Tag Archives: addiction recovery

Tag Archives: addiction recovery


How the time spent in treatment can influence your recovery

It’s easy to believe that addiction recovery is a “quick fix” – that if you simply attend a week-long treatment program, all of those cravings for substances will go away. The reality is that addiction is a deep-rooted disease that developed over time – and just as it took some time to develop, it will take some time to recover from, too. One of the most common misconceptions about treatment is that it will be quick and easy, and this one of the many reasons why a person may drop out of treatment or have to come back, time and time again.

If you or a loved one are currently considering seeking treatment for addiction, it’s time to get down the facts: time spent in treatment is crucial, and length of time in treatment can influence recovery outcomes.

Aspects of Treatment That Are Important

The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) notes that the length of time spent in treatment may vary from person to person, because of individual circumstances and severity of the addiction. This is true – but in many cases, there are other issues that need to be addressed, such as with mental health, spirituality concerns, a need for a stronger social support system and more. Typically participation in a treatment program isn’t as effective if a person only attends for less than 90 days; with that being said, how time is spent in treatment is also of considerable importance.

There are several principles that should be noted regarding treatment:

  • Addiction is a complex disease, but it is treatable – and because it affects the brain so heavily, it will take time to heal and restore.
  • Each person has different needs, so there may need to be slight adjustments to a person’s treatment plan – and, at Cumberland Heights, you can work with a caring team of individuals who want to help you move forward in the best way possible.
  • Treatment needs to be readily available so that a person can become integrated into sobriety, and this is why residential treatment programs, such as the ones offered at Cumberland Heights, can be so helpful.
  • Effective treatment should tend to more needs than simply the addiction at hand; for example, Cumberland Heights offers 12-Step programs to assist individuals with developing a stronger sense of spirituality and creating a life that is focused on the understanding of a Higher Power.
  • Remaining in treatment for an appropriate amount of time is crucial to a person’s recovery – and, as NIDA indicates, at least 3 months is needed for evidenced progress to take place. However, if a person has a more severe addiction, longer durations will be needed.
  • Behavioral therapies, such as family counseling and group therapy, can make a world of difference in a person’s life. When attending these, along with other recovery-related activities such as 12-Step programs and outdoor activities, can boost a person’s self-esteem and confidence in recovery.
  • Constant assessment must be made over time to ensure that a person’s treatment plan is working efficiently for them.

If you’ve already made a plan to seek treatment, consider how long you’d like to stay – and what amount of time you feel would be most beneficial in achieving your recovery goals realistically.

What Research Shows

A 2015 study published in the journal Drug and Alcohol Dependence found that, after assessing 284 individuals in a residential treatment program, the percentage of days in treatment in addition to the percentage of days actively involved in recovery-related activities had a significant impact on their recovery outcomes. For example, 12-Step program involvement – such as having a sponsor, completing step work, contacting 12-Step members outside of meetings and more) was shown to increase abstinence over time. The study showed that participants who took part in 5 activities were 3.2 times greater to achieve abstinence than participants who took on 1 recovery-related activity. Altogether, this shows that what you become involved in during your time in treatment can have a significant influence on how your recovery is carried out.

A 2018 study titled, “Beyond Abstinence”: Changes in Indices of Quality of Life with Time in Recovery in a Nationally Representative Sample of U.S. Adults” found that the first year is most indicative of “drops” in self-esteem and quality of life – and that’s likely because the first year of recovery is considered to be the hardest. With this in mind, the amount of time spent in treatment can really set a person’s foundation for how they manage the rest of their lives.

Seek Help Today

If you’re ready to build a solid foundation in recovery, speak with a professional from Cumberland Heights today. It’s never too late to start building the life you’ve always dreamed of – but it starts with the mind, body and soul.

Cumberland Heights is a nonprofit alcohol and drug addiction treatment center located on the banks of the Cumberland River in Nashville, Tennessee. On a sprawling 177-acre campus, we are made up of two 12-Step immersion campuses, 12 outpatient recovery centers and 4 sober living homes. We believe that each person has a unique story to tell – and that’s why we always put the patient first. For more information, call 1-800-646-9998 today.

Having a strong support system in recovery

No matter how hard we can work towards living a happier, healthier life, there will always be moments of trial and tribulation – because as human beings living in an imperfect world, that’s a constant occurrence. It waxes and wanes, but those moments of despair are what make us stronger in the long-run; unfortunately, many people fail to surround themselves with the proper support system that will help them see their way through these hard times, and that’s when a person can become even more susceptible to mental illness and other hardships.

The University of Minnesota explains that social support,

“…means having friends and other people, including family, to turn to in times of need or crisis to give you a broader focus and positive self-image. Social support enhances the quality of life and provides a buffer against adverse life events.”

In addiction recovery, social support can mean the difference between feeling isolated and feeling cared for, relapsing or pursuing abstinence, pursuing beneficial recovery activities or dwelling in misery. Social support can provide us with the resources we need to get out of a “slump” and into higher grounds; a 2017 study published in the Journal of Alcohol and Drug Education found that social support can help individuals remain in the “low severity” group when it comes to substance abuse outcomes.

12-Step programs often provide a safe, nurturing place for people to explore elements of spirituality and recovery while also developing strong connections with others. A 12-Step sponsor, for example, can be an incredibly strong form of social support for a person in recovery – and meeting others who’ve been on the road of addiction can also be helpful, especially when reminding oneself that they’re not alone.

If you’re ready to embark on a beautiful journey of healing and restoration, speak with a professional from Cumberland Heights today.

Cumberland Heights is a nonprofit alcohol and drug addiction treatment center located on the banks of the Cumberland River in Nashville, Tennessee. On a sprawling 177-acre campus, we are made up of two 12-Step immersion campuses, 12 outpatient recovery centers and 4 sober living homes. We believe that each person has a unique story to tell – and that’s why we always put the patient first. For more information, call 1-800-646-9998 today.

The Experiential Healing Center offers a training program in SomExSM: A Somatic Experiential intervention to treat trauma and addiction. Certification is offered to counseling professionals, but the training is open to anyone wanting to enhance their practice with a deeper understanding of the neurophysiology of trauma, emotion, and self-regulation. Some of the professions we have worked with are massage therapists, speech therapists, alcohol and drug counselors, physicians and, of course, psychotherapists.  A professional can participate in one module, or attend all four modules and participate in supervision for certification.

Created by Kent Fisher and Michelle Rappaport, this modality uses an inter-relational model of somatic awareness and experiential techniques.  It is highly effective in working with chemical and process addictions, trauma, and attachment disorders, with an emphasis on emotional regulation. This four-module training is designed to give therapists the tools to transform the nervous system around issues of trauma.

Participants will:

  • Develop a working knowledge of the neurobiological aspects of trauma on the body.
  • Practice Emotional Regulation techniques.
  • Practice Experiential techniques to help uncouple the freeze in traumatized individuals.
  • Learn interventions for harmony and repair around core attachment wounds.

​Friday, October 4th thru Sunday, October 6th 2019

Cost: $595 each module

REGISTER HERE

When Kent Fisher and Michelle Rappaport founded the Experiential Healing Center, they were extensively trained and highly skilled experiential therapists, using psychodrama and other action-oriented techniques to help clients access feelings and develop choice making about how they react and repair.

They certified in Somatic Transformation and began to incorporate the somatic techniques to help clients oscillate within their Optimal Arousal Zone in order to touch the edges of their activation and collapse. They began to see that the two schools of thought were not only mutually supportive, but also nearly seamless in their execution, and SomExSM was born.

We don’t wound alone and we certainly don’t heal alone. SomExSM–a Somatic Experiential intervention to treat trauma and addiction–honors this process, connecting the left-brain hemisphere of rationalization , reasoning and meaning-making to the right hemisphere’s capacity for social engagement and emotional processing.  It facilitates the repair of disorganized and insecure attachments of our childhood through somatic engagement and builds resiliency so clients are able to rediscover the Self that lives within all of us–playful, passionate, unashamed, unafraid, eager to learn and grow. At EHC we believe this is the difference between therapy and counseling. Therapy is a co-regulated process where therapist and client embark on a journey to recover and repair the Authentic Self.

SomExSM training will give you a deepened understanding of the neurobiological aspects of trauma, disordered attachment and addiction. It will equip you with a valuable set of skills to facilitate repair and regulation in your clients–allowing them to explore life in the Optimal Arousal Zone known to us here at the Experiential Healing Center as Emotional Harmony.

How spirituality plays a role in addiction recovery

Everyone may have their own definition of what spirituality means to them, but there’s one thing that most people have in common: Spirituality brings about feelings of hope, love, connectedness and strength. Dr. Elizabeth Hartney, a psychologist, and professor, told Very Well Mind – a website that publishes information related to disorders, self-improvement and more – that spirituality can incorporate a lot of different things, depending on the person:

  • Getting in touch with a person’s “moral compass”
  • Learning to apply a person’s values to live the life they’ve always wanted
  • Respecting oneself and others
  • Gaining perspective on a variety of problems
  • Recognizing that as human beings, we all have weaknesses
  • Receiving and providing support to other people
  • And more

While some may question spirituality’s role in addiction recovery, the evidence is clear. Many people who’ve battled alcoholism, drug addiction as well as many other forms of addiction have felt isolated, hopeless, depressed, lost, etc. Spirituality addresses these types of very real human concerns in a loving way. A 2016 study published in the Journal of Religion and Health assessed responses from several long-term A.A. members (members of Alcoholics Anonymous, a 12-Step program) to explore the role of spirituality in addiction recovery. Researchers found that feeling God’s presence daily, believing in a Higher Power as a universal spirit and serving as an A.A. sponsor were all linked to positive outcomes – and it makes sense because all of these and more can only bring us closer to living a happier, healthier life.

If you’re ready to feel less alone, less scared and less worried about living a life that brings you brings you greater peace and happiness, speak with a professional from Cumberland Heights today.

Cumberland Heights is a nonprofit alcohol and drug addiction treatment center located on the banks of the Cumberland River in Nashville, Tennessee. On a sprawling 177-acre campus, we are made up of two 12-Step immersion campuses, 12 outpatient recovery centers and 4 sober living homes. We believe that each person has a unique story to tell – and that’s why we always put the patient first. For more information, call 1-800-646-9998 today.

Elton John takes to Twitter to announce his 29th Year Sober
Elton John takes to Twitter to announce his 29th Year Sober

At Cumberland Heights we encourage patients, alumni and staff to recover out loud if they feel comfortable. It helps erase the stigma and gives hope to others who may be struggling. Many of us look up to celebrities who choose to recover out loud – I mean, think of the number of people someone like Sir Elton John reaches compared to us!

Just look to his latest tweet that read, “I finally summoned up the courage to say 3 words that would change my life: ‘I need help.’ Thank you to all the selfless people who have helped me on my journey through sobriety. I am eternally grateful.” As of Aug. 2, that tweet had been liked by nearly 125,000 people, retweeted by 14,000 and commented on by more than 2,000. Talk about an impact.

The star’s struggles with addiction were also laid out in a recently released movie, “Rocketman”, an unapologetic, biopic musical that doesn’t sugarcoat his years of sex, drugs and other risky behaviors.

Elton has said it was difficult for him to watch.

“This is how my life was, and I didn’t want to cover it and gloss it over,” he said. “And it’s difficult to watch because I thought, ‘God, I don’t want to go back there. Thank God I came out of it’.”

He continued, “Success was fantastic, and then I couldn’t cope with it,” he added of the pressures of fame. “And you can’t leave out the bad.”

Elton John, Courtesy: Smooth Radio
Courtesy: Smooth Radio

It was the 1990 death of Ryan White, a young AIDS victim and friend of John’s that made the superstar take a step back and look at his own life. He checked into treatment shortly after.

Elton John even used his new lease on life to start the Elton John AIDS foundation which has raised over $400,000 dollars to combat the disease. John is also celebrating his 5th wedding anniversary this year to David Furnish, who he has been with for 25 years. Together they have two sons – Zachary, 8 and Elijah, 6.

“I am survivor. I’ve survived a lot of things. Life is full of pitfalls, even when you’re sober. I can deal with them now because I don’t have to run away and hide,” said Elton.

The 72-year-old has a big fall planned. He will resume his farewell tour in September. He’ll be here in Nashville at Bridgestone Arena on October 28th. The Grammy winner also penned a new song “Never Too Late” for “The Lion King” that just hit theaters.

Eating healthy in addiction recovery

Nutrition is necessary for a healthy mind, body, and spirit, yet so many Americans neglect what’s needed in favor of unhealthy foods. People in addiction recovery often find that finding a healthy nutritional balance is challenging because of the urge to abuse substances – and with sobriety sometimes comes different cravings from the body.

A 2017 study published by U.S. News explains reminds people to use the acronym H.A.L.T., which means to watch out for the following emotions which can bring out cravings to eat less-than-nutritious foods:

  • Hungry
  • Angry
  • Lonely
  • Tired

These emotions can be challenging to manage in recovery, especially when a person is already becoming accustomed to sobriety. As one addiction recovery counselor stated,

“Depression makes you crave the drug you just detoxed from. Many alcohol abusers and drug abusers self-medicate to deal with emotions they can’t handle. When they feel emotional distress, they reach for the drug or the drink.”

When this isn’t plausible – such as when a person is in formalized treatment and on the path towards recovery, food can sometimes take its place. Sugar and processed foods become a top choice, and before a person realizes it, they’ve swapped one addiction out for another. In 2014, Today’s Dietitian reported the prevalence of nutrition management in addiction recovery treatment because of this exact concern; the foods we eat go on to fuel the way we think, feel and act, and this can have direct major influences on our recovery progress.

Nutrition education can benefit a person in a number of ways:

  1. Healing and nourishing the parts of the body that have been damaged from addiction
  2. Reducing a person’s cravings for drugs and alcohol
  3. Encouragement of a healthy lifestyle
  4. Stabilization of a person’s mood
  5. And more

If you’re ready to take hold of your life and be on your way towards a happier, healthier future, speak with a professional from Cumberland Heights today. It’s never too late to seek the help you need.

Cumberland Heights is a nonprofit alcohol and drug addiction treatment center located on the banks of the Cumberland River in Nashville, Tennessee. On a sprawling 177-acre campus, we are made up of two 12-Step immersion campuses, 12 outpatient recovery centers, and 4 sober living homes. We believe that each person has a unique story to tell – and that’s why we always put the patient first. For more information, call 1-800-646-9998 today.

Staying sober this summer in addiction recovery

It is around this time of year that we typically begin to hear of summer celebrations. Barbecues, birthdays, graduations and more all tend to occur during the summer – and in these instances, alcohol tends to enter the scene which can make it difficult for those in recovery. Even with vacations and cookouts, it’s quite possible to pursue a path of sobriety – but staying grounded and using one’s support, tools and resources are what’s going to be most beneficial for healing.

Summer is unfortunately labeled as a time where much “partying” takes place; the National Public Radio (NPR) announces upbeat songs that promote drinking or drug use, and for many in recovery, this can become quite triggering. To embark on the best summer yet, it’s important to consider some things you may want to look out for – as well as some activities you may want to partake in – to create a memorable space for recovery.

5 Beliefs That Tend to Hold People Back in Recovery

  1. I can’t have fun anymore. This is a common belief that those in recovery have, and it actually perpetuates relapse because it’s such an extreme point of view. The reality is that while it seems like everyone is drinking and “having fun”, there are just as many people who are having fun leading sober lifestyles as well!
  2. It’s embarrassing for people to see me sober. It’s going to take time for you to come to terms with who you are sober, and that’s okay. Don’t force yourself to do anything you don’t feel comfortable doing – in fact, you should aim to surround yourself with people who won’t judge you.
  3. I don’t want to be seen without a drink in hand. Thankfully, there are many virgin drinks that can make you feel as though you’re still partaking in summer festivities without compromising your vow of sobriety. In many cases, people won’t even know because they’re too busy staying focused on their own drink.
  4. I don’t want people to view me as boring. Recovery is certainly a transition, but that doesn’t mean that you won’t be “fun” anymore. In fact, many people will probably appreciate getting to know the “real” you – and if they don’t, they’re not good for you to be around, anyway.
  5. I’m afraid I’ll fall back into drinking if I attend these events. You know your limits. If you are already feeling triggered, you may want to either come up with an “exit” strategy or to avoid going altogether. Know that you’re never forced to stay or partake in drinking activities – if you can establish back-up support beforehand, you’ll be better prepared to avoid relapse.

Establishing Goals This Summer Season

One individual shared her experience with alcoholism via Lee from America; she explained that living in New York City only perpetuated the ease of drinking around friends. She stated:

“There was always another party, gallery opening, concert or a new restaurant to check out. It was a very surreal time in my life, mainly because I didn’t care much for the consequences of my actions. I was living the life! Or so I thought.”

Addiction recovery is a period of time where goal-setting is incredibly important, and plans can go awry if we become distracted by what’s around us. If you’re ready to begin establishing some summer-specific goals to keep you on track, it’s important to write them out and visit them weekly to remind yourself. Every goal you create should fall part of the SMART plan:

Specific – provide enough detail so that you know exactly what you want to accomplish. An example of this may be, “Read one chapter of my book each day.” 

Measurable – you want to be sure that you can keep track of how far you’ve come, so you want to be able to measure your progress. With the above example, you’ll be able to measure your progress by how far you’ve made it into the book you’re currently reading. 

Achievable – despite all of the activities that could take place this summer, you want to set goals that are achievable and not unrealistic. At Cumberland Heights, setting a goal of participating more in your 12-Step meetings could be a goal that you can easily achieve with genuine effort. 

Realistic – select a goal that you’re going to enjoy pursuing. If you select a goal that doesn’t add many benefits to your life, you won’t find that it “sticks” for long. If reading an entire book by the end of the week feels unrealistic, set the goal of one chapter at a time – you’ll be much more likely to get there, and you’ll feel happier taking the steps to complete it, too. 

Timely – set a timeframe for when you want to have this goal completed by. By setting an end goal – 1 week, 1 month, 3 months, 6 months – you’ll have a clear target to achieve, which will make the process much easier.

Cumberland Heights is a nonprofit alcohol and drug addiction treatment center located on the banks of the Cumberland River in Nashville, Tennessee. On a sprawling 177-acre campus, we are made up of two 12-Step immersion campuses, 12 outpatient recovery centers, and 4 sober living homes. We believe that each person has a unique story to tell – and that’s why we always put the patient first. For more information, call 1-800-646-9998 today.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy in Recovery

The National Association of Cognitive-Behavioral Therapists defines cognitive behavioral therapy as,

“A form of psychotherapy that emphasizes the important role of thinking in how we feel and what we do.”

There are a number of facts that can be gathered from CBT, such as that it:

  • Is structured and directive
  • Is based on an educational model
  • Is more time-limited and application-based
  • Is a collaborative effort between the therapist and client

CBT has been shown as an extremely effective approach that can help people work through challenging thoughts and feelings; in a sense, CBT can be used to help a person detect old, negative thought patterns and, with greater freedom, can choose a different cognitive route to benefit their mindset and recovery. A study titled, “Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Substance Use Disorders” explained that CBT works well alone or with a combination of other recovery-related forms of treatment; in fact, many people have attested to the success of participating in both CBT sessions as well as 12-Step programs, which can add a form of social support for healing as well.

CBT can assist with many aspects of one’s life, including:

  • Regarding certain instances in a more positive light to help with emotional experiences
  • Greater insight for rejecting substances if offered
  • Enhanced ability to connect with others, especially if unproductive thoughts are able to be dissolved
  • Healthier strategies for coping when anger, anxiety, depression and more arise
  • Tools that can be applied directly to recovery

The American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) highlights that CBT is practical as a supportive form of psychotherapy, as it seeks to minimize relapse by helping a person recognize unhealthy cognitions that could set them back in their healing journey. If you’ve been battling addiction, make the decision to seek out support and speak with a professional from Cumberland Heights today. It’s never too late to begin your journey towards recovery – and with the right tools and resources, you’ll find that faith, hope, love, and support are right around the corner.

Cumberland Heights is a nonprofit alcohol and drug addiction treatment center located on the banks of the Cumberland River in Nashville, Tennessee. On a sprawling 177-acre campus, we are made up of two 12-Step immersion campuses, 12 outpatient recovery centers, and 4 sober living homes. We believe that each person has a unique story to tell – and that’s why we always put the patient first. For more information, call 1-800-646-9998 today.

Pathways to Recovery: A Clinicians Toolkit to Achieving & Measuring Success

Event Details:

WHAT: Pathways to Recovery: A Clinicians Toolkit to Achieving & Measuring Success
WHEN: September 27, 2019 from 9:00AM – 2:00PM
WHERE: Powell Church – 323 East Emory Road Powell, TN 37849
COST: $15.00 — General Admission (includes lunch) | $30.00 — CE Admission (includes lunch)
3.5 CE credits available (approved by NAADAC & NBCC) — All proceeds will benefit the Metro Anti-Drug Coalition

REGISTER HERE

Event Agenda:

TIME EVENT TOPIC
9:30AM Opening Remarks: Karen Pershing-Metro Drug Coalition
9:30AM – 11:30AM Using Measurement Based Practices in Treating Psychological Disorders
Nick Hayes, PhD: Chief Science Officer, Cumberland Heights
11:30AM – 12:00PM Lunch
12:00PM – 1:30PM Etiology, Assessment, and a THird Wave Approach to Treating Substance Abuse and Co-Occurring Disorders
Amanda Lewis, LCSW: Primary Counselor, Cumberland Heights
1:30PM – 1:45PM Evaluations

Using the 12-Step programs to enhance mind, body and spirit

Recovery is much more than treating a substance use disorder (SUD) as it is finding one’s balance in mind, body and spirit. Many people attest to leading a happier, more fulfilling life once they’ve dedicated their life to sobriety and purpose – and the 12-Steps also aid in this type of journey as a person finds their way to healing. A few years ago, writer Johnny F. shared his experience with the 12-Step program and rebuilding his mind, body spirit connection. He explained:

“…As my alcoholism progressed, my drinking increased and life became more and more unmanageable…Many speak of the spiritual and cognitive shift which is necessary for peace to exist in our world. Due to the good people of AA, the Steps are already known and well respected…where millions of lives have already been changed.” 

12-Step programs offer a structured program for those who are lost to come and find a path towards solidarity and purpose. With a goal of abstinence, those in addiction recovery can utilize the 12-Step program to bolster their support against relapse, while also strengthening their connection with a Higher Power.

12-Step Philosophy, a blog space for sharing ideas, experiences and resources related to addiction recovery and the 12-Step program, notes that life circumstances such as illness, traumatic events, emotional issues, and other life challenges can shake up the root of our core – and in many instances, this is where we’ll find ourselves battling substance abuse or another harmful addictive behavior.

It’s often that desire to seek something external – something outside of ourselves (such as love, success, money, etc.) that keeps us distracted and makes it hard for us to focus on what really matters. If you’re ready to embrace a life of sobriety and build a strong network of people through 12-Step programs, speak with a professional from Cumberland Heights today.

Cumberland Heights is a nonprofit alcohol and drug addiction treatment center located on the banks of the Cumberland River in Nashville, Tennessee. On a sprawling 177-acre campus, we are made up of two 12-Step immersion campuses, 12 outpatient recovery centers and 4 sober living homes. We believe that each person has a unique story to tell – and that’s why we always put the patient first. For more information, call 1-800-646-9998 today.


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