Spenser: The Book Series You Should Be Reading Instead Of Drinking While Quarantined

The quarantine has not been helpful for people like me who have a tough time staying sober. I used to fill my hours with work to avoid thinking of alcohol, but that’s all I had in mind ever since my company had to operate remotely. My only savior at this time is the Spenser book series I have had in my collection for years.

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Who is Spenser?

Spenser, a fictional detective whose name has not been divulged, is the hero in the Spenser novels that Robert B. Parker penned. The investigator appeared primarily in the author’s 1973 debut novel, The Godwulf Manuscript, which was released by the Houghton Mifflin Company. The Spenser book series falls under the crime fiction genre.

Spenser is a former boxer, a Korean War veteran, and an ex-State Trooper who hailed from a family of carpenters in Wyoming. The beginning of the first novel revolves around the time when he has already become a private detective in Boston. In this book, Spenser had to retrieve an ancient manuscript that the culprit would only return once the university donated a hundred thousand dollars to a specific school.

Robert B. Parker’s genius shows that Spenser meticulously probes every case in the series. The result, therefore, is an award-winning crime novel series since the 70s.

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Spenser Awards

The Spenser series has steadily gained recognition from various institutions. Promised Land, the fourth book, bagged the Best Novel Award from the prestigious Edgar Awards in 1977. In 1983, the seventh novel called Early Autumn won the first Falcon Award, which is the highest honor given by the Maltese Falcon Society in Japan to mystery writers.

Best Spenser Books

A fantastic sequel in the Spenser series is called God Save The Child. Its story focuses on the hero’s search for Kevin, a teenage boy who has reportedly been kidnapped but still has not gone back home even after the ransom gets paid. As it turns out, Kevin has willingly stayed with his idol bodybuilder Vic Harroway, and the abduction note is a mere ploy to force his parents to send him money. The teenager falsely believes that Harroway can never be beaten by anyone in combat, and does not leave his side even when he has seen him kill their family lawyer, deal with drugs and prostitution, and batter his folks. This is a beautiful novel as it exhibits the immense physical and mental strength of Spenser, for he not only defeated Vic Harroway but also caught the law enforcer who often covers the bodybuilder’s tracks.

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The Promise Land is a great read as well since it demonstrates Spenser’s skills and humanity. He has been hired at the start of the book by a real estate company owner to search for his wife’s whereabouts. He has indeed found her, yet Spenser has decided not to divulge her location to the employer until she gives her own permission. He also wants to imprison the feminists-cum-bank robbers that she has stayed with previously for the murder that they have committed. A lot of things have to be considered for Spenser’s plans to work, and it is admirable how he has made it all happen.

Early Autumn is the name of the novel where Paul Giacomin, a young man whom Spenser values like his own son, has been introduced. When Paul’s parents do not want to do anything with him, he has taken the boy under his wing. This can be viewed as one of the best books in the Spenser book series, as it gives light to the character’s paternal side and his desire to protect the people he cares most about.

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Other Books You May Like

The Elvis Cole books by Robert Crais have caught the attention of Spenser series fans, due to its strong resemblance to the latter. Elvis Cole is a private investigator and a former Ranger who handles crime and kidnapping cases. Also, readers like Harry Bosch, a series crafted by Michael Connelly in 1992. He is a Los Angeles detective who has been turned over to homicide work after years in the Robbery-Homicide and Internal Affairs divisions.

Four Lifestyle Changes You Can Do To Prevent A Relapse

The 2019 Lifestyle Conference emphasized how food can affect not only our physical strength but also our mental health. And it is indeed true that a healthy diet can positively affect even our mood. So, when you are recovering from an addiction, changing your diet can have sound effects on you.

To further help you prevent a relapse, here are four lifestyle changes to adapt on your road to recovery.

Eat Healthily

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Like what I mentioned above, the first change that you must do for yourself is to improve your diet. Eating a nutritious meal three times a day can significantly help you in your recovery.

Learn how to plan your food so you would not encounter the temptation to buy take out fast food. If you need help, seek assistance from a nutritionist or a dietician to know which foods your body needs.

Schedule A Sleep Routine

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Lack of sleep may result in depression and a lack of self-control. So, having enough hours of snoozes can help you a lot on your road to recovery.

Health experts suggest that having at least seven hours of sleep is right for you. It does not only energize you, but it also makes you have a more positive mindset for the rest of your day. Find a sleep routine that you can stick through and follow it strictly every day.

Exercise Regularly

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Exercising has excellent benefits for your physical health. Likewise, it makes your mind and emotions okay too. This phenomenon happens because endorphins, the happy hormones, are released when you break a sweat. Add physical activity to your weekly routine and find happiness in your daily life.

Know Yourself

Lastly, the best lifestyle change is knowing yourself. Know what triggers your addiction. And the best way to avoid relapse is to understand what these are and how to manage them.

Seek professional help to assist you in identifying them and for coping methods that you can practice. And when you already feel the urge, don’t be afraid to seek help from a close friend or a counselor to help you get through it.

The road towards recovery may be rocky, but it is not impossible. These lifestyle changes can help you improve yourself and give you a better chance of recovering from your addiction.

Therapist’s: How To Take Care of Your Body

“As adults, we deny the truth when it might mean we’d have to take action we don’t want to.” Darlene Lancer, JD, MFT

Taking good care of your body must become your top priority. Take note that there are tons of things to take into consideration if you want to live a happy life, one of which is to know what your body needs and respond to it. Whether you like it or not, your physical health can affect a lot of aspects of your life. If you are fit and healthy, then there is a good chance that you can also achieve mental wellness. In this article, we are going to discuss the different ways of how you make this happen. Most of the tips mentioned below came from a therapist who has several years of experience in the study of human behavior. Make sure to remember these:

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Eat A Balanced Diet


For sure, this is not the first time that you have heard of this. Many authors and researchers have repeated the significance of eating right over and over again. If you want to be healthy, there is no need to skip meals to accomplish your target weight. The right thing to do is to eat on time and change your daily diet. As much as possible, take away foods that are high in fats and calories in your diet. Instead, focus on having vegetables and fruits in your table. Once you are able to do this, everything will become a lot easier on your part.


Be Physically Active


Another vital thing that you must never forget is to be active in keeping yourself fit through exercise. You must never have an excuse for not being physically active. Otherwise, you are only exposing yourself to several health risks. As much as possible, take some time off to enjoy running in the park, going to the gym, or performing yoga exercise at home. Take note that you have several choices when it comes to this matter. What is essential is that you can sweat out all the stress and anxiety, regardless of how busy you are.

“The voice process exists along a continuum of intensity, ranging from mild self-criticism to extremely angry, self-abusive thoughts.” — Robert Firestone, Ph.D

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Check Your Skin Products


When it comes to valuing or taking good care of yourself, skin must also be one of your considerations. Make sure that you are greatly careful with the products that you are using in your skincare routine. Check the labels or prints of each item that you use to see if there are some harmful ingredients included. If possible, go for anything organic or natural so that you can get a guarantee that it will not do you any harm. At this point, it is also crucial to emphasize that just because one product works for one person does not mean that it will also work for you. Otherwise, you may end up purchasing the wrong item for you. If you are not sure with the products to purchase, it is ideal if you will ask the experts about it before you will buy it. Also, it is essential that you do not go for any counterfeit item for any reason at all.


Avoid Sun Exposure


Did you know that the sunrays are extremely harmful to your skin? These ultra-violate rays can be dangerous for your body. The more exposed you are under the scorching heat of the sun, the more dangerous it is for your body. As much as possible, be careful with your sun exposure. Make sure to use sun block materials at all times. It is also ideal for bringing an umbrella or hat wherever you go so that you can keep yourself protected from the sun. If you want this to work, you have to exert efforts in making it happen.


Get Enough Sleep


You must also never forget the significance of getting the right amount of sleep every single night. Always remember that you are not invincible, which means that you will get tired at some point. No matter how energetic you are, you will always look for a way to rest. As such, it is essential for you to sleep early so that you can already recharge for the new days. Aside from this, you must also keep yourself away from anything that can disrupt your sleep. For example, set your phone to night mode wherein you will automatically not receive any calls while you are already sleeping.


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“Some people grow up with the idea that self-care is selfish. But taking care of yourself first is important, especially if you are dedicated to taking care of others.” — Robyn E. Brickel, M.A., LMFT

Remind yourself that failure to take good care of your body will not only cause some adverse effects to your physical health. At the same time, it can also have an effect your mental health.


Psychologists Warn Us Of The Threats of Substance Abuse

“We are constantly giving out signals that other people can pick up. Your family can usually tell when you are stressed out, relaxed, happy, or sad.” — Erika Krull, MSEd, LMHP

People often look for an outlet to relieve themselves from their worries or stress. It may be some hobby or spending time with some friends. Unfortunately for others, this outlet refers to alcohol, drugs, tobacco, and other harmful substances. Those who claim that they have no friends nor hobbies often look to depend on psychoactive substances. For psychologists, this is a severe case that may lead to a dependence disorder.

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Substance abuse is different from addiction since many people with substance problems can quit. They still have the power to change their unhealthy behavior, yet this can even develop into a habit. Addictions are considered diseases that cause you more harm as you continue to use such substances.

Commonly Abused Substances

There are certain types of substances that an individual can abuse. These substances range from those usually found to relieve stress to those not accessible to the public.

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  • Alcohol

Alcohol is available as long as you are of legal age. This substance has a different effect on each person. Also, we all have different tolerance levels. However, if you drink too much, you become more prone to accidents.

  • Cigarettes And Other Tobacco Products

Tobacco is not considered to be a drug but instead a chemical that gives you a rush of pleasure and energy. Nicotine causes the rush you feel. Having too much of this substance can cause addiction.

  • Cocaine

Cocaine is a powerfully, addictive stimulant. This drug speeds up your whole body. You also feel happy and gain a boost in energy. However, it is likely to have your mood suddenly shift into anger and may bring hallucinations.

  • Marijuana (Cannabis)

Marijuana is a drug made from the hemp plant Cannabis sativa. Some states legalized the medical use of marijuana. However, it remains illegal in other countries. Marijuana causes you to feel silly and to laugh for no reason. Heavy users of marijuana are often left “burned out” without a care about anything else anymore.

  • Prescription And Over-The-Counter (OTC) Medicine

The most common OTC drugs abused include opioid pain relievers and anxiety medicine. These drugs can be just as dangerous as illegal drugs. In determining whether you are abusing this drug or not, you need to consider if you are taking the medication for a non-medical reason. Also, taking more than what your prescription orders is another sign of abuse.

  • Heroin

Heroin, an illegal drug made from morphine, gives you a rush of good feelings. Once the drug wears off, everything becomes slow. This drug causes you to move and think slowly, giving you nausea, nervousness, and chills.

“Addiction manifests in a variety of ways, from the most severe heroin junkie to the compulsive spender. It can include drug or alcohol dependence, compulsive pornography use, gambling, obsessive eating, lying, toxic relationships, or even Netflix.” — Jason Whiting Ph.D.

Psychologist’s Warning

Substance abuse is an alarming case that is affecting both teenagers and adults. Once an individual becomes substance-dependent, they become incapable of control and unable to stop from continued use. Several psychologists warn us of its dangers. These include the following:

  • You develop a weak immune system, causing you to become more vulnerable to illnesses and infections.
  • You start to feel nausea and some abdominal pain, thus causing weight loss and low appetite.
  • You decrease your memory, attention, and decision-making skills, making it harder to carry out daily tasks.
  • You become less responsible and start to neglect essential responsibilities or people around you.
  • You become more prone to legal trouble caused by the influence of alcohol or drugs, and you may end up in accidents or situations that may lead to arrest.
  • Your life will start to revolve around the substance you are abusing.
  • You will begin to have relationship problems with your partner, work, school, or any environment.
  • You develop sudden mood swings or irritable outbursts.

These are some of the common signs that show you’re struggling with substance abuse and need immediate care and attention.

“When it comes to codependency, denial has been called the hallmark of addiction. It’s true not only for drug (including alcohol) addicts, but also for their partners and family members.” — Darlene Lancer, JD, MFT

Immediate Care

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If professional help is unavailable, some of the things, you can do to help yourself recover include the following:

  1. Always look back at the root of your problems. Ask yourself why you’ve been taking these substances in the first place. Question yourself whether these substances are still helping you or just making you suffer even more.
  2. Look for someone you’re close with. Share your problems and worries with them rather than taking these substances. Sometimes, all you need is an outlet, and ranting is one of the most effective ways.
  3. Be open to the possibility of seeking professional help. Let people know of your condition so that there can be someone to help guide you to recovery.
  4. Develop other forms of outlets such as getting a new hobby, start exercising, or create a healthy diet.

These are some things you can consider before seeking professional help.


8 Causes of Substance Abuse

Being a substance abuser is not a label that anyone secretly wants to have. No one wakes up one day and decides to drink bottles of liquor, smoke packets of cigarettes, or inhale cocaine or meth religiously just for kicks. No, it is usually a coping mechanism for things that may have happened as far back as the person’s childhood years.

“For most people, the addiction process starts off rather innocently, i.e., a strong desire to overcome challenges related to socially engaging with others, numb negative feelings, manage psychological or physical pain.” — Tarra Bates-Duford, Ph.D., MFT

Check out the possible causes of substance abuse below.

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Drugs and alcohol have a strong pull for people who went through or are still going through an ordeal. Whether it’s emotional or sexual violence, such substances offer them a leeway to forget traumatic experiences momentarily. Furthermore, studies reveal that the female victims show a higher probability of becoming addicted compared to their male counterparts. 

Lack of Confidence

The society has a lot of predefined social and beauty standards that make it difficult for some to accept even themselves. If they try to remedy the issue and it doesn’t work, they may opt for drinking or using drugs to uplift the spirits.

Peer Pressure

The influence of friends who do not mean well can affect not only a teen but also an adult who can’t find inner peace. These folks can persuade you to think that pot or alcohol is the answer to your worries until you become addicted to it.

Mental Disorder

Mental disorders like depression and anxiety bring pain to the patient goes beyond the physical level. They suck joy and motivation out of an individual, and that’s enough to ruin their lives and careers. To feel cheerful again, some resort to taking antidepressants more often than what the physician prescribed and eventually commit substance abuse.

“It’s not adaptive when we deny warning signs of a treatable illness or problem out of fear.” — Darlene Lancer, JD, MFT

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Professionals and homemakers alike are prone to acquiring stress on a daily basis. Instead of meditating or distracting themselves with inoffensive activities, however, many choose to smoke or drink to relieve stress. This can quickly develop into an addiction if you don’t watch yourself.

Life Pressures

For a person who often receives a lot of pressure to do their best in their respective industry, drugs are a much-needed form of distraction. It allows them to tune everything and everyone out and just be in their world for a bit.

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“A lot of our stress is about what we can’t control, yet we all indulge in some degree of magical thinking that tells us that somehow worrying or considering every potential negative outcome will solve the problem or at least protect us. Rather than repeatedly setting off warnings in our heads that tell us to panic, why not give ourselves permission to stay in the moment and deal with what is rather than what might be?” — Lisa Firestone, Ph.D.


Some teenagers with busy or nagging parents turn to harmful substances as a way of getting their attention. They feel like the adults won’t hear them out unless they get in trouble as dangerous as addiction. Others use substances as an act of defiance the parents’ strict rules or to deal with family issues they’re too ashamed to speak of in front of friends or teachers.

Acquired Behavior

Substance abuse is also not far from reality for someone who grew up with drugs, cigarettes, and alcohol immediately available around the house. It won’t seem strange for a child, especially if that’s all they saw and knew from the beginning. They may even carry the notion that using those substances are OK until adulthood.


The Psychology Behind Drug Addiction

What Is Drug Addiction?


Addiction is characterized by continually seeking for legal or illegal drugs even though they know the consequences of it to one’s health. People take these drugs voluntarily, and they do it repeatedly. Their brain and also their self-control gets affected by it, which then makes it difficult to resist or avoid the intake of the drugs.


“The person is using the behavior to cope with anxiety or emotional pain that is outside their window of tolerance of emotions.” — Robyn E. Brickel, M.A., LMFT

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How Do Addictions Affect The Brain?


The way the brain is designed, it sees pleasure no matter the cause. For example, the hormones released when a reward is received and when taking drugs, it is all the same. Therefore, when one uses drugs, their dopamine levels increase and the brain sees it as “pleasure” or something rewarding. The neurotransmitters remember pleasure, and this motivates the body to repeat the action that has caused it. This learned behavior when continuously done eventually turns into an addiction.


The Risk Factors Of An Addict


There is no way to know if someone will become addicted to drugs as drug addiction is complex and complicated. Multiple factors also cause it. These various factors also increase the risks of having an addiction.


The genes of a person can serve as a risk factor, but only half of it has that effect. Other factors can also be gender, ethnicity, and of course, associated with mental health problems.


The environment can also be a factor – home, school, workplace, and the people around it. An example is how growing up without proper guidance, and immediate exposure to drugs can lead a young person to get addicted.


Addiction is a process; it does not happen overnight. Most people do not become addicted by choice, nor do they even think they will become addicted to drugs or alcohol.” Tarra Bates-Duford, Ph.D., MFT


Why Do People Use Drugs?

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Most of the time, a person’s drug addiction starts because of uncontrolled and strong emotions like rage, fear, and jealousy. Addicts rely on the drugs to control these emotions which is a form of escape from the realities of life. Using drugs at the beginning is something that they choose to do, but it can be life-threatening when they can’t control their abusive state on using the drugs.


What Are The Different Types Of Addictive Behaviors?


Addiction can be used in a physical and psychological sense. Physically, addiction is when the drugs make the body adapt to it, and thus tolerance or a trigger may ensue.


Psychologically, drugs can be used as a coping mechanism to stress. The addiction isn’t based on the brain, so this is the reason why some people would switch from one drug to another. In treating this, looking at the stressor instead of the drug is the key.


How Do We Treat Addiction?

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The psychological symptoms can be treated but not being able to deal with them shouldn’t be blamed on the addict. To completely treat one’s drug addiction, you have to get to the cause and also treat its psychology, as this would only make the person turn to other things that he can be addicted to again.


Medication can help in treating the addiction but there are areas wherein medicine isn’t enough. Therefore the best way to treat addiction is by doing both behavioral therapy or counseling and supervised medication. The treatment differs from patient to patient since no person has the same problem. It should be customized to fit the person.


Drug or even alcohol addiction is a psychological issue. Just taking away the drug won’t solve it. You have to dig deeper and break this mental problem for it to end ultimately.


“…if substance abuse started before the addict was an independent, self-sustaining adult, then new skills need to be learned. It’s said that maturity stops when addiction begins.” — Darlene Lancer, JD, MFT

The Relationship Between Stress And Addiction

Stress is an all too familiar feeling for denizens of the modern world. Whether it be from the workplace or at home, we are barraged by different stressors on a regular basis. To cope, we have developed various methods for dealing with stress, and they are effective in reducing stress levels for most people.

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However, not all coping mechanisms are created equally. Some methods are less effective than others, while some only cause more trouble. In particular, some people turn to vices such as drinking, smoking, and other substance abuse to relieve the stress. Others become obsessed with activities known to provide immense satisfaction and excitement, such as gambling and gaming.


“Addiction is defined as a habitual psychological or physiologic dependence on a substance or practice that is beyond voluntary control.” — Tarra Bates-Duford, Ph.D., MFT


Some of these activities are harmless, except for smoking and substance abuse. However, some people develop an irresistible obsession with these behaviors, sometimes going to extreme lengths to perform them. This phenomenon is called addiction, and millions of people globally find themselves unable to stop.


A strong link between stress and addiction exists, and it is, therefore, essential to consider stress management when trying to break away from addiction. By delving deeper into how stress influences addiction, better treatment strategies for addiction can be devised.


On Stress And Developing Addiction

Stress is a bodily response designed initially to protect against threats by putting vital systems, such as the circulatory and respiratory systems, into overdrive. In small quantities, stress can be beneficial, as it can promote feelings of relaxation and achievement after the stressor has gone away. However, intense or chronic stress is harmful, as too much stimulation can wear down the human body and exhaust mental reserves.

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Addictive behaviors are sometimes utilized by people under extreme stress as a coping mechanism, as these behaviors tend to bring about strong but temporary improvements in mood. For example, drugs can cause the release of certain neurotransmitters that promote feelings of ecstasy and happiness. Activities like gaming evoke feelings of thrill and excitement, which can help counteract the constant feelings of anxiety and dread brought about by chronic stress.


“Addictions are secretive habits the person has unsuccessfully tried to stop, and that have disrupted work and home. An addiction takes an outsized role in the addict’s life and affects those they love.” — Jason Whiting Ph.D.


However, as the stimuli are short-lived, these positive feelings eventually disappear, forcing people to seek out another opportunity to consume the substance or to perform the activity. Also, the oversaturated brain can learn to become resistant to these stimuli. It means people will need more of the stimuli to experience the same level of ecstasy. This results in a cycle of addiction, which was initially triggered by the need to relieve stress.


Research literature supports the role of stress in promoting the onset of addiction, but stress can also become a burden to those trying to break free from addiction. Significant stress levels can reduce recovery rates. By draining mental reserves, it becomes harder to stick to proper treatment. Patients may relapse into their old addictions to deal with the stress.


Fighting Addiction By Fighting Stress

While the case may seem hopeless, there are effective ways to fight back. The key is to acknowledge that addiction cannot be treated independently of other mental conditions, especially stress. 


“In addition to worrying about a slip, a recovering addict has anxiety that the substance abuse has masked. Drugs smoothed over difficult feelings and situations that now must be faced “on the natch.” — Darlene Lancer, JD, MFT

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If you find yourself suffering from both, then learn more about stress management. Many resources can provide you with all the knowledge you need. Some good sources of information are the articles from BetterHelp, which have extensive writing on the nature of stress as well as ways to cope with it.


Adopt activities that promote calm, such as yoga and meditation. Discuss your problems with people you trust and do not hesitate to ask for support whenever you need it. Talk to your mental health specialist about anything that causes you stress and request for assistance in creating a stress management plan that complements your anti-addiction program.


By now, you should realize the strong link between stress and addiction. They are a powerful duo, but stress and addiction are far from invincible. Merely fighting against stress is a step towards solving addiction problems. By doing all of these stress management tips, you will significantly reduce your stress levels, making the fight against addiction more manageable.

Treating Anxiety Caused By Addiction

Some cases of anxiety point alcohol and substance addiction as the culprit. These two are interrelated since these issues can both be the cause and the effect of each other. Most people find themselves experiencing anxiety due to the physical, mental, and emotional problems bound by their addiction. 


“Addiction is embarrassing. It is easier to hide addictive behaviors than admit them, and the layers of denial build up until the truth is completely lost.” — Jason Whiting Ph.D.


If you are one of them, read on for some ways which can help you start your recovery process.

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Medication Management

People who are experiencing anxiety and addiction are used to taking medicines on a frequent basis. Some even tend to pop a pill every single time they feel stressed and overwhelmed. Because of this, treatment programs strive to guide their patients in managing their medications to avoid complications in the long run. 


Authors from a published paper in Medscape recommended the use of Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors, famously called SSRIs. This medicine has been proven to treat both anxiety and addiction at the same time. However, patients who are using this medication are closely being monitored by their respective consulting physicians to avoid overdose. 


“It should be noted people do not continue behaviors for no reason, specifically drug and alcohol use. Most people continue to use because there is some benefit to the continued use of the drug, which reinforces the use and abuse.” — Tarra Bates-Duford, Ph.D., MFT


Engaging In Support Groups

Anxiety caused by addiction is isolating. People who are experiencing this sometimes believe that no one can understand and tolerate them for whom he or she has become. Because of this, they tend to decline help from their families and close friends.

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Joining a support group can help address this. There are several anxiety support groups which are hosted by health care clinics or hospitals. It will be easier for them to open up in this environment since most of the people in the group are experiencing the same issues and problems. This avenue creates a safe space to share personal stories, coping strategies, stories of success, and depressing moments. Some anxiety support groups even give educational discussions to tackle the technical side of their problems. 


Aside from this, there are also other support groups catered to addiction problems. Some examples include the Narcotics Anonymous and Alcoholics Anonymous. This way, both the anxiety and the addiction can be addressed. 


“Sober or abstinent addicts have their own emotional challenges. It may be difficult to get through a day without using or drinking or fighting the urge to do so.” — Darlene Lancer, JD, MFT


Behavioral Therapy Treatment

According to studies, the most effective treatment for anxiety is therapy. Unlike medication, behavioral therapies treat not only the symptoms but also address other areas as well. These kinds of therapy help to understand your emotions and feelings, teaches coping strategies and problem-solving skills, and provide avenues for personal rebuilding. 


The most famous kind of therapy treatment for anxiety is the Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). CBT is divided into two components – the cognitive therapy and the behavior therapy. The cognitive therapy focuses on the negative thoughts which contribute to an individual’s anxiety while behavior therapy deals with a person’s behavior and reaction in situations which trigger their anxiety. 

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Those people experiencing addiction prefer this option as well. They believe therapies can guide them in understanding their reasons for their addictions and regain their old selves back. This avenue also enables them to look for ways to deal with their problems without the assistance of drugs or alcohol. If they are unsure where to start, BetterHelp is an excellent avenue to connect with therapists.


Dealing with both addiction and anxiety can be a bit challenging. However, it can be solved by taking one step at a time. Just breathe and relax, and you’ll eventually recover in time.

Dealing With Your Partner Under Substance Abuse, One Step At A Time

One of the biggest threats to relationships is substance abuse. It changes the dynamics between lovers, bringing them into a roller coaster ride of emotions. It is definitely not easy to be in a relationship threatened by drug addiction. And while “not giving up” is the most common encouragement, it is almost always easier said than done.

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Here are 5 of the many things you can do in the face of drug abuse by your partner:


Be Sensitive About The Signs

Physical symptoms of substance abuse include the change in pupil size, frequent nosebleeds, sudden weight fluctuations, unstable sleeping patterns, seizures despite no past experiences of epilepsy, odd smells on body, breath, or clothing, slurred speech, and poor movement coordination, including tremors or shakes, among others.


Behavioral signs include weak performance or troublesome attendance at school or work, losing interest in activities you once enjoyed, complaints from friends and family, unable to explain the need money, stealing, or mysterious disappearances of valuable, abrupt change of leisure activities and places, as well as aggressive behavior.


“Most people in a relationship with an addict have some level of codependency. As reported by Mental Health America, codependents are people that have the intention to help the addict, but who become compulsive in the caregiving role.” — Sherry Gaba LCSW


Seek Professional Help

Because you have the mindset that you know your partner the most, you may often try to solve medical and psychological problems, and even substance abuse for the matter, on your own. You would tend to avoid professional help for the longest time until it’s too late.


Professional intervention, a structured and solution-oriented process aimed at encouraging people under substance abuse to seek help, could go very far on a person’s way towards a changed life. A professional would help keep accusations and name-calling out of the healing equation and focus the intervention on constructive ways to heal.

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Go Away With Enabling

Driven by the love for your partner, you may be tempted to cover up their actions for them. It is always the tendency for couples – to try to make their relationship appear stable and okay. But sometimes, doing things on their behalf may be doing more harm than good. Stop enabling your partner. When you fix problems for your partner, you create a pattern of unhealthy rescuing.


If need be, limit your partner’s control of money to hinder them from buying illegal drugs further. Sometimes, this tough love is what they need to learn responsibility.


“Many people in troubled marriages say, “We just don’t communicate anymore.” Most likely, they mean to say that they don’t communicate effectively anymore.” — Erika Krull, MSEd, LMHP


Stop The Blaming, Start The Healing

It is everyone’s go-to response when we run out of patience: blaming. You have to understand that your partner under substance abuse is also a victim. Accusing them becomes only a springboard for further substance abuse. In the end, it really benefits no one, except that it just brings in more negative emotions and breaks relationships.


Encourage positivity by turning conversations into good exchanges rather than dragging confrontations. Make them feel that they are not alone. Help bring back their self-esteem by reassuring them of their value and of the fact that they are loved, blessed, and accepted. Never forget to cultivate tons of patience and understanding along the way.


“When addiction strikes marriage, spouses need to face reality and be careful not to become an enabler.” — Jason Whiting Ph.D.


Know When To Draw The Line

There are cases of people under drug abuse who turn to violence and aggressive tendencies. It raises the red flag once the violent act involves you and your children. There are also cases when those experiencing substance abuse do it in front of the kids. At this point when your safety and the well-being of others become affected, then you seriously have to consider separation.

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When all efforts have been given but to no avail, sometimes, you should also know when to draw the line between keeping up and leaving. While this is already the last resort, this tough love approach sometimes brings in better things than merely staying.


The journey towards healing is not easy, but nobody can say that it is impossible. There is always hope when there are people who are willing to help despite the odds. Keep believing in your love, and it will never be too late to mend broken hearts and start fresh, one step at a time.

Smoking And Its Effects On A Married Couple’s Life

Sometimes, some people think they’re better off alone than be with a smoker. Because more than just a case of stress relief, pleasure, social situation solution, smoking is highly addictive, and often, dangerous for the health.

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“Most marriages go through rough times, which can change the way spouses communicate with each other. Many couples develop bad habits and create destructive patterns when things aren’t going well.” — Erika Krull, MSEd, LMHP


Smoking may be one of the less desirable traits a person may have.  It’s one thing to be in a relationship when both partners are smokers, but if one is not, then that may be an issue. It is as if there is no regard for your health.


In marriage, you get to live your life together with your “the one.” Are you honestly okay with your beau to smoke all throughout his life? Or maybe you don’t bother because you are a smoker too?


Here are some of the effects smoking carries for a married couple:


If both are smokers:



  • You Are Intertwined In An Intimate Relationship.


We see it in movies. Couples already have smoking part of their relationship pattern, such as after having sex, after taking breakfast together, or when discussing problems. Taking a drag seems like a normal and “relaxing” thing because both of you do it, and you understand your partner in a way a non-smoker partner couldn’t. Maybe that also means you know the health effects. But what does it matter, right? There is romance in a good smoke.

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  • You Experience Less Tension, More Enjoyment.


A couple that smokes together is more relaxed and chill than the average couple. The couple sees the habit as a simple thing that keeps them both happy and contented. For the more “experienced” couples, they’re not just smoking cigarettes, but weed. They claim that it heightens the quality and happiness of their relationship.


“Your husband is responsible for his own behavior, just as you are responsible for yours. You are not “allowing” him to use and you are not condoning it either.” — Holly Counts, Psy.D.


If only one is a smoker:



  • You Are Hurting Your Relationship Without Even Knowing It.


Smoking is a vicious cycle. “You smoke, partner complains, you argue about it, you feel stressed and get upset, then you smoke again.” For a fact, divorce rates are found to be significantly higher, at 76% to 95% if only one spouse has the habit of smoking.

Source: pxhere.com




  • You Will Start To Look For Another Partner.


Whoever says vices can’t break a relationship obviously haven’t been in a serious, committed relationship. Some think that their beau’s conviction not to quit smoking is a sign that they don’t care about their health, and yours (secondhand smoke). It is an exceptionally challenging issue for a married couple because being in a marriage means you are committed to building a life together, not a problem.


  •  You Will Divorce With Your Partner For Fear Of The Future.

When smoking gets the best of your partner’s life, you tend to second guess if you even married the right person. It is a fact that smoking can be passed down through generations. It poses very harmful effects to a pregnant mom, and to the newborn child, who might experience breathing and nutrition problems.


 “While it may be true that addicts need to want recovery in order to truly turn their lives around, the choice is hardly ever that simple and if we can tip the balance in the favor of treatment, or a better way of life, I say let’s go for it.” — Adi Jaffe Ph.D.


Marriage is a big step in two people’s lives. If smoking’s advantages outweigh its advantages, you are free to do as you wish. But if not, maybe try to change for the better for the sake of your family’s future.