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.  

what is rehab like

What Is Rehab Really Like?

Recovering from a drug or alcohol addiction is one of the most challenging things you’ll ever endure. Beyond the physical symptoms you’ll face, rehab and recovery can bring about complicated emotions like shame and uncertainty.

The few days before entering treatment are especially nerve-wracking. You don’t know if supportive staff members will surround you, or if the activities and daily regimen will be ones you enjoy. Plus, even though addiction treatment programs encourage healthy living, there are times when recovery can be rough. This is essential to living a fulfilled life after your treatment is over.

Still, what is rehab like? Continue reading and know why you shouldn’t feel intimidated about entering addiction treatment.

Rehab Is a Time for Change

Change is scary. No matter if you’re an addict or not, no one likes change. You’ll never experience a difference like the one you’ll get from an addiction treatment program.

One of the essential parts of rehab is therapy. You’ll regularly meet with a counselor who will evaluate your life and how it coincided with your addiction.

This will force you to question everything — your family and friends, your mental state, and all of your experiences.

For many, this is therapeutic. For others, this realization is powerful enough to end up in a worse state of mind. Be open-minded and accept change. Understand it will make you a better person in the end.

There Might Be Some Tough Love

Your family and friends will always support you during rehab. The staff works diligently to ensure you recover. But don’t expect a smooth ride. Rehab requires some tough love.

The most influential people in your life will confess and approach specific topics and situations to you, such as the person you were when you were an addict. This can be difficult to hear.

You’ll want to use again, and you’ll combat cravings. The rehab staff knows this, and they will be the first to lay down the rules.

You’ll experience terrible withdrawal symptoms, and you’ll suffer like you never did before. Still, the staff won’t give you the drugs except for the ones that are essential to recovery.

Last but not least, you’ll learn the reality that you can’t turn to drugs or alcohol during difficult times. And those around you will be the first to explain your new life.

As you continue recovery, the process gets more comfortable. You become used to your new life and living without substances. While the beginning stages were challenging, you’ll learn to appreciate how the rehab staff and your loved ones challenged you.

Your Treatment Is Flexible

We will go over the general rehab schedule. Fortunately, rehab is still flexible and individualistic.

First and foremost, your therapy sessions will cater to your needs. All counselors will work with you to find a therapy option that will help you recover. Also, other therapy options can exist, such as family therapy.

Every rehab facility also offers group therapy. This will give you the chance to share your story and to hear other experiences.

You’ll also get some free time that will help benefit your recovery. You’ll be encouraged to stay active, participate in old hobbies, and even create some new favorite pastimes.

Daily Schedule at Inpatient Rehab

Every rehab program is different, but most follow the same protocol. Here’s what a typical day in inpatient rehab would be like for most people.


You must wake up early and eat breakfast. Depending on the rehab center, some offer yoga or meditation classes first thing in the morning. These are optional, but they can help you feel refreshed for the day ahead.

After breakfast and yoga, you’ll start your day with a group session. This can be a 12-step program, or it can be a general group discussion.


Most rehabs save the most intense treatment for the afternoon. After lunch, you’ll have some intense therapy sessions. Examples include individual behavioral therapy, family therapy, and specialized therapy.


Evenings include dinner with another group session. Residents are also required to have an early bedtime.

Free Time

Don’t think rehab is all intensive therapy sessions. Many clinics offer some free time. These hours are usually in the evening and residents can use them however they choose.

Every rehab clinic varies. Some facilities offer diverse activities such as swimming or ping-pong. Most of them provide the option to play sports such as soccer or basketball.

Your free time doesn’t have to be active. You can engage in a hobby such as writing or art. You can also use your free time leisurely to do activities such as pray or read.

After Rehab

Everything you experience in rehab will help make your recovery easier. But what happens after rehab? You don’t have a set schedule, you don’t have your group sessions, and you don’t have a staff surrounding you.

Rehab isn’t the end of your journey. You need the strength to continue sober living as you live the rest of your life.

In rehab, you’ll learn the tools to help prevent relapse. This will help you become more confident as you continue your journey to sobriety.

Many rehab residents find a sober living space or a halfway house beneficial. You’ll be able to work and see your family while still experiencing the benefits of therapy and helpful staff who wants to see you recover.

Sobriety never stops being easy. But this is why you attend rehab. You’ll experience the rough areas, but you’ll notice those are short-lived. You’ll experience the best reward ever, and that reward is a life without addiction.

Are You Looking for a Rehab Center?

Drug rehab isn’t easy, but you have a supportive team on your side during the recovery process.

Rehab clinics have professionals who work hard to give you a better life. You’ll also be able to remain in contact with your family and can engage in different activities to find and fall back in love with your hobbies.

Are you looking for inpatient rehab treatment? Let us help you.

alcohol and drug abuse programs

Your Guide to Alcohol and Drug Abuse Programs

Research estimates that the total number of Americans with substance abuse disorders is around 19.7 million people. That’s more people than the combined populations of New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, Houston, and Phoenix. With such a huge number of people struggling with addiction, it’s clear that we are in dire need of more alcohol and drug abuse programs.

Still, it’s also important to understand the different kinds of addiction treatments and the role they play in the overall recovery process.

If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction, then keep reading for a comprehensive guide to the different levels of care in addiction treatment.


Detox programs are often the first step in rehab. In fact, they are a crucial part of the recovery experience.

Before you can even begin your recovery, you must clear the drugs, alcohol, and other built-up toxins out of your body. You can easily do this in a detox program.

The intensity of detox programs ranges from minimal supervision to around-the-clock monitoring from trained medical professionals. Of course, the type of detox program that’s right for you will depend on several factors, such as:

  • the severity of withdrawal symptoms
  • the substances you use (e.g., alcohol, opioids, etc.)
  • whether or not the detox program is court-ordered
  • the likelihood of dangerous complications without medical intervention

Addictions with more severe withdrawal symptoms require special medical attention. For example, heavy alcohol abuse can cause potentially fatal heart problems, organ dysfunction, and seizures. Symptoms like these require constant medical supervision to ensure the safety of the patient.

Inpatient Rehab

Residential rehab, also called inpatient rehab, is the level of addiction treatment that is most popularly portrayed on television and in movies.

In inpatient rehab, patients have a room at the rehab center. Unless the rehab center is a luxury one, you should expect to share a room with another patient.

Generally speaking, as long as you are enrolled in an inpatient program, you must remain on the rehab center grounds unless escorted off the premises for a scheduled activity. You must also attend all scheduled treatments and meetings unless there is a medical reason that keeps you from doing so.

Some of the more common treatments you may participate in during inpatient rehab include:

  • Psychotherapy
  • Group Therapy
  • Family Therapy
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
  • Dialectical Behavioral Therapy

Depending on the rehab center, you may also have the opportunity to enroll in alternative and holistic therapies. These might include music therapy, biofeedback, exercise therapy, meditation, acupuncture, and Tai Chi.

Intensive Outpatient Rehab

Intensive outpatient programs (IOP) bear a strong resemblance to inpatient rehab programs. The main difference is that, unlike inpatient rehab, IOP allows you to continue living at home. In fact, IOP often serves as a bridge between inpatient care and outpatient care for people in recovery.

In IOP, the rehab staff believes that you no longer need the closed system of a residential program to abstain from substance use. Your therapists and counselors trust that you can come to treatment, leave, and come back the next day without relapsing. However, at the same time, you still require ongoing support and continued treatment in order to maintain your recovery.

In an IOP, you typically go to the rehab center for treatment for four to five days every week. Depending on the program, you may spend upwards of 30 hours a week at the rehab center. You’ll also be continuing individual and group therapy on a strict schedule.

It’s also worth noting that IOPs typically do not offer alternative or holistic treatments. So, as an IOP patient transitioning out of inpatient care, you may lose access to some or all of those programs.

Outpatient Rehab

As much as IOP is less demanding than inpatient rehab, outpatient therapy is even more flexible than IOP. In fact, outpatient programs strip the treatments down to core essentials, such as individual and group therapy.

A typical outpatient rehab program might require 10 hours a week of mandatory attendance on your part. Generally speaking, the staff at the rehab center will see that you have a low risk of short-term relapse. This is why most outpatient alcohol and drug abuse programs will allow you to return to a full-time working schedule.

In fact, since many patients in outpatient care are working during the day, these types of programs usually hold their therapy sessions during the evening or over the weekend.

As is the case with IOP, most outpatient rehab programs do not offer any alternative or holistic therapies. So, you will most likely lose access to those types of treatment once you enroll in an outpatient program. Fortunately, many holistic and alternative therapies consist of activities that you can easily do at home for a relatively low cost.

Peer Support Groups

Almost every rehab program integrates peer support groups at some level. Some include 12-step programs as a mandatory part of your treatment. Others use the 12-step facilitation approach.

The 12-step facilitation approach introduces patients to the core concepts involved with a 12-step group, such as:

  • surrender
  • acceptance
  • active involvement

Typically, the rehab center staff will use peer support groups to explain the benefits of 12-step programs and encourage patients to join a 12-step group once they complete inpatient or IOP rehab.

Private Therapy

Private therapy with a psychologist or psychiatrist can be extremely beneficial, during or after other alcohol and drug abuse programs. After all, addiction usually has psychological roots that should be addressed during treatment.

If you decide you want this kind of treatment, make sure to look for someone who specializes in addiction treatment and recovery. Professionals who focus on treating those in recovery will likely offer better insight and remain more informed about updates in the field of addiction research and treatment.

The disadvantage of private therapy is the cost. While most medical insurance providers offer some coverage for mental health treatment, it’s usually very little. As a patient in private therapy, you could easily end up paying upwards of $100 out-of-pocket per session.

Questions About Alcohol and Drug Abuse Programs?

Nearly 20 million people in the U.S. struggle with substance use disorders. If you are one of them, you are not alone. Understanding the different alcohol and drug abuse programs can help you better navigate the recovery process, and we can help.

Addiction Treatment Services helps those with addiction find and enroll in the programs best suited to their individual recovery needs. If you’re struggling to find the right treatment program for you, contact us today.


Center for Behavioral Health Statistics. (n.d.). Key Substance Use and Mental Health Indicators in the United States: Results from the 2017 National Survey on Drug Use and Health. Retrieved from

Rettner, R. (2011, July 29). Can You Die From Alcohol Withdrawal? Retrieved from

The 200 Largest Cities in the United States by Population 2019. (n.d.). Retrieved from

intervention and drug rehab

Your Guide to the Different Drug Rehab Models

You might think that all drug rehab facilities are all the same. You’d be wrong.

In fact, there are several different models for drug rehab that all offer interesting perspectives on the healing process. There isn’t only one way to do this type of thing. Professionals handle each individual patient’s case in a specific and intimate manner. However, there are some popular methods for treating addiction.

In this article, we’re going to look at some of the most effective drug rehab models that we use frequently. If you know an addict, you know how important it is and how difficult it will be to get them clean. It’s important that they get the right kind of treatment, so let’s get started.

Why Is It Important to Look At Different Drug Rehab Models?

The battle with addiction has been a part of the American way of life for decades. Opiates and methamphetamines dominate the conversation today with things like fentanyl putting more people into an early grave all the time.

It’s a terrifying prospect, but the importance of drug addiction treatment has never been more clear.

While going to rehab is a brave jump to make as an addict, the truth of the matter is that it doesn’t always work. Something that works immediately for one person might take 2, 5, 10 tries to work for someone else. It could never work for another person.

For that reason, it’s important to research different methods to get the right kind of treatment for your case. The consequences of prolonged drug addiction are dire, so the faster you find the right model, the faster you can get clean and move on with your life.

So, what are these models? Let’s take a look at a few of the most popular ones.

The Minnesota Model

Two non-professionals in a state hospital developed the Minnesota model, also referred to as the “abstinence model,” in the ‘50s. This form of rehab borrows from the 12-step program used by Alcoholics Anonymous.

The difference is that, rather than taking a religious approach, it includes the help of professionals like doctors and psychologists to aid in conquering the addiction.

This model individualizes the recovery process. The idea is that no two treatments are the same because no two addiction situations are the same. Unlike some other models, this one encourages family and friend participation. In fact, most loved ones are intimately involved in the recovery process to drive home the interpersonal aspects of drug addiction and recovery.

In the program, most of the treatment takes place in a group setting, much like AA. Professionals work with patients to help them build a better understanding of addiction while also forming a support system to avoid relapse and cravings.

They discuss addiction, triggers, problems that lead to addiction, and then receive feedback from fellow participants and counselors to help them get through the 12 steps.

Using the 12 Steps in the Minnesota Model

Since it’s different for everyone, not all 12 steps need to come in order. Those with deeper emotional concerns can meet with a counselor more frequently than others. The purpose of all of this is to build up the confidence of the patient so that they feel that they can contribute to society in a positive way.

The popularity of the Minnesota model has fluctuated over the years.

The success of the program has been called into question, but the bottom line is that those that complete treatment are more likely to recover than those who don’t. One study showed that 53% of patients that have used the Minnesota Model reported no relapse or minor relapse after a year.

Long-Term Residential Treatment

A more long-term solution may be necessary for more severe cases. This provides 24-hour per day care outside of hospitals. The best-known version of this type of treatment is the therapeutic community (TC) treatment.

TC treatments are usually between 6 and 12 months and focus on re-socialization, meaning that they use other patients, staff, and medical professionals as part of the treatment. Special focus is put on developing accountability in the patients to improve responsibility and social productivity.

Treatment can even be confrontational, showing patients how damaging beliefs and behavior relate to addiction and how to interact more harmoniously with others.

These treatments will also offer employment training and other support services on-site to help those with special and more in-depth needs (adolescents, homeless people, women in need, and people in the criminal justice system).

Behavioral Therapies

For an addict to truly understand what their behavior does to affect their personal relationships, they need to undergo behavioral therapy. There are three specific types of therapy we’re going to talk about here. Cognitive behavioral therapy, dialectic behavioral therapy, and the matrix model.

Cognitive behavioral therapy seeks to reduce problematic behavior that results from substance abuse. The counselor’s main focus is to help the patient anticipate situational triggers and develop coping mechanisms to prevent relapse.

Dialectic behavioral therapy helps patients that have trouble regulating emotions. This includes thoughts of self-harm and associating their drug of choice with these uncomfortable emotions.

Through relaxation techniques like meditation, yoga, controlled breathing, and muscle relaxation, patients can learn to deal with emotion in a more thoughtful way instead of a reactionary way.

Like the Minnesota Model, the Matrix Model makes heavy use of group therapy. It’s meant to mitigate the need for a drug and maintain abstinence by encouraging support group participation. Family and group therapy sessions can detail destructive behavior and help the patient realize where they’ve made missteps.

Therapy sessions usually take place with a therapist that also acts as a life coach and mentor. This provides a strong support system for the patient so that they avoid destructive behavior. However, drug testing is administered in the Matrix Model.

What Model Will Work for You?

The decision to enter drug rehab is a hugely positive step in one’s recovery process. The first try won’t always work but figuring out the model that works best for you or your loved one will be a huge help. Take the time to do further research into different models to determine the pros and cons of each.

Once you’ve decided, find a rehab center near you that offers your preferred model. Check out Addiction Treatment Services for rehab center listings.


Minnesota Model of Addiction Treatment – Pros and Cons. (2019, March 20). Retrieved from

National Institute on Drug Abuse. (n.d.). Types of Treatment Programs. Retrieved from

Patterson, E., & Ncc. (2018, November 25). Matrix Model Substance Abuse Therapy | Addiction Treatment. Retrieved from

Substance Abuse Counseling Techniques. (n.d.). Retrieved from

Addiction Treatment Services Guide

Your Guide to Different Addiction Treatment Services

Research estimates that the total number of Americans with substance abuse disorders is around 19.7 million people. To put that in context, that’s more people than the combined populations of New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, Houston, and Phoenix. With such a huge number of people struggling with addiction, there is a dire need for more addiction treatment services.

It is equally important to understand the different kinds of addiction treatment services and the role they play in the recovery process. If you find yourself struggling with all the apparent options, keep reading for a guide to the different treatments.

Levels of Care in Addiction Treatment Services


Before you can begin the recovery process, you must clear the drugs, alcohol or other built-up toxins from your body. That is where detox comes in.

Detox programs come in several forms. Some are ambulatory programs with minimal monitoring while others are medical detox programs with around-the-clock monitoring from trained medical professionals. The program most appropriate for you depends on several factors, such as:

  • the drug you use
  • how long and how much you use
  • whether or not detox is court-ordered
  • the severity of your withdrawal symptoms
  • the likelihood of dangerous medical complications

For instance, the withdrawal symptoms from severe alcohol abuse can cause potentially fatal heart problems, organ dysfunction, and seizures. Symptoms like these require constant medical supervision for the patient’s safety.

Inpatient Rehab

Most people may recognize inpatient rehab courtesy of film and television. Inpatient rehab is a residential model. Depending on the rehab center, you will either have a room to yourself or you will be sharing with another patient.

As long as you remain enrolled in the program, you typically must remain on the center grounds unless escorted off the premises for a scheduled activity.

During inpatient rehab, you must attend all scheduled treatments unless there’s a medical reason that prevents you from doing so. Some of the more common addiction treatment services offered through inpatient rehab include:

  • Psychotherapy
  • Group Therapy
  • Family Therapy
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
  • Dialectical Behavioral Therapy

Depending on the rehab center, you may also see some alternative therapies, such as music therapy, biofeedback, or exercise therapy. Some rehab programs also integrate holistic treatments like meditation, acupuncture, and Tai Chi.

Intensive Outpatient Rehab

IOP or intensive outpatient rehab bears a strong resemblance to inpatient rehab. The main difference is that you get to live at home during treatment. IOP often serves as a bridge between residential care and outpatient services for people in recovery.

Generally, you can enter or transition to IOP if the staff at the rehab center believe that you no longer need the closed system of residential care to stay abstinent and sober. They trust that you can leave and come back the next day without using or drinking during your time off-site. However, at the same time, IOP marks the stage in recovery where you still need substantial support and continued treatment in order to sustain your recovery.

In IOP, you typically go to the treatment center 4 to 5 days every week. You continue attending individual and group therapy on a strict schedule. And, depending on the program, you may spend upwards of 30 hours a week at the rehab center.

Moreover, unlike inpatient rehab, IOP may not have as many alternative or holistic treatments available. As an IOP patient, you may lose access to some or all of those programs. Most rehab programs generally reserve outdoor alternative treatments like equine therapy to residential patients.

Outpatient Rehab

While IOP is less demanding than residential rehab, outpatient rehab is even more flexible than IOP. Outpatient programs strip the offerings down to core essentials, such as individual and group therapy.

A typical outpatient rehab program might require 10 hours per week of mandatory attendance on your part. Generally speaking, the staff at the rehab center will likely agree that you are at low risk of short-term relapse.

During the outpatient stage of rehab, you’ll most likely be able to resume working full-time. In light of this, most outpatient programs run their therapy sessions during the evening hours or over the weekend.

Like with IOP, you may have to discontinue certain alternative or holistic therapies at the rehab center during outpatient care. Fortunately, many of the alternative therapies available to inpatient participants are ones that you can do at home for a relatively low cost.

Additional Addiction Treatment Services

Peer Support Groups

Almost every rehab facility integrates peer support groups at some level. Some even include a 12-step program as a mandatory part of your treatment. Other programs do something called 12-step facilitation.

The 12-step facilitation approach introduces patients to the core concepts of the 12-step model, such as:

  • surrender
  • acceptance
  • involvement

Some peer support rehab programs do this as a form of encouragement for patients to join a 12-step group once they’ve completed inpatient or IOP rehab. The staff will explain the benefits of these programs, such as peer support and a lack of judgment from other group members.

Private Therapy

Following rehab, another continued treatment option is private therapy with a psychologist or psychiatrist. If you decide that you want this kind of treatment, then make sure to look for someone who specializes in treating those in addiction recovery. An addiction recovery specialist will likely offer better insight and remain well-informed about new research in the field.

The pitfall of private therapy is the cost. While most insurance providers offer some level of coverage for mental health treatment, it’s often nominal coverage except for top-tier policies. You can easily end up paying $100 and or more out-of-pocket per session.

Parting Thoughts on Addiction Treatment Services

Millions of people in the United States struggle with substance use disorders and need adequate addiction treatment services to get and stay sober. Understanding the nature of those services helps people better navigate the recovery process.

Addiction Treatment Services helps connect those struggling with addiction with the right programs. If you’re having trouble finding the right treatment program for you, contact us today.


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Center for Behavioral Health Statistics. (n.d.). Key Substance Use and Mental Health Indicators in the United States: Results from the 2017 National Survey on Drug Use and Health. Retrieved from

Rettner, R. (2011, July 29). Can You Die From Alcohol Withdrawal? Retrieved from

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.


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

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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