friendship and recovery

Friendship and Recovery: Parting Ways With Addicts

Once you’ve gotten sober, you’ll need to cut out the negative influences in your life. Friendship and recovery can be quite complicated.

One of the hardest things about getting sober is the complete shift in lifestyle that you have to make. You’ll need to seek out new hobbies and activities to keep your mind off of using substances. You’ll also need to say goodbye to some of your old acquaintances.

It doesn’t have to be forever, but it’s integral to surround yourself with the right people when you’ve made the decision to stop using. Some of your friends, of course, may still be addicts. So, how do you tell them you need some time away?

In this post, we’ll be giving you some tips on how to part ways with the negative influences in your life. You’ll learn more about prioritizing your recovery, living a sober lifestyle, and moving forward with the positive things in life without worrying about what you’re leaving behind. 

Friendship and Recovery: How to Get Rid of Bad Influences

It’s important to note that when you get sober, there’s going to be a considerable change in how you live your life. With help from your family and doctors, you’ll have higher chances of success. However, if you’re going to make sobriety work, then you need to know that there will be some temptation during your recovery.

Being able to see who has your best interest in mind and who has their own best interest in mind is critical for a successful recovery. You have to figure out who supports your recovery and who doesn’t.

You Need Support

People that struggle with addiction can recover with help from good support systems. In fact, many addicts come from healthy families and have healthy relationships. However, there’s almost always an undercurrent of bad influences as well.

When you decide to get sober, you’re taking responsibility for the part you played in becoming an addict. Admitting that you’ve got a problem is a huge step in the right direction. But it’s only the first part of a long process.

To get and stay sober, you’re going to need the help of supportive parents, friends, family members, partners, and even ex-partners. It’s impossible to go through recovery alone. So, the sooner you realize the importance of keeping good influences around you, the better this process will go.

The same goes for keeping bad influences away. There are people in your life that will actively prevent you from achieving your goal of getting and staying sober. It doesn’t necessarily mean that they’re trying to sabotage you or your life. There could be a lot of reasons why someone close to you doesn’t want you to give up substance use. Even so, you’ll need to keep these people at arm’s length while you go through your recovery.

Signs of a Negative Influence

Cutting ties with anyone is hard, and not all of the people from your old life will interfere with your recovery process. Still, some of them will make it hard to resist the urge to return to substance abuse. It’s unfortunate, but you need to get away from these kinds of people— at least while you’re still in the process of getting sober.

Being objective about who to cut ties with can be tough, so here are some of the telltale signs of a negative influence. You should put some distance between yourself and friends that:

  • criticize your decision to get sober
  • frequently cause you emotional distress
  • accuse you of being “no fun” or “boring now”
  • have a pattern of influencing your decisions in a negative manner
  • are ignorant of their own addiction or unwilling to seek treatment 

These aren’t all of the signs, but they’re some of the more obvious ones.

If you’re particularly close with someone that acts in any of the ways listed above, then you will have to make the difficult but critical decision to cut ties with them. It will be especially hard if you see the person every day or if the two of you live together.

It’s Not Goodbye, It’s See You Later

The truth of the matter is that if someone really cares about you and has your best interests in mind, then that person will see why you have to have some time apart. If anyone in your life is resistant to you temporarily cutting ties with them, that’s an even greater sign that you’re making the right decision.

Again, it’s almost never out of maliciousness. It can be hard for people in the middle of substance abuse problems to be happy for those that decide to stop. For reasons of jealousy or insecurity with their own inability to get clean, they’ll appear to be trying to pull you back into the addiction.

The best way to approach these types of conversations is to recognize that you played a part in this unhealthy relationship. Taking ownership of your own problems will show them that you’re not blaming them for what’s transpired or passing judgment on them for not seeking help.

The conversation could go any number of ways.

There will likely be a negative reaction. No one wants to hear that they’re part of a toxic relationship. If you feel that someone isn’t taking you or your health seriously, then you should cut ties entirely and focus on your recovery.

The important thing is that you find the best treatment possible to get and stay sober.

Surround Yourself With the Right People

The good influences in your life will make themselves apparent right away. Having a network of supportive and loving people is just as important as the treatment that you receive. You’ll meet supportive doctors, nurses, and peers during treatment that you’ll be able to rely on for years to come.

Eventually, you may see some of your old friends again. It’s important to remember that people can change and that addiction changes people. Maybe some of them have even decided to get sober, too. If that ever happens, you can decide whether or not you want to be for them what they weren’t for you: a friend.

Help from Addiction Treatment Services

For help finding addiction treatment, visit Addiction Treatment Services.

Be sure to also check out our blog for more informative and inspirational articles about getting sober, finding friendship and recovery, and starting a new life.

anger management and recovery

Anger Management and Rehabilitation: How Controlling Anger Can Improve Recovery

Anger and anger management are serious problems for many Americans. Sixteen million people throughout the country suffer from a condition known as Intermittent Explosive Disorder (or IED). This condition is characterized by sudden feelings of anger that are disproportionate to the situation.

Moreover, most people don’t realize that anger issues and substance abuse often go hand in hand.

In fact, people who struggle with anger management problems may be more prone to substance abuse. They may turn to drugs or alcohol to help them cope with their problems. However, they may also find that drugs or alcohol make their anger problems worse.

The connection between addiction and anger makes anger management courses an excellent benefit for people in recovery. Read on to learn more about the vital role that anger management can play in addiction recovery.

Anger and Addiction

Everyone gets angry from time to time. Addicts, though, might find that they get angry more often than other people. There are many links between anger and addiction, and it’s not always clear which one leads to the other.

Some of the most well-known connections between the two are explained below:

Self-Medicating to Manage Emotions

The act of self-medicating is pervasive among individuals who struggle with addiction.

Some people who know that they have trouble managing their anger may turn to drugs or alcohol because they think that using will help them cope.

For example, people with anger issues may use depressants like alcohol or opioids to stay calm and slow their reflexes. They may even use sedatives to try to keep their anger under control.

Drugs and Alcohol Triggering Anger

On the other hand, drugs and alcohol can also trigger anger in some people.

Substance use can reduce impulse control and make it harder for some people to control their temper. Under the influence of drugs or alcohol, a minor annoyance can become a major issue and cause someone to act irrationally.

For example, alcohol impairs cognitive abilities. So, alcohol misuse can cause people not to think through things as clearly as they might usually. They might also care less about the consequences of their actions when they’re under the influence of a particular substance.

Drugs, Alcohol, and Domestic Abuse

It’s also important to note that there is a striking correlation between the rates of substance use and domestic abuse. There is also a particularly strong link between alcoholism and intimate partner violence.

One study, which involved 67 participants, even showed that alcohol increased the likelihood of physical aggression in men who already had anger problems and difficulty managing their emotions.

This study revealed that sexual aggression was higher after consuming alcohol. These findings were accurate even among men who did not have anger problems and were able to manage their anger well when sober.

Benefits of Anger Management in Recovery

There are some significant connections between anger management issues and substance abuse.

For many people, getting sober can be very beneficial in helping them to better control their anger. However, getting to the root of the issue is also important. If you struggle with anger management issues, you need to figure out why and how you can cope with them.

Participating in anger management while in recovery can bring about many benefits, including the following:

Learn to Recognize Triggers

When anger management is part of your addiction recovery plan, you’ll have an easier time figuring out what kinds of situations trigger your anger.

Once you can recognize these triggers, you’ll be able to cope with them or avoid them altogether.

If you find that you’re more prone to anger after consuming drugs or alcohol, you may feel even more motivated to give them up for good.

Learn to Cope with Triggers

Recognizing triggers is the first step. Avoiding them is great when you can, but you’re not always able to do that.

While in anger management, you’ll learn how to cope with your triggers in healthy ways that don’t involve alcohol, drugs, or other destructive behaviors.

Take Responsibility for Your Actions

A big part of anger management involves learning to take responsibility for your actions. Generally, this is a big part of recovery, too.

By participating in anger management as part of your recovery, you’ll have a much easier time accepting what’s happened in your life so far and finding the motivation to make positive changes going forward.

Repair Your Relationships

When you learn to take responsibility for your actions and control your anger, you can also start to repair your relationships with your family, friends, and others who have been affected by your anger issues.

Participating in anger management also shows your loved ones that you’re prioritizing both your mental and emotional health in your recovery.

What to Expect from Anger Management

If you are feeling hesitant about doing anger management training during your addiction recovery, remember that there are plenty of good reasons to participate and lots to take away from it.

Every anger management program is different, but some experiences among them are similar. During your participation, you can likely expect to:

  • talk about your past experiences
  • work on identifying your personal triggers
  • learn mindful, healthy ways to respond to your triggers
  • share your feelings in either a one-on-one or group setting
  • learn problem-solving skills and tips to handle things in a more productive way
  • cover other communication techniques and effective ways of addressing your anger

After anger management, you’ll find that you’re more patient and have an easier time dealing with frustrating situations. It’s a long road, and you’ll have to practice, but you will see improvements if you focus on the program.

Get Help Today

Anger management can be very beneficial to individuals struggling with addiction.

If you struggle with anger issues and also need help getting sober, finding a recovery program that includes anger management is crucial.

Do you need help finding a recovery program near you that fits your needs? If so, contact Addiction Treatment Services today.

We have compassionate, caring admissions specialists available at all times to help you take the steps you need to move forward toward recovery.

References

Advanced Solutions International, Inc. (n.d.). Anger in the Families. Retrieved from https://www.aamft.org/Consumer_Updates/Effect_of_Anger_on_Families.aspx

Graham, J. (2017, July 19). Why is everyone so angry, and how can we change that? Retrieved from https://www.deseretnews.com/article/865685019/Why-is-everyone-so-angry-and-how-can-we-change-that.html

Shorey, R. C., McNulty, J. K., Moore, T. M., & Stuart, G. L. (2017, March). Trait Anger and Partner-Specific Anger Management Moderate the Temporal Association Between Alcohol Use and Dating Violence. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28317513

Rehab Checklist

Prepare Both Physically and Mentally with This Essential Rehab Checklist

Measuring the success rate of drug rehab can be difficult. However, the cold, hard facts are always easy to understand.

Over 70,200 people died as the result of drug overdoses in 2017. Moreover, an alarming 90% of addicts who need rehab the most never seek treatment.

If you’re in the small percentage of addicts who are getting the help you desperately need, then this rehab checklist is for you. Knowing what to expect from the rehab experience will improve your chances for success.

From simple things like how to pack and what to bring to understanding what the day-to-day routine will look like, this checklist will prepare you for the next step in your recovery.

So, take a deep breath. Let’s help you get ready for the first day of the rest of your life.

Your Rehab Checklist

Every rehab facility is a little different in terms of rules and regulations, but most follow the same basic principles. If you’ve already chosen your facility, congratulations!

Upon admission, the rehab staff will go over everything you need to know. This will include available resources, what items and behaviors are prohibited, the rules surrounding visitors and phone calls, and much more.

Your rehab checklist should include physical items to bring as well as emotional ways to prepare. Let’s take a look at both.

What to Bring

When packing for rehab, remember: you want to be as calm and comfortable as possible during your stay. So, you may want to bring items that help remind you of home.

A Journal and Writing Materials

Journaling is one of the best forms of therapy for rehab patients. In a personal journal, you can write about your fears, worries, and concerns. You can also use your journal to document your journey and your triumphs.

Entering rehab is tough; it’s an emotional decision for most addicts. And while there are counselors and fellow addicts to talk to, a journal offers a private release for your thoughts and feelings.

Since most rehab facilities limit phone calls and visitors, be sure to bring stationary and some pens or pencils. Writing letters to friends and loved ones might become your favorite past time. And, chances are, they’ll love to hear how well your recovery is going.

A List of Names and Phone Numbers

Do you know your friends and loved ones’ phone numbers by heart? Probably not. After all, with the advancement of technology, no one really needs to remember phone numbers anymore.

Most rehab centers don’t allow cell phones or any devices that connect to the internet. For this reason, compiling a list of names, phone numbers, and addresses before entering rehab is a good idea.

By doing this, you’ll never be too far from an encouraging phone call or letter.

Comfortable Clothing

A significant part of rehab is physical activity. You’ll participate in a wide range of activities from walking and hiking to yoga and even organized games.

So, bring comfortable clothing and sneakers that won’t restrict your movement or ability to focus. Rehab is not a fashion show, so leave your high-heels, skinny jeans, and cocktail dresses at home.

And don’t forget to pack your bathing suit! Many facilities plan day trips to local pools or water parks, and some may even have their own swimming pool on site.

Appropriate Toiletries

This may come as a surprise, but double-checking your toiletries is an essential part of preparing for rehab.

Rehab facilities are very particular about the kinds of toiletries you can bring. Depending on how sharp they are, you may have to leave your tweezers, nail files, and nail clippers at home.

It’s also worth noting that toiletries that contain alcohol are prohibited. So, if your usual brand of mouthwash contains alcohol, leave it behind.

Other washroom items like hairspray and hand sanitizer may also contain denatured alcohol, so check your labels carefully. The last thing you want to do is bring contraband to rehab— especially alcohol detox programs.

How to Prepare Before You Go

Your suitcase isn’t the only thing that needs preparing before you enter rehab. After all, you’ll be removed from life as you know it for several weeks or even months.

Here are a few ways to mentally prepare yourself before entering a recovery program.

Take Care of All Obligations

Do you have a job? Financial obligations? A family that relies on you? If so, it’s essential to address these and any other responsibilities you have before entering rehab.

If you’re a parent or spouse, spend some uninterrupted quality time with your loved ones before checking in to rehab. Leave behind letters and photos for your family to turn to when they’re feeling lonely or detached.

Also, be sure to put a trusted family member or friend in charge of paying your bills (with money you’ve saved) during your stay. This way, you’ll be up-to-date on all your payments even while you’re away. You don’t want to return home to any past due bills or debt.

If you’re an employee, be sure to talk to your boss and the HR department to prepare for your temporary departure from the office. Under the Family and Medical Leave Act, most employees can utilize up to 12 weeks of medical leave. This means that your job is secure during your rehab stay.

Rest assured that most employers will support an employee’s decision to get sober. After all, they want the healthiest version of you showing up to work each day.

Remember, your loved ones will most likely support your decision to get sober. And, as much as they’ll miss you, they’ll be cheering you on every step of the way.

Adopt a Positive Mindframe

“Mind over matter” is a powerful concept. Even if you know that you need rehab to get sober, it can still be scary.

Try to relax and calm yourself before the check-in day. What helps you destress? Yoga? Meditation? Artistic expression? Whatever it is, take some time to unwind; mentally and physically prepare yourself for the journey ahead.

Don’t enter rehab with a negative attitude, either. Positive thoughts breed positive results. Don’t give up on yourself before you’ve given rehab a chance.

Today is the First Day of the Rest of Your Life

Congratulations! You’ve decided to seek help for your addiction. All that’s left to do is compile your personal rehab checklist.

This process includes deciding what physical items to bring with you and mentally preparing yourself as well as those closest to you. You have a challenging but rewarding road ahead.

Put yourself in the best position for success by creating a practical rehab checklist.

Do you know an addict in your life who needs help? Learn more about planning an intervention and saving a life.

References

(n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.dol.gov/whd/fmla/

Nguyen. (2017, December 07). 10 Surprising Benefits Of Keeping A Journal. Retrieved from https://www.huffpost.com/entry/benefits-of-journaling_n_6648884

Opioid Overdose. (2018, December 19). Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/drugoverdose/data/statedeaths.html

Emotional Triggers

Recovery Can Be a Roller Coaster: How to Deal with Emotional Triggers

Relapse is a common part of the recovery process. In fact, 40-60 percent of individuals who struggle with substance abuse or addiction will relapse at some point.

Often, when people relapse, it is because they were faced with a trigger (or series of triggers) that they could not handle.

The more you know about your triggers and what kinds of coping mechanisms help you to deal with them, the less likely you’ll be to deal with relapse yourself.

Read on to learn more about common emotional triggers and the steps you can take to handle them in a healthy way and reduce your risk of relapse.

What Are Emotional Triggers?

An emotional trigger is anything that causes you to feel uncomfortable or experience any other kind of emotional reaction.

An example of an emotional trigger might be feeling angry or defensive when someone makes a comment about your past behaviors or feeling jealous when you see someone posting about an experience they had on social media.

Virtually anything can be an emotional trigger to someone.

Learning to identify emotional triggers is an essential part of the addiction recovery process.

Often, people turn to drugs or alcohol to help them cope with difficult emotions like jealousy and anger. In order to attain and maintain your sobriety, you need to find other, healthier ways to handle these feelings.

Common Emotional Triggers

A variety of different feelings can act as emotional triggers for folks who are in recovery. It’s important to note, too, that not all of these feelings are negative, although they certainly can be.

The following are some common emotions that can be triggering to people struggling with addiction:

Negative Feelings

When most people think of feelings that trigger a desire to use drugs or alcohol, they think of these kinds of negative feelings:

  • Fear
  • Guilt
  • Shame
  • Irritation
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Loneliness
  • Anger
  • Hate
  • Overconfidence
  • Jealousy
  • Sadness
  • Neglect
  • Overwhelm

A person might also become emotionally triggered when they feel that they’re being criticized or that they’re being viewed as inadequate.

Neutral Feelings

Neutral feelings can be emotional triggers, too.

For example, if someone is feeling bored, they might feel an urge to turn to alcohol or drugs just to give themselves something to do. They might turn to alcohol or drugs when they’re feeling relaxed, too, or if they want to feel more relaxed.

Positive Feelings

Positive emotions can even be triggering to some people. This is where things get really tricky.

For some people, celebrations might trigger a desire for alcohol or drugs as a way to let their hair down and enjoy some good news. Excitement, happiness, and passion can also be emotional triggers.

Tips for Recognizing with Triggers

Emotional triggers are often more difficult to deal with than other types of triggers. You might be able to avoid certain situations and people when you’re in recovery, but you can’t avoid all emotions.

Instead of trying to stay away from emotions when you’re recovering from addiction, it’s important to learn healthy ways to deal with all the different emotions you might experience.

Before you can deal with emotions and emotional triggers, though, you first need to figure out what your emotional triggers are.

Here are some tips that can help you start to identify your emotional triggers:

Notice Physical Reactions

Does your heart start beating rapidly when you get angry? Do you clench your fists when you’re stressed?

When you experience reactions like this, work backward to figure out what kind of emotion you’re feeling. Then, work backward some more to figure out what’s causing that emotion.

Notice Your Thoughts

Pay attention to the thoughts that run through your head, too. Have you suddenly started thinking irrationally or in extremes? What happened that brought on those thoughts?

What Happened Earlier?

You might not always experience emotional triggers when someone says or does something. You might be more prone to them, though, after a long day or after something else went wrong.

When you start experiencing physical reactions or negative thoughts, think about the context of the day and what kinds of situations might have contributed to them.

Tips for Dealing with Triggers

Once you’ve identified your emotional triggers, the next step is to learn to deal with them. Everyone handles their triggers differently, so you’ll have to do some experimentation to figure out which approaches work best for you.

The following are some ideas to help you get started:

Focus on Your Breath

When you start feeling physical reactions or negative thoughts in response to an emotional trigger, it helps to focus on your breath. This can calm your body down and get you out of a “fight or flight” state.

Try to Find Humor

It can be helpful to try and find humor in the situation, too. Often, we make issues more serious than they need to be. If possible, take a step back and try to find a way to lighten the moment.

Write Things Down

Many people also find that they can cope with triggers better if they write down how they’re feeling and nail down exactly what caused the feeling. Writing also gives you an opportunity to reflect and pause instead of reacting in an unhealthy way.

Take a Break

Sometimes, you just need to separate yourself from the situation altogether.

Whether you take a break to go write in a journal or engage in a hobby, taking a break before you respond can help you avoid losing your temper or saying or doing something you’ll regret later.

Get Help with Recovery Today

It’s not always easy to identify and cope with emotional triggers. The more you learn about yourself and the more you practice, though, the better your coping skills will become.

Remember, too, that you do not have to go through the recovery process alone.

If you need support from addiction recovery professionals or others who are also in recovery, we can help at Addiction Treatment Services.

Contact us today to learn more about different recovery programs in your area.

We have compassionate, caring admissions specialists available 24 hours a day to answer all of your questions and point you in the right direction.

References

Mojá, C. A., & Spielberger, C. D. (n.d.). Anger and Drug Addiction – Carmelo A. De Mojá, Charles D. Spielberger, 1997. Retrieved from https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.2466/pr0.1997.81.1.152

National Institute on Drug Abuse. (n.d.). Treatment and Recovery. Retrieved from https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/drugs-brains-behavior-science-addiction/treatment-recovery

How to Deal with Difficult People

How to Deal with Difficult People When Recovering from Addiction

Are you in the process of recovery?

Whether you’re recovering from drugs or alcohol, you know firsthand just how challenging the entire process can be. On top of the common challenges that accompany recovery, it can be easy to isolate yourself and feel alone in your struggles.

However, studies have found that more Americans than you might initially think have experienced recovery. In fact, 1 in 10 American adults has been in recovery from drug or alcohol addiction at one point in their lives.

Of these adults, the large majority have struggled with how to deal with difficult people during their recovery. If you find yourself nodding your head, you’re going to want to read this.

We’re uncovering seven proven methods for dealing with the difficult people that may present themselves during your recovery. Not only are these positive tips for life in general, but they’re also bound to help your overall recovery.

1. Modify Your Behavior

In dealing with difficult people, it’s important to remember that you cannot always modify someone else’s behavior.

Even if you feel strongly that their behavior is generally wrong, this doesn’t always translate to them understanding this notion. As a result, it’s likely that their patterns of bad behavior will continue and are unlikely to change.

Rather than focusing on how you can alter their behavior, try shifting your focus to how you can respond to their behavior. This is going to help give you control of the situation and minimize the negative effect that their behavior has on you.

2. Attempt to Understand Their Actions

When this person is showcasing their utmost difficulty, remember that you may be unaware of the current demons they’re facing. These struggles and hardships more than likely have a significant influence on their actions and presence.

It may also be helpful to remind yourself that you, too, may have been difficult at one point throughout your addiction. Before overcoming an addiction, it’s only natural for an addict to experience a range of emotions that lead to difficulty.

Do your best to understand why they may be acting out and appearing difficult. When you put yourself into their shoes, you’ll more than likely gain an appreciation for why they’re projecting themselves in such a poor manner.

3. Have Honest Conversations

When all else fails, why not be upfront and open with this person about how you’re feeling?

Allowing yourself to be honest with this person will provide them with valuable insight as to your thoughts and feelings. From their perspective, it may be surprising to them that you’re struggling with their actions. With this, it’s always possible that they may alter their behavior for the better.

Remember, difficult people, are not always aware as to how their actions impact others. While they may be experiencing struggle on the inside, they’re not always aware that this is being reflected on the outside.

4. Create Boundaries

It may be time to create a physical boundary between yourself and the difficult people in your life.

While this may be a difficult choice, it’s important to remember that boundaries can be very healthy for both parties. If you truly feel that the person nor their actions cannot be corrected, it may be time to slowly distance yourself from that person.

Remember, boundaries don’t have to be lifelong and can instead be temporary. So, this doesn’t mean that your relationship has to come to an official end. Rather, this means that you are taking a break from having this person in your life during the recovery process.

5. Remove Yourself from Toxic Relationships

Of course, not all relationships with difficult people are salvageable or worth saving. Before making any rash decisions, it’s essential to differentiate which relationships are too negative and unhealthy to continue.

If you truly feel that the difficult people in your life are toxic, it might be time to officially cut your ties to this person. While relationships in life are arguably one of the most rewarding and important facets of life, this isn’t the case for each and every relationship.

6. Reach out for Support

There comes a time and place where not all relationships can be saved nor abandoned. For many addicts in recovery, this will come in terms of dealing with a difficult family member such as a parent or a sibling.

While this relationship may feel toxic, it may also feel impossible to remove yourself from such a relationship. This is where it becomes crucial to enlist the help of others in dealing with this person.

This may come in terms of speaking to mutual connections as well as speaking with a therapist or your sponsor. Having honest conversations and allowing for the perspective of others can provide you with the tools necessary for tolerating this person.

7. Give Second Chances

Last but not least, it’s important to remind yourself that some people deserve to be given a second chance.

Remember that the majority of addicts are given a second chance at both life and in their relationships during recovery. Think back to the forgiveness that friends and family paid to you when you were suffering from your addiction.

When you extend your forgiveness to a difficult person in your life, it can help to foster an entirely new relationship. This new relationship can be a second chance at developing a more healthy and positive relationship with that person.

How to Deal with Difficult People During Recovery

Today, nearly 21 million American adults suffer from some form of substance addiction. In an attempt to lead a sober lifestyle, many of these adults will find themselves facing the bumpy road of recovery at some point.

While you may control your own actions in recovery, you may not always control the actions of those around you. When this takes place, you may find yourself wondering how to deal with difficult people that are present throughout your recovery.

Fortunately, these tips will help to provide guidance on how to overcome these difficulties and focus on your recovery. This may be anything from modifying your own behavior and attempting to understand the behavior of others to removing yourself from toxic relationships and establishing boundaries.

If you feel that yourself or a loved one may be facing addiction issues, be sure to contact us today. With a simple phone call, we can discuss the many options that are available to help today.

References

Chan, A. L. (2012, March 07). The Shocking Number Of Americans Who’ve Recovered From Substance Abuse. Retrieved from https://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2012/03/07/addiction-recovery-america-drugs-alcohol_n_1327344.html

Hafner, J. (2016, November 17). Surgeon general: 1 in 7 in USA will face substance addiction. Retrieved from https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation-now/2016/11/17/surgeon-general-1-7-us-face-substance-addiction/93993474/

Boredom in Recovery

How to Combat Boredom in Recovery

Right now, 22 million Americans are in recovery from a drug or alcohol addiction. Dealing with boredom in recovery is one of the biggest causes of relapse.

Boredom is a dangerous state of mind that can open up the floodgates to behaviors that are harmful and addicting. Especially when a person is in the delicate state of new sobriety.

But there is hope! Read on for the best ways you can deal with boredom in recovery in productive ways.

Unplug

So many people try coping with boredom by turning to electronic devices. They surf the net or social media sites or binge watch entire seasons on Netflix.

But though staring at a screen may seem like a good way to preoccupy yourself, the truth is you may be experiencing sensory overload. This reduces your ability to focus on anything for any length of time.

Plus, when you are staring at a screen, you aren’t living your life, you are just passively taking in information.

Take a look at your screen habits and set some boundaries. Start by powering off for an hour at the same time every day.

You could also set rules about how much time you will spend scrolling Facebook. A timer is a great way to stick to your goals.

As you unplug, your ability to focus and think clearly will improve. And you’ll find that when you are bored, you’ll be better able to find productive activities to turn to.

Practice Mindfulness

Mindfulness helps you focus on the current moment without worrying about the future or ruminating on the past.

Boredom and addiction go hand-in-hand because boredom opens up a window for self-doubt and negative self-talk.

Mindfulness is one of the best tips for dealing with boredom in recovery. Meditation is a wonderful way that you can begin to become more mindful.

It may sound easy, but takes a lot of practice to successfully do for any length of time.

Best of all, as you start to pay attention to what you see, smell, hear and feel, the world becomes a richer and more fascinating place.

Hit the Gym

Exercise is the cure for so many of life’s ailments.

Trouble sleeping? Aches and pains? Low sex drive?

Exercise helps with all of these. When you are dealing with boredom in recovery, you are likely feeling pessimistic.

Exercise sends a rush of endorphins to your brain. Then, you experience a natural euphoric state that helps you feel good about yourself and your life.

So hit the gym and leave it all on the floor. You’ll get rid of some nervous energy and improve how your mind and body feel as well.

Try a New Hobby

You have heard that removing an addiction is not enough. You also need to replace that with new habits and interests.

One of the best ways of dealing with boredom in recovery is to find a new hobby or interest.

There must be something you’ve always found interesting but never done. Maybe you can take up rowing or woodworking.

Perhaps you’d love to learn how to quilt. Or you might want to finally learn Portuguese or cake decorating.

It really doesn’t matter what hobby you choose. A new interest will improve your mental health and focus.

Not to mention that it’s a great way to start new friendships. Look for local groups or classes and get involved.

Create a Daily Schedule

One of the best ways that you can learn how to deal with boredom is to create a schedule for yourself.

A large part of being bored is having no clear idea of what you should do next. Having a schedule keeps you on track and engaged with your activities.

Include meal prep and cooking healthy enjoyable meals. Make sure you schedule in a daily walk or spending time outdoors gardening or reading.

Set aside time to write in your journal and connect with your support group. And add in time for volunteering and learning new skills.

Set a Goal and Work Towards it

People who are goal-oriented have a purpose for their lives. And it doesn’t have to be a huge life-changing goal, either.

It can be a fitness goal like train for and run a marathon. Or it can be something like take a cooking class and learn how to cook Italian food.

The best thing is if you can make your goal measurable and give yourself a deadline. Six months to a year is often a good timeframe. Longer and you may get discouraged, too short and you may not have enough time to reach your goal.

Having a goal is an excellent way of coping with boredom during recovery.

Get Outside Your Comfort Zone

Former First Lady, Eleanor Roosevelt said: “Do one thing every day that scares you.”

When you force yourself to get outside of your comfort zone, you stretch your limits and grow as a person. If you’re shy to talk to new people, start up a conversation in the grocery checkout line.

If you’re afraid of public speaking, join an improv club or a debate team. The result is that you will become a more courageous and adventurous person. And that will serve you well in your new life of sobriety.

Final Thoughts on Boredom in Recovery

Thanks for reading. As you can see boredom in recovery is manageable. There are so many proactive approaches you can take when dealing with boredom.

Do you have questions about addiction, treatment or scheduling an intervention? Contact us today and get the help you deserve.

References

Ashford, R. D., & Canode, B. (2018, August 29). It’s time to measure addiction recovery rates, not just addiction rates. Retrieved from https://www.statnews.com/2018/08/30/measure-addiction-recovery-rates/

Bennett, C. (2011, December 01). The 4 Most Common Causes Of Addiction Relapse. Retrieved from https://www.huffpost.com/entry/dispositions-of-relapse_n_988137

Addiction Cravings

Tips for Coping with Addiction Cravings

Have you ever woken up with an intense craving for drugs or alcohol? Do you consider yourself an addict, even if you won’t admit it to anyone else?

From 2000 to 2010, Americans spent more than $1 trillion on illegal drugs including heroin, methamphetamine, and prescription opioids. That’s about $100 billion per year. Since then, illegal drug purchases have ballooned to a whopping $400 billion per year.

Answering those addiction cravings can lead to lost wages, hospitalization, and loss of property including cars and homes. So how can you resist the urge to use drugs and continue on the path to sobriety?

If you need to know how to stay sober, this article’s for you. We’ll introduce you to a few coping mechanisms and help you find long-term relapse prevention options.

Acknowledge the Urge

You may have heard people say, “What you resist, persists.” This is doubly true when you’re dealing with an addiction. If you fight the urge to use, it will grow stronger.

If you need to know how to deal with cravings, the first step is learning to put a space in between wanting to use and using. Being able to take a few minutes and think rationally will cut down on the likelihood that you’ll relapse.

When a craving comes up, make a mental note of where you are. Are there certain triggers that are making you want to use?

Do you want to use when you see certain people? Acknowledging that you have a craving is the first step toward dealing with it.

Leave the Situation

One of the best coping skills for addiction is to imagine yourself with wheels on your feet. When you feel caught in a situation that makes you want to use, just roll on out of there.

Leaving situations that give you unpleasant memories or addiction cravings is a vital skill for staying sober. Once you accept your cravings, you also have to accept that there are certain “people, places, and things” that make you want to relapse.

Nobody wants to have to leave their friends behind, but you need to focus on your own recovery.

Accept Your Addiction

The next step in how to fight drug cravings is to accept your addiction. We already said that accepting your cravings is key, but accepting your addiction is a little bit different.

If you accept your addiction, you might want to get treated in an outpatient or inpatient rehab facility. You might share the truth about your addiction with some close friends or family.

Don’t be surprised if your friends say they didn’t realize how bad your addiction had become. Alcohol and drug addiction tend to be isolating conditions, pursued in secret.

If your family has organized an intervention, it might be the perfect time to get started with rehab. They care for you and have noticed that your addiction has gotten way out of control.

Most insurance plans pay for rehab, and there are a wide variety of treatment options.

Attack Your Cravings

The great thing about rehab is that it can teach you how to deal with alcohol cravings. You may need to take some medication to get past your withdrawal symptoms, but that’s something you can talk to your doctor about.

Another way to attack your cravings is to attend local support groups. They offer a non-judgmental place to share your pain of addiction and your hope of a better life.

If your town doesn’t have any drug and alcohol support groups, you can access them online.

You have to be able to tell yourself that your cravings are irrational. You have to take the energy you used to spend on getting high and apply that to your recovery.

Attack your cravings by examining your thought process and orienting yourself toward weekly and monthly sobriety goals.

Find a Fulfilling Activity

When you’re in the midst of a craving, your entire mind is focused on using drugs or alcohol. Wouldn’t it be great if you could replace your cravings with a fun hobby or outdoor activity?

Giving yourself something to do besides drugs and alcohol allows you to dive right into a sober lifestyle. Is there an instrument you’ve always wanted to play?

Would you like to take a trip somewhere? After you give up spending on alcohol and drugs, you may be surprised at how much money you have left over.

If you drink seven beers five days per week and pay $5 for each one, you’re spending $700 per month or $8,400 per year.

Check out this online calculator to get the precise amount you’re spending on alcohol every month.

When you’re contemplating a relapse, think about what you’d like to do with your money.

Prevent a Relapse

Recovery can seem like a long and lonely road, but there are ways to avoid relapsing.

First, you may have to find other ways to deal with physical pain. You could try going to physical therapy, meditating, or taking non-opioid pain medication.

Next, you may need to change your diet. Long-term alcohol or drug abuse can make it more difficult to tell when you’re hungry.

Switching to a diet that is high in fiber and protein can help you put on some muscle and give you the energy to attack each day.

Finally, you might want to participate in ongoing outpatient programs at your local rehab facility. They can treat your depression or other mental health conditions.

Can Rehab Help with Addiction Cravings?

Rehab facilities are specially designed to help you with your addiction cravings. They have a team of highly-trained professionals who are ready to get you past the withdrawal phase and into long-term recovery.

We treat people with a range of addictions, including alcohol, opiates, stimulants, and sleeping pills. Our four locations offer inpatient and outpatient options, mental health treatment, and medication-assisted detox. If our locations are not convenient for you, we can make referrals for rehab facilities in other states.

If you’ve ever considered getting treatment for an addiction, talk to us and let’s hold your hand as you being this journey.

References

drug-use-in-america

Drug Use in America: 10 of America’s Most Frequent Drug Addictions

Drug addiction is becoming an epidemic, with over 70,000 people in the US dying from drug addiction each year.

Its effects are devastating. Drug addiction affects the workings of the brain and body making the user feel numb and eventually losing self-control.

Drug addiction and its harmful effects on the body can sometimes prove fatal. Initially, you may take a drug because you like it and you feel good.

With time you begin to lose control and succumb to its frequent use.

Drug use in America has led to many problems and deaths due to gang crime and overdoses.

Is Drug Abuse Treatable?

Drug abuse is defined as when you use legal or illegal substances in unnecessary amounts. Mostly, people use drugs to avoid reality or to live in denial.

It changes your mental and physical health throwing you in a dark pit. However, with strong will power and medical treatment, you can overcome the addiction.

This article will provide a list of common addictions and their symptoms that can help you recognize drug abuse easily.

Symptoms of Drug Abuse

Understanding the epidemic is important otherwise drug overuse death would continue to increase. In the U.S it has increased to an alarming level.

It is essential to know about the symptoms and behavioral patterns.

Following are some of the symptoms and behavioral patterns of drug addiction:

  • The need to use drugs daily or several times a day.
  • Having a strong urge to use the drug.
  • Taking large amounts of drugs.
  • Spending a large sum of money on drugs even though you are facing financial issues.
  • Unable to socialize or perform better at a job due to drug addiction.
  • Continuing the use of drugs despite the fact that it harms your body.
  • Making unsuccessful attempts to stop using it.
  • Having a neglected appearance is also one of the symptoms.
  • Seclusion
  • Hallucinations
  • Paranoia
  • Tremors
  • Muscle cramping
  • Sweating

These are some of the symptoms that a frequent drug user shows. Intervention can be helpful in some cases.

However, you need to know about 8 elements of a successful intervention before you can hold one.

10 of America’s Most Frequent Drug Addictions

Drug use in America has increased in the past years. There are many popular drugs in America that have resulted in the unnecessary deaths of individuals.

The situation is worrying and each day the number of people falling prey to drug addiction is alarming.

Here are the most frequent drug addictions.

1. Nicotine

Having easy access to this drug has become the reason for its frequent use. Many people despite the knowledge of harmful effects continue smoking.

The use of tobacco is harmful to health as it affects the lungs leading to the development of fatal diseases. Over 40 million people in America are addicted to nicotine.

2. Alcohol

It is sometimes hard to find a person who is addicted to alcohol. It has become more of a social ritual and has engulfed the U.S. There are many negative effects of this abuse.

Apart from affecting mental and physical health, many people drive under the influence that results in death or injury.

3. Cocaine

A powerful stimulant drug, Cocaine increases the levels of dopamine in the brain that leads to various health effects like extreme mental alertness, increased levels of happiness and energy, paranoia and irritability.

Intake of large amounts of cocaine can lead to violent behavior. Its frequent and binge use can damage the heart, nervous, digestive and respiratory systems severely.

4. Marijuana

A highly potent drug and its legalization in some states have led to its frequent use. It has become one of the most popular drugs in the U.S.

5. Painkillers

Painkiller addiction is another rising epidemic that can be lethal in some extreme cases. Drugs like Oxycontin, Codeine, and Vicodin are considered common painkillers.

They are often prescribed but this does not mean that they are not addictive. Patients who become addicted to such painkillers do not realize how much they have become dependent on it.

6. Heroin

Known for its euphoric effects, this drug is used for recreation purpose. In the United States, the drug is becoming popular among women.

It is also spreading diseases like HIV and AIDS. Its treatment is not easy and users often have to undergo a twelve step program along with some medication.

7. Hallucinogens

This type of drug causes hallucinations and is often used for religious rituals. Its effects vary from person to person due to different levels of chemicals found in the body.

8. Benzodiazepines

This drug group is known to regulate moods and help in managing stress and anxiety. Many people who use this drug are unaware of this addiction until they have to function without using it.

Forced withdrawal is dangerous, it can lead to death.

9. Ketamine

This type of drug causes hallucinations or disassociation. Other effects include sedation, pain relief, memory loss, trouble thinking, agitation, increase in blood pressure and heart and depression.

Its overdose can be dangerous.

10. 4-MTA AKA “Ecstasy”

It is sold as tablets and makes users feel peaceful. In some cases, it can lead to insomnia. Some negative effects are sweating, confusion, dizziness, intoxication and memory loss.

These are some of the popular drugs in America. The impact of drug addiction to mental health is severe and should be treated immediately.

Drug Use in America: An Epidemic

Drug use in America has become an epidemic and drastic measures should be taken in order to treat the addiction.

There are many rehabilitation centers built to help people recover. You need to know the symptoms in order to discover the drug addiction. Learn about the various levels of addiction treatment and help your loved ones today.

A little effort and concern can help you in saving a precious life.

Contact us today for more help or information on drug addiction recovery.

References