As previous research has shown us, one of the biggest influencers of recovery is support. Having someone by our side to lean on, to tell when things aren’t going the way we’d like for them to, to share our victories with – it all matters, and it can either pull us up (or push us down) in recovery. Involvement in treatment is one of the biggest predictors of recovery success, but if we spend our time building our recovery with the wrong type of connections, we may wind up taking a few steps back in recovery – which is certainly not what we want. Whether you’re in a 12-Step program or are meeting people through other avenues, it’s important to be careful in choosing who you invite to become part of your … Continue reading These Types of Connections Could Be Harming Your Recovery Progress
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Gratitude is defined as, “Readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness; thankfulness.” Similar to appreciation, gratitude occurs when we affirm the goodness we’ve received in life. Robert Emmons, a leading expert on gratitude, stated in his Greater Good essay, “Why Gratitude is Good”, “…We recognize that the sources of this goodness are outside of ourselves…We acknowledge that other people – or even higher power, if you’re of a spiritual mindset – gave us many gifts, big and small, to help us achieve the goodness in our lives.” Gratitude is a powerful force for many in recovery because it’s all about understanding how lucky, blessed and/or gifted to have the support, tools and help that we’ve received along the way. When we express gratitude, we send out positive wishes to the … Continue reading Why Gratitude is One of the Most Powerful Forces of Recovery
The people whom we spend our time with are the ones who often have the biggest impact on our recovery. This is often because the conversations, activities and thoughts that are shared become taken into consideration by ourselves, which can cause us to take different paths along the way. Recovery communities are strong yet vulnerable communities because they’ve experienced trauma, substance abuse and more. Thus, social connections are a huge area of concern for those in recovery due to the significant influence they can have on us. According to a 2017 study published in the journal Alcoholism Treatment Quarterly, positive networks and social processes help those in recovery establish and maintain structure in recovery. These social connections could develop from: Volunteer work Self-help groups such as 12-Step programs Recreational activities Training and … Continue reading What Type of Connections Do Addiction Recovery Communities Truly Need?
With the rise of e-cigarettes over the past 15 years, teens have become more accustomed to smoking e-cigarettes and other vaping devices. Local advertisements are a key driver of teen use, as the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) states that 7 out of 10 teens are exposed to e-cigarette ads. Since e-cigarette companies don’t have to report their ingredients, our teens may be receiving more nicotine than they think. In fact, recent studies show that 66% of teens believe there’s just flavoring in their e-cigarettes; the unfortunate reality, however, is that there’s more than that – and it may be prepping our teens to start smoking traditional cigarettes, too. A 2017 study published in the journal Pediatrics found that e-cigarette usage is an over 30% of high school teens, compared to … Continue reading Could E-Cigarettes Be Converting Our Youth to Traditional Cigarettes?
College students – young adults – face so many challenges when it comes to addiction because of the accessibility and normalcy associated with college drinking culture. Considered a new-found form of “freedom”, many young adults find themselves testing the boundaries of what they can get by with – and substance abuse is a common ground of exploration for students. Bars are conveniently located near college campuses and weekend parties make it that much easier to use. It’s all fun and games until somebody gets hurt – but unfortunately for many college students, substance use disorders (SUDs) are left untreated. 12-Step programs provide young adults with a support network whom they can rely on in times of need. Many young people aren’t fully aware of the effects of their substance abuse; they often … Continue reading College Students and Substance Use Disorders: A Need for Treatment and Support
Sometimes recovery can feel like a maze; you take these twists and turns, and winding roads, with no clear idea as to where you’re going. It’s normal for those in recovery to feel a bit “lost” along the way – in fact, it’s normal for anyone to feel that way. As humans, we don’t have the answer to everything – and there’s no way of knowing what lies ahead until we get there. While we can’t control the future, what we can control is how we think about it. The mind is a powerful tool that shapes our reality through perception, and the thoughts we place meaning to are the ones that guide that perception. When it comes to addiction recovery, thoughts are what can make or break us if we let … Continue reading Could You Be Letting Your Own Thoughts Hold You Back?
One person shared their story of success with AA through the Massachusetts Medical Society. Here is an excerpt from their story: “My life is full of surprises all the time. I am grateful to have a program I can use to help me grow through life’s challenges. I no longer regret being an alcoholic since it is through my alcoholism that I have been able to grow and integrate a wonderful set of principles into my life.” 12-Step programs such as Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) have led so many people to live happy, successful lives – but it’s only those who become truly dedicated to creating this lifestyle who reap the most benefits. Such as with the story above, individuals find the most success when they apply the principles; as with anything that … Continue reading 3 Ways You Can Get the Most Out of AA This Year
Many of us can remember vague memories from our teenage years, but we may have some difficulties recalling our thought processes at the time. It seems that once we’re well into adulthood, we have trouble understanding what our own teens are going through – and this can make it more difficult to work with them when it comes to preventing substance abuse. Teenage years are some of the most vulnerable years, because the teen brain is still developing. The better we can understand how teens are thinking, the more capable we will be of working with them to ensure they know what to do in situations that could place them at risk for addiction. A 2016 study published in the journal Health Psychology followed 868 adolescents between the ages of 12 and … Continue reading What You Didn’t Know: Your Teen’s Attitude Towards Alcohol Is the Biggest Influence
When we’re struggling with depression, it can seem like nothing is going to get better. We can barely make it out of bed, we smile when we’re really feeling low and we can feel utterly hopeless. As the National Institute on Mental Health (NIMH) states, depression is one of the most common mental disorders in the United States. For those who don’t receive treatment for it, depression can make daily life nearly unbearable. Add that to addiction recovery, and it may feel like you’re living constantly in a whirlwind of emotions; the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA) claims that of those with depression, 20% experience a substance use disorder (SUD) as well. If you’re going through both, you’re not alone – but you have to seek help in order to … Continue reading Depression in Addiction Recovery: Working Through the Ups and Downs
One of the first major lessons of addiction recovery is learning what addiction is, how it affects the mind and body and why addiction is so difficult to defeat on our own. Amidst these lessons – and through participation in 12-Step programs – many people in recovery begin to understand the effect their addictive patterns of behavior have had on others. This realization comes with a lot of pain, as it’s hard to contemplate what our loved ones have felt as we’ve lied, stolen money, argued with them or abandoned our responsibilities in favor of using drugs or alcohol. When we think about the pain we’ve caused others – as well as the pain we’ve inflicted on ourselves – we’re bound to experience some guilt and shame; but what is the difference? … Continue reading What is the Difference Between Guilt and Shame?
In 2015, yoga teacher and addiction recovery writer Tommy Rosen wrote an article for the Huffington Post on what a life of sobriety means to him. This is an excerpt from his article: “My recovery mantra is: ‘Don’t just survive in addiction. Thrive in recovery.’ I believe people in recovery must work toward the great shift from staying sober out of fear and necessity to staying sober out of love for the life they get to live as the result of staying sober.” Sobriety is an all-too-often feared subject of those starting out in recovery, as the concept itself seems so different from what they’re used to. The truth is, a lifestyle of sobriety is different from one of active addiction – but it’s for a good reason. The benefits of sobriety … Continue reading Why Sober Living is So Incredibly Powerful
Intensive outpatient treatment programs (IOPs) provide direct services for people with substance use disorders (SUDs) who do not require supervision 24/7 or medical detoxification. When considering the many treatment options available for substance abuse, it’s important to consider what a person’s needs are. IOPs are considered effective alternatives to inpatient or residential treatment programs, as they can provide many of the same services that assist individuals with relapse prevention and psychosocial support. If you are currently considering an IOP, it’s important to assess the benefits. With Cumberland Heights’ Intensive Outpatient Treatment Program, this is what you can expect: Personalized assessments to ensure that you receive care that’s tailored to your needs Convenient evening treatment hours so that you’re able to maintain family, work and school-related responsibilities Group and family counseling An approach … Continue reading Intensive Outpatient Treatment: Benefits, Resources and Support in Recovery
One person shared her story of struggling with anxiety via the Anxiety and Depression Association of America’s (ADAA) main website. She stated, “I recognized that I was the one letting my anxiety conquer me. Seeking help was not a sign of weakness, it was a sign of strength. I was courageous! This realization made it possible for me to pursue my dreams.” It is not uncommon for those in addiction recovery to experience co-occurring disorders, such as anxiety and substance use disorder (SUD). Co-occurring disorders can make recovery a bit challenging, especially if a person doesn’t receive the right tools and resources. Thankfully, there are a number of tools that can enhance the mind, body and spirit during recovery – and they are truly transformative. Through 12-Step programs, individual therapy, group sessions … Continue reading What are Some Coping Skills for Anxiety?
One of the hardest challenges to face in recovery is relapse. Several years ago, researchers published a study in the journal Culture, Medicine and Psychiatry to understand the lived experiences of those with addiction and in recovery. They found that while most people are unable to recall physiological symptoms associated with relapse, most people can identify the context or stressors that triggered their relapse. Sometimes the situations that have happened in our past – or even our present – can spark thoughts and feelings that wind us leading down the road of relapse, even when we least expect it. The good news is that by taking these circumstances into consideration, we can better combat them with healthy coping mechanisms, support and other resources to prevent relapse next time. You may be able … Continue reading 5 Life Circumstances That Could Have Triggered Your Relapse
After experiencing a dangerous or upsetting event, it’s natural to feel anxious, sad or in shock. Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is characterized by nightmares, paranoia, anger, irritability, depression and so many other symptoms that can appear after traumatic events, and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services notes that women are twice as likely to develop PTSD as men to develop it in their lifetimes. The American Psychological Association (APA) notes that women who struggle with PTSD often experience troubles in their intimate relationships, sleeping disturbances, suicidal behaviors, loss of trust and more. Unfortunately, many survivors of trauma wait years to seek help – and that’s why trauma informed care is critical for women in addiction recovery. When someone walks through the front doors for treatment, they come with a wide … Continue reading Why is Trauma Informed Care Important for Women in Addiction Recovery?