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Read through our recovery blog posts, articles and inspirational shared stories

Cumberland Heights

Recovery is an ongoing process – it doesn’t end after addiction treatment. This moment of transition, from a supportive sober environment to one’s daily routine, can present difficulties for those new to recovery. While individuals may feel happy to return home, they may also feel apprehensive about what their future holds. It is important to take certain steps in order to stay sober after you return from rehab. Leaving Treatment Adjusting to life post-treatment can be complicated. The peer groups and strong support of your rehab center may have been a driving factor in maintaining your sobriety – how will you go on by yourself? You may also worry about finding yourself in triggering situations that make you want to drink or use drugs again. The good news is that with adequate … Continue reading How to Stay Sober After Rehab

Cumberland Heights

What is Paranoia? Paranoia is a thought process that causes irrational suspicion or mistrust of other people. Individuals who are paranoid may report feelings of persecution; in other words, they feel as if someone (or something) is out to get them. These delusions are not based in reality, although those who experience paranoia will attempt to interpret inconsequential events as signs confirming their personal conspiracies. This phenomenon may occur as a symptom of a personality disorder or dementia, but it can also be caused by ongoing drug abuse. Paranoia and Addiction While most people would agree that drugs and alcohol are mind-altering substances, they may not fully understand the extent to which addiction can impact someone’s mental health. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)’s 2005 Treatment Improvement … Continue reading The Relationship Between Addiction and Paranoia

Michelle Morris, M.Div, M.A.

Sunday Sermon: The Practice of Sabbath November 3, 2019 This week, our spiritual message takes a look at the practice of sabbath day, a day set aside for rest, in both the Jewish and Christian religions. We are asked to consider how holy, set aside time, to rest in both body and spirit, can benefit our recovery. We are shown how the practice of Sabbath can teach us about both the spiritual principles of humility and gratitude on our journal towards a spiritual awakening.

Liz Stanislawski

People often tell us they feel a spiritual connection when they walk through our 177-acre campus. We feel it too. And that connection is even stronger following a dedication to our new Memorial Garden and re-dedication to our beloved Serenity Trail. The Memorial Garden made possible by many generous donors will be the final resting place for loved ones of our Cumberland Heights’ extended family. One of our favorite parts of the garden is that it features marble from the sidewalk of the birthplace of Bill W, co-founder of Alcoholics Anonymous. CEO Jay Crosson kicked off the dedication with a special thanks to our donors and introduced The Rev. Margery Kennelly of St. George’s Episcopal Church who lead guests in an opening prayer. The church had a big part in the creation … Continue reading Loved Ones to be Remembered in Cumberland Heights New Memorial Garden

Cumberland Heights

What is Self-Care? As you pursue a life in recovery, you have to rediscover what it means to take care of yourself. For many people, self-care seems like a selfish extravagance – instead of making time for relaxation and maintenance activities, they look outwards. Unfortunately, when you feel the need to prioritize career milestones, other people, or personal goals over your own wellbeing, it becomes difficult to maintain a lifestyle of sobriety. Today, we’d like to examine why self-care is not selfish – in fact, it is a vital part of your recovery. Why Stress is Dangerous One of the leading contributors to substance use and relapse is stress. Because little stressors can compile over time, several small irritants can build up into a seemingly insurmountable feeling of helplessness. Long hours at the office … Continue reading Is Self-Care Selfish?

Every parent wants the best for their child. You take them to school, put band-aids on scraped knees and help them through life’s challenges. By showering your child with care and love, you set them up for success, all while hoping that nothing bad will ever happen to them. Unfortunately, addiction does not discriminate. According to a recent survey by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Association (SAMHSA), over 20 million people in the United States have a diagnosable substance use disorder. No matter how well someone’s life is going, it is possible to start down a slippery slope of drug or alcohol misuse. If you notice that your child seems to be struggling with addiction, there are specific steps you should take today. Is My Child Addicted? Before confronting your … Continue reading What to Do When Your Child is Addicted

Sunday Sermon: The Promise of Freedom, Part 3 October 20, 2019 The Promise of Freedom, Part 3: Once we take the first step in recovery, admitting our powerlessness over our addiction and the unmanageability of our lives, we ask for help and become free from the substance. What remains are the deeper conditions of our disease: resentments, fears, shame, and character defects. This third message on freedom takes a look at how the process of recovery, notably in steps 4-7, we gain freedom from these deeper issues that keep us bound to addiction.

Liz Stanislawski

Who doesn’t have memories of Big Bird singing to them through the TV screen as they sat pretzel-legged on their living room carpet? Or Oscar the Grouch grumbling from the garbage can as they munched on a peanut butter sandwich? For more than 50 years Sesame Street has been bringing joy into the lives of both children and adults alike. The characters also taught us some valuable lessons, and even helped us get through hard times. Currently, they are addressing a topic we are all too familiar with – the opioid crisis. In a series of new segments, six-year-old Muppet Karli reveals she’s been living in foster care because her mother is struggling with addiction. She will tell her backstory in online-only segments as part of the Sesame Street in Communities initiative. … Continue reading Thank You Sesame Street

Cumberland Heights

Methamphetamine, often shortened to “meth,” is a widely available illicit substance with a high addictive potential. In some parts of the United States, meth addiction exceeds the rates for addiction to both cocaine and heroin. This condition is debilitating, but recovery is possible. Today, we examine the addictive properties of methamphetamine, along with how to identify if a loved one has begun using amphetamines. About Methamphetamine Like many drugs, meth has its origins in the field of medicine. Originally prescribed as a decongestant, weight loss aid and antidepressant, this substance was once legally available and even provided by doctors. Today, it is produced in illegal laboratories or is imported into the United States. Using ephedrine or pseudoephedrine, which can be found in many commonly available medications, meth is “cooked” in remote homes … Continue reading What Makes Meth So Addictive?

Cumberland Heights

*This blog was written by a man who completed 30 days of inpatient treatment over the summer of 2019. He wanted to share how those few weeks dramatically changed his life.  I recently spent 30 days at Cumberland Heights in the men’s program. I’d never been to a recovery facility like Cumberland. Cumberland Heights changed my life, opened my eyes and changed my worldview. That sounds like a great advertisement or sound bite for Cumberland, but every single word of that sentence is significant for me. I’m not usually one to make profound statements and even leery of those who do. But I am blessed to be progressing in my recovery and that is the result of my time at Cumberland and the people who show up to do God’s work there. … Continue reading Addiction is an Equal Opportunity Disease

Cumberland Heights

Instant Gratification and Active Addiction Patience is a mindset completely divorced from the state of active addiction. People whose lives are consumed by drugs and alcohol focus entirely on these substances – obtaining them, using them and recovering from their effects. There’s a physiological reason for this obsession with instant gratification: the brain’s reward center has been hijacked and flooded by dopamine and other feel-good neurotransmitters, and this rush can be achieved nearly instantaneously through habitual drug or alcohol use. The ability to delay gratification and think rationally is something that must be restored through sobriety. Why Patience Matters Addiction recovery from a life of substance use isn’t a simple or short process. It takes a lifetime of dedication and effort, including detoxification, inpatient treatment, continued care and even sober living. One … Continue reading Recovery Techniques: Choosing Patience

Sunday Sermon: The Promise of Freedom, Part 1 October 6, 2019 The AA Big Book promises a life in recovery that is “happy, joyous, and free,” but free from what? This message is the first in a series that explore the depth of freedom gained through the 12-step recovery process and spiritual awakening. This week’s message focused on freedom from substances, freedom from obsession, and freedom from the illusion of control.

Cumberland Heights

Group therapy is just one of many services offered during addiction treatment. While clients experience a wide array of therapeutic approaches, from one-on-one counseling sessions to expressive therapies (like art and music therapy), there are certain benefits that are specific to participating in the structured conversations of “Group.” What Happens in Group Therapy? For many people, it can be reassuring to fully understand what group therapy will entail before attending it themselves. These sessions are comprised of a therapist or facilitator, along with other people who are also in treatment for a substance use disorder. There may be between five and fifteen patients at any given time. The therapeutic approach used will vary depending on the facility – it may have been crafted especially for groups or could be adapted from an individual … Continue reading Group Therapy: What to Expect

Cumberland Heights

Members of the U.S. military are not immune to the substance use problems that affect society at large. With one notable exception, drug and alcohol use patterns mimic or are higher among military personnel than among civilians. For example, the rate of illicit drug use is lower among military personnel than it is among civilians. However, the rates of prescription drug abuse, as well as heavy tobacco and alcohol use, are much higher and on the rise. According to the 2008 Department of Defense Survey of Health Related Behaviors, among active-duty personnel, only 2.3% of troops had used an illicit drug in the past month, compared to 12% of civilians. Despite the relatively low rate of illicit drug use, abuse of prescription drugs was found to be higher among service members than … Continue reading Substance Abuse Patterns in the Armed Forces

Cumberland Heights

When you’re in recovery most things are bound to look and feel very different, especially when you’re away from home. Let’s face it, recovery changes everything! If you’re wondering how to approach your next vacation without alcohol or other substances, we have some tips to help you stay sober on your next journey. Start by picking the perfect destination.  If you’re traveling during spring break you may want to avoid the more notorious party places. Today there are many vacation packages that cater to those wishing to stay sober while having a fabulous getaway. Likewise, many cities have alcohol free party venues and more and more concerts designate an alcohol free zone in which to enjoy the festivities. In other words, pick a place whose reputation doesn’t necessarily revolve around its bar … Continue reading Ways to Stay Sober on Your Next Vacation

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