Sending a loved one away to rehab can be a big adjustment for everyone. Your loved one may be the one struggling with the addiction, but you and your family may have dealt with a lot of arguing, crying, and emotional turmoil. Even now, you might have trouble trusting your loved one. While this skepticism isn’t ideal, it’s normal during the early stages of recovery. In fact, there are four stages of trust after addiction treatment that all loved ones go through. Below, you will find summaries of all four stages of both addiction recovery and rebuilding trust, as well as how they relate to one another.
Continue reading “The Four Stages of Recovery and the Supplementary Stages of Trust”
For those in the recovery process, sobriety is of the utmost importance. After all, a desire to quit using and stay clean is often the motivator behind enrollment in a rehabilitation program. However, remaining sober is often easier said than done. In fact, relapse rates for drug and alcohol abusers hover around 40% to 60%, similar to those of other chronic diseases, like diabetes and heart disease. Without constant vigilance and focus, falling back into old habits can happen quickly. If you’re not careful, you could erase months or even years of hard work in one fell swoop.
Avoiding relapse is a mission that often takes just as much commitment as other lifestyle decisions, like maintaining a healthy weight. In other words, a half-hearted effort is not enough. You’ll have to do your best to avoid relapse and stay safe and sober. And these tips can help you adhere to a life of abstinence.
Continue reading “7 Ways to Prevent Relapse”
There’s no way around it: sobriety is never easy. The process of breaking free from an addiction to drugs, from fighting against physical cravings to changing habits and hobbies to avoid drug culture, is a huge undertaking, effectively demanding a completely new and different way of life. For most individuals struggling to recover from addiction, the physical bonds are of the utmost importance. Resisting the urge to use, working through the painful components of withdrawal, and continuing to relearn a new way to live is often priority number one, putting emotional health squarely on the back burner. However, this can be a mistake, especially for those who ultimately want to lower their risk of relapse as much as possible.
Emotional sobriety can be just as important as physical sobriety, helping those in recovery to regulate emotion and mood in order to control urges and focus on continued abstinence. No matter the perceived strength in your convictions, the art of emotional sobriety can be your ticket to holding strong during the early stages of recovery.
Continue reading “Staying Emotionally Healthy for your Sobriety”
Recovery from drug and alcohol addiction is a lifelong process, and cravings can pop up years after you’ve stopped using. Cravings are a normal part of recovery, and almost everyone who quits drugs or alcohol experiences them. Fortunately, it’s possible to get through them without experiencing a relapse, and cravings do subside over time. No matter where you are in your recovery journey, understanding cravings and knowing how to deal with them can help ensure your long-term success.
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There’s no way around it: recovery from addiction is hard. From handling the physical side effects of withdrawal to working through psychological challenges with a counselor, there is nothing easy about breaking the cycle of addiction. As such, it’s not uncommon for recovering substance abusers to fall into a pattern of negative thinking as they struggle to come to terms with a new kind of reality.
Many individuals believe that negativity is a personality trait, but this is not true. While some people may be more negative than others, these kinds of thoughts are often learned behaviors, not innate characteristics. Positive thoughts can be a choice, too, and learning to highlight good rather than bad is quite advantageous. After all, negative thinking during recovery can actively damage chances of success, as every imperfect moment will further erode self-esteem and focus. Instead of letting your own personal shortcomings stand in the way of sobriety, you can learn to move beyond negativity. These steps can help you interpret negative thoughts, develop a heightened awareness, and actively choose positive ideas in order to see success on your journey to recovery.
Continue reading “Negative Thoughts in Early Recovery and How to Avoid Them”
The current prevalence of opioid abuse is not a secret, especially with overdose deaths on the rise nationwide. Increasingly problematic occurrences are sweeping across the country. Even worse, the rapid explosion of opioid use shows no signs of stopping. The states most affected seem to be Ohio, West Virginia, Kentucky, and Indiana. To say politicians and lawmakers are taking notice is an understatement; mayors, governors, and Congress members are calling for increased support and additional funds. In many states, cuts to Medicaid mean cuts to health care coverage for those facing opioid addiction. And, as the healthcare debate continues, the ever-increasing reality of heroin and prescription opioid use is significant indeed. For some time during the health care repeal effort, a package of billions of dollars was on the table for opioid addiction assistance. However, no such funds went toward the relief effort.
For the longest time, many states have referred to these drug use trends as a state of emergency. It was only recently that President Trump declared the opioid epidemic a national emergency. Although this announcement came with no plans for the assistance, this declaration may be the spark we need. With luck, this declaration could be the start of additional programming required to fight back against opioid abuse from coast to coast.
Continue reading “President Trump Officially Declares an Opioid Crisis”
You’ve done the hard work and now you’re navigating life as a sober person. In this vulnerable time, it’s important to be educated about potential triggers that could turn you back to your old ways. So, what is a trigger? A trigger is “a person, place, thing or event that reminds you of the pleasures you used to get from your old habits or lifestyle.” Triggers not only make you think about doing drugs, they can actually bring back drug-seeking behavior.
There are two types of triggers, emotional (internal) and environmental (external) triggers. For instance, you might hear a song playing (external) that reminds you of your old habit, and reminds you of a feeling you use to enjoy, thus makes you have the urge to use. Or, you may experience a stressful situation like an argument with a loved one that leaves you feeling anxious and upset (internal). The way you used to handle those uncomfortable feelings was to abuse a substance, seeking relief. Identifying your triggers and/or working through them with an experienced counselor is key to avoiding those triggers and staying on your new, sober path.
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Admitting a substance abuse issue is never easy, even for those who feel as if they can go no further without professional interference. For many people, taking that first step and saying “I need help” is very important, but fear often stands in the way. Fear of judgment and fear of life disruptions are both very common and very understandable. Many patients are worried about letting their families down, losing their jobs, or even the unknowns involved in entering a treatment program. However, not all rehab programs mean months spent in a facility without contact with the outside world. Outpatient rehab allows patients to live at home and maintain a semblance of a normal life, giving you a way to provide income and support for your family while getting the help you need.
Continue reading “Can Outpatient Rehab Fit Into My Schedule?”