

Why are children the most susceptible to drug use?

Some will say that it is because school children are easier to influence and their desire to fit in and be popular amongst their peers is their motivation for experimenting with the drugs that they will eventually become addicted to. Some argue that children from households that have drug abuse or alcohol abuse constantly see their parents taking the substances, and this results in the abusing of drugs being normalised.

Sometimes school children are unknowingly taking drugs when the innocent sweets they are buying end up being laced with drugs. Drug rehabilitation centres such as Eden Rehabilitation Centre in South Africa have reported such incidents and these children will either end up becoming addicted to the drugs that they have unwillingly absorbed or they will end up in hospital.

If you are concerned about your child or their accessibility to drugs at school, please contact us. We may be able to assist with signs to look out for, as well as advice on how to deal with the situation.

For information on Eden Recovery Centre’s Treatment Programmes and advice, please feel free to contact the Eden Recovery Centre. You can depend on full discretion.