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.  

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.


(n.d.). Retrieved from

Nguyen. (2017, December 07). 10 Surprising Benefits Of Keeping A Journal. Retrieved from

Opioid Overdose. (2018, December 19). Retrieved from

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.


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.


Ashford, R. D., & Canode, B. (2018, August 29). It’s time to measure addiction recovery rates, not just addiction rates. Retrieved from

Bennett, C. (2011, December 01). The 4 Most Common Causes Of Addiction Relapse. Retrieved from

hobbies in addiction treatment

How Hobbies Help Your Recovery in Addiction Rehab

Hobbies can sometimes seem like nuisances to us. They can even seem like something we just don't have the time for in the busyness of everyday life. Addiction treatment, however, thrives on hobbies. 

Many discussions around rehab or recovery can have a negative tone, however, today we will be discussing our hobbies and how they can help us on the long road to recovery. 

Before we begin, it is important to understand that the connection between mental illness and addiction is so strong. We at Addiction Treatment Services understand this connection between addiction and mental health, and we want to help you on the road to recovery. 

First, let's take a look at why hobbies are helpful, and then we will discuss some specific hobbies that can be beneficial during recovery, so that you have a tangible point of reference going forward. 

How Are Hobbies Helpful? 

Hobbies are an outlet that provide us with something to do while we aren't busy working and taking care of other responsibilities. They keep us active and motivated without stressing us out. While some hobbies are not extremely productive, such as playing video games, for example, they all leave us feeling good and calm afterwards. 

It is no secret that human beings today have undergone the process of natural selection over time. See, we have a drive in us as part of our evolutionary history to seek out the things that make us feel good, such as eating food, drinking water, and so on. These activities activate reward centers in the brain to release “feel-good” chemicals to reward us for doing them. 

Natural selection has caused us to develop a need to do things that are productive, beneficial to our bodies, or that make us better in some other way. Thanks to the reward centers in the brain, we feel good when we do these types of things. All of this is for the purpose of staying alive. Thus, when we do something that makes us feel good, most of the time, that thing is something that is beneficial to us. 

We enjoy feeling productive just as much as we enjoy activities such as white water rafting, kayaking, or hiking. The reason is because these things make us feel alive. 

How Hobbies Help Your Recovery 

One of the greatest fights you will likely face in addiction is the fight of boredom. Addiction treatment thrives on being busy because otherwise, boredom can quickly lead to relapse. However, none of us want to be busy all the time, since this can make us feel overwhelmed and stressed. 

While nobody wants to be busy constantly, in addiction treatment, it is important to have certain activities or hobbies that do occupy the majority of your time in order to avoid the potential for relapse. 

Hobbies can take up a large amount of your time. Running takes a period of time, as does drawing, or becoming skilled in playing guitar or singing. These things occupy our time, however, they are a different kind of time killer. These periods of time make us feel fulfilled and leave us feeling good. 

This is where we need to differentiate between instant gratification hobbies, like video games and watching television, and productive hobbies. Both are helpful, but in the end, productive hobbies will leave us feeling, well, productive, whereas instant gratification hobbies are simply time wasters that do not lead to anything greater being accomplished. 

Chasing this good feeling of contributing to the world, or your own well-being, is the feeling we should want to chase. This good feeling is so different than the instant gratification that substances provide. If we seek instant hobbies, then we will be creating the same patterns of an addiction, rather than the beneficial patterns of productive hobbies. 

Hobbies Connect Us 

Perhaps one of the most important aspects of hobbies is that they have the potential to unite us in community. We are connected to each other when we do certain hobbies together. Connection is one of the strongest weapons in combating addiction. 

Many of these hobbies bring us together for one common cause and allow us to meet others who share our ideas and beliefs. Being able to hike with someone, overcome obstacles on a  run with someone, or meet to play music together can bonds us in a way that nothing else can. Having a strong support system is key to overcoming obstacles in addiction recovery.  

Now that we have discussed why hobbies are helpful, let's look below to discover which kind of hobbies can best suit us. It can be difficult to discern. 

Active Hobbies 

Engaging in hobbies that get the body moving are extremely valuable for our overall health, especially while undergoing addiction treatment. This is because exercise can help speed up the body's detoxification process and lead to more positive feelings. 

For some people, running long distances seems insane, yet to others, it can be therapeutic. It is sometimes referred to as the “runner's high” where they experience euphoria and little fatigue after miles and miles of running. Running can help us because it is so good for our cardiovascular system. It can also bond us with others through trials, and give us a lot of time to talk to our friends and loved ones if we run together. 

While running may not necessarily be for everyone, there are other hobbies that help addiction recovery. One of them is yoga. Yoga engages the spiritual and mental side of exercise. Prostrating the body into various shapes and poses is actually very taxing work, and it can engage the core of our being as well as help us to relax, calm down, and reflect. 

Other active hobbies you can try are swimming, hiking, biking, or playing sports. 

Creative Hobbies 

Hobbies that are creative give us projects that make us feel like we have made something that contributes to the world in some way. Taking an art class, or just pursuing drawing, or writing, or whatever other creative hobby you enjoy is a great way to get our innermost emotions out on the table. 

Along with this, we can bring beauty into the world musically. Musical talent is something you practice, so picking up an instrument or vocal practice is something that you can do every day. This can also bond you with others if you find others to help teach you how to play your instrument, or just to jam with. 

Finally, journaling, writing poetry, or blogging are all great hobbies that are able to get our thoughts and feelings onto the page. 

Hobbies in Nature

Hiking is a great way to connect with nature. Experts often find that getting out into nature is a great way to improve our overall mood. Camping, fishing, or surfing are all ways we can appreciate the world around us.  

Along with this, spiritual practices like meditation are extremely beneficial to helping us be our fullest person. This is not simply sitting cross legged and humming, but more than that, it is simply the practice of being aware at all times, and this works especially well when done in a beautiful place such as at the beach or in a grassy area. 

Getting Help 

While hobbies are fantastic supports for addiction recovery, it is important to understand that you cannot treat yourself with them alone. Professional addiction treatment is the only true way to get help with your substance abuse problems. 

Addiction Treatment Services exists to help you find the right treatment program for you. We numerous locations to serve you and help you on the road to recovery. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us by calling (877) 455-0055. Please do not hesitate. Get started with your addiction recovery today.

drug rehab facilities

The Top 10 Life-Changing Benefits of Drug Rehab

In America today, more than 23 million men and women report being addicted to drugs or alcohol. Of these 23 million, only a handful choose to take the next step and commit to a specialized treatment program.

For those who feel their addiction may be taking charge of their life, it’s certainly in your best interest to consider entering a drug rehab facility. While it takes courage and motivation to commit to such a decision, it has the power to save and transform your entire life.

While the main priority of a drug rehab facility is to overcome addiction, there is an abundance of other benefits that stem from the program. Alongside conquering one’s addiction, those in drug rehab facilities also learn the tools necessary for building a productive, healthy, and happy lifestyle.

If you’ve been considering attending a drug rehab facility, you’re going to want to read this. We’re outlining the top ten most life-changing benefits of attending a drug rehab facility.

While overcoming addiction is never easy, the long-term benefits are always worth the fight.

1. Establishing Healthy Routines

First and foremost, a drug rehab facility is the best way for an addict to establish a new, healthy routine.

Because drugs are so damaging to both the body and the mind, it’s crucial to make efforts to correct as much of this damage as possible.

Unfortunately, some of the effects caused by even casual drug use are long-term and have proven to be irreversible.

However, with a healthy new routine fixated on balanced meals and exercise, certain components of the mind and body are capable of healing. For example, some studies have noted that certain areas of the brain can return to their original state. For some, this may be in terms of both volume as well as functionality.

In a rehab facility, meals as well as exercise are pre-determined and balanced. Those participating in such a program can rest assured that their meals are following a strict guideline and their body will be properly exercised.

This helps former addicts navigate a positive relationship with healthy eating and exercise routines. Once established, they can practice these routines when returning to their usual environment.

2. Erasing Temptation

It won’t come as a surprise that all rehab facilities are drug and alcohol-free.

In order to free the mind of temptation, it’s vital to be in an environment in which drugs and alcohol are simply not an option.

When attempting to eliminate drugs or alcohol outside of a rehab facility, this is not the case. In the outside world, an addict is still engulfed in an environment where it is possible to get ahold of their substance.

Without an environment that is entirely drug and alcohol-free, it can be difficult for the addict to find long-term success.

3. Learning How to Set Goals

Rehab introduces individuals to set goals that are realistic while also providing the best tools possible for achieving them.

While addicts may have set goals throughout their addiction, many of these goals fail to be met. This is often because the mind is so often altered and controlled by their substance of choice. Even with sincere intentions, these goals fail to be taken seriously and are eventually abandoned.

A drug rehab facility helps to break the cycle of abandoned goals. Once an individual enters rehab, their mind will be more capable of setting goals. From here, that individual is taught the tools necessary for the best way to achieve these goals in the near future.

Not only are these goals the pathway to creating a healthy and happy life, but they are also beneficial to recovery.

4. Learning About Addiction

Understanding addiction is never a simple nor straightforward task.

After all, addiction can be different for each and every person as well as the different factors leading to one’s addiction. In order to overcome one’s addiction long-term, it’s essential to understand what may have sparked the addiction in the first place.

In learning about addiction, the individual becomes better able to identify things, people, places, or events that trigger the mind into craving drugs.

This can also help addicts to shift some of the blame they hold against themselves for their addiction. This creates a healthier mind for that addict and allows them to feel less anger and resentment toward themselves.

Individuals will also learn about the realities of addiction and the damaging effects that it has on one’s health. This comes in terms of both short-term effects and long-term effects such as the potential for certain diseases. For example, those who use methamphetamine have a higher risk of developing HIV and hepatitis.

5. Understanding Underlying Issues

Each and every rehab program provides addicts the opportunity to delve deeply into the psychology of their addiction.

In doing so, individuals are able to understand the factors that may have led to their addiction. This could be anything from genetics and family history to their mental state and current living conditions.

Through understanding the underlying issues of one’s addiction, it’s easier to shift the entirety of the blame from one’s self and begin to forgive. This is important as it reminds former addicts that their addiction did not stem from a lack of morality or an innermost desire to act wrongly.

Addicts also learn about the personality traits or characteristics that are common amongst addicts. In fact, a recent study found that 53 percent of the patients in one rehab facility were diagnosed with a mental illness or disorder.

Once an addict understands the factors that may have contributed to their addiction, it’s easier to prevents these factors from emerging once again. This is especially made possible with the help of a psychologist that can help provide tools for fighting these factors and overcoming them.

6. Establishing Lifelong Relationships

One of the most important factors in remaining sober long-term comes in terms of support and relationships.

One reality in getting clean is that former addicts tend to withdraw themselves from past friendships. This is often because those relationships were centered on substance abuse and a mutual addiction. Without the drug, the friendship slowly deteriorates and ceases to exist.

Fortunately, a drug rehab facility presents the perfect opportunity to discover like-minded friendships. These friends all share a common goal and can provide eternal support and friendship to one another. These are the types of friendships that have the ability to be long-term relationships.

Let’s face it, humans are naturally social beings. The desire to engage with others and establish a connection is a natural human tendency. The more healthy and fulfilling an addict’s relationships are, the more likely that person will have the power to resist their addiction.

Without these human relationships, it is only natural for humans to experience feelings of loneliness or depression. As we know, these emotions can be triggers and are always best avoided.

7. Building New Habits and Practices

For those battling drug addiction, self-care and healthy habits typically fall to the back burner.

Instead of focusing on one’s health, the mind of a drug addict narrows their focus to their substance of choice. As a result, abiding by a positive and healthy lifestyle is not prioritized nor practiced.

Throughout one’s stay at a drug rehab facility, addicts will learn new habits and practices that are centered upon a healthy lifestyle. This may be anything from proper nutrition and exercise to proper self-care and discipline.

Learning these habits and practices in rehab give individuals the tools necessary to transition these practices into their new life. Because that individual is now capable of seeing the positive effects these practices have on the body and mind, they are more likely to continue these habits.

These healthy habits are also more likely to keep the individual on the road to sobriety and focus on their health and well-being.

8. Determining Your Triggers

One of the most important factors in overcoming an addiction is to gain a solid understanding of one’s personal triggers.

While each addict has different triggers that speak to them, a list of common triggers are as follows:

  • People
  • Places
  • Dates
  • Holidays
  • Emotional States
  • Medication
  • Events

Throughout one’s program, the individual will continue to learn about the triggers of their addiction. To minimize these triggers, it’s vital to understand what exactly these triggers are and where they stem from.

Many addicts will find that one of their most prominent triggers comes in the form of negative emotions or mental states. For example, stress or depression has proven to be a major trigger for many addicts.

At a rehab facility, the individual will be able to learn how to handle the triggers that result in an unwell mental state. Doctors and psychologists will be able to provide that individual with the tools necessary for resisting these triggers in the future.

These are lifelong lessons that former addicts will use and practice throughout their entire life.

9. Overcoming Obstacles

Throughout an addict’s journey, there are bound to be numerous moments of uncertainty and doubt.

During these times, it’s only natural to feel that one’s addiction will always come out on top. However, as the program continues and the individual learns more about their addiction, these feelings typically begin to lessen.

In eventually completing the journey and fighting against their addiction, that individual is overcome with an incredible sense of pride and confidence.

Successfully completing rehab is something that likely felt impossible at one point in time. To imagine living freely against their drug of choice may have seemed a distant dream for the majority of addicts.

Completing a rehab program gives them all the confidence necessary for overcoming obstacles in the future. After all, the battle against drugs or alcohol is surely one of the most challenging occasions in life for many addicts.

10. Establishing a Life-Long Mentor

One of the most important aspects of a drug rehab is finding a sponsor or mentor for the addict. Having an established mentor in combination with attending addiction meetings is the best way to resist temptation when the program comes to an end.

A mentor is someone who has battled with addiction themselves and has worked hard to overcome this addiction. With their strength and experience, they are able to provide valuable information as well as support to those in the recovery process.

They also help addicts in the beginning stage of their recovery to share that a life without addiction is possible. This person is acting as proof that an addict can change and that addiction does not have to be forever. Seeing this firsthand helps to provide a strong sense of hope that recovery is realistic.

In doing so, the hope is to create a successful mentor and mentee relationship that continues outside of the program. For many addicts, this becomes a long-term relationship that continues to persist for many years to come.

The Long-Term Benefits of Drug Rehab Facilities

While 22 million Americans report feeling the need for rehab, only 2.5 million Americans attend a rehab center.

For those battling drug addiction, a rehab facility just might be the difference between life and death.

Here, addicts are in a controlled environment where they learn how to cope with cravings and how to manage their desires. It is here that addicts are in the best environment possible to break their cycle of addiction.

Not only does a rehab facility help to fight this addiction, it also provides addicts with the tools necessary to get their life back on track. These lifelong skills developed in drug rehab facilities are designed to provide a number of lifelong benefits for the sake of the future.

These benefits will help recovering addicts formulate a future that is free from substance abuse so that they can be healthy and happy.

To expand your learning on addictions and how to better manage substance abuse, be sure to stay updated with our blog!

does BCBS cover therapy

Does Blue Cross Blue Shield Cover Therapy?

The answer is yes, but not to an unlimited extent. The therapist you wish to see needs to accept Blue Cross Blue Shield insurance. There may be reasons why the therapist of your preference does not accept BCBS insurance, so if this is the case, speak to your therapist of choice about alternatives.

You can find a list of therapists that accept Blue Cross Blue Shield across the United States and Canada here. If your therapist of choice will not accept BCBS, speak to him or her about possibly working on a sliding scale. Some therapists are willing to work with their clients, especially those they have ongoing relationships with.

Each Blue Cross Blue Shield plan is a little bit different. This means that each will cover a certain amount of therapy, or will have you pay different amounts of co-pay. Some plans, for example, may only cover a limited amount of visits.

BCBS may also only cover therapy it deems “medically necessary.” For example, you may need to have a certain diagnosis code for insurance to actually cover your therapy.

In the case of an addiction, your therapist may fill out your insurance forms giving you the code of an alcoholic. However, at a certain point in your recovery, you will no longer meet the criteria for an alcoholic. Therefore, BCBS may decide that they no longer need to pay for your therapy.

This is a common issue many people run into when seeking treatment, so it is important to be aware of this when starting therapy.

This conundrum can be frustrating, especially because most therapists don’t believe there is a point at which someone is “cured.” Most people, instead, could use a form of therapy and support in their life, so pulling it so quickly due to insurance can cause a lot of frustration.

Does Blue Cross Blue Shield Cover Inpatient Stays for Addiction?

Typically, yes. However, this will depend on which coverage plan you have. For some people, they will get almost their entire stay in a rehab facility covered, while others will get very little.

Patients who use the Bronze plan typically have insurance pay around 60% of the costs of an inpatient stay. While that may seem like a lot, inpatient stays can cost up to $100,000 per month for the most expensive inpatient rehabs. In some cases, in order to participate in the program, you must commit to an entire month or longer.

For some people, this could leave them with a bill of $40,000 or more. This doesn’t count travel or accommodation that they may need to make arrangements for in order to receive the inpatient treatment.

If you have the Platinum plan, this will cover around 90% of your inpatient stay. However, again, this doesn’t make things perfect. This plan means the highest cost per month, something that many people can’t afford. This is why many people, instead, opt for plans with lower per month payments, even if it means higher out-of-pocket costs.

With a Platinum plan, the cost of a rehab stay can also still be out of reach. If you stay in a rehab facility for 30 days to the tune of $100,000, you may still receive a $10,000 bill. For many, this is simply not possible, especially if they have spent much of their money on their habit.

Does Blue Cross Blue Shield Cover Inpatient Eating Disorder Treatment?

Yes, it does. However, the issues you run into are the same as the ones you would for an inpatient addiction treatment. Depending on where you choose to receive treatment, a month’s stay can cost between $30,000 and $100,000. Continuing treatment may also continue to rack up the bills.

However, you can still work with Blue Cross Blue Shield to try and negotiate a price and allow you or your loved one to stay in treatment as long as possible.

Does Blue Cross Blue Shield Cover Ongoing Care?

Once you’re released from the inpatient facility, you may do intensive outpatient programs to help keep you on the path to recovery. These programs can be all day, 5 days a week, but you typically will live at home, or in a home for those recovering nearby. This allows you more freedom while continuing in your recovery.

Blue Cross Blue Shield will often pay for these programs as well, but only up to a certain extent and depending on your specific plan. It is important that you speak with the insurance company directly to find out what they will and will not cover in terms of these types of programs.

I Have Blue Cross Blue Shield, But It Isn’t Enough to Cover All of My Expenses

This is a problem many insurance holders run into. While they may get many of their total costs covered, they don’t get enough to ensure a complete and proper recovery.

Many eating disorder or addiction centers will offer scholarships and other programs that allow people who could not otherwise access their program to get the help they need. This helps relieve a big chunk of the financial burden for many.

Speak to the program you’re interested in entering today to find out if they have any similar ways to help out prospective patients.

Why Are Inpatient Programs So Expensive?

There are many reasons why inpatient programs are so expensive. Mostly, it is because they are comprehensive. Some inpatient programs may also treat dual diagnosis, in which they help individuals not only overcome an eating disorder or addiction but can help those struggling with both. Or, they can help individuals struggling with more than one psychological disorder.

In an inpatient program, your entire day is devoted to helping you overcome your addiction or issues. You will spend the day in therapy, group therapy, or in other classes such as art therapy or light exercise.

During an inpatient program, you may receive medical detox to help wean you off of your drug of choice without causing too much harm to your body or mind. Many people use continuously in order to avoid this aspect of recovery. However, medically assisted recovery is much more comfortable.

You will not only have access to your own therapist, but depending on the facility, you’ll also speak to a nutritionist and other experts. You will help craft a plan that will help you succeed in conquering your addiction.

You will also be monitored around the clock to ensure that you do not participate in dangerous behaviors. You also have resources available if you do feel in danger, and there is always someone to speak to if need be.

I’m Ready to Explore My Options

So, now that you’ve received the answer to the question, “Does Blue Cross Blue Shield cover therapy?”, it’s time to start making some decisions.

First, speak to Blue Cross Blue Shield directly about the program you’re interested in, or the therapist you would like to visit.

If you’re ready to start your journey to recovery today, you can contact us to explore your options with Blue Cross Blue Shield. We’re waiting to help you start a new life.

Types of Rehab

Making Time for Recovery: Types of Rehab and Timelines

“They tried to make me go to rehab, I said, no, no, no” – Amy Winehouse.

We all know and sing along to these song lyrics. But can you avoid rehab and actually be successful?

In contrast to a 10 minute high from drugs or alcohol, recovery can take years. Can you really do it alone without the help from rehab?

Many hesitate to join a rehab program because they don’t know what to expect. They may become nervous about the various kinds of therapy used. Or they may be in fear of withdrawal symptoms or relapsing.

You may wonder: What are the different types of rehab? Which one is right for you? How long does rehab take?

Fear of the unknown could stop someone from getting the help they need. It’s vital to be fully informed. Knowledge is power, after all.

Keep reading to find out all the information you need to choose the right rehab center.

Understanding “Addiction”

Recovering from substance abuse is not a matter of “getting over it”. Addiction is a chronic mental health disorder. This illness causes a person to be mentally and physically dependent on a substance.

Substance abuse cannot actually be “cured”. There is no magic treatment that will make it disappear.

In many ways, it’s like a chronic physical illness, such as diabetes. There is no cure for diabetes, but there is treatment available to help those suffering to cope.

This is similar to the treatment for substance abuse and addiction. The treatment is the process of learning how to manage and control the addiction.

Just as someone who has a chronic physical illness will have relapses, so may someone who is recovering from substance abuse. A relapse is not a failure. It’s a sign that there may need to be an adjustment in the treatment plan.

But don’t worry! Substance abuse and addiction CAN be controlled. And lifetime recovery is definitely within your reach.

How Long is Rehab?

You may wonder – how long does rehab take? There are several options to think about when determining the length of your treatment. It all depends on your individual needs.

Most rehab programs are generally:

  • 30 Days
  • 60 Days
  • 90 Days
  • Extended periods of time (for example, halfway houses or sober living accommodation)

When deciding on which program length is right for you, you should consider what will give you the highest chance of success.

But one thing is for sure – the longer you stay clean, the better your chances are for freedom for the rest of your life.

Types of Rehab

Due to the vast number of rehab programs available, it can be hard to know which one to choose.

Before choosing a rehab center, you need to make sure they have licensed staff who have the necessary qualifications. They should also be registered with the state and have all the required licenses.

Other things to ask before making a decision:

  • Do they have an aftercare program?
  • Are there extra activities, such as sports and recreation, for the patients to take part in?
  • What is the accommodation like?
  • How is their quality of care?

There are four basic types of addiction treatment. Outpatient, intensive outpatient, inpatient, and partial hospitalization services. Let’s take a look at these options one by one.

Outpatient Treatment

Outpatient treatment provides support for those who are transitioning back to their normal life. The patient will have direct access to friends and family. They will also have the chance to continue working or attending school during their care.

How Long is Rehab For Outpatients?

The program is usually fewer than 10 hours per week. The length of the rehab program will vary depending on the patient.

Who is Outpatient Treatment Recommended For?

Outpatient treatment is for those who have a lower risk of relapse. For instance, someone who is highly motivated to change their life and has a great deal of outside support. Or someone who has begun abusing substances but is not yet addicted.

This treatment may also be available for someone who has completed inpatient treatment. For instance, a low motivation to stay clean or long-term intensive addiction.

What is Included in Outpatient Treatment?

The main purpose of outpatient treatment is relapse prevention. There will be training in life skills and strategies that will help the patient to remain sober.

Intensive Outpatient Treatment

Intensive outpatient treatment does not require the patient to stay overnight. But they do require several hours of intensive treatment to help avoid a relapse. Individuals taking part in this treatment may also want to spend a few hours a day at work or school.

How Long is Rehab for Intensive Outpatients?

Intensive outpatient care lives up to its name. The services can take several hours each day, even on weekends. They offer more in-depth treatment than a usual outpatient program.

Who is Intensive Outpatient Care Recommended for?

This kind of treatment is best suited for those who have a stable home to go back to. It is also recommended for those who are not at risk of severe withdrawal symptoms and do not need a medically supervised detox.

Intensive outpatient care is also for individuals who have recently completed inpatient treatment.

What is Included in Intensive Outpatient Treatment?

Group therapy is a big part of intensive outpatient care. Patients are also required to meet with an individual therapist once a week.

Inpatient Care

Inpatient care allows the patient to stay at a treatment center overnight for an extended period of time. This safe and welcoming environment will allow the patient to focus fully on treatment without worrying about day to day life.

How Long is Rehab for Inpatients?

Rehab for inpatients can vary from 30 to 90 days. But longer periods of time may be organized if required.

Who is Inpatient Care Recommended For?

Inpatient treatment is especially beneficial for those who may be prone to relapsing. The enclosed environment will keep them away from triggers. It will also restrict them from getting ahold of any addictive substances.

Individuals who are recovering from heavy drug or alcohol abuse may benefit because of its intensity. During their time at the rehab center, they will also receive medical support. This may be for physical or mental health conditions that are associated with their addiction.

What Is Included in Inpatient Care?

The patient will receive 24/7 support and supervision from trained personnel. They will have opportunities to rebuild broken relationships with family and friends.

Many inpatient treatment centers also include several extra activities and programs. These programs can help a patient to develop the self-confidence and motivation necessary to keep clean permanently.

Partial Hospitalization

Partial hospitalization is similar to intensive outpatient care. But partial hospitalization is not required every day of the week.

A supportive and good home life is a requirement for this to be successful. Patients will be able to go about their day to day life as normal.

How Long Is Rehab for Partial Hospitalization?

Instead of an overnight stay, patients need to check in for 4-6 hours a day. The patient should visit the rehab center at least 3-5 times per week.

Who Is Partial Hospitalization Recommended For?

Partial hospitalization is best suited for those who have a safe home environment. Many who qualify for partial hospitalization suffer from additional medical conditions. This may also be the next step for patients who have completed inpatient treatment as an initial step in their treatment plan.

What Is Included in Partial Hospitalization?

Most programs will include educational sessions and group therapy. The patient will learn how to cope with stress without turning to harmful substances.

The Recovery Timeline

The length of an alcohol recovery timeline and a drug recovery timeline may differ. It all depends on the patient. But the order of events will be the same.

These next 5 steps are the basis for any type of rehab recovery.

1. Diagnosis

When a person enters into treatment, the severity of the addiction will be determined by a specialist. This will help them to find out which level of treatment is required. This diagnosis will give the patient the best chance of recovery.

Diagnosis not only involves drug testing, but it also includes learning about the individual’s drug or alcohol abuse, including which drugs were used and how often the drug was used.

Any physical symptoms, mental symptoms, and mental health disorders as well as how substance use affected their daily life will also be addressed.

After a complete analysis, the specialist will diagnose the treatment needed for the patient.

2. Detoxing

The first two weeks of the drug or alcohol recovery timeline will be the hardest. This is because a natural detox needs to take place. This must take place in a dedicated rehab center to ensure safety.

A detox is a natural process which cannot be sped up. Yet some medications may be administered in order to ease cravings and other symptoms if needed.

Detoxing the body will send the patient’s body and mind on a rollercoaster ride of emotions. Any remaining drugs or alcohol in the body will flush out naturally. And this is when the cravings, anger, and irritability will kick in.

Patients will be observed carefully during this period of physical strain on the body. If detox were to be done at home, the process could be fatal. Medically trained staff will always be on hand during detoxing at a rehab center.

But remember, detox is only the first step on the road to recovery. It does not constitute as treatment alone.

3. Therapy

Once this detox period is over and the cravings subside, therapy can begin. But in some cases, therapy may actually begin during the detox process.

The various kinds of therapy may include:

  • Cognitive behavioral (how to manage triggers and cravings)
  • Community reinforcement (incentives in the community to make the drug less desirable)
  • Motivational enhancement (resolutions and the desire for recovery)
  • Contingency management (abstinence and relapse prevention)
  • Education (how drugs affect the body and mind)
  • Family (working with family members to resolve issues)

The kinds of therapy you receive will vary depending on which types of rehab treatment you’re involved in.

4. Additional Activities

Many rehab programs offer extra activities. These can help the patient to engage in healthy ways to stay clean. Most activities will be available in the inpatient treatment programs.

Some planned activities may include:

  • Exercise and yoga
  • Nutrition programs
  • Art therapy
  • Music therapy
  • Animal therapy
  • Journaling and writing
  • Massage therapy and acupuncture

Taking part in these extra programs can help to ease the patient. These activities make the patient comfortable. They can also help the patient to channel cravings and remain abstinent.

5. Aftercare

One of the last steps on the recovery timeline will involve some kind of aftercare. This can allow the patient to return to their daily life but still benefit from extra support. Again, the kind of aftercare chosen will differ person to person.

Some may be recommended to live in a “Sober Living” accommodation. This is ideal for those who are not ready to go home or do not have a stable home life.

Most sober living homes have other recovering addicts living in them as well. Because everyone is in a similar situation, they can show support and learn from each other. This mutual support can help each patient to learn other ways to keep clean.

Some may return home. But they may go to regular meetings, therapy, alumni programs, and other recovery arrangements as well.

According to a study in 2014, aftercare is essential to success. Research indicates that only 45% of those who did not attend aftercare programs stayed clean, whereas those who participated in aftercare for a full year had a 90% success rate.

The Road to Recovery – It’s Up to You

Types of rehab and speed of progress will vary from person to person. But one thing is for sure: Going to rehab will help you on the road to recovery.

Rehab provides you with the tools you need to recover from your addiction, but the rest is up to you. Staying clean will be a day to day fight, but you CAN win with the right help.

If you or a loved one is looking for assistance in overcoming an addiction, you’ve come to the right place. We can match you with the best rehab center for your unique circumstances.

Contact us today find out more.