Below are some of the most viewed and shared resources regarding substance abuse treatment and substance abuse facts:
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) is the agency within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services that leads public health efforts to advance the behavioral health of the nation. SAMHSA’s mission is to reduce the impact of substance abuse and mental illness on America’s communities.
A lot of patients take anxiolytic medication for a lot of very good reasons. Part of good mental health hygiene is taking your medicines as prescribed but there are ways of being totally free from the current anxiolytic medication that you take.
You might want to consider stopping them abruptly (NOT recommended) and tapering them (IS recommended, if desired). We dont take it as our prerogative to force people off their medications. Our duty is to find the safest right medication for you.
That being said, below find several links to sites that talk about and give recommendations on coming off of anxiolytics. See also our recommendations on how to handle anxiety without medication or additional medication.
A good article, but I recommend reducing the bedtime dose last, and reducing one dose by 1/4 of a pill seems to work best, and reducing not on a set schedule, but when you feel able.
This is a very interesting technique for reducing anxiety in 3 minutes! It works about 80% of the time, the worse the anxiety the better it works, and it is a reflex reaction, meaning it doesn’t require you to concentrate or do much at all. It’s as much a reflex as when the doctor taps your knee and the knee goes out, you don’t have to think about it at all.
There is a link at the bottom for those who want to know more about this technique, however the technique is very simple, and described below. I have actually seen this reduce anxiety in a guy in full blown heroin withdrawal from a 10 out of 10 to a 5 out of 10 in 3 minutes.
Hold a pen in front of your face at a comfortable to look at distance.
Look at the pen for about 4 seconds (not necessary but having a clock that “ticks” beside you can help you keep count, but you don’t really have to do that. Just look at the pen for 3-5 seconds.
Then look at a ceiling or a wall at least 10-15 feet away, the further this wall is away the better (I think).
Repeat the above process for 3 minutes.
It is IMPORTANT to set a timer or look at a clock, because time becomes distorted when one is doing this.
Some people like to do this at bedtime but you can do it at anytime during the day. It will not put you to sleep necessarily. Most people (especially those who start out at a 7-8/10) feel a tremendous reduction in their anxiety right away. It works by turning on your “parasympathetic” system, which is your “chill, rest, relax” system. Try it, you have nothing to lose, but follow the instructions as above. For more detailed information, click the link. (Don’t try this while driving or doing any activity that requires concentration though.)
20min 1-2 x a day
Focus on the breath
Use diaphragmatic breathing if possible (see below for better explanation of this)
When you find your mind wandering, making lists of things to do for the day, or other thoughts, just “notice” these thoughts, and then go back to the breath
Remember “all thoughts are not to be trusted”
Add/Set a soft chime/gong to end your 20 min
Meditation has clinical studies including functional MRI studies that indicates that it “calms” the brain. It works differently than hypnosis, and is not hypnosis, as it affects different parts of the brain than hypnosis. Being one of those who tried meditation several times never having it “work” for me, the following method works pretty well, and is pretty easy. The following article has a short version, and a long more detailed, explained, version. Try it. You may like it. And of course, do not do this while driving!
Focusing on the breath, there are many things about the breath that I can tell you and you may notice other things about it on your own. Feel the air as it comes in through your nose, down your throat, into the upper parts of the lungs then the lower parts. You may notice that the air is a little cooler going in and a little warmer coming out. Notice your abdominal muscles (see diaphragmatic breathing below) going in and out, easily, gently.
Diaphragmatic breathing. Often referred to as yoga breathing or prana breathing. This type of breathing uses the diaphragm to pull in the air instead of the chest muscles. It may help activate the parasympathetic system (chill/rest/relax system) rather than the sympathetic system (freeze/flight/fight system). To try this put a hand on your abdomen, and when you breath in you should push out with your abdomen against your hand and your chest muscles should stay fairly still. For some this comes easily, others it is harder, but that’s the simplest easiest way to achieve this. If you don’t get it at first just keep trying. This is part of focusing on the breath.
Thoughts. “All thoughts are not to be trusted”. This simply means that thoughts may occur to us and in this meditation technique we have no judgment on thoughts, we just “notice” them and then go back to the breath. We all have unwanted thoughts and these are simply under this category of “not to be trusted”.
Thoughts don’t have to intrude on your focusing on your breath. It’s just that if they do, you “notice” them, leave them alone, and come back to focusing on the breath. You may find that sometimes you have longer periods of time where you are simply focusing on the breath for longer and longer periods with no effort.
Studies do indicate that a high percentage of people who regularly meditate, experience some level of anxiety and/or unwanted thoughts at some point in time, while meditating. Just remember, you can stop at any time you like, or you can just “notice” those thoughts and dismiss them, going back to focusing on the breath. Remember, “all thoughts are not to be trusted”.