Coronavirus safety

The Safest Place to Avoid Coronavirus Might be Rehab

Coronavirus has arrived, and people of all walks of life are being forced to take note. Although the timeline of the virus remains unknown, even the most optimistic projections show it having a significant effect on our lives for many months to come. The results of the virus vary from person to person. Still, one fact is clear: Some people are at higher risk of severe complications and even death than others, and those dealing with addiction look to be at a significantly higher risk than others of a similar age. While alcohol and drug rehab are ideal at any point in time, rehab centers offer an additional benefit: extra safety from the virus. Here are a few reasons why.

Medical Monitoring

A significant part of the rehab process is medical monitoring to prevent patients from suffering from the potentially dangerous effects of withdrawal. This monitoring can also help detect if patients seem to be showing signs of the coronavirus, which lets experts detect the virus early on and find appropriate medical care. When dealing with addiction, it can be challenging to know if specific symptoms are due to substance abuse or from the virus, and entering rehab gives patients access to experts who can make informed decisions.

Building Your Immune System

Various drugs and alcohol can have adverse effects on the immune system. Although the ramifications of substance abuse on coronavirus outcomes aren’t fully understood yet, any factors that lead to a weakened immune system are likely to have significant adverse effects. Although it takes some time for your body and immune system to recover, starting the rehab process as soon as possible helps your body fight the virus should you become infected. Remember that the virus is likely to stay around for many months, so even if you don’t contract the virus soon, you’ll be able to reap benefits for months and years to come. Note, too, that some of the health benefits of detox can start in a matter of days or weeks, so don’t feel as if you’re hopeless.

Basic Sanitation Access

Both short- and long-term homelessness are standard results from sustained addiction, and health officials believe the homeless population is at high risk. Hand-washing is rare among the homeless, as finding a sink, especially one stocked with soap, is difficult or sometimes impossible, especially as public locations close for the night. Hand-washing doesn’t just protect individuals from contracting coronavirus; it also reduces the risk of spread to other communities. In addition, studies indicate that the virus might spread from fecal matter as well, putting the homeless at even higher risk from contamination as bathrooms can be challenging to find. Entering an alcohol and drug rehab facility grants consistent access to these front-line tools in the fight against the spread of the virus.

Isolated Environment

Whether homeless or not, those dealing with addiction often find themselves in crowded environments around people who may not exercise the best practices in terms of fighting viral spread. When you enter rehab, you’ll be in proximity to a limited number of people with little contact with potential viral threat vectors. Limiting contact is a proven means of limiting your chances of coming down with coronavirus, and your time spent in rehab will protect you from contact with a world that’s expected to see the rapid and continued spread of the virus. Even though your time spent in rehab will be limited, it will limit your exposure and improve the odds of you never having to deal with the virus’s potential spread.

Socializing

Even those who can maintain limited contact while dealing with an active addiction will likely face another potential problem: isolation. Defeating substance abuse is best done with others, and a rehab environment will offer you a safe place to get the social support needed to get on the road to recovery. Fighting substance abuse alone will increase the temptation to use, and it increases the likelihood of dealing with anxiety or depression. Furthermore, you may be tempted to spend time in locations with other people who may put you at risk of contracting the virus. Rehab offers a much safer alternative.

Cleanliness

Alcohol and drug rehab centers are regularly cleaned to prevent the disease from spreading, and those attending rehab can be assured of a safer physical environment. Studies indicate that the virus can survive for extended periods on certain surfaces, meaning there’s a risk in public places. Fortunately, regular cleaning is highly effective at destroying the virus, so you won’t have to deal with anxiety during day-to-day activities.

Forming a Long-Term Plan

Rehab focuses on your overall health, and the techniques you learn while in rehab can help you maintain your health even when your time in rehab has come to an end. Risk factors, especially for those over the age of 40, include smoking and obesity. Even if your primary goal is to cease abusing substances, you’ll also learn how to improve your health in other ways and develop the daily discipline you’ll need to meet your broader health goals. Rehab offers you a roadmap, and you’ll feel confident in your abilities to meet your health goals once you depart.

Setting Up a Support Network

Substance abuse is best fought with a support network, and you’ll learn how to build one while in rehab. This support group will help you avoid the temptation to use. Still, it will also give you access to people willing to listen should you feel anxious about the coronavirus or other potential health issues. Over time, you’ll also learn how to offer support to others in need, giving you a loving support network that offers invaluable motivation. Signing up for rehab sets you on the road to building valuable support for the coming months and years.

The best time to start rehab is now, and this is even more true with the spread of the coronavirus. If you or someone you know requires substance abuse help, make sure to reach out soon to set up a roadmap for success.

coronavirus drug rehab

Protecting patients in Addiction Treatment

How are Addiction Treatment Centers maintaining services yet protecting patients amid the coronavirus pandemic? 

Many nations around the world have been crippled by drug and substance abuse. Amid the new coronavirus pandemic (also known as COVID-19), medical experts have discovered that the most vulnerable people are children, the elderly, the sick, and people with weak immune systems such as drug users. This said people with addiction problems must be provided with professional attention, especially from addiction treatment centers in the face of this novel pandemic. But first, we should understand what coronavirus is and how it affects the human body.

COVID-19 belongs to a broader family of coronavirus diseases, which include the 2003 Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV). Researchers have reported a variety of coronavirus symptoms, which include fever, running nose, coughs, difficulty in breathing, common cold, and severe respiratory infections, among others. The first case to be reported was in December last year; however, Chinese authorities reported recently that a few people were infected in November. The virus was traced back to an animal market, and scientists say it originated from a bat and somehow hopped to a pangolin. Since then, the rapid virus has spread to several countries in the world.

The National Institute of Drug Abuse (NIH) has reported that communities with substance use disorders (SUH) are vulnerable to coronavirus. This is mainly because the virus infects the lungs. This could cause severe threats for people who vape or smoke tobacco, smoke marijuana, and consume other drugs. The institution reported that it could also hit the opioid and methamphetamine using the population hard, mainly because of the effects of the drugs on both pulmonary and respiratory health. Another reason is that most drug users are likely to evade self-quarantine than those in the general population. This situation exposes them to the virus, causing COVID-19. The NIH has asked the general public to be vigilant in active surveillance as medical experts work to eliminate the emerging threat. Substance users must seek addiction treatment services in drug rehabs.

People around the world have been asked to take standard precautions as everyone has an equal responsibility for reducing the spread of coronavirus as much as possible. Tests that were done recently at the NIH, Princeton University, and UCLA by United States scientists have confirmed that the coronavirus can stay in the air for up to three hours and on some surfaces like plastic and stainless steel for up to three days. The Center for Disease Prevention and Control (CDC) has asked the public to be concerned about both their physical wellness as well as mental health. Everyone should ensure they stay calm and, most importantly, in a comfortable and safe place. The following are tips for avoiding panic and maintaining good mental health:

  • Choose a trusted source of information, preferably a national or international source like the CDC
  • Reduce the amount of time spent every day reading coronavirus updates
  • Learn to feel comfortable with the unknown or limiting yourself to little information
  • Avoid social media updates on the current state. Most are misleading
  • Pay attention to your basic needs
  • Seek professional support especially for the ill and opioid users

The CDC has asked everyone to take the following precautions to reduce the spread of the virus:

  • Wash your hands thoroughly
  • Distance yourself from people especially those who look sick ( at least two yards)
  • Practice personal hygiene
  • Avoid touching your face especially the nose, eyes, and mouth

With most of the country worried about the coronavirus pandemic, most addiction patients may be thinking of postponing or canceling their rehab appointment until things get better. However, the truth is that many addiction treatment centers have put measures in place to protect their patients and, at the same time, maintaining their services. Several drug rehab and other addiction treatment services have taken the initiative to offer addiction services to help patients in the prevention of coronavirus. Many institutions have implemented extra precautions such as disinfecting surfaces, the use of larger rooms to facilitate social distancing, testing patients & staff during admission, and implementing the CDC regulations. There have also been reports of drug rehabs hiring specialists just in case quarantine is needed for patients who show any viral symptoms.

On the other hand, the CDC and other medical institutions are doing a great job in managing the spread of the disease and looking for solutions. The risks of drug and alcohol abuse to human health are very critical, especially at a time like this. The risk of contracting coronavirus is lesser under managed institutions. A CDC report says that the opioid crisis in the United States has grown significantly, with about 100 deaths recorded every day. Substance abuse remains one of the most critical problems in the country.

coronavirus infographic

The connection between coronavirus and drug abuse

Medical professionals have discovered that the most vulnerable people to coronavirus are people with weak immune systems or those whose immunities have been compromised. Drug users, especially those with nicotine addiction, are likely to be affected since COVID-19 is a respiratory disease. Chinese doctors have examined the affected populations and discovered that more than 50 percent of the cases were men. The reason for using gender in conducting the study is because Chinese men are more likely to smoke cigarettes than women. This lowers their immune system and causes secondary illnesses such as respiratory difficulties, high blood pressure, and cardiovascular diseases. Vaping also has the same effects since it releases aerosols that harm lung cells. Since the novel virus affects the respiratory system, smoking and vaping is more likely to cause more complications when treating COVID-19.

Doctors have also reported that marijuana smoke can also weaken the respiratory organs, which in turn increases the risk of contracting coronavirus. As discussed earlier, social media misleads many people since the information from the platform is not factual or backed by research. Recently several posts made rounds claiming that Cannabidiol (CBD), which is found in cannabis, has medical elements that can cure COVID-19. Though scientists have proven the use of cannabidiol in treating anxiety and pain, no research has surfaced, showing the use of CBD in treating the virus. The fact remains that every hot smoke that is inhaled affects proper lung functions. It would be best if users avoided sharing pipes, bongs, joints, or any other paraphernalia since they contain saliva and are likely to spread the disease-causing virus.

The NIH has reported that people with opioid use disorders have separate challenges to those that consume high doses medically. Slow breathing, which is caused by the drugs in the bloodstream, puts users at risk of fatal overdose and hypoxemia, which is an abnormally low level of oxygen in the blood. Low oxygen levels pose a massive threat to brain health as well as respiratory health. Many deaths have been recorded by overdosed users caused by chronic respiratory illnesses. Likewise, COVID-19 endangers the lives of opioid users.

Methamphetamine, on the other hand, also puts its users at risk. The drug narrows capillaries, veins, and arteries, which in turn has been known to cause pulmonary hypertension to most of its users. Since its users are rapidly increasing in the country, the drug could have an adverse effect on treating the victims of COVID-19. Other drugs like cocaine and meth could put its users at risk of being a victim to the virus. All these drugs alter the normal state of the immune system. Other social habits connected with drug abuse, including unprotected sex and sharing of needles, exposes drug users to pathogens.

Coronavirus has negatively affected the economies of every country. Currently, there are drug shortages in the US as a result of factories being shut down. Close to 90 percent of drug ingredients in the country come from Asia. The FDA is still monitoring the situation between the two countries, especially since more than 20 drugs, including blood pressure medications and antibiotics, are primarily imported from China.

Several addiction patients rely solely on prescription medication for their recovery, during detoxification, and when managing withdrawal symptoms. It is recommended for people who need medication for recovery to purchase vast amounts of medical supplies. However, several patients may not have the willpower to recover, hence relapsing. In some cases, patients may fear going outside. This can affect patients who are going through withdrawal symptoms and other complications such as heart disease. It can also affect the mental health of patients who need immediate attention.

If you are currently struggling with addiction, you need immediate attention. Overcoming addiction is a big step towards living a healthy and long life. It is one of the factors that determine life and death. There is no evidence that drug rehabs are more vulnerable to coronavirus than any other place. The truth is recovery institutions are safer than our neighborhoods. You need to contact an addiction treatment service or a drug rehab center to start your journey to recovery.

coronavirus and drug rehab

CoronaVirus: How I can stay safe in Rehab

The novel coronavirus has reached epidemic status around the world, and many activities have been brought to a grinding halt. If you have decided to go to rehab, though, you know that simply walking away is not necessarily the healthiest of options. Instead, you must understand what you can do to keep yourself and others safe as you continue your journey. 

What Patients Can Do

As a patient, your options are relatively limited. Those who choose to continue attending rehab are certainly going to be dealing with social situations that might go against the generally accepted wisdom of social distancing, but this doesn’t mean that they cannot take steps to keep safe. If you’re worried about the coronavirus, your goals should be both to increase your safety and to help keep others safe.

There are a few things that doctors and scientists have both pointed to as helpful for preventing the spread of this illness. Make sure to wash your hands for at least twenty seconds not only before you head into the rehab facility, but any time you are in the bathroom and when you leave. Hand-washing helps to break up the outer layer of the virus and can help to keep you healthy. In addition to hand-washing, try to limit physical contact with others (no handshakes) and try to limit the number of times that you touch your face. 

coronavirus and drug rehab

While the novel coronavirus is unlikely to cause long-term harm to anyone young or in good health, this doesn’t mean that it can’t be spread to others. No matter what your age, you should make sure to self-isolate if you find that you have the symptoms of this virus. These symptoms include a dry cough, a sore throat, and a fever of above 100.8 degrees in most cases. The current assumption of the illness’s lifespan is about two weeks, so prepare to quarantine yourself if you have all of those symptoms. 

Even if you don’t have these symptoms, you’ll want to limit your interactions with others outside of the rehab facility. This is called social distancing, and it’s one of the essential steps anyone can take to slow the spread of this sickness. Make sure to limit your trips out of your home, to avoid touching others, and to try to keep a distance of about six feet from anyone you interact with in public. 

What Drug Rehab Centers Can Do

Luckily, most rehab facilities understand that this virus is severe, and they’re taking some steps to help keep you safe. On a fundamental level, this means not only spending even more time cleaning and sanitizing their facilities, but also providing hand-sanitizers and other items to their patients. 

In addition to these actions, most facilities are also taking steps to limit exposure during therapies. These steps including moving their various group therapies to larger spaces to increase the distance between patients, moving more patients into one-on-one therapy sessions, and even taking steps to check to ensure that those who come in for therapy do not have symptoms of the virus.

Of course, therapists and other employees at most drug rehab centers are also being checked for symptoms regularly. Most are told not to come in if they are sick, with some centers even moving non-essential personnel to work-at-home positions. As more is learned about this virus, it’s a certainty that rehab centers will enact new policies and procedures to help reduce the risk of spreading the virus. Those who run rehab centers know how important it is that their clients feel safe coming in during this outbreak, and thus are doing all they can to ensure a safe environment for all involved.

The most important thing to do during these trying times is to avoid panicking. While life might not seem reasonable right now, being cautious and calm can help to see you through the worst of things. You must keep attending rehab so that you can continue to make progress – especially considering the stresses that are now mounting in the world around you. Continue to follow the best practices in terms of hygiene and social interactions so that you can continue on your journey to a better future.

lean drink

Lean Drink

The use of a substance referred to as Lean drink has become the talk of the town in many circles. This infamous substance has been known to have several negative impacts on those who use it, some cases even including so much as death. What’s worse is that so many rappers and professional athletes endorse its use in one way or another.

Known in hip hop culture as ‘Lean’ or some variation of the phrase ‘Purple Drink’, this drug cocktail is a dangerous avenue some teens are using to get high. The craze surrounding Lean is a fairly recent trend, taking root in the 1990s. Although its use traces back all the way to the 1970s, Lean became popular in the 90s when rap artists began using and referencing it in their music.

As is the case with the vast majority of drugs, it is imperative to familiarize oneself with what Lean actually is. Doing so could save your life, or the life of somebody close to you. This drug, in particular, is not one to mess around with, as its effects on the body could be detrimental to one’s health.

What is Lean?

Lean is the name of a substance containing Sprite (or some sort of soda), Codeine, and candy. Codeine is found in medicine used to treat cold and allergy symptoms and is an Opiate that gives the user a feeling of immense joy or excitement. Most often, the Codeine-containing cough syrup also possesses Promethazine; Promethazine is a sedative. Soda and candy are high in sugar, masking the bitter taste of the cough syrup.

lean drink

The Effects of Lean 

Some of the most common effects of Lean include the following:

  • Night Terrors
  • Confusion
  • Hallucinations 
  • Memory Loss
  • Seizures 

The side-effects of using Lean are frightening and dangerous. In some cases, the drug has even been a cause of death. The Codeine found in the substance is also highly addictive, leading to frequent misuse. Codeine is classified as a Schedule V drug, making it illegal to purchase cough syrups that contain it without a prescription. 

Becoming addicted to Lean does not happen overnight. Instead, like any other drug, it happens when usage is repeated time and time again. There are also other circumstances that influence addiction such as environment, mental health, or genetics. 

Codeine is an addictive pain-killer. Because of this, the excessive use of Codeine can lead to addiction or long-term substance abuse. Before someone becomes an addict, a tolerance is built. It’s because of the tolerance that they keep coming back to the drug to give them a high equal to or greater than the first; no high is greater than the first. Tolerance leads to abuse, and abuse can have several consequences, some even as extreme as death.

What Are My Options?

If you or a loved one are addicted to Lean, or even Codeine itself, there are Addiction Treatment Services available for you. Whether it’s Inpatient Residential Treatment, Outpatient Treatment, or Detox Treatment, we’ve got you covered. It is imperative, no matter how isolated someone feels, to seek help. With the right help from Addiction Treatment Services, you can recover and pursue a life of sobriety and peace.

Why Is Lean So Popular?

Substances like Lean don’t become a popular topic of conversation by merely existing. Drugs like this have an impact on the mind and body, and this grows the substance’s popularity. 

Lean, like any other drug, became popular due to the psychological effects it has on the body. User’s typically feel a sense of euphoria, and this feeling combined with the drug’s sedative nature keeps people coming back for more. 

When drugs are used, the chemical signals tell the body that whatever they’re doing is good. Because of this, people become addicted; they begin to associate the feelings of love, happiness, and any other sort of pleasure with their drug of choice. 

Another reason Lean has become immensely popular is because of its mention by popular hip hop artists. The 1990s were no strangers to drug cocktails. In fact, there was a rise of popularity among them during that period of time. Rappers and hip hop artists alike would feature this substance in their music videos or even in public. The fad began in Houston and spread like wildfire. 

How Long Does Lean Stay in Your System?

Traces of Lean can be found in the body differently through varying tests, which include the following:

  • Urine: Two to three days
  • Saliva: One to four days
  • Blood: 24 hours
  • Hair: Two to three months

Depending on varying conditions, traces of Lean could be detected for either several days or several months. Some of these varying conditions, like any other drug, include volume, age, metabolism, and exercise. However, all of this is not to say estimates cannot be drawn up. 

How To Get Help

Substance abuse, if left untreated for a long period of time could prove itself detrimental to one’s well-being. Admitting that there is a problem is often the first step, but it can be difficult to accept the reality. Often it is easier to put on a smile for everybody else around you, but sometimes the things that are the most difficult are also the most rewarding.

Addiction Treatment Services offer you a lifeline of support. We understand the pain substance abuse can cause, and we want to share that burden with you to help you pursue a life of peace and stability.

There are options available to provide support to those struggling with an addiction to Lean. Whether it’s through inpatient, outpatient, or detox treatments, Addiction Treatment Services has you covered. 

Regardless of where you’re starting from, recovery has a purpose. That purpose can either be forgotten, gathering dust, or it can flourish in the light of glorious pursuit. Every thousand-mile journey begins with the first step.

If you or a loved one are struggling with Codeine or any other addiction, it may be time to seek help. For insight as far as the next steps are concerned, you can contact us here.

teen drug use

Signs of Drug Use in Teens

When it comes to drug abuse, there may be more to a teenager than meets the eye. As weird as it sounds, there are plenty of young people who struggle with addiction. If the question of whether or not your child is abusing drugs even exists, it is highly likely that they are indeed wrestling with substance abuse. 

Often, it is difficult for people to admit that they’re struggling with substance abuse. There’s a negative stigma attached to addiction and for a good reason. However, it is imperative to always approach these individuals with love and care; addiction in teenagers is a unique topic, and as so, it requires a unique approach. 

How Did it Happen?

There are several factors that could lead to a young person’s addiction. Some of them include the following:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Stress (from family or friend groups)
  • Peer pressure
  • Coping with trauma

It could be hard to say for sure whether or not a teen is addicted, as there could be any number of reasons a young person starts using drugs. However, as far as brain chemistry is concerned, the signals in the brain are distorted when drugs are used. Because of this, thoughts, actions, and emotions adapt. The part of the brain where this happens is often referred to as the pleasure center.

If its name is any indication, the pleasure center’s function is to communicate overall satisfaction when consuming food, feeling loved, or enjoying entertainment. When a high occurs, dopamine rushes to the brain. It is at this moment that the pleasure center is activated. 

As a result of their first high, drug users often feel as though they need more every time they partake to satisfy their cravings truly; there is no high stronger than the first. The more someone does drugs, the higher volume they have to use to reach the same high, making it more challenging to achieve the desired result. This leads to withdrawal and gives birth to drug dependency.

Teen Addiction Symptoms

Symptoms of addiction in teenagers include the following:

  • Changes in sleeping habits
  • Changes in friend groups
  • Changes in eating habits
  • Lack of interest in school/extracurriculars
  • Lack of interest in friend groups
  • Lack of self-care/grooming
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Irritability
  • Mood swings
  • Nausea
  • Shaking
  • Restlessness 
  • Extreme secrecy 

More than anything, teenagers want to belong; they don’t want to be social outcasts. Because of this, their drug history could begin at a young age. Often times this serves as a catalyst for dangerous, long-term addiction and substance abuse. This is why it is imperative to be familiar with the warning signs.

It is normal for the parent of an addicted teen to feel as though they’ve failed. However, it is not their fault that this happens. Because of this, positivity is of the utmost vitality. Negative thoughts or actions will only set someone’s recovery back, worsening their circumstances. The best way to approach anybody who is struggling with addiction, especially a teenager, is with grace and understanding. This is due in large part to the fact that more times than not, teenagers want to be understood.

Asking for Help

Asking for help exposes people – it leaves them feeling vulnerable. Addiction is difficult to handle, even without the pressure of seeking assistance. In all honesty, it takes bravery and determination to ask for it. This is why it’s so important to make an effort to understand them.

Fear has a way of controlling people’s decisions – it’s paralyzing. Often times, this is a large part of the reason why some teens don’t want to reach out. Teenagers often hold the thoughts and opinions of others more highly than they ought to. This could be because they fear the potential isolation they may feel from friend groups or disappointment they may feel from a family member. That being said, it’s important to know just how to approach them on a personal level. The answer is quite simple, but it is so difficult to execute. The answer lies in validation.

When someone cares for another person, they may have a difficult time seeing them walk through a rough patch. Because of this, the urge to fix things for them is quite natural. Chances are, however, that they don’t need fixing more than they need to be heard. Validating their fear is necessary to recovery; it is not optional. Refuting one’s fear could shut them off from ever speaking to you again. 

Teenagers struggling with substance abuse may also be experiencing denial. This is another reason it’s so difficult to ask for help; they don’t think they need it. Choosing to ignore a problem exists is detrimental to potential solutions. For the loved ones in their life, this could be extremely difficult due to the obvious nature of abuse.

Along with fear and denial, depression is also a factor when it comes to neglecting help. Depression is one of the most misunderstood illnesses in the world. Often, people believe that depression is exclusive to sadness, but this is not the case. There are many other symptoms of depression, one of which is a lack of motivation. 

A severe lack of motivation makes even the simplest of tasks difficult to complete. Some people have a hard time just getting out of bed when they’re depressed. Because asking for help makes people vulnerable, it intensifies the difficulty of the process. Whether this was prevalent before addiction or because of addiction makes no difference; depression is a large barrier in seeking help.

Does My Teen Need Rehab?

Rehab for drug addiction is tough when someone isn’t familiar with the tools at their disposal. Addiction Treatment Services provide teens with the tools necessary to pursue a life of recovery and stability.

No teenager wants to feel isolated, especially in a stage of life where they’re most vulnerable. Providing them with the support system they need is imperative to their recovery journey. Addiction Treatment Services can give that to you. Once your teenager feels supported and empowered, the sky’s the limit for their recovery journey.

Where to Go from Here

Some Addiction Treatment Service information we provide include the following:

The treatment options mentioned above have proven safe and successful by Addiction Treatment Services. There is no one-size-fits-all treatment method. We want to assess which treatment is best for each patient that walks through our doors.

Addiction Treatment Services Can Help

Drug addiction is difficult to walk through, especially for a teenager. They already have a hard time finding a sense of belonging, and addiction can make them feel isolated. At Addiction Treatment Services, we want them to feel that they are in good company, and we aim to carry their burden with them. If you believe your teenager may be struggling with drug addiction, you can contact us here.

parenting in recovery

Tips for Parenting in Recovery

In recovery, there is hope. Parenting in recovery gives you the opportunity to build a healthy, happy home environment and raise resilient, joyful children. 

According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, about 25 percent of kids in the United States under the age of 18 experience alcohol abuse or dependence in their families. And many more grow up in homes where parents abuse drugs. The impact can be devastating.

But how exactly do you create a healthy home and what are the tricks to parenting in recovery successfully, you ask?

No one said it would be easy. Parenting is tough for everyone. But love and willingness go a long way and make it possible to guide and positively impact your children’s lives. 

Here are some of our favorite tips for parenting in recovery. Keep reading to see which ones resonate and empower you and then dive in.

Put on Your Oxygen Mask First

You can’t give what you don’t have. And if you don’t take care of yourself first, you won’t be able to take care of your kids.

It’s like when you’re on the tarmac ready to take off in an airplane, and you’re reminded to put on your oxygen mask first. It’s logical. And it’s a great metaphor to keep in your back pocket as you parent. 

Your first reaction might be to overcompensate for addictive behavior before you got sober. You might feel guilty or feel shame. It’s okay. It’s normal to have these feelings, but you don’t need to act on them.

Your kids need you to be parenting from a solid, healthy place. Because from that place, you can make sound choices. 

So keep your recovery going and take care of your basic needs, and you’ll find that you have more energy. Time for your kids will just fall into place. 

Focus on the Diamonds

By diamonds, we mean positive things. The spotlight probably has been on you and your addiction and recovery. You don’t have to think about it at home with your kids anymore. You can do that in your recovery program that you’re so valiantly using like an oxygen mask.

At home, focus on the now. Focus on what you’re doing right and what your kids are doing right. Don’t just focus on the chores and homework and the “perfect” right. Instead, focus on the things that you’re all working hard at and also enjoying.

Think little things. Think about playing hard at a sport or about learning something new and interesting at school. Think about playing a board game together, going to the movies together, or watching a weekly show.

Think about reading together at bedtime or enjoying a meal together, either home cooked or from a fun, favorite take-out spot.

Encouraging your kids in areas where they shine and are happy builds self-esteem. Do this for yourself too. And praise your whole family when you play and work hard together. 

Let Your Kids Have Feelings

This is a two-part tip. First, acknowledge feelings and accept them without spinning out. This is easy with positive emotions, but it’s important with the negative ones too, especially if emotions are directed at you. If kids are angry, they’re angry. Don ‘t try to fix it or tell them that they’re not angry. The same holds true for sad feelings.

Just sit with them and give them a hug so they know you’re solid and there to support them as they move through the emotion. This teaches them that it will pass and they have a solid support system.

If you have older kids and they’re hunkering down behind a closed door, just let them know that you’re there. Then when they’ve cooled down, you can talk about it. 

If a big emotion triggers you, stay solid around your kids and then go let loose with a sponsor or someone in your recovery or parenting circles. 

Let Them Know They’re Not Responsible for Your Feelings

Part two is to let your kids know that they aren’t responsible for you and can’t fix you or your feelings. In families with alcoholism and addiction, often the kids feel responsible for their parents or think the problem is their fault. It just all feels so out of control that taking responsibility is a solution in a kid’s eyes. But it’s not healthy.

Simply let them know you’re in charge of yourself. Acknowledge your own feelings and tell them it will pass. “I’m feeling sad right now, and it will pass. It’s nothing to do with you. I’ve got this.” 

Talk Openly

Your kids probably know more than you think about what you have been through. It’s a good idea to acknowledge what has happened. Let them know that you were “sick” or “not feeling well.” Apologize and assure them that you are recovering. Let them know you are taking care of yourself so that you get better/stay healthy and that you have people helping you.

With younger kids, you can throw the “I’m sorry I couldn’t pick you up from school” in during your everyday activities. With older kids, make it more formal. Let them know you have something important to talk about. Keep it direct.

Explain what alcoholism/addiction is. Explain what recovery is. Explain what that will look like for you and the family. For example, you can describe how many meetings a week you will go to. You can tell them whom you will call if you need help and how you will be of service/help to others. This will show your kids that hope and community are there for the whole family.

Lean In

Lean into the sobriety community or other community that supports you. Let your kids know how they can be a part of the community too. Explore Alanon family groups for help or Alateen for teens of alcoholics and addicts.

Do Fun Stuff Together

Your kids need to play and laugh. And so do you. Laughter, play, love, and joy keep us all coming back for more. Without it, what’s the point? 

Having fun motivates us to stay healthy and sober. In fact, fun and hobbies can help our recovery. And seeing our kids having fun too is the icing on the cake. Playing together builds strong family bonds, heals relationships, and creates a solid foundation for your kids. It will help build confidence for everyone.

Get something fun on the schedule every day. Even if it’s small, like reading together or next to each other every night for ten minutes. Play a quick daily game or eat ice cream or watch your favorite show. 

The key here is to get play on the schedule and make it part of your routine. It gives everyone something to look forward to. And when your kids see you showing up for them and yourself repeatedly, it rebuilds trust. 

Parenting in Recovery Is so Rewarding

Parenting in recovery may seem like the biggest mountain you ever will have to climb. But it’s doable and amazingly rewarding.

Even if your kids take a while to warm back up and trust you, stick with it. And when in doubt, simply love and hug or wait out a bad spell in the next room. Just showing up and staying will go a long way. And remember: You got this!

Also, remember that you are not alone, and when it gets tough, there is hope. Contact us today for any questions about parenting in recovery or recovery, detox, and treatment itself. We have ongoing support and guidance through sobriety. We have your back.

dating during recovery

Is Dating During Recovery a Good Idea?

Recovery is a process, a long one in many cases. It’s a relinquishing of an addiction to drugs and alcohol and a rebuilding of a new life. In recovery, addicts can find good health, self-awareness, and peace. 

It can be tempting to jump into a new relationship during this time of discovery, but is dating during recovery a good idea? We’ll explore the issue in this article and look at why it might be a good idea to delay dating for a while.

What Is Recovery?

Recovery can mean different things, but generally, it involves more than just abstaining from drugs and alcohol. Yes, part of the recovery process will involve detoxing from those substances, but long-term change requires more than simply not using.

In fact, the term “dry drunk” refers to an addict who is not drinking but is still plagued with emotional and psychological issues. He quit drinking but hasn’t yet tackled the underlying problems that may have contributed to his addiction.

Addiction is a disease that often fuels a dangerous and destructive lifestyle. Lasting change occurs when the addict faces his deepest issues, issues that either drove his need to seek comfort in substances or that developed as a result of his addiction.

In recovery, the addict learns to rebuild her emotional stability. She may enter rehab and recovery overwhelmed with feelings of regret, low self-esteem, sadness, and guilt. Recovery is a chance to start over, to dig out all those painful emotions and face them. It’s an opportunity to build a new foundation with the tools learned during the recovery process.

A big part of a successful recovery is learning to regain control over your life and your choices. You’re not that dry drunk, hanging on by your fingernails and fighting the urge to use again. That kind of addictive, compulsive behavior prevents you from making good choices that come from deep within you. When an area of your life is out of control, it’s next to impossible to live a sober, happy life.

That’s why many addiction specialists encourage people in recovery to wait a year before they begin dating.

Dating During Recovery

When an addict begins the recovery process, she’s finding out who she is and what she believes in.  It sounds simple, but those concepts have often been buried beneath years of drug abuse, trauma, and emotional damage. 

Recovery often means working a 12 step program through organizations like Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous. The 12 step process addresses every aspect of addiction- physical, spiritual, mental and emotional.

Most recovering addicts have a history of dysfunctional and destructive relationships.  They were either using throughout the relationship, or their use of drugs and alcohol caused them to engage with people they wouldn’t have chosen in sobriety.

Addicts in recovery learn about healthy relationships, often for the first time in their lives. They discover ways to overcome their feelings of anger, isolation, and fear. They gradually begin to trust themselves to share their hopes, fears, and dreams with others.

It is an extremely vulnerable and often uncomfortable place for a newly-sober addict. She has to break the habit of hiding from uncomfortable feelings by using drugs and alcohol. In some cases, the sober alcoholic might try to soothe herself instead with a new relationship.

Addiction Transfer

Addiction specialists often refer to this as a transfer of addictions. If the alcoholic can’t escape in a bottle, she may try to do so in a relationship. 12 step programs refer to spiritual guidance as a “higher power”. The danger of dating during recovery is that the new love interest can become the addict’s higher power.

In fact, the same brain chemical that makes an addict feel good when she uses drugs gives her the same high in response to sexual stimulation.

Addicts in recovery eventually learn they can’t use the same thinking in sobriety than they used in their drug abuse. But early in the process, an addict might still be using distorted or defensive thinking patterns, poor planning skills, reduced memory, and impaired cognitive functions. Her choice of a dating partner won’t likely be a good one.

Another problem that can occur is the danger of relapse if the relationship doesn’t work out. The addict is still developing healthy coping skills but may not be secure enough in them to deal with a broken relationship in healthy ways. 

What to Do Instead

The focus of recovery is, and should be, on helping the addict learn new ways of thinking, new ways of relating to people and new ways of coping with life’s stresses. The addict learns to like herself again, by facing her past and making amends for her old behaviors.

Exercise, good nutrition, and mindfulness all play a role in developing a healthy, happy lifestyle. Recovery is a wonderful time for newly-sober addicts to discover hobbies and activities to replace the time they used to spend in bars and hanging out with other addicts. 

12 step programs also play an important role. In recovery, the addict can focus on working the steps and attending meetings, rather than on finding a new boyfriend or girlfriend. She begins to rebuild her self-esteem through the development of new life skills, new friendships, and meaningful work.

Her sobriety and recovery are the priority and must come first. We all tend to choose dating relationships with people who are at roughly the same maturity level as we are. It stands to reason then, as the addict progresses through recovery, she will begin to seek out different people than she might have chosen in her early days of sobriety.

Final Thoughts

Dating during recovery can also pose a problem if two addicts begin dating, in or out of rehab. Everyone progresses through recovery at a different speed, and it can be problematic if one person isn’t taking his recovery as seriously as his new relationship is.

Most addiction specialists recommend people in recovery wait a year before they start dating again, so they can focus on their health and their future.

If you or someone you love is struggling with addiction, we can help. Please reach out to us at any time.  

sobriety toolbox

Creating a Sobriety Toolbox

Approximately 22 million Americans are currently in recovery from drug or alcohol addiction.

Are you part of this group? If so, then you know that getting sober is only the first step in the recovery process.

Every day, you have to make a choice to stay sober and continue progressing. As you probably know, that’s not always easy to do. This is where a sobriety toolbox can come in very handy.

Read on to learn more about the benefits of creating a sobriety toolbox and what you should put in yours.

What Is a Sobriety Toolbox?

A sobriety toolbox contains all of the tools you turn to when you’re feeling triggered or having a difficult time maintaining your sobriety.

It takes a lot of work to stay sober, especially when your time in a recovery program is over and you’re transitioning back to “real” life.

Having a variety of tools handy will help you respond to triggers and stressors in a healthy and appropriate way.

Types of Sobriety Toolboxes

There are a few different types of sobriety toolboxes you can use. The right type of sobriety toolbox for you will vary depending on your personality, the resources you have access to, and the specific situations that tend to trigger you.

The following are some options you might want to consider: 

Online Toolbox

An online toolbox is an online document or spreadsheet that you can use to brainstorm tools that will help you with your sobriety.

It might include links to fun videos or websites that contain uplifting or motivational content.

The great thing about an online toolbox is that you can access it from anywhere using your smartphone. This makes it a highly convenient option.

Paper List 

Some people prefer the old-fashioned approach and just write down a list of go-to tools that they keep in their purse or wallet.

This list might contain reminders to take deep breaths or take a walk around the block. It could also contain phone numbers of people you can call to talk about why you’re feeling triggered.

If you take this approach, it’s a good idea to keep the list relatively short. That way, you won’t have too many options to sort through when you’re struggling and need some support.

Physical Toolbox

Finally, you might also want to create a physical sobriety toolbox.

This could be a box, a bag, or any other kind of tangible receptacle that holds items that provide you with comfort and help you stay focused on your goals.

It might contain relaxing teas, essential oils, your favorite book, a motivational letter you’ve written to yourself, or any other objects that have meaning for you. 

What to Put in a Sobriety Toolbox

Whether you decide to take the digital approach, the paper approach, or the tangible box approach, there are lots of different items that you might want to include in your sobriety toolbox. Here are some ideas to help you get started:

Breathing Exercises

Breathing exercises can help you to calm down and feel more grounded when you’re dealing with stress or temptation. You can use meditation apps to learn new exercises or simply close your eyes and take ten deep breaths.

Soothing Teas

There are many different teas out there that contain calming, soothing ingredients. Kava tea is a great option, as is chamomile tea, peppermint tea, and any tea that contains lavender. 

Yoga Videos

Bookmark links to some yoga YouTube videos. That way, you have something to turn to when you need to relax and put yourself at ease.

Sobriety Calculator

A sobriety calculator is a great tool that helps you stay focused on your goal. When you use one, you’ll be able to see how far you’ve come and how much progress you’ve made.

Prayer

Sometimes, the best thing to do when you’re feeling triggered is to say a prayer. There are lots of pre-written prayers that you can recite (including the Serenity Prayer), or you can simply speak from the heart and ask for support.

Exercise

Exercising is a great tool for anyone who wants to feel their best and stay healthy while they’re in recovery.

Maybe you can include a reminder to go for a walk or do some strength training in your toolbox. Or, you could include exercise equipment, such as a jump rope. 

Calming or Uplifting Music

Listening to calming or uplifting music can also work wonders when you’re feeling stressed out or tempted to give up. Include links to favorite songs in your sobriety toolbox or create a playlist that you can turn to whenever you need a boost.

A Favorite Treat

It’s important to prioritize your health in recovery. Sometimes, though, you just need a treat. Keep your favorite candy bar or snack in your toolbox so you have something to give you a little extra comfort when you’re having a hard day.

Phone Numbers

You need to have a strong support system when you’re in recovery. In your toolbox, you should have the phone numbers of people who can give you some encouragement and keep you motivated on days when you’re struggling.

Reading

Finally, consider keeping a favorite book or poem in your recovery toolbox, too. Reading can be a great distraction and can help you to unwind after a difficult day. If reading is not your thing, consider audiobooks or podcasts instead.

Start Working Toward Sobriety Today

Whether you’re brand new to recovery or have been sober for months or even years, a sobriety toolbox can help you maintain your sobriety and avoid a relapse.

Even if you’re not sober yet but are thinking about it, you can benefit from putting together a sobriety toolbox for yourself.

If you need help beginning your recovery journey and putting that toolbox to use, we’re here for you at Addiction Treatment Services.

Contact us today to get information on recovery programs in your area.

We have admissions specialists available at all times to answer your questions and get you on the right path toward sobriety.