How To Tell Others You’re In Recovery

We’ve all been in this situation. Having to explain to someone else that you’re sober and working a program of recovery. Typically, it becomes easier to do the longer we are in the program, as naturally with time we not only become stronger in our sobriety, and more grounded in our recovery, but the stigma of our old behaviors begin to drift away, opening up space to show others our fresh, refined selves. Continue reading How To Tell Others You’re In Recovery

Stay Present For The Miracles

Every now and then, someone says something, or does something so profound that it sticks with you for your whole life. Maybe it was something a relative said to you as a child, or a boss’s piece of advice or maybe even a great movie line that you’ve carried with you as a sort of mantra.
Continue reading Stay Present For The Miracles

Planning Aftercare From Drug Treatment

28 Days Later

 

Why planning an after-care program is just as important as in-patient treatment.

Many of us perceive treatment as essentially a 30-day in-patient program where an individual receives 1-on-1 intensive therapy to relieve them of their addictions. For many of us, 30 days is a major commitment, requiring an individual to put aside their obligations to their family, career and lifestyle in order to reconnect with themselves and reclaim a new sense of purpose and intention.

But for the majority who achieve sustained recovery, it requires at least 90 days or more of concentrated commitment in a safe environment to cultivate legitimate recovery. Do you remember the last time you mastered something new? It more than likely took you much longer than a month to become an expert. Nevertheless, the initial concept of spending 3 to 6 months or more in a program of recovery is typically, if not always, met with divergence. Especially as our commitments become greater, we become more reluctant to give up our time even for something as important as getting sober.

However, it is the initial weeks and months after leaving an in-patient rehab program where patients are the most susceptible to relapse. Triggering situations such as returning home or to a career can, with remarkable quickness, spiral a newly sober individual back into their same addictive patterns. And since no one is capable of conceptualizing how susceptible they are at this point, it’s imperative that an aftercare program is explained during treatment and initiated immediately afterward.

Some of the cornerstone elements of aftercare include accountability, comfortability and sustainability. Depending on each person’s own needs and resources, this can be achieved by scheduling out-patient services with a treatment facility or therapist, enrolling in a transitional living home or committing to an aggressive submersion into the recovery community, typically attending 90 meetings in 90 days and finding a sponsor and support system.

During this transitional phase, it is highly recommended that an individual be placed in a sober-living home where they can continue to receive regularly scheduled therapy while maneuvering into real-life situations. While this may initially seem uncomfortable, newly sober individuals typically feel safer and more connected with other individuals in recovery, which helps them to work past this difficult phase. Accountability is monitored as all members are encouraged to attend 12-step fellowship groups, meet with a therapist, secure work and contribute to community chores all while remaining sober. These temporary housing situations, located practically anywhere throughout the country, are comfortable, affordable and free from the outside stressors that may cause relapse.

There are plenty of options in terms of an aftercare programming, all of which are typically tailored to an individual’s personal needs. Professionals discover that they can return to work while living in a safe environment tucked away from home. People with limited resources can afford a semi-permanent housing situation and secure a stable job while growing alongside others in the program. Mothers can choose a facility that allows them to bring young children. And otherwise committed individuals can attend out-patient programming for months following treatment that fits with their schedule.

The truth is, time flies. Many of us, or our loved ones, have spent years in addiction waiting for the right time to get help. I have heard countless individuals explain how everything seemed to slow down once they achieved sobriety, allowing them to finally savor in the life they always wished for. In addition, they gained mental and emotional freedom to think, feel, love, dream, imagine and inspire while beforehand, their mental space was filled with stress, anxiety, regret, resentment, depression and most of all, fear. Mary Augustine once said, “We become happier, much happier, when we realize that life is an opportunity rather than an obligation.” Let you or your loved one experience the opportunity of life through a long-term commitment to recovery.

 

Signs That Show You or a Loved One are Already Addicted

Signs That Show You Are Drug or Alcohol Dependent

1. Tolerance
Have you noticed needing to use more of the same substance to get the desired effect? Our bodies grow increasingly more tolerant of drugs and alcohol the more often we use them. Tolerance is a signal of abuse and your bodies way of handling the toxicity. In reality you are allowing your body the ability to absorb more toxins when you increase your tolerance.
2. Withdrawal
As drugs or alcohol leave the body, classic symptoms of withdrawal set it. These include anxiety, jumpiness, shakiness, trembling, sweating, nausea, vomiting, insomnia, depression, irritability, loss of appetite, fatigue and headaches. Severe withdrawal can include seizures, hallucinations, fever and even death, especially for alcoholics. Your body, which is getting used to having the drugs and alcohol in your system, is reacting to the void. To calm these symptoms, addicts and alcoholics drink or use to calm their symptoms, or to avoid symptoms at all. Many turn into morning drinkers or all-day drug abusers.
3. Loss of Control
Have you found yourself drinking or using more than you wanted to, and for a longer time than you intended? This is a classic sign that your using is getting out of control, because you are no longer in charge of when you choose to stop using. Many consider this the powerful “obsession” of using.
4. Desire to Stop But Can’t
You’ve identified that your drinking or drugging problem is causing negative consequences in your life. But despite changing up your routine, using in different ways or trying to abstain altogether, you find you cannot quit. This is also a classic signal that you or a loved one are in need of professional help to relieve you of your dependency.
5. Neglecting Other Activities
As drugs and alcohol become an everyday need, it requires more time to get and use them in daily life. Addicts find themselves doing less of the activities they used to enjoy in order to concentrate more on their drug of choice. In addition, it can become difficult to do some of the activities they once enjoyed while under the influence of powerfully mind and mood altering substances.
6. Continue To Use Despite Negative Consequences:
As drugs and alcohol become abused with greater frequency, it commonly interrupts daily life and leads to substantial issues with family, loved ones, the law, your career and ones health. What maybe used to seem unimaginable becomes reality like incarceration, loss of relationships, loss of jobs and a deterioration in health. Despite these radical consequences, the power of addiction usually overwhelms these dire circumstances and the user finds themselves relying more than ever on their drug of choice.
If you’re not sure if you or a loved one are exhibiting these symptoms, there are also other warning signs to be on the lookout for. Some include weight loss or gain, loss in appetite, seizures, unexplained accidents or injuries, shakes, tremors, slurred speech, drop in performance or attendance, unusual need for money (borrowing, stealing or missing valuables), frequent arguments, unexplained change in attitude and mood, frequent irritability, outbursts, unusual hyperactivity, lack of motivation and paranoia.
It’s important to remember that these are all normal reactions to drug and alcohol abuse. After a time, it becomes difficult even for the most determined people to kick their addiction without outside help and a dramatic lifestyle change. If you think you may have an addiction problem, or know someone who is showing these signals, call one of our specialists at 1-866-233-1869 and they’ll be happy to recommend a treatment plan to overcome the powerful obsession of addiction.

Drug Rehab: What To Expect

Committing to extended-stay inpatient treatment program is a major, life changing decision. Pledging to begin a journey into recovery entails the introduction and involvement in a completely different way of life. Giving up everything you once used as a crutch to avoid reality and facing life head-on can be terrifying when you aren’t even really sure who you are. It is important to consider your perception of the situation. Try to look at the opportunity with excitement – you are being given the chance to begin your life over, to get to know yourself on a personal level, and to mend all of the relationships that have been tarnished by your drug or alcohol addiction over the years. Still, it is understandable that there is some trepidation involved even when looking at the experience with enthusiasm. To make the process a bit easier, here is a list of several things you should expect when attending inpatient drug treatment for the first time.

What To Expect in Drug Rehab

  1. Expect to spend long hours in group therapy.

It may seem daunting, and at first it may be slightly intimidating. But group therapy sessions will play a major role in saving your life. Speaking about yourself in front of others will remain an absolutely crucial component of your recovery for years to come – and practice makes perfect! Or in this case, practice makes progress.

  1. Expect to touch on some of the dark stuff.

Drug rehab is not only about treating the physical components of addiction – it is about comprehensively treating underlying causes. This includes traumatic experience and psychologically scarring events and circumstances. Prepare to dig deep inside and face things you have buried under years of numbing substance abuse. While this seems scary, it will be extremely beneficial in the long run, and will provide such an incomparable sense of relief and healing.

  1. Expect to be put on a new medication.

In the vast majority of cases, addicts and alcoholics will turn to chemical substances in order to self-medicate undiagnosed psychological disorders. As you sober up you are likely to find that you are suffering from a mild disorder that has contributed to your substance abuse. Anxiety and depression are the most common, though addicts are sometimes found to suffer from bipolar disorder or schizophrenia.

  1. Expect to follow the rules – no matter how outlandish.

When attending drug rehab for the first time, you may be shocked and appalled by some of the rules that are in place. Wake up at 6 am?! Make my bed every morning?! WASH MY DISHES?! You will quickly learn that breaking the rules is simply not worth the flack you will undoubtedly get. Prepare to adjust quickly and clean up after yourself thoroughly!

  1. Expect to make friends – with yourself.

Recovery is a highly self-involved process. It is important to spend more time getting to know yourself than anyone else – you will have ample time to make best friends later on down the road. Learn to love yourself first!

  1. Expect to feel things you haven’t felt in years.

Remember feelings? How about emotions? Don’t worry, no one expects you to. But they will inevitably come back, swiftly and without warning. You will feel sadness, fear, and aggravation… but experiencing joy, love and compassion for the first time in years is so rewarding it will make everything else worthwhile.

  1. Expect to learn patience.

This little virtue will come in handy more often than you may think when living with a group of drug-addicted strangers.

  1. Expect to go to a sober living facility.

The success rates of those who attend an inpatient rehab without a comprehensive aftercare program – including sober living – is significantly lower than the success rate of those who transition directly into a halfway house. If you are serious about staying sober, halfway is the way to go.

Above all else, expect truly great things to come from this experience if you truly open your heart and take advantage of the opportunity with which you are being presented.

Yoga and Addiction

It was recently reported that a staggering 1 out of every 3 American citizens struggles with addiction of some kind – this can be anything from drug addiction or alcoholism to eating disorders or nicotine addiction. It has also been proven that no matter what type of addiction an individual struggles with, a regular incorporation of yoga can help appease symptoms immensely. By uncovering the underlying causes of addiction and treating the mind, body, and spirit of the addict inclusively, recovery can be a highly effective process. However, it is a lifelong process – one that must be upkept on a daily basis in order to prove effective in combating addiction permanently.

Yoga and Addiction Recovery

Many treatment centers across the nation have been incorporating holistic methods of treatment into their overall recovery programs, and in many instances, this includes regular attendance at yoga classes. Yoga promotes body awareness that is very crucial to comprehensive recovery. Yoga students are urged to get in touch with their physical beings, and awareness of breath is also a main component of such practices. In many cases, addicts and alcoholics will use their substance of choice in order to numb their senses entirely, making getting in touch with their physical selves nearly impossible.

Yoga has proven such a successful method of spiritual, physical, and mental recovery for addicts and alcoholics that many yoga studios across the nation have implemented classes geared exclusively towards addiction recovery. So why is yoga such a successful method of holistic addiction recovery? Yoga promotes patience, a quality that is essential to the frequent gradualness of recovery as a process. Additionally, yoga contributes to a greater sense of control in the acute stages of cravings, agitation, and insomnia (post acute withdrawal symptoms). Of course, like most things, reaping the benefits of yoga takes time, and continued practice is necessary in seeing results. If you are in the early stages of addiction recovery – or any stage for that matter – it would be a wise idea to seriously consider incorporating yoga into your weekly spirituality regime.

What Is Holistic Treatment?

While other forms of addiction treatment may concentrate solely on the disease of addiction or specifically on emotional health and healing, holistic treatment takes the entirety of the person into consideration – the mind, the body, and the spirit. Many treatment centers incorporate holistic methods into their overall programs, offering spiritually healing classes such as yoga or meditation in addition to classic therapeutic and educational techniques. Holistic treatment stems from a belief that one can gain optimal health and wellness by maintaining balance in his or her life. Those who actively practice holistic medicinal techniques believe that one whole person is made up of several interdependent pieces, and if one is not working properly then all will be equally affected. Thus if one is experiencing any kind of emotional, spiritual, or physical unbalance, all aspects of their life will be compromised.

Principles of Holistic Treatment

There are several principles of holistic medicine that all holistically based treatment adheres to. These are:

  • The patient is a human being – the being is being treated, not the disease
  • All human beings are equipped with innate healing powers
  • Healing takes a team approach, and addresses numerous aspects of an individual’s life using a variety of healthcare practices
  • Treatment is not about merely alleviating symptoms – the cause of the condition must be uncovered and thoroughly remedied

There are many types of holistic treatment, and drug rehabs nationwide vary as far as which specific aspects they employ. Many inpatient facilities promote patient education revolving around self-care and significant lifestyle changes that promote wellness. This will often include courses on relationship health, spiritual counseling, psychotherapy, diet, and exercise. Alternative forms of care are also typically utilized. These include acupuncture, yoga, meditation (often guided by a licensed spiritual advisor), massage therapy, and naturopathy. It is important to remember that the disease of addiction takes a major toll on the spirit as well as the physical body. Healing is not merely a matter of detoxing from chemical substances and stabilizing tangibly. True treatment uncovers the underlying reasons behind addiction, and treats the being as an inclusive whole. Many have found holistic treatment highly effective, and it common for recovered addicts and alcoholics to continue with holistic practices long after graduating from a residential drug rehab.

Staying Addicted: Which Excuse is Yours?

It’s that time of year again. The holidays are a time that people tend to use either in excess or more frequently to either celebrate or escape. I’ve heard time and time again from folks in recovery that they wanted to wait for the holidays, a wedding, a birthday or other meaningful event to pass before entering treatment to get clean and sober. Unfortunately in many cases, during this time they proceed to make a fool of themselves in front of family, ruin a wedding or potentially overdose in their disease. Was putting off seeking help really worth their health, life and the respect of themselves? No way!

Looking back, in hindsight, the following are other common excuses that are shared by many recovery for putting off seeking treatment. Which one(s) do you relate to?

It’s Expensive

Pay for treatment?! I’ve spent all of my money on drugs or alcohol and have nothing left. I don’t have the money to spend right now. I don’t even have insurance. How can I afford this?

Financially, treatment can be expensive. The good news is that almost all treatment centers will work with you on payment plans or sliding scale costs. Also, there are scholarships in place set forth by the government or treatment centers themselves that can sometimes fund an entire stay in treatment. Make sure to ask about if they have any financial assistance options. Treatment is possible without insurance.

I’m Embarrassed and Scared

What are my friends and family going to think? What will my job or coworkers think? Am I going to lose all of these people because of my addiction? What if I fail? People are no longer going to like me

It’s completely understandable to be embarrassing and scared. Nobody likes to admit they need help – or ask for it! It’s hard.

Everybody else uses as much as I do

I drink just as much as my friends do, if not less. Most people my age use just as frequently as I do. None of them have a problem.

If you find yourself comparing your use to others, stop now. You never know another’s situation or struggles. They may be struggling secretly just as you are. They also may be able to handle their use recreationally differently that you can. Addiction is genetically inherited. Though you may want to be like your peers, if you are reading this article…chances are that you aren’t.

I can change (This is deadly)

I’m not as bad off as other addicts. I can still fix my addiction. I haven’t hit a low enough bottom yet. I may have a problem but I don’t need to fix it now. I work, I pay my bills. I’ll wait to see if I can change. I’m not ready to get help yet.

Unfortunately, this is not only the most common excuse – but also the deadliest. Because overdose comes with zero warning, even a person who has not damaged their health with addiction can die from this disease with just one hit. The longer you wait to seek treatment, the more frequently you are playing Russian roulette with your life.

 

If you or someone you know is struggling with addiction, know that you are not alone. There is no excuse worth your life. Please contact us today to confidentially find out what your options are and begin battling the disease of addiction today!

6 Things to Avoid While in Drug Rehab

Going to drug rehab for the first time can be a scary thing, and it is not difficult to get caught up in drama and distraction to avoid facing the reality that your journey into recovery has officially begun. Drug rehab can be an extremely fulfilling and life-changing experience – but only if approached the right way. There are several things that may get in the way of you reaping all of the rewards available, things that may, eventually, be the cause of relapse if you do not address and avoid them. Here is a list of 6 things you will definitely want to avoid while completing your stint in an inpatient treatment facility.

Avoid Doing These 6 Things While in Drug Rehab

  1. Avoid Gossip and Drama

It is easy to get involved in petty drama while living in close quarters with dozens of complete strangers. Especially when the strangers you are living with happen to be drunks and drug addicts. Just remember to stay focused on yourself – after all, you are doing this for you, no one else. Even if you don’t believe that now you will figure it out eventually. If your roommate keeps leaving dishes in the sink, address the issue politely – but don’t let it ruin your day or take the focus off of your own recovery!

  1. Avoid Relationships

Getting involved in a “rehab romance” is one of the worst things you can do while in an inpatient facility – especially if you are actually trying to get sober. Two extremely emotionally unstable, freshly clean individuals will never generate a healthy and stable relationship. It will end badly. Additionally, getting involved in a relationship will once again take the focus off of you.

  1. Avoid Distractions – Exercise and Food

It is not uncommon for a newly sober individual to replace drugs and alcohol with food or exercise. In many cases, food or exercise serve to fill the void created when the drugs are taken away. Many fall in to restricting their diets or overeating, and some resort to over exercising, all habit that initiate from one wanting to avoid focusing on underlying emotional trauma and create an external solution for an internal problem. Exercise is definitely fundamental – just watch yourself to make sure you are not overindulging in distracting behaviors.

  1. Avoid Isolation

Sometimes the reality of the situation will hit you, and you will want to do little else than stay in bed all day. However, it is highly important that you remain engaged. Isolating yourself will only compound and depression or sadness you may be feeling. Trust that your peers feel the same way you do, and reach out to overcome negative feelings rather sit with them.

  1. Avoid Overconfidence

An attitude of “I got this” is always a dangerous thing. Being confident is good, but a healthy fear of relapse is always an important factor in staying sober. Addiction is a highly complicated and insidious disease, and to assume you have it all figured out will most likely do more harm than good in the long run. Remember – you are powerless over drugs and alcohol… but this does not mean you are helpless!

  1. Avoid Living in Fantasyland

I was so convinced during my first 2 months of drug rehab that I was moving home immediately upon graduation that I spent more time trying to rebuild burnt bridges than trying to remedy myself. It is truly crucial to stay in the present day, and avoid projecting on any level. If you are careful to avoid these common pitfalls, your experience will inevitably be far more fulfilling. Remember – this is a time for you to heal and recover, don’t lose sight of what you came there for.

I’ve Finished Rehab… I’m Cured!

You’ve just graduated from a 90-day drug rehab – been “coined out” by a group of peers who wish you well and remind you they’re there if you ever need help. Your plane leaves tomorrow – you can’t wait to return home and see your friends and family. You’ve missed them, and you want to show them how far you’ve come in just several months. Therapists and counselors have warned you about the temptations that will likely await you at home, but you aren’t worried… after all, you’re cured! You will no longer want to drink and use drugs, for you’ve uncovered underlying causes of your addiction and addressed them with the assistance of a professional. Right?

Drug Rehab Is Just The Beginning!

Very, very wrong. It is very likely that one has not engaged in any sort of aftercare after inpatient will relapse within a short period of time. The vast majority of inpatient drug rehabs will strongly recommend a comprehensive and extended aftercare program effective immediately after one graduates from residential treatment. In most cases, such programs will include attendance at an IOP (intensive outpatient program) for a period of time, as well as continued daily attendance at a 12-step meeting such as Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous. Usually continuation of one-on-one therapy sessions is recommended as well in order to address underlying emotional issues as well as the addiction itself.

It is a common misconception that completing a stay at an inpatient rehab facility is about the extent of treatment – that once your inpatient stay comes to a close you are essentially cured of your addiction, free to return to your old life and pick right back up where you left off; without the use of drugs and alcohol, of course. In fact, graduating from a residential drug rehab program is only the beginning of your journey into recovery. It will be strongly recommended that immediately upon graduation that the newly sober addict or alcoholic maintain sobriety by entering a halfway or sober living house. This will allow him or her much more freedom while still managing accountability by means of frequent drug tests and a set of strict rules (curfew, cleanliness, etc). A careful transition from inpatient to halfway and finally back into total independence has been proven most successful in prolonged abstinence from drugs and alcohol.

Recovery Begins “In the Rooms”

It is often said that real recovery begins “in the rooms”. This refers to the fact that it tends to be difficult for addicts or alcoholics to maintain meaningful sobriety without getting involved in a 12-step program of their choosing. Regular attendance at meetings is usually essential to sustaining sobriety based on several differing factors – one of the most important is being surrounding with sober supports, friends who can relate to the struggle and are available to help if need be. 12-step meetings tend to be a crucial aspect of every aftercare plan, as does continued one-on-one therapy in order to continue resolving emotional problems and underlying causes of addiction. Don’t be fooled by the common misconception that rehab is the end of the road! Recovery is a lifelong process, and sobriety requires continued maintenance. But there is no question that all of the hard work you put in will be more than worth it in the end.