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Addiction to the Internet and teenagers

It’s hard to find a teenager who does not spend a considerable amount of their time on the Internet, whether they are playing games or interacting on social media. Many parents feel that their teens spend too much time online, but they have a constant struggle to limit Internet activity,

However, there is a big difference between a teenager who spends a little too much time in the online world and one that is obsessed to the point of addiction. Internet addiction is often seen as the result of poor parenting but in reality, it has the same basis as other addictions such as alcohol, drugs, and gambling. These addictions are treated seriously, and addressed at facilities such as Granite House, so that sufferers can recover. Internet addiction is also very real, and it’s important that you spot the signs in your teenager, so that they can be helped as soon as possible.

What causes Internet addiction?

Much like other forms of addiction, there is no single cause of addiction to the Internet. There can be many reasons why a teenager develops an obsession with being online. However, Internet addiction is often associated with others issues that a teenager may be having including:

  • ADHD
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • The need to escape real-world issues such as bullying.

It’s important that the addiction is identified so that it can be treated alongside any accompanying disorders or problems.

What are the signs that your teenager may be affected?

There is a big difference between a teenager who spends a couple of hours playing online games with friends and one who closes themselves off for hours on end at the expense of other aspects of normal life. Once the Internet takes over a teenager’s life, the problem needs to be addressed. There are several signs that this may have happened.

  • Anger and irritability when they cannot get online.
  • Lower grades in school.
  • Lack of attention to personal hygiene.
  • Distancing from real-world
  • Falling asleep during the day.
  • Lying about Internet activity.

If you realize that your teenager has a problem with Internet addiction, you need to speak to them about it and seek help and treatment options if necessary.

How is Internet addiction treated?

The method of treatment for Internet addiction depends on the teenager involved and how severe the addiction is. Professionals can help you decide which is the best option for your teenager. The choices you may want to consider include:

  • Restriction or removal of Internet access.
  • Therapy in a one-to-one, group or family setting.
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT).
  • Recreation Therapy.
  • Art Therapy.

No matter which treatment option is chosen, the sooner it starts the better. It can be hard to admit that your teenager has an addiction to the Internet because you think this somehow means that you are a bad parent. However, admitting that there is an issue, and seeking help, is actually good parenting.

Binge drinking at college – how to look after your kids

Binge drinking can be a real issue for kids, especially when they are away at college and the pressure from peers is immense. Your children need to know about the dangers so that they can better understand why joining in with the crowd may not be a good idea.

This does not mean that your kids should feel as though they cannot enjoy the social aspects of college life; this is an important part of growing up and gaining their independence. It simply means that you need to help them understand the dangers of binge drinking and how it can have a serious effect on the rest of their lives.

Knowing about the dangers

Trying to scare your kids about the use of alcohol is not going to work; especially if they have grown up in a household where social drinking is common. You need to make yourself aware of the very real dangers that can be associated with drinking too much and use this information during a rational and friendly discussion. The dangers are not restricted to physical and mental issues caused by the alcohol itself, they also include:

  • Accidents caused by drink driving.
  • Increased likelihood of being physically assaulted or of assaulting someone else.
  • Increased likelihood of sexual assault.
  • Long-term damage to the brain.

Not all of these issues are immediately apparent. Damage to the brain becomes obvious as time goes on, and the abuse of alcohol continues. The brain is still developing while a student is in college, and continues to do so until the age of twenty-five. Damage caused at this critical time can be permanent.

Helping your child to avoid a problem with binge drinking

A sensible conversation may be all that is needed to keep your kids away from any real problems with alcohol. However, this is not always the case. Sadly, many kids pay more attention to other college students than they do to their parents. This is why staying involved, especially when your kids first start college, is a good idea:

  • Keep in touch regularly, without being overbearing.
  • Make sure that you are available if your kids ever need to talk to you.
  • Look out for any signs that your child has a problem with alcohol.
  • Be aware of what the college is doing to promote alcohol awareness and intervene where there is a problem.
  • Seek help from experts such as New Freedom Academy as soon as you know this is necessary.

There are times when kids develop an issue with drinking despite the best efforts of their parents. If this happens, it’s important that help is provided as soon as possible, so you need to be aware of the signs.

Signs that a college student may have a problem with alcohol

Binge drinking in students can have a lot of related indicators attached to it. Being aware of these indicators can help you identify if your child needs help.

  • Driving while drunk, fighting or having sex.
  • Regular days of the week where heavy drinking is common.
  • Drinking more than intended on a regular basis.
  • Black outs while drinking.
  • Neglecting other aspects of college life.

If you have contact with your child, and alcohol is becoming an issue, there is a chance that you may be able to tell, if you ask the right questions. As soon as you suspect there is a problem, you should start to deal with it, by talking to your child and getting help for them if necessary.



How to enjoy the holiday season in sobriety

For most of the year, you have full control over the situations you put yourself in; this makes it easier to steer clear of anything that may threaten your sobriety. Then Thanksgiving arrives and you know that for the next few weeks you are likely to be invited to social occasions where alcohol is present. Of course, you could simply refuse any invitations, but this is only likely to make you feel lonely which could itself put your sobriety at risk.

The best option is to manage your attendance at each event. Doing so means that you can enjoy the holiday season while still remaining sober.

Be selective about what you agree to

One of the most important things to remember is that you do not have to accept every invitation that you receive. Think carefully about each event and about any risk factors that may be attached. Is the main focus likely to be on alcohol? Is anyone attending likely to cause you to stress? These are types of event that you may want to stay away from. Stick to celebrations where you can feel relaxed and where there is no pressure to drink alcohol.

Make sure that you get enough rest and food beforehand

Being tired and having a low blood sugar level can lead to your stress levels being raised. This is not a good situation to be in if you are mixing with others during the holiday season. This is why you need to ensure that you get plenty of sleep and eat well before you attend an event. The better you feel, physically and mentally, the more likely you are to be able to enjoy yourself while sober.

Have support at hand

The most important thing is always to protect your sobriety. Professionals such as Green Mountain Treatment can help you if you need help with treatment before you deal with the holiday season. You also need to tell someone that you may need to speak to them for support, while you are at a party. It’s a good idea if this is your sponsor or someone else who is in recovery, as they understand the issues that you have.

Plan your escape

Before you go to a party or another event, think about what excuse you can use if you need to make an early exit. For instance, you could say that the sitter needs to leave early, or that you need to get some last minute work finished. If you have a plan in place before you attend it helps to prevent you from panicking should you feel the need to leave at any point?

Take your non-alcoholic drink with you

It’s a good idea to take something non-alcoholic with you, to drink. Doing so means that you have a drink in your hand from when you first arrive and are less likely to be asked if you would like something to drink. Do not let yourself be pressured into drinking alcohol; simply politely decline. It’s also worth remembering that certain foods may contain alcohol, so double check if you are unsure.

Using these measures to protect yourself can help you to remain sober while still enjoying the holiday season with family and friends.

The Benefits of Running for Your Mental Health


It wouldn’t surprise any of you if I told you that physical activity is one of the most commonly recommended natural remedies for stress, anxiety and depression.

But what is it about running, in particular, that improves our mental health?

When you break it down, it becomes really clear to see the intrinsic link between healing from mental illness and running.

When you are suffering from mental ill-health, one of the main obstacles is trying to bring your coping mechanisms back. The coping mechanisms that help you deal with whatever life throws at you. Running strengthens these coping mechanisms through:

  • setting and attaining goals
  • experiencing success and overcoming frustration
  • creating and maintaining motivation

I am sure we have all heard about the effects of endorphins which are released when we exert ourselves… but it would be wrong to assume that every run we perform will leave us with the same “Runners High”. No. Often, your run will feel sluggish, it will be a mental challenge as much as a physical one and you could end up feeling worse after a run than before you started. Is this starting to sound contradictory and actually bad for your mental health? You’d be forgiven, but hear me out first.

Good Mental Health is centred (mainly) around these core strengths:

  • Self-esteem/confidence
  • Resiliency
  • Motivation/determination

Self-Esteem & Confidence

One of the most notable aspects of running is that, as an individual sport, you must rely on yourself for results. Over time, as runs become easier and a person becomes fitter they will realise that they are fully equipped to better themselves and overcome challenges. This then transfers to other areas of their life, thus increasing their sense of capability at dealing with obstacles and stressors. Running is demanding and the rewards and frustrations of running fall only to yourself. Rising to the challenge of the demanding endeavour builds your ego and self-esteem as you realise that you are capable of doing great things… alone!


As mentioned before, not every run will be a “good run”. There will be days when the legs feel heavy, the lungs feel about 5 times smaller, you can’t get your head to focus on the task at hand… and on those days, you will complete the run thinking you ought to never run again! Resiliency, consequently, is built through overcoming these bad runs and deciding to just try again. Developing the ability to visualise future success and tying up your laces just once more – that is resiliency.

Ask yourself.. have you ever met a marathon-runner who lacks resilience?


Running encourages us to set both short-term and long-term goals. The longer term goals are often what motivates us to head out for a run, and the short term goal (of say, completing 5k this Thursday evening) provides us with determination to see something through. Focusing and visualising future achievements (e.g. running a race, or completing a particular distance) is so healthy. The goal is tangible and attainable and it is our determination that is strengthened to seeing us through to completion of that goal. No one can put in the training for us. Creating and attaining goals is invaluable experience to then attribute to other areas of your life – be that career, relationships, other life-long dreams and hobbies. Through achieving our running goals, we become more confident in our ability to see things through and develop our sense of self.

I can speak from personal experience when I say that these tools which running equips you with have also helped ME through some of my darker periods in life. Running has reminded me what I am capable of, helped me feel strong in my weakest moments (psychologically speaking) and given me purpose.

I created Run Talk Run to provide a space and opportunity to assist others in discovering the powerful impact that running and opening up can have. You can read more about Run Talk Run and what we do here:

Jess Robson xx

Founder/Runner at Run Talk Run –

What is the link between low self-esteem and drug abuse?

Any person who has low self-esteem is usually heavily influenced by their environment. It has a huge influence on the way they feel and act. This means that any negative experience they have tends to be difficult for them to overcome. The need to escape from the negativity can lead to a person experimenting with drugs, and eventually becoming addicted.

It’s important to note that not everyone abuses drugs because they have low self-esteem. There are several factors which can lead to the abuse of drugs including family history and mental disorders.  However, research has shown that people who abuse drugs tend to have lower self-esteem than others in the general population. This means that low self-esteem is linked to drug abuse as a cause and effect.

How low self-esteem starts

Low self-esteem makes an individual believe that they are always likely to fail; it causes them to be negative. Some people can be naturally less inclined to be positive but the actions of others often cause low self- esteem to spiral. Many of these actions start in childhood and include disinterest, disapproval or abuse from parents or other care-givers. If a person is never shown any support or attention, they can start to believe that they are not good enough and their self-esteem is adversely affected.

Low self-esteem and addiction

When a person has low self-esteem they often look for an escape from their negative feelings and a means of building their confidence. This can lead to the abuse of drugs. As an individual starts to take drugs more often so they can become addicted. They crave the feeling of confidence that taking drugs gives them and they want it again and again. The problem is that once the body gets used to the drugs so the effects are harder to achieve and the spiral of low self-esteem continues.

Drug abuse treatment and improving low self-esteem

Drug abuse treatment providers such as Granite Recovery Centers, help to address some of the factors that can cause low self-esteem, such as depression and anxiety. The programs that are used to help addicts to look at their own personal growth and to reflect on their own behavior. This helps to improve their self-worth and levels of confidence. This, in turn, helps to reduce the need to rely on drugs to feel good. Families and friends can also become involved in the ongoing recovery of a drug abuser, by ensuring that they promote a positive attitude and environment.

Not everyone who abuses drugs has low self-esteem and not everyone who has low self-esteem abuses drugs as a means of trying to deal with the situation. However, issues with self-esteem are definitely one factor that can lead to the abuse of drugs and addiction. Once a person begins to abuse drugs on an ongoing basis, their self-esteem can deteriorate further. This is why dealing with mental health issues and developing self-awareness and self-worth are all so important in aiding recovery from abuse and addiction.


Complete Freedom From Hydrocodone Dependence

The recent crackdown on opioid prescriptions has placed many people with hydrocodone dependence in a situation that could leave them with few alternatives to either quitting the drug or seeking it out on the illegal market. Hydrocodone detox combined with a quality treatment program can break the dependence with little to no long-term side effects.

What Is Hydrocodone?

Hydrocodone is an opium-derived drug that is commonly prescribed under the name Vicodin. As an opiate medication, with it comes the very real possibility of tolerance and dependence when used over a long period of time. It is most commonly used as a painkiller, especially for those individuals plagued by chronic conditions that cause extreme discomfort. Laws are increasingly enacted to bring tighter control over prescriptions of this type, but there are already millions of people with a current level of dependency at some level.

Can you develop an addiction to Hydrocodone?

One of the biggest drawbacks of any opioid drug is the potential for the development of dependence and addiction. As with any opiate, the constant use of hydrocodone causes the body to build tolerance, requiring a higher level of drug to be administered to achieve the necessary painkilling effect. Through tolerance comes dependence and addiction. You can have dependence without addiction, but any patient that develops dependence is at high-risk for a full-blown addiction.

Will I go through withdrawal?

Any level of dependence to an opioid drug will lead to a nearly immediate influx of withdrawal symptoms. The range of symptoms can be anything from slight discomfort and irritability to life-threatening experiences. The level of withdrawal will largely depend on the length of time you have been taking hydrocodone and the amounts used. It is important to discuss your current use with a drug detox professional before attempting to cease using your prescription.

Do I need to undergo inpatient treatment?

An intake expert will need to document your history of hydrocodone use and current level of dependency or addiction to determine whether you would benefit from complete inpatient treatment. It is almost always recommended to detox in a supervised setting to keep you safe from adverse reactions and health monitoring. The detox team will be able to supervise and provide ways to alleviate any severe withdrawal symptoms. It offers the most comfortable and safe way to detox from hydrocodone. Light use and dependence can sometimes be handled on an outpatient basis.

How long will detox and treatment take?

The length of time needed for complete detox can vary greatly by individual. The reason for this has to do with the individual nature of each dependency, amount of drug used, and comfort level during the detox process. Some people are comfortable with a fast-paced program, whereas others need a slower approach. You can plan on detox taking up to a few weeks time. Every program can be adjusted to maintain an optimal level of comfort.

How can I manage my pain without Hydrocodone?

One of the greatest fears that keep individuals from seeking help from hydrocodone dependence is wondering how to combat pain without the normal drug of choice. Severe injuries and certain diseases can cause a great deal of chronic pain. The hydrocodone dependence seems to be the only thing that holds back the waves of pain that make life miserable. During the treatment process, medical professionals will help you find non-addictive painkillers and non-pharmaceutical ways to help reduce and manage pain. You will learn simple lifestyle changes you can make that will reduce pain naturally. Ridding your body of hydrocodone can also help clear up possible memory and confusion problems. You will find your focus and attention span increasing.

Leave Dependence On Hydrocodone Behind

Your body and mind become dependent on medications when there is a lack of alternatives offered. You can eliminate the dangers of slipping into addiction by breaking the dependence on hydrocodone. You might be surprised at how well your body and mind respond to leaving hydrocodone dependency behind.

No matter how long you have been chained to the use of hydrocodone to control pain, eliminating dependence is possible by using the right detox program and drug treatment therapy. You will enjoy a better quality of life and immediately begin to improve your overall health.

3 Ways To Get More Quality Sleep Tonight

While everyone has times in their life when they’re getting very little sleep, whether it’s because you have a new baby or you’ve been working under a tight deadline at work, no one can sustain themselves on a limited amount of sleep. For some people, even though they’re in bed for seven or eight hours each night, they’re still not able to get the restful sleep that their bodies and minds need to be healthy and rejuvenated. So to help you make the most of the hours you can devote to sleep, here are three ways you can start to get more quality sleep beginning tonight.

Pick The Right Pre-Sleep Foods

What you’re fueling your body with, especially in the few hours before you go to bed, can have a big impact on how well you’re able to sleep that night. So to stack the chips in your favor, Lindsay Holmes, a contributor to the Huffington Post, recommends that you try to eat food that’s high in protein and magnesium before you hit the hay. Protein-rich foods often have tryptophan in them, which can help to make you sleepy. And according to many studies, magnesium also has a calming effect that can help to get to sleep and stay asleep throughout the night.

Take A Break From Technology

So many people spend the vast majority of their day staring into screens. From their phone to their tablets and their computers and TVs, many people are hard-pressed to think of a time during the day when they’re not watching a screen that’s backlit. But in order for your brain to unwind and start prepping your body for sleep, Dr. William Blahd, a contributor to WebMD, it’s important that you give your eyes and your brain a break from technology before you jump right in bed. The blue light from these devices can make it hard for your body to recognize that it’s time to start sleeping. So if you can’t stop yourself from looking at them, try to keep them out of your bedroom completely so you can devote yourself fully to sleep.

Get In The Perfect Setting

The environment of your bedroom may be making it harder for you to fall asleep and stay asleep all night long. To get your bedroom into the perfect sleep setting, Leslie Barrie, a contributor to, recommends that you do things like keeping the lights low, turning the temperature down, and blocking out any annoying noises that might keep you awake. By doing these things, you should be able to teach your body how to recognize the right atmosphere for ideal sleep.

If you need to get more quality sleep at night, consider using the tips mentioned above to help you learn how you can do just that.


5 Ways To Reduce Anxiety

Although anxiety is often a result of something which puts on the pressure.  It can be anything from completing a training program to having an intense job.  Unfortunately for many, it can also come on for nothing at all.  Certain people who are naturally high strung may feel tension at any point in the day out of nowhere.

If you’re one of those people who are susceptible to feelings of anxiety and are often overwhelmed by your circumstances, then try the following tips to lower your anxiety levels.

Practice Meditation

The constant chatter of the mind plays a huge role in a person’s happiness.  If you’re always in a state of labeling and judging, then you’ll be less likely to appreciate the moment.

Even though the chatter of the mind may convince you that you’re in control of your circumstances since you’re identifying your surroundings with dialogue, it will increase your feelings of anxiety.

Meditation trains the brain to slow down and silence the chatter, allowing a person to be completely present.

It doesn’t require much more than closing your eyes and focusing on your breath.  As a result, your mind will go silent.  You’ll come out of this meditative state feeling more in control of your feelings and a greater sense of overall awareness.

Get More Exercise

When you have pent-up energy inside which has nowhere to go, it can make you feel full of negativity.  You may start to feel like you are going to have a burnout if you don’t have anywhere to put this energy.

However, if you exercise and get your body moving at an aerobic rate, you’ll find that you feel an outlet for your pent-up tension.  Try to get your sweat on until you feel your heart pounding and you are out of breath. You’ll feel much less prone to moments of stress and tension.

Be More Positive

If you’re constantly focusing on the worst possible outcome of a situation, you’ll only drive yourself crazy.  Regardless of how much you worry, you can’t control a situation that’s out of your hands.

Therefore, it’s in your best interest to be positive and focus on things going well.

Take Supplements

If you try all of these things and you still feel anxious, then it may be time to see your doctor for a medication which can help you calm down.  Before opting for the heavy prescription options, however, you should try natural supplements.

A natural supplement isn’t addictive and is much more affordable.

Avoid Alcohol

Although a lot of people drink alcohol to decompress from their worries, it actually has the opposite effect.  High levels of alcohol make a person more susceptible to feeling stress and anxiety.

Try to cut it out entirely if you can, or at least only in small doses to see the most significant improvement.


5 Ways To Reduce Stress In Your Life

Stress is something which can take your life by storm, leaving you feeling helpless.  Although it can be brought on by many different possibilities, the effects are always the same.  People don’t function best under the pressure of stress. Eventually, it can become more than just an emotional response, and start to negatively impact your physical health.

When people are under stress they’re less present, their creativity is stifled, and they may be more prone to arguing.  This emotional state isn’t doing anyone any favors, so it’s in your best interest to reduce it as much as possible.  Here are some of the best ways to eliminate the stress in your life, and move on to a more relaxed state of mind.

Determine Your Triggers

Try to identify when you are most susceptible to stress.  If you have a job which is incredibly fast-paced and requires you to take on various responsibilities, then this is probably a factor in your stress levels.

Try to find ways to handle multiple processes without going into panic mode.  Outsource to other people or services if you have to, or even consider changing careers.  Since you spend most of your week at work, you’ll find yourself continually stressed.  Eventually, it will carry over into your personal life well after leaving the office.

Meditate More

Some people think that meditation is all about bells, temples, and funny smelling incense, however, it’s much more than that.  Meditation isn’t about magic or religion, but calming the mind.

When you take your mind to a meditative state and gather your thoughts, you’re able to handle stress better.  If you’re going at full speed all day long without letting your mind take a break, you’re headed for an eventual burnout.

Share Your Feelings

One of the biggest reasons that people feel bottled up stress is because they don’t release their feelings.  Talking to someone about how you’re feeling is important.  The person you confide in could be a friend or even a professional.

Failing to let go of how you’re feeling and seek understanding will make you feel more and more stressed.

Eliminate Negative Influences

Try to purge your life of people who encourage bad habits and stress.  Surround yourself with people who you admire and bring out the best in your behavior.

If you’re continuously around people who are critical and demanding, it’s no wonder why you’re stressed out!

Get More Exercise

Studies show that one of the best ways to reduce stress is to get your sweat on.  Working out for at least 30 minutes a day will help release the tension that you’ve built up throughout the week.

Additionally, you’ll feel more physically confident and secure!


How to Stay Fit at Work

Many of us working in offices suffer from all range of health problems such as elevated blood pressure, obesity, diabetes, etc. the list here goes on and on. Our modern lives usually force us into habits that are detrimental to our health and well being. Fortunately for us, there are some great changes that can be made in order to remedy the situation and ensure that we live healthier lives. Here are some ideas:

1. If you work in an office building chances are that it has several floor levels. Swapping your elevator for stairs is a great way to have your heart pumping. Don’t use the elevator only because everybody else is doing it. Try to be original and reap the benefits now.

2. Try to encourage your boss to buy health screening packages for all the employees. There are multiple benefits of such packages and no boss should overlook the importance of having healthy people to work for them.

3. Limit your coffee intake. I am aware that drinking caffeine is part and parcel of the life of every office and that everybody consumes a lot of it from the morning, but if you find yourself that you need to rely on it to make it through the day this means that you are in trouble. Try to reduce it gradually as even the slightest change in caffeine in your system can give you headaches you might want to avoid.

4. Consider using office sports equipment to get as much exercise as possible while you work or during breaks. This is a rather innovative idea that has found its way into offices. You can find on the market a number of bikes, treadmills, etc. that are designed with office users in mind. you can still get a large portion of your work done while burning calories on an exercise bike or while walking on a treadmill. You just need to be creative about it.

5. Have a lot of drinking water available near you to allow you to be hydrated at all times. This is especially important if you consume a lot of coffee as coffee can cause your body to lose water. Aim to drink at least 2 litres of water per day.