Can I Do It On My Own?

It is not uncommon for drug addicts and alcoholics in the early stages of substance dependency to completely convince themselves that despite their frequent use they can stop using whenever they please. While this may be true initially, all addicts will eventually reach a point in their use when they lose all control over how much and how often they use. This is an absolute and conclusive symptom of addiction – despite negative consequences, the addict will continue using, lacking all control. Once the addiction reaches this point it will be exceedingly difficult to kick a drug or alcohol habit without professional intervention and extended therapeutic treatment. Research has proven that long-term drug use undeniably leads to serious changes in brain function that persist for a significant amount of time after an individual ceases use entirely. The behavioral changes caused by these brain functions will require professional medical treatment in order to be remedied thoroughly and permanently. If you have personally tried to quit on several occasions, finding each time that you pick back up (possibly convincing yourself that you are ‘not ready’ to quit), it may be time to seriously consider entering an inpatient drug rehab.

Can I Do It On My Own?

In some instances, it may be possible to quit on your own. If you have just begun using consistently and want to stop permanently before losing control entirely, simply attending local 12-step meetings and dedicating yourself to working through the steps with a sponsor may be enough. It is important to remember that everyone is different, and while daily attendance at 12-step meetings may work for some, intensive inpatient may be a requirement for others. The most significant factor is how far progressed the disease is at the time treatment is being considered. If you simply cannot go more than several hours without using no matter what, a physical separation from your environment is most likely essential. Drug rehab acts as a barrier from the outside world, eliminating all external triggers, sources, and distractions. Even if you are able to stop using for days, weeks, or months at a time, drug rehab allows the opportunity to uncover and treat underlying causes of addiction and ensure long-term abstinence and a meaningful and fulfilled drug-free life. Thus even if you believe you can do it on your own, the likelihood of relapse is astronomical, and the reality is that true addiction can never be overcome alone.

3 Early Recovery Musts

Early recovery is a time for self-exploration, growth, and discovery – a beautiful and often frightening time when you truly get to figure out who you are and what makes you tick. While beginning the journey towards freedom from the devastation and oppression of drugs and alcohol is exciting and liberating, it can also be extremely difficult. You will be coming into contact with feelings that you have been stifling and suppressing for years, and will undeniably need some solid emotional and mental support during this time. Here is a list of 3 early recovery musts – things that will, without question, be essential to maintainable and meaningful sobriety.

3 Early Recovery Musts

  1. Sober Support Systems

One of the most important aspects in maintaining sobriety is establishing a solid and reliable sober support system early on. The best way to go about doing this is to attend as many meetings as possible, showing up 15 minutes beforehand and staying late in order to introduce yourself to other program members and exchanging as many phone numbers as possible. If you are living in a halfway house or sober living facility, you will have a sober support system at your disposal already – an added bonus. Your sponsor will also be a key player in your support circle, so be sure to get one as quickly as you can.

  1. Knowing and Avoiding Personal Triggers

A trigger is a person, place, or situation that makes you feel like you want to use. Many recovering addicts and alcoholics have similar triggers – the loss of a loved one, a major change, and specific holidays in example. However, it is important that you understand and recognize what triggers you individually, and you avoid your triggers in order to prevent relapse. A specific group of old friends may be a trigger for one individual, while the sight of a martini may greatly trigger another. It is important not to test your own boundaries – if you feel unsure about something, stay away.

  1. Learning to Love Yourself

If you don’t learn to love and appreciate yourself early on, the likelihood that your sobriety will be fulfilled and lasting is relatively slim. It is crucial that you learn to place yourself first – if your own spiritual, mental, and physical wellbeing is not intact, everything else in your life will surely fall part eventually. Reward yourself with personally satisfying activities, explore potential new passions and hobbies, and truly dedicate your time to healing past wounds in order to pave the way for a brighter and happier future.

Leaving for Rehab to Begin Recovery: What You Should Know

So you’ve come to the decision that you need help with your addiction and are preparing to leave for treatment. Congratulations! You’ve already defeated one of the hardest challenges of getting sober; you’ve admitted that you need help. You’ve already picked out a treatment center or detox location, if you need one. You might find yourself asking questions like, what’s next? How do I prepare? Am I going to be safe? How am I going to get through this?

Calm your fears and take everything one-step at a time. Use these few helpful tidbits to prepare yourself and suitcase before you leave to get sober:

• Don’t pack like you are headed for vacation. Pack comfortable clothes that you will feel relaxed wearing multiple times. You won’t need to dress to impress so don’t worry about designer jeans or jewelry. Also, know that a lot of place won’t allow clothing with string, belts or shoelaces. Find this out ahead of time and pack accordingly.

• Write down contact information of family or immediate support.  You likely won’t be allowed to have your cell phone on hand but there will be phones. Make sure to have a copy of phone numbers of the people who make you smile to use as needed.

• Learn to love literature. Pick out some books that interest you and bring them with you. You’ll likely have a lot down time to yourself and books are a great way to escape some of the seriousness of recovery. Self help books may be great while in treatment but try to keep your reading material light and enjoyably relevant to your interests. Avoid any material that glamourizes use, sex and violence.

• Take a pen and notebook….and use both!  Write down your feelings and thoughts as often as possible. Write down what hurts, your fears, what’s happened in the past or each day. The notes you make now will be instrumental in your recovery moving forward.

• Don’t over-think anything and stay focused on your immediate tasks at hand – Recovery and Staying Sober. Your new responsibility and first priority is to stay sober. Leave your fears and worries about your home life, job or finances at the door. Focus on  your new goal of sobriety now and you’ll work the rest out later. You’re on an express train to being given a lot of suggestions, recommendations and information about addiction and recovery. So, just keep an open mind.

So as you’re about to leave, The Hope Center wishes you success your journey. The road to Recovery is not easy but will set you free from your addiction and lead you to a new way of thinking, a new life and new happiness.

What questions do you have about leaving for recovery? What are your thoughts?




Should I Stage An Intervention?

While interventions have been proven to be extremely helpful in nudging loved ones towards treatment, even a correctly executed intervention will not always be successful – and in some instances, can do more harm than good. While there is no immediate risk involved in an unsuccessful intervention in relation to the worsening of the disease (by way of symptoms), there is a huge risk in the sense that your relationship with the addict may be extremely disrupted. Read up on what an intervention is, and why or why not this method of support will work for you before deciding to stage one for your beloved friend or family member.

What Is An Intervention?

During a typical intervention, a group of close friends and family gathers to share with an addict or alcoholic how much they love him or her, and how his or her addiction has been affecting them directly. Recently established boundaries are presented to the addict, and an ultimatum is given. A trained and licensed interventionist will lead the process, directing the family if need be to make sure things do not get out of hand.

What Is The Purpose of an Intervention?

The purpose of an intervention is to show the addict or alcoholic how their behavior is affecting those around them, and to show them how much better their life will ultimately be if they stop using. An intervention is also important in setting up boundaries for the addict, in example, “If you do not accept help today we will no longer support you financially.” It is extremely important for the friends and family of the addict to stick by these boundaries if he or she ends up refusing treatment, for the likelihood that the addict will change his or her mind is far greater if margins are strictly adhered to.

Is An Intervention Right For My Situation?

In most cases, interventions will do far more good than harm. Make sure a professional interventionist is present, and make sure to avoid common misconceptions about interventions, such as “it is best that the addict is under the influence during the process” or “rehab won’t work a second time if it didn’t work before”. Even if an addict does not accept help right away, it will at very least plant a seed and he or she will know where to turn when enough finally becomes enough.

Why Sober Living Is Crucial To Recovery

Recovery is a process that continues long after an individual graduates from an inpatient treatment program – recovery is a process, in fact, that lasts a lifetime. Early sobriety revolves around an individual learning to re acclimatize to society without the use of drugs or alcohol, a process that often takes somewhere near a year depending on how severe their past substance abuse was. After completing detox and graduating from a treatment program at a drug rehab, it is highly suggested that a patient transfer directly to a sober living facility in order to maintain sobriety while growing more accustomed to a higher level of freedom.

The most important factor in maintaining sobriety after completing a treatment program is the type of living situation one will be entering immediately after the program has been completed. Of course, moving into a sober environment with a strict drug and alcohol-free policy is more conducive to prolonged sobriety – especially because many addicts and alcoholics come from dysfunctional, chaotic households in which substance abuse is common and condoned. Most sober living houses emphasize a daily routine that reteaches the newly sober individual how to live efficiently and successfully, while working a job and maintaining other staples of everyday life. By moving into a sober residence after completing treatment, an individual intensifies their chances of prolonged recovery immensely.

The majority of houses greatly emphasize a social model of recovery, strongly recommending and often requiring integration into a 12-step organization (either Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous, or another variation). Clients are usually required to find a sponsor within the first couple of weeks, and communicate with their sponsor on a daily basis. This is important because it forces accountability, and also helps clients form a relationship with another human being in sobriety – something that will undoubtedly be unfamiliar and require some practice. 12-step meetings also instantaneously provide an extensive support system for newly sober individuals, and sober supports are one of the most crucial elements of maintaining early sobriety.

Additionally, sober living houses require clients to participate in daily activities that they may have neglected while using, such as household chores, cooking, and holding down a regular job. Clients will also be drug tested regularly to ensure the house remains safe for all of the residents. The transition out of drug rehab can be filled with obstacles and setbacks. It is essential that the newly sober addict of alcoholic have immediate support available. The house manager often acts as this support, usually on the premises close to 24 hours. The house manager will also be sure clients are home by curfew – again, instilling accountability and also making sure no relapse-prone behaviors are taking place late at night. For these reasons amongst many others, sober living is extremely crucial to maintained sobriety, and acts as a pertinent step of the overall journey into recovery.

How To Prepare For Drug Rehab

Going to a  drug rehab for the first time can be somewhat of a scary experience – you will be away from home, your family, your friends, and most frightening of all, you will leave behind your drug of choice. Life without drugs or alcohol may seem impossible, but if you spend enough time away you will quickly realize that what you spent all of your days doting on was inevitably only going to prevent you from having a life beyond your wildest dreams. Mental preparation is tough – the unfamiliar is always somewhat unsettling. Just trust that millions before you have successfully done what you are about to do, and that admitting yourself or someone you love to a drug rehab will always do more good than harm.

Aside from mental preparation, you must physically prepare – and packing your belongings is potentially the most important element of physical preparation. Here are some helpful pointers regarding what and what not to bring with you to  drug rehab.

  • Pack enough comfortable clothing for a week.

Only pack enough for a week – there will be a laundry set-up on the premises, and you will most likely only be given a small bureau in which to store your clothing. T-shirts and sweatpants are lifesavers, considering you will be sitting in therapy courses for the majority of your days in treatment. You will most likely have allotted time for exercise, so be sure to pack sneakers and gym clothes!

  • Toiletries – just the basics.

Shampoo, conditioner, deodorant, and a razor… anything else is at risk of being thrown away. Perfume isn’t necessary – and because most fragrances contain alcohol, they will not be allowed. Use discretion when packing personal hygienic products, and remember – less is more!

  • Be sure to bring your insurance papers, and any other important documents you may need.

Insurance cards and ID cards are required for admission, so be sure you pack all of you necessary paperwork in a safe place. You may also bring credit cards and other forms of currency; though expect these to be held in a safe until you have completed treatment.

Preparing For Treatment Can Be Stress-Free!

When preparing for treatment, be sure to stick to the essentials. You will not need a sexy black dress or your DVD collection. Back some comfy clothes, the proper paperwork, and maybe a book for the plane ride. The most important thing you can bring to drug rehab is willingness, and the expectancy to begin living a beautiful life free from drugs and alcohol if you truly commit to the journey of recovery.

Inpatient VS Outpatient: Which is Right For You?

The first step of any journey into recovery and away from addiction is, of course, ceasing to use drugs or alcohol – and most likely, withdrawing from a prolonged and severe substance dependency. Withdrawal itself is not an effective treatment, and it is almost inevitable that patients will begin using again if they do not enter treatment directly after detox. The question remains, which treatment is right for you after the detox process is complete? Inpatient treatment refers to living in a facility for an extended amount of time under close therapeutic and medical care, while outpatient treatment involves the patient undergoing a variety of programs upon regular visits to a treatment facility. Inpatient treatment is usually recommended above outpatient treatment, especially for those who are ‘getting sober’ for the first time. Outpatient treatment is frequently recommended for those who may have obligations (such as work) that they simply cannot get out of. Depending on your personal history with drug abuse and your current situation, there will undoubtedly be a clear-cut choice on which form of addiction treatment will be most effective for you.

Inpatient treatment is definitely a wise investment for anyone who has been battling a prolonged addiction and is looking for long-term and maintainable sobriety. Removing an addict or alcoholic from potential temptation and external stressors for an extended period of time (frequently 30 to 90 days), provides him or her the opportunity to truly focus of him or herself without any distraction. Frequently, emotional trauma is a significant part of the underlying causes of addiction, and exploring past experiences in a safe environment is crucial to overall healing. Many will attest to the fact that  drug rehabs act as a secure place for a patient to stay while he or she learns to live life without the daily use of drugs or alcohol. This is true, though every inpatient facility acts as much more than a barrier from the outside world. While being closely monitored is essential to those just beginning to kick physical and mental dependency, the professional therapeutic care offered at most  drug rehabs is crucial to an overall better quality of life, and sobriety that will last far beyond 90 days.

In many cases, outpatient treatment is recommended to those fresh out of inpatient, as a standard and proven portion of a comprehensive aftercare program. However, an outpatient program can be effective for those who have gone through the process of withdrawal yet have obligations they can simply not take a month-long break from. This is very rare, and in most instances any prior commitment does not outweigh the lasting benefits inpatient treatment can provide. Though if you absolutely cannot get away, looking into a  IOP would be to your advantage. IOP programs typically consist of weekly individual and group therapy sessions, as well as regular drug testing.

Choosing whether to attend an inpatient or outpatient treatment program is a crucial part of the recovery process, and it is often imperative that you consult an addiction specialist in order to make the right decision. Feel free to contact one of our licensed representatives – we are always more than happy to help.

Choosing the Right Drug Rehab For You

Choosing the right  drug rehab for you will undoubtedly be one of the most life-changing and fundamental decisions you will ever make. When choosing a drug rehab, it is important to remember that everyone’s needs vary greatly, and your individualized preferences are extremely significant. Because of the fact that treatment programs do not only treat addiction, but also treat underlying causes and past emotional pain, it is imperative that you look into exactly what therapeutic methods and core issues the program you are looking into will focus on.

No matter what drug rehab you decide upon, it is vital that you look for several staples every reliable rehab should possess.

  • It is important that the program is licensed and accredited, ensuring the operation is legal and effective.
  • You will want to look into the success rates of the drug rehab you are considering entering – make sure the effectiveness of the treatment methods used is backed by solid evidential proof
  • Make sure that the treatment center offers comprehensive aftercare services in order to prevent relapse, such as their own  sober living facility or recommendations to a licensed facility nearby

Typically, residential treatment lasts anywhere from 30-120 days. 90 days is often recommended, for it takes quite awhile for all remnants of chemical substance to naturally leave the body, freeing the mind from the “fog” that tends to settle in very early sobriety. While accommodations are not quite as important as the treatment plan the drug rehab offers, you still want to feel comfortable staying in the facility for an extended amount of time. If you cannot take a physical tour, try to take a virtual tour, or look at photographs of the treatment center you are considering.

There are many slight variations of the typical  drug rehab. Some rehabs will focus exclusively on alcohol, while others concentrate on addiction as a blanket term. Still others will cater to addiction to one specific type of drug amongst one particular age group, such as opiate addiction in adolescents and young adults. Many rehabs are gender specific, and some are geared exclusively towards members of the LGBT community. Many treatment centers incorporate holistic methods of recovery, focusing on the mind, body, and soul inclusively. Take all of these differences into consideration when deciding which drug rehab will best fit your needs.

Allow One of Our Representatives to Find a Drug Rehab For You

While so many options to choose from, picking the right rehab for you may seem somewhat overwhelming. Fortunately, help is always available – simply contact one of our trained representatives and we will gladly place you in the  drug rehab that best suits all of your highly individualized needs.