Unofficial stress relievers: Alcohol

Although many individuals use alcohol to self-medicate their own stress, substance use is generally unreliable for achieving peace of mind and tends to lead users to dependency.

In “Does Drinking Reduce Stress?,” an article written in 1999 by Michael A. Sayette, Ph.D., he summarized an effect classified as stress response dampening (SRD) that drinking alcohol can produce. However, Dr. Sayette detailed that since the 1980s, previous studies had found inconsistent measurements of an SRD effect associated with intoxication. Over subsequent years, multiple factors have been identified that fluctuate the stress-relieving impact of alcohol. They include individual differences, such as one’s family history of alcoholism, personality, level of self-consciousness, cognitive functioning and gender. Situational factors like distractions during a stressful situation and the timing of drinking and stress can also mediate alcohol’s effects. Read more

Unofficial stress relievers: Valerian root

Valerian root or extract, also known as valeriana officinalis, is an herbal ingredient that can be therapeutic in a number of ways. In terms of its effectiveness, clinical trials have sought to determine its actual utility for various conditions.

According to a collection of data detailed in the 2009 article, “Nutrients and Botanicals for Treatment of Stress: Adrenal Fatigue, Neurotransmitter Imbalance, Anxiety, and Restless Sleep,” valerian increases the production of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), an inhibitory neurotransmitter that reduces brain activity. Brain scans have shown that those with a lower presence of GABA in their brains are usually afflicted with some type of anxiety disorder, so the potential for valerian to induce a sedative effect is physiologically evident. Other examples that showed valerian’s benefit include: Read more

Unofficial stress relievers: Melatonin

Melatonin, also known as N-acetyl-5-methoxytryptamine, is a substance that is naturally produced by people and other organisms. In the former case, melatonin is synthesized by the amino acid tryptophan and other chemical ingredients when light levels decrease, usually due to the onset of nightfall. When molecules of melatonin are released, an individual typically experiences fatigue. This observed effect has led to various utilizations of the substance, especially for those who are burdened by stress and anxiety. So far, conducted research has shown its wide range of implications.

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Unofficial stress relievers: Kava

Kava, also referred to as kava kava, is a root plant that is native to the South Pacific. According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, kava has a history of being used for therapeutic and healing purposes ranging from treating disrupted sleep patterns, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), pain, sores and swelling. Out of its wide range of beneficial claims, the scientifically supported Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database ranks kava as an effective tool against anxiety in particular. Evidence of this statement was found in multiple studies.

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Unofficial stress relievers: Magnesium

Although expensive medications have been designed specifically to reduce stress, people have sought out cheaper and more natural alternatives to solving their anxiousness. Magnesium (Mg) is an organic mineral that has a long history with the human diet. Although most scientific investigations regarding the substance focus on the negative impacts it inflicts when people are deficient of it, the evidence suggests that magnesium is responsible for a calming sensation.

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SoCal vs. NorCal in terms of dependency, addiction and recovery options

California is the third largest state with over 163,000 square miles of land. With so much territory, the state is culturally split between its northern and southern sectors, colloquially known as “NorCal” and “SoCal.” Each area has its own distinct characteristics, but a seldom discussed topic is how equipped each is at dealing with addiction, its related symptoms and the local options for recovery. Read more

Common reasons addicts avoid detox

When people reach the limit of abuse and every decision, feeling and action they make is manipulated by drugs, detoxification is an utmost necessity in order to stop the destructive cycle. While this is the first step to all forms of substance recovery, many addicts fear the process and even continue their addictive behavior just to avoid it. In an effort to help more individuals that need effective intervention, it is important to know why drug dependent individuals do not undergo detox treatment.

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The “Hollywood effect” and its association with drug dependency

Taking increasingly excessive amounts of drugs and other illicit substances can lead to a long list of other problems, including dependency. Although celebrities are flawless icons in the modern world, Hollywood has a habit of making appearances not what they seem. Within the veiled, starlit wonderland of Los Angeles, a countless list of actors, musicians and other performers have lost their lives due to abuse and addiction. While substantial research has detailed the common causes of addiction, its heightened relationship with Hollywood is rarely discussed outside of trending news and tabloid media.

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Antioxidants and free radicals: a different type of detox for one’s well-being

When it comes to detox, some people remain uninformed on important elements, such as antioxidants and free radicals. In order to help maintain the ongoing conversation of healthy, holistic practices, the California Detox Helpline provides an educative breakdown of the two molecular structures. Read more