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

Cumberland Heights

Addiction is a chronic, progressive disease, and it isn’t beaten overnight. For this reason, recovery is an ongoing process requiring support that extends long past your initial 30-day inpatient program. Research shows that the longer an individual spends in treatment, the more likely that person is to maintain their abstinence from drugs and alcohol for years to come. In the words of Randal Lea, Cumberland Heights’ Executive Director for Community-Based Services: “Long-term recovery requires vigilance, support and spiritual growth attained through the 12 Steps. I believe recovery care advocacy is the best and most effective tool to anyone who needs additional support beyond the foundation of recovery started in primary treatment.” But what is recovery care advocacy, and who could benefit from it? Read on to learn more. Ongoing Support and Proven … Continue reading Who Needs Recovery Care Advocacy?

From the earliest days of mankind, spirituality has served as a search for meaning and understanding. It helped our ancestors to explain natural disasters, motivate communities and overcome seemingly insurmountable obstacles. It shouldn’t be surprising that spirituality remains integral to our daily lives, especially for those in recovery – mindfulness, self-care and the acknowledgement of a higher power are all referenced in almost all popular approaches to addiction treatment. Today, we’ll explain the key differences between spirituality and religion, while providing some tips about how to integrate a spiritual approach into your recovery. The Difference Between Spirituality and Religion While these terms are often considered synonymous, key differences exist between spirituality and religion. Religion, by definition, is an institutional system of religious attitudes, practices and beliefs that exists to explain the service … Continue reading How Spirituality Informs Addiction Treatment

It’s hard to believe some of us were alive during a time when addiction was still considered a moral failing. Doctors didn’t recognize addiction as a disease until 1956, and even then, many people were skeptical. The addiction treatment field has come a long way since, and we continue to make strides every year. Even in the last decade, the people we treat, how we treat them and the language we use has evolved. I sat down with many Cumberland Heights employees, including our CEO Jay Crosson to talk about how treatment in the field of substance abuse has changed over the last 10 years, as well as the expectations and hopes for the 2020s. One battle we seem to have been fighting for years is erasing the stigma. Yes, we’ve made … Continue reading How Addiction Treatment Has Changed in the Last Decade

Pursuing Sobriety The new year is always a time of promise and change – it’s when we reflect on the past several months and how we feel about them. It’s also an opportunity to look ahead and seize the chance for growth. If you’ve conducted a personal inventory, you may have realized that your substance use has spiraled out of control. Beginning the new year with the goal of finding recovery is a very brave decision. To help you, we’ve created a guide for pursuing sobriety in 2020. Create Accountability The first step to getting sober is to enlist your friends and family members into the recovery process. Tell them about your intentions to stop drinking or using drugs – odds are that they’ve been looking forward to this news and will be … Continue reading New Year, New You | Finding Sobriety in 2020

Michelle Morris, M.Div, M.A.

Sunday Sermon: Meaning-making through Perseverance December 29, 2019 Why do we suffer and struggle? Why do bad things happen? We all go through things in our lives that force us to ask these questions of ourselves, others, and our God. In this message, we talking about the process of making meaning out of our losses, suffering, pain and trauma. We talk about how the spiritual principle of perseverance taught through the steps helps us to make meaning out of our experience even when we cannot see the reason behind our suffering.

“Am I an addict?” is an extremely common question for those who find themselves behaving differently or making uncharacteristic choices in the name of drugs and alcohol. Individuals who prioritized academic success above all else may find themselves struggling to perform at school. Supportive parents may begin missing recitals, football games and family dinners. There is no way to predict how substance use will affect your life until it has spiraled out of control. Addiction to drugs and alcohol is a nationwide epidemic. This disease affects your brain and behavior – those who are addicted modify their lives to center around substance use. While the ways that people begin using or drinking may vary, it is universally accepted that no one starts using with the goal of becoming an addict. Today, we … Continue reading Am I An Addict?

Michelle Morris, M.Div, M.A.

Sunday Sermon: Finding Joy in What is to Come December 15, 2019 As we mark the halfway point of the Christmas/advent season, we light a special pink candle to emphasis the spiritual principle of joy. In this message, we share about how difficult it is for us to feel joy as humans, because it means accepting our vulnerability in the possibility of loss. We also learn about joy that comes not from the moment, but from the anticipation of the moment. This talk closes with a reading of the promises of recovery from the AA Big Book, pages 83-84 as the anticipation of “what is to come” in our recovery.

The Challenges of the Holidays For some, the holidays are a carefree time spent celebrating and relaxing with loved ones. For those in early recovery, the pressures of seemingly endless parties and dinners present an obstacle to sustained sobriety. Catalysts for cravings can appear anywhere – reunions with old drinking buddies, difficult family members, busy travel schedules, financial stress, holiday gatherings fueled by alcohol or even the stress brought on by being back in your hometown. To aid you in preparing for these challenges, Cumberland Heights has compiled a list of tips that will help you to protect your sobriety this holiday season. Make a Plan for the Holidays Before leaving home or participating in any potentially triggering events, be sure that you have developed a plan. This may include asking a sponsor … Continue reading 5 Ways to Safeguard Your Sobriety During the Holidays

What is Experiential Therapy? Rooted in Rogerian empathy (“person-centered” psychotherapy), this therapeutic technique utilizes tools and activities to allow participants to re-experience and re-enact emotional situations. Experiential therapy is different from traditional talk therapy in that it involves the exploration of complex feelings through external media, not necessarily direct conversation. This method can be especially effective for those who have blocked past feelings and traumas, making them difficult to speak about. It can be thought of as a “hands-on” approach to treatment for addiction. When is It Used? Experiential therapy is considered especially effective in the treatment of complex issues like substance use disorders, trauma, eating disorders, anger management, grief and compulsive behaviors like gambling. It is also helpful for those who wish to work through past issues and experience, breaking free … Continue reading The Value of Experiential Therapy

Sunday Sermon: Advent: A Season for Anticipating Change December 1, 2019 On this first Sunday of the Christian season of Advent, we discuss the spiritual concept of hope, and talk about the hope that comes from inviting God/Higher Power into our lives. As God turned the world upside down with the birth of a baby on Christmas, our Higher Power has the ability to turn us inside out in our recovery, turning our despair into hope, our grief into joy, and our suffering into service.

Cumberland Heights

Coping with an addicted loved one is an incredibly challenging task. Addiction is fueled by secrecy and deception. Often, family members and friends enable drug and alcohol misuse by allowing substance use to be an “open secret” – everyone has an idea of what’s going on, but no one discusses it or calls for change. As such, addictive behaviors can only be addressed by dispelling the secrecy surrounding them. An intervention can motivate your loved one to seek help for their alcohol or drug problems. Today, we’ll explain what makes an effective intervention, and will provide insight about exactly how to set one up.   How Does an Intervention Work? Interventions are created through a discrete, step-by-step process. 1. Plan. One individual (maybe yourself) creates a planning group and encourages other friends and … Continue reading How to Plan an Intervention

Cumberland Heights

Put simply, empathy is the ability to put yourself in another person’s shoes, or to understand their emotional state. It is the foundation of all successful relationships, whether personal or professional. If you cannot imagine how another person is feeling in a given situation, you are at a significant disadvantage and may not behave appropriately towards them. Unfortunately, this crucial skill is stunted by ongoing substance use. Empathy is a vital component of recovery and must be cultivated by both clients and addiction treatment professionals. Empathy and Therapy One of the most impactful factors in primary addiction treatment is the quality of counselors provided by your rehab facility. These individuals can make or break a person’s path to recovery. While professional experience, treatment modalities and credentials contribute to one’s overall experience, a … Continue reading Why Empathy is Important to Addiction Treatment

Sunday Sermon: Gratitude: The Power to Transform November 17, 2019 In a season of giving thanks, we take time to focus on the spiritual practice of gratitude and it’s ability to transform our minds, our lives, and our recovery. This message describes how gratitude can actually change our perspective in even the darkest situations and deepen our understanding of the spiritual principles of recovery: acceptance, hope, faith, surrender, humility, and others.

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

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