What Philip Seymour Hoffman’s Tragic Death Can Teach Us About Addiction

The passing of actor Philip Seymour Hoffman serves as a reminder of the dangers faced by recovering addicts. Though there has been much speculation, what is clear is that Hoffman has been abstinent for many years following an addiction to heroin in his earlier years.

It’s Easy To Cast Blame Towards An Addict

What Philip Seymour Hoffman's Tragic Death Can Teach Us About Addiction

Courtesy of: www.wallchips.com

Hoffman’s road to stardom was riddled with choice and intent. These factors, however, were not at the root of the actor’s demise. Still, it’s easy for many to cast blame towards an individual whose death stems from heroin use. How, people say, could such a talented person risk his life and career with such an awful decision? How could someone prioritize drugs over family?

Statements like these only echo years of misunderstanding surrounding addiction and recovery, and are simply off target. The fact of the matter is: Choice has nothing to do with addiction – a disease that affects the brain, and slowly takes hold of an individual.

Choosing To Seek Treatment

Once people decide to stop using, whether on their own or with the aid of a drug addiction treatment facility, the tolerance developed throughout their use history subsides. Previously acceptable doses become lethal. The compulsive nature of cocaine, alcohol and heroin use impairs their judgment and ability to moderate.

The actor completed detox in 2013 to address a prescription drug problem that escalated to mild heroin use. Hoffman reportedly only used heroin for a week’s period before realizing he needed help.

Could Relapse Happen To Me?

Hoffman’s death hits home for many of us at the Touchstone Ranch equine therapy center. The shock and sorrow of losing a gifted actor quickly gives way to more personal questions: What does this mean for me, the recovering addict? Is my sobriety easier to lose than I acknowledge? Could this happen to me?

Unfortunately, relapse is a threat we all must address at some point in recovery. Whether you’ve enjoyed years of sobriety or are currently researching rehab centers in Texas for the first time, the struggle to maintain sobriety is one we all must live with. Though an addict can be in recovery, their addiction can only be managed. One step forward… one day at a time.

If you or a loved one are ready to start the healthy and happy lifestyle of long-term recovery, contact Touchstone Recovery Center now at 888-988-5128

Q&A: What Is A Co-Occurring Disorder?

Addictions come with many more complexities than just the addictive behavior itself.  The final act of binging on alcohol or drugs is only the accumulation of an addict’s internal thinking and behavior over time.

Co-occurring disorders are mental illnesses that occur in individuals at the same time as an addiction.  Both illnesses work together in conjunction to keep the addict isolate, alone, afraid, and resorting to their addiction as their escape from all the negative thoughts and emotions the conditions bring about.

Following are some commonly asked questions about co-occurring disorders that family members and friends often have:

What Is The Definition Of Dual Diagnosis (Co-Occurring Disorder)?Q&A What Is A Co-Occurring Disorder/Dual-Diagnosis?

Technically, there is no standard definition for dual diagnosis by any recognized authority.  The DSM-IV doesn’t list any specific criteria outlining what a dual diagnosis is and what it is not.  On the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s website, they define the term loosely as “individuals with substance abuse conditions ‘who’ have a mental health condition at the same time and vice versa.”  In layman’s terms, if you could be diagnosed with a mental health condition requiring you to seek professional treatment and if you have an addiction, you could be said to have a dual diagnosis.

What Is Dual Diagnosis Personality Disorder Treatment?

The Mayo Clinic defines a personality disorder as “a rigid and unhealthy pattern of thinking and behaving no matter what the situation.  This leads to significant problems and limitations in relationships, social encounters, work, and school.”

Types of personality disorders include borderline personality disorder, which is basically significant emotional instability and chaotic interpersonal relationships (think Angelina Jolie, Lindsay Lohan, or Britney Spears); antisocial personality disorder, which involves a tendency to manipulate or treat others poorly in order to gain personally (think of someone who commits criminal acts or who harms others but doesn’t experience remorse); and narcissistic personality disorder, a condition where someone has an inflated sense of their importance in the world and a deep need for admiration (think of Steve Jobs, Donald Trump, or Paris Hilton).

These examples are a little more on the extreme end – the characteristic of these personality disorders may not be as strong in your loved one.

What Mental Health Conditions Are Commonly Part of a Dual Diagnosis?

In addition to alcohol or drug addiction, there are several mental health conditions commonly seen with a dual diagnosis.  Some of those conditions include:

  • Depression
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Generalized anxiety disorder
  • Panic disorder
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder
  • Many phobias
  • Psychiatric disorders such as schizophrenia
  • Personality disorders

People Are Complex, But There Is Help

Even though these conditions aren’t necessarily what you see every day, you don’t have to lose hope.  With the right treatment approach and patience, as well as hard work from the individual affected, it’s entirely possible for any individual with the willingness to make a full recovery from these conditions and their devastating effects.

If you or a loved one is affected by a co-occurring disorder, co-occurring treatment facilities like TouchStone Ranch can help you get better.  Contact us at 1-888-988-5128 to transform your life into the happy, peaceful one you’ve always envisioned.

“Addiction” – a poem by Bobby

“Addiction” – a poem by Bobby

To learn more about Touchstone Ranch Recovery Center, call 8889885402

Learn more about Touchstone:

A Vision of Recovery For One and All

He Has Given Me a Vision

God said, “Frank, I want you to build a fourteen story building, for the elderly people, and the orphaned children. Inside it will have it’s own clothing store, bakery, dentist, doctor, nurses, hospital, bank, grocery store, restaurant and a dining room. On top of the building you will build my church. The name for the church will be For God’s People Only. Adjoining the main building will be the Elementary School and a Vo-Tech Trade School. (Cont. reading…click here)

Everyday Miracles – The Story of Touchstone Ranch

A beautiful story of recovery one day at a time

Published on Aug 23, 2013

A unique and one-of-a-kind recovery center, see how lives are being changed from addiction to alcohol and drugs to lives set on a clear path to recovery. Touchstone Ranch Recovery Center is a real, live working ranch for drug and alcholol addicts.

Feat. Whoopie the Zebra

Meth Rehab Centers in Texas Offer Hope for Recovery to Addicts and Their Families

Crystal meth, or methamphetamine, is a highly addictive substance that is especially dangerous because it is cheap and readily available on the street. Someone who tries this drug can become hooked on it almost immediately. Once the addiction takes hold, simple willpower alone will not help the addict break free from its grasp. Addicts will no longer be able to make good choices in their life, no matter what they are saying in between times when they are actively using the drug.


Signs of Crystal Meth Use

The following changes in a loved one’s appearance and behavior may point to an issue with meth addiction:

  • Loss of appetite or unexplained weight loss
  • Burn marks on the fingers or mouth
  • Picking at the skin
  • Lack of interest in physical appearance
  • Unusual body odor (some addicts smell like ammonia)
  • Tooth decay (“meth mouth”)
  • Dilated pupils, even when in a brightly-lit room or out of doors
  • Paranoia
  • Twitching or facial tics
  • Picking at the hair or skin for no reason
  • Borrowing or stealing money

Find Professional Help for Meth Addiction

Once an issue with meth addiction has been identified, a family doesn’t have to wait for their loved one to reach his or her “rock bottom” to get them into a drug ranch for help. Left to his or her own devices, the addict will always choose to continue using as long as he or she can get drugs and has access to food and a place to stay.

The family may need to make a choice that going for help has to happen, and that the time has come for their loved one to start being accountable for his or her actions. Going to a treatment facility is a chance to put the illness of meth addiction front and center and examine it carefully.

No one at the Touchstone Ranch Recovery Center is going to be taken in by the tactics that clients use to manipulate them – they have heard it all before. The horses used for the equine therapy program are also immune from the behaviors clients may have tried to use to get their own way in the past. They will have only one choice: to learn new, healthier behavior patterns.

Focus on a Positive, Sober Future

No one can go back in time to erase their past. It is done and over with, but that doesn’t mean that your loved one can’t move forward to a sober future. Each client is different, which is why the exact approach to treatment is highly individualized and may include a twelve step recovery program with individual and group counseling sessions.

Would you like to find out more about the programs at Touchstone Ranch? Call us at 888-988-5128. Our representatives are available right now to speak with you.

Equine Assisted Psychotherapy and Addiction

EUGENE, OR – The hit TV show “Breaking Bad” is about something all Americans can relate to – daily drug and alcohol abuse – with the government reporting in October that 23.1 million people in the U.S. needing “addiction” treatment and only 2.6 million getting it. Maybe this being a result of addicts not realizing they have an illness that needs treatment. Addiction can rear it’s ugly head in lots of ways wearing different hats. There are addictions to everything from shopping, food, gambling, hoarding, exercise, tobacco, alcohol, prescription drugs, herion, marijuana, television, pornography, working, computers, etc…I’m sure I’ve left something out. The common definition for “addiction” according to Websters is the compulsive use of habit forming drugs. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention tells us that Drug “addiction” is a brain disease. Although initial drug use might be voluntary, drugs of abuse have been shown to alter gene expression and brain circuitry, which in turn affect human behavior. Once “addiction” develops, these brain changes interfere with an individual’s ability to make voluntary decisions, leading to compulsive drug craving, seeking and use. If we ask NIDA (National Institute on Drug Abuse) they state that yes, “addiction” changes the brain in fundamental ways, disturbing a person’s normal hierarchy of needs and desires and substituting new priorities connected with procuring and using the drug. The resulting compulsive behaviors that weaken the ability to control impulses, despite the negative consequences, are similar to hallmarks of other mental illnesses. Addiction shows no partiality…it has no favorites except for the continued user. Someone once wrote that, ”Walking around drunk is like walking around with your fly open. Everyone sees it except you. “ This is the case with “addiction” in general, usually the addict is blind to the fact or just in denial all together.

There are many different treatment programs and facilities that help in the recovery process. In this article we will explore what the professional staff at Touchstone Ranch Recovery Center specialize in which is the “Equine Therapy Approach.” In being part of a working ranch, the residents will learn through interaction with the horses and other livestock about TRUST, BOUNDARIES, COMMUNICATION and RESPONSIBILITIES. The skills taught will be followed up by residents identifying what they learn from the animals and how to apply these new found skills in their daily lives. Equine Assisted Psychotherapy is experiential in nature. This means that participants learn about themselves and others by participating in activities with the horses, and then processing (or discussing) feelings, behaviors, and patterns. This approach has been compared to the ropes courses used by therapists, treatment facilities, and human development courses around the world. But ”Equine Assisted Psychotherapy” has the added advantage of utilizing horses, dynamic and powerful living beings. Not all programs or individuals who use horses practice “Equine Assisted Psychotherapy”. For one, licensed (in the U.S.) and properly qualified (outside the U.S.) mental health professionals need to be involved. The focus of ”Equine Assisted Psychotherapy” is not riding or horsemanship. The focus of ”Equine Assisted Psychotherapy” involves setting up ground activities involving the horses which will require the client or group to apply certain skills. Non-verbal communication, assertiveness, creative thinking and problem-solving, leadership, work, taking responsibility, teamwork and relationships, confidence, and attitude are several examples of the tools utilized and developed by “Equine Assisted Psychotherapy.” Upon completion of this program, residents will have gained a knowledge of who they are and how to live in a world without using alcohol and drugs; that they are responsible for their own thinking, feeling and behavior; and will have gained the skills necessary to prevent relapse by following a concrete relapse prevention plan which the resident will have in place prior to discharge.

EAP is a powerful and effective therapeutic approach that has an incredible impact on individuals, youth, families, and groups. Equine Assisted Psychotherapy addresses a variety of mental health and human development needs including behavioral issues, attention deficit disorder, PTSD, substance abuse, eating disorders, depression, anxiety, relationship problems and communication needs.

The resident’s emotional health will be addressed through an individualized plan of care. This would be developed by the resident and counselor. Many, if not all people, who enter into a program of recovery are spiritually bankrupt. This needs to be addressed by focusing on the spiritual interpretation of Steps 1-3 of the 12 Steps of AA in order for the resident to have in place a spiritual foundation that will enable the resident to continue to work the steps with a sponsor following their completion of our recovery program. The resident will be strongly encouraged to attend daily AA/NA meetings, obtain a sponsor, attend aftercare and continue to work the 12 steps in order to maintain sobriety.

Each person has to decide what treatment program is appropriate for them based upon their needs and where they would feel most comfortable. Being in the setting of a ranch verses a hospital like environment encourages clients to re-connect with their Source by reaching out and embracing the nature and life surrounding them.

Call us at 888-988-5128 for more information on addiction and recovery and how we operate at Touchstone Ranch. We’re available 24 hours a day.