Tag Archives: Recovery

Tag Archives: Recovery


Since 1966, it has been Cumberland Heights’ mission to transform lives, giving hope to those affected by alcohol and drugs. Cumberland Heights recognizes addiction is a family disease and wants to provide support whenever possible. Our Family & Community Education Program is designed to provide education and support for those seeking recovery and those already taking the steps to transform their lives.

Event Details:

WHAT: Community Education Program
WHERE: Indian Lake Peninsula Church: 235 Indian Lake Road Hendersonville, TN 37075 – 235 Indian Lake Road Hendersonville, TN 37075
WHEN: Every 1st Thursday of the month from 7:00PM -8:30PM

REGISTER HERE

For more information, please contact Stacy Bridges, Events Coordinator at stacy_bridges@cumberlandheights.org or call (615) 390-8224.

Since 1966, it has been Cumberland Heights’ mission to transform lives, giving hope to those affected by alcohol and drugs. Cumberland Heights recognizes addiction is a family disease and wants to provide support whenever possible. Our Family & Community Education Program is designed to provide education and support for those seeking recovery and those already taking the steps to transform their lives.

Event Details:

WHAT: Community Education Program
WHERE: Belle Meade United Methodist Church – 121 Davidson Road, Nashville, TN 37212 (*meet in room 125)
WHEN: Every 3rd Thursday of the month from 7:00PM -8:30PM

REGISTER HERE

For more information, please contact Stacy Bridges, Events Coordinator at stacy_bridges@cumberlandheights.org or call (615) 390-8224.

Man building patience with himself during addiction recovery

Recovery doesn’t happen overnight. In fact, we spend a lifetime in recovery because we’re constantly learning new ways to become better. Sometimes we’re going to find ourselves taking a few steps back, however, and this can feel incredibly frustrating. The following quote stated by Paulo Coelho, a Brazilian lyricist and novelist, depicts this lesson of patience quite beautifully:

“I have seen many storms in my life. Most storms have caught me by surprise, so I had to learn very quickly to look further and understand that I am not capable of controlling the weather, to exercise the art of patience and to respect the fury of nature.”

Most of us have heard the common phrase of patience being a virtue – but how do we obtain it? When we’re flooded with rage, or anxiety, or we’re debilitated by depression, how can we practice greater patience with ourselves? Using the same metaphor as Paulo Coelho, it’s hard to simply watch the storm rise rather than trying to do something about it, but by watching the storm, we’re accepting the natural course of human emotion rather than trying to suppress it. This is much, much healthier in the end.

Here are some guidelines to practicing more patience with yourself:

  • The next time you feel intensely about something, acknowledge it while also agreeing that you’re okay. Here is an example, “I am upset and I’m also okay”. By acknowledging what feels like polar opposites, you will become much more open to the “grey” areas of life – and that’s where patience thrives.
  • Pick a day where you’ll make a conscious effort to practice patience in everything you do. Choose to be mindful and live in the present moment. You’ll notice a sincere difference between the day you practice patience versus the days when you don’t.
  • Practice delaying gratification. The next time you want to run towards a not-so-healthy coping mechanism, practice waiting and choosing something else instead.

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 2 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.

Belonging, The Opposite of Fitting In - Gender in ActionMore people are feeling safer coming out as transgender than ever before. We are seeing more transgender clients in treatment than ever. So what do we do? When a client informs us they would like to transition or are in the midst of transitioning when they come to treatment, we may freeze. We may not know what to do and we may need help. This session is geared toward cisgender clinicians who may be working with transgender clients or will be working with transgender clients in the future (which is everyone). This session will be experiential in nature, will give clinicians a better understanding of themselves as it relates to their transgender clients, and will offer helpful hints to be more prepared and comfortable working with the trans population. If you are ready and willing to get up and experience gender, clinical work and your own bias, then this is the session for you.

Event Details:

Date: June 12, 2019
Time: (2 Sessions Available)
AM SESSION: 9am-12pm (continental Breakfast included)
PM SESSION: 1pm-4pm (afternoon snacks included)
CEUs Available: 3
Location: Scarritt Bennett Center – Laskey Welcome Center (2nd Floor-C)

REGISTER NOW

Objectives:

  1. Participants will be able to acknowledge their own bias as it relates to transgender clients.
  2. Participants will be able to apply activities and exercises with their own groups.
  3. Participants will be able to discuss the coming out processes and the nuances that their transgender clients may face.

Outline:

Hour One – Trans 101 and Implicit Bias work (Language, Basic Knowledge about Implicit Bias)
Hour Two – In-Depth working clinically with Transgender Clients (Experiential Work)
(Experiential Includes Case Study on Client, Sociometry on Gender, Roleplaying the Coming Out Process)

Bio:

Beck resides in Los Angeles, CA. He has over 13 years of personal recovery and continues to address concerns of equality and acceptance of LGBTQ+ in recovery, educational, and mental health communities. Beck’s master’s degree is in Addiction Studies from Hazelden Graduate School. Beck has facilitated workshops and addressed audiences internationally at various conferences regarding advocacy, trauma, recovery, and adolescents specifically involving LGBTQ+ communities. Today he continues to train clinicians and facility staff on LGBTQ+ issues, helps facilities establish LGBTQ+ inclusive policies, and provides program development for facilities that want to expand their services to LGBTQ+ populations. He helps institutions through his company, BGC Consulting.

The importance of evidence based treatment

There are so many types of treatment available in recovery – and with so many options, it may be hard to decide which one is going to be the most beneficial for you. Over time, researchers have tested various methods to see which ones are most effective, and that’s the premise for evidence-based treatment.

Defining Evidence-Based Treatment

The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) explains that each approach to addiction treatment is meant to serve a particular aspect of recovery, depending on an individual’s needs. The Academy of Medical-Surgery Nurses (AMSN) defines evidence based practice as,

The conscientious use of current best evidence in making decisions about patient care”.

There are two primary types of evidence-based treatment: pharmacological and behavioral. Pharmacological treatment focuses on using certain medicines to ease withdrawal symptoms, help prevent relapse or to lessen the intensity of specific symptoms related to mental illness. Behavioral practices, however, are much more vast and could include any of the following:

Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT)

CBT is a highly effective form of treatment that’s been used to help many people struggling with not only addiction recovery, but also for those battling depression, anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and more. CBT provides a hands-on approach, and has been shown to help those in recovery apply healthier coping mechanisms to intense emotions or situations by identifying which thoughts are helping them versus which thoughts are hurting them.

Contingency management

While not used everywhere, contingency management utilizes certain incentives to encourage a person to participate in treatment. For example, a person may receive movie tickets in treatment for passing a drug test; they may receive a small gift or gift card to serve as a positive reinforcement for pursuing sobriety.

Community reinforcement

This approach involves the entire community – in which community members come together, often through community-wide projects, to support those around them who may be struggling with addiction. This is often when volunteerism comes into play, and community members may even host “give back” days where they educate their community on the dangerous effects of not seeking help.

Motivational enhancement

For those who are a bit unsure about whether or not they need treatment, motivational enhancement therapy can help a person become more committed to seeking help. Many people in recovery find themselves in denial or unsure if they even have a problem that needs addressed; motivational enhancement therapy helps a person find out for themselves which route would be most beneficial, and relies on the premise that a person who is most committed to their own decision to seek treatment are going to reap the most benefits.

12-Step programs

Programs such as Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) or Narcotics Anonymous (NA) have been shown to boost participation and engagement in addiction treatment programs; for many, it’s a space where they can get to know others who can relate to certain experiences and emotions while also building a social support group. Accountability is a core part of 12-Step programs, and through both sponsorship and peer support, a person is more likely to remain abstinent – especially the greater they become involved in 12-Step program activities.

Family behavior therapy

Families also tend to experience much backlash when addiction is involved, and therapy for all family members – both individually and as a collective system – are important. Family members may experience resentment, guilt, anger, depression and anxiety over their future and recovery, and family behavioral therapy can assist family members in developing healthy coping mechanisms, along with more productive communication strategies, to enhance their lives at home.

Adolescent therapy

Various populations have different needs, and adolescent therapy can help young teens identify how they’re truly feeling. In this type of approach, adolescents will build rapport with a therapy and explore various aspects of their lives – so that with the right help, they can develop better coping mechanisms to succeed.

Why Evidence-Based Treatment is Important

A study published in the journal Health Policy emphasized that evidence-based practices are crucial because they dictate which methods prove to be beneficial to those in recovery versus those who don’t; assessments can be made and, over time, researchers can obtain trends for specific treatment modalities and how they’ve influenced those in recovery. There are certainly other therapies that fall under evidence-based practices, and those deemed under this category tend to be assessed under a rigid review, such as:

  • Identifying barriers to treatment
  • Making suggestions for improvement certain practices
  • Highlighting key results that prove an approach’s efficacy
  • Exploring it’s practical use in treatment
  • Noting which programs are easy to use
  • And more

If you’re ready to apply an evidence-based approach to your recovery, 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 2 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.

Your body is dangling, your heart racing, your stomach drops and then it hits – euphoria. You just plunged 30 plus feet, literally hanging by a thread – well actually a rope, but you get the idea.

More than two dozen Cumberland Heights employees took part in The Big Swing Event April 15 and sure, it was an amusing way to kick off the week, but we did it for much more than the thrill. It was a lesson in trust, peer support and letting go.

“It’s your decision and yours alone,” said Recreation Therapist Jimmy Hudgens.

He was talking about the cable you pull when you’re ready to take the plunge. But for those familiar with AA, we’re thinking, “This sounds a lot like Step 3.” Wait a second! This whole exercise mirrors recovery” (or for others, simply letting go of control).

I was the second person in our afternoon swing group to go. The counselor who went before me did it effortlessly. She even looked relaxed, as if she were swinging back and forth on a hammock. I’m thinking to myself, “Oh, this is easy. I have nothing to be afraid of.” And then my friends on the ground started pulling me up. If you’re not familiar with The Big Swing, it’s kind of like those hoisting you up are playing tug of war – everyone is in a line stepping backwards, yanking on a rope to pull you to the top. So, I see them on the ground getting further and further away and all of a sudden, I’m looking down on acres upon acres of rolling hills as if I’m the camera lens on a drone. In my head I’m thinking “Oh gosh this is high.” It wasn’t until I heard people on the ground say “It’s going to be okay” that I realized I was speaking out loud. And then I had made it all the way to the top.

I nervously scream below, “So I just pull this thing?”

I hear a resounding “Yes!”

And I didn’t think. I just did it. I pulled it. And I screamed. I screamed really, really loudly. And I didn’t stop screaming for several seconds. And it was super scary. But it felt amazing. It was a rush like I haven’t felt before. And as you swing back and forth coming down, you just get to bask in the afterglow. All of my friends were happy for me, and then, even better, I got to be a part of their experience when they took the plunge!

Every person there had a job – to spot someone on the ladder, to hoist someone up, to stop pulling the rope when the swinger didn’t want to go any higher. We had to support one another and we had to trust each other.

Others who had done the swing before took it a step further. They put a blindfold on before they dropped. Josh K. was one of them.

“It was a totally different experience because being up there, being that high you can’t see down so you’re just trusting everything is set up right. Here we go. Blind jump. It’s wild,” said Josh.

“Walking by faith and not by sight may be easier than we expect,” said Jimmy.

April R. who organized the event took part in it as a patient at Cumberland Heights a little over three years ago.

“It’s more just fun now since I’m really not afraid of heights, but at the time it was very therapeutic, very special. It was me saying ‘I surrender.’ I just let go and it was emotional and moving,” said April.

She wasn’t alone in her experience. Jimmy says this exercise means more to the patients than we may ever know.

“I had one guy come to an alumni reunion and I recall that patient being very quiet when he was in treatment, but when he came to the reunion he said the swing was his first spiritual experience. It was about giving up control for him. It was his spiritual awakening he said. And you would never know because he never said anything until years later,” said Jimmy.

Recreational therapy is a staple here at Cumberland Heights and I’ve always appreciated it, but I never fully understood it until that day. In treatment you can do everything by the book and go through the steps as you’re told, but it’s usually moments like these when people really find their center, higher power or willingness to let go. Others may find those things in group therapy or in the art room. Everyone responds differently to certain therapies in treatment and Cumberland Heights works really hard to honor that. That’s just one of the things that makes this place so special.

Lying to ourselves by saying addiction is the solutionIf you’re new to recovering or considering getting help, one of the first lessons you’ll learn is the lie we tend to tell ourselves while in active addiction. Alcohol, substances and other forms of addiction may seem like a “problem” to those on the outside looking in – but for us, it’s a solution. It’s a way for us to try and drown out the problems that we have or the mustering thoughts and feelings that seem to nag at our hearts. This tactic seems to work temporarily, until we realize that they don’t go away forever – and that’s when addiction develops, because we have to keep the cycle going in order to keep our pain at bay.

Self-medication is defined by the World Health Organization (WHO) as,

“The use of medication by individuals to treat self-recognized disorders or symptoms.”

In 2017, the Psychiatric Times explained the hypothesis of using substances as a form of self-medication – as a way to relieve psychological suffering. One person shared their story of this through the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI); she explained that alongside a sense of crippling anxiety, the medication prescribed to her quickly became addiction as it took away the symptoms that left her on the verge of tears every day.

The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) states that in 2017, approximately 2 million Americans misused prescription pain relievers and with such easy access to substances through friends and family members, it becomes easier than ever to use substances to self-medicate. Little do we realize that not only are substances not the solution, but they exacerbate the problems that we have in life because they distract us from focusing on what really matters. Only once we’re in recovery can we address the issues face to face – and be on the path towards healing and restoration.

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 2 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.

Adolescent male recovering from addiction As parents and community leaders, it’s incredibly hard to see our teens struggle with substance abuse. The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) highlights that people are most likely to begin abusing drugs by adolescence, and this can be due to a number of reasons:

  • Wanting to try new experiences
  • An attempt at dealing with problems or to get a “boost” in school
  • Peer pressure
  • And more

Violence, physical or emotional abuse, mental illness, and positive associations with drugs at home can greatly increase an adolescent’s chances of abusing drugs – but some adolescents naturally have less impulse control, and their personality traits can give them a need for “excitement” – which can also pave the way towards addiction. Male adolescents are often don’t get enough attention when it comes to substance abuse, because of the common theory that “boys will be boys” or the assumption that substance use will simply be a phase in their life. If not addressed early, male adolescent substance abuse can transform to lifelong addiction – and if this is something your concerned about for your teen, it’s time to seek help.

Signs Your Pre-Teen Is Abusing Drugs

First and foremost, you’ll be able to tell if your teen is abusing substance by the way they interact with you, as well as their general behavior and how they’re related to their peers and schoolwork. Your pre-teen may suddenly change their peer group – and if you keep a close eye on their friends, you may easily be able to tell if they’ve started spending time with friends who are also using. Since the adolescent brain is still developing, drugs can have a significant impact on the way your pre-teen behaves. Watch out for these signs:

  • No longer caring about appearance
  • Difficulty performing well in school
  • Missing class or skipping school altogether
  • Lack of interest in activities they were once interested in
  • Changes in eating or sleeping habits
  • Damaging relationships with family members and friends

One man, now an adult, shared his story of struggling with marijuana abuse as an adolescent through Prevent Teen Drug Abuse. Here is an excerpt from his story:

“My first real hit of marijuana at age 12 sparked a slow death…I continued to smoke and soon became a shell of a person, paranoid and emaciated after an eating disorder that just popped up out of nowhere.”

He noted that all while he was struggling with this addiction, he received little to no help – because smoking marijuana was concerned such a “norm” that nobody perceived him to be going through any trouble.

How Can We Help Our Adolescents?

Previous studies have explored the many approaches we can take towards helping male adolescents recover from addiction. A 2015 study published in the Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment found that readiness to change can have a significant impact for adolescents to get the most out of treatment – but how can we help them feel “ready”?

There are many elements to treatment that can help our adolescents feel ready for healing and restoration in recovery:

12-Step Programs

Adolescents continue to face physical, mental and spiritual issues that hold them back from living a life that’s most meaningful to them. As a 2018 study published in the journal Substance Abuse: Research and Treatment denoted that 12-Step programs can not only help adolescents become more engaged in treatment but can also lead to greater abstinence over time.

Service Work

Many adolescents feel they’re either invincible, or that they’re all alone in their problems. Service work is a clear reminder that they’re human – and that in being part of the human race, they have something special to offer others. In 2016, researchers published a study in the journal Alcoholism Treatment Quarterly which found that higher service to others was related to reduced recidivism, reduced relapse, and greater character development.

Exploration and Activities

Despite struggling with substance abuse, adolescents respond to fun, encouraging activities that get them fully emerged in the present moment. Horseback riding, ropes courses, rock climbing, canoeing and so much more can give adolescents the boost they need to build a sense of community, push past their barriers and learn more about themselves – all at the same time.

School Support

Qualified special education teachers can provide adolescents with the support they need to get through school while pursuing treatment. If you have a teen who needs help, they can recover without sacrificing one of the most important milestones of their life.

Cumberland Heights: Adolescent Extended Care

If your teen is ready to tackle their addiction, speak with a professional from Cumberland Heights today. Our Adolescent Extended Care program provides everything your adolescent needs and more.

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 2 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.

Rebuild relationships that are broken from addictionJohn Lavitt, a writer for The Fix, explained in 2016 his personal testimony and lessons learned in recovery regarding the rebuilding of relationships in recovery. He explained that it’s overwhelming – and for many, it is – because a person becomes more aware of their actions and how they’ve affected others. Here is an excerpt from his story:

“I soon realized, however, that rebuilding family relationships was not just about cleaning up the mess. No matter how much I wanted to do so, I could not repair those bridges on my own timeline. Rather, I needed to provide them with evidence that I had changed by learning to be a positive and productive member of my family.”

A 2017 study published in the International Journal of Academic Research in Business and Social Sciences found that for most people in recovery, all they want is family support; they want their family’s love and acceptance while they make improvements to their lives for both themselves and their loved ones. While this sounds ideal, what happens if that’s not the case? What if some family members no longer want to be supportive, or want to cut ties altogether?

For those in recovery, this can be devastating. A person in recovery needs as much support as they can get – but as the personal testimony mentioned above emphasizes, we cannot control the timeline of our loved one’s healing process. Of course, there are some steps that we can take to show our loved ones that we’re serious about making amends, such as:

  • Writing them a letter or apologizing to them in person and admitting our wrongs
  • Being patient when family members are unwilling to move forward with certain aspects of daily living because they need to develop more trust first
  • Listening to what family members have to say, without becoming defensive or feeling a need to explain
  • Allowing family members to undergo their own therapy if they need it, rather than receive guidance from us
  • Accept the reality that some relationships simply cannot be repaired
  • Believe in the process of time, healing and recovery

In the end, you can only do so much. 12-Step programs emphasize several steps towards making amends with others – but even someone isn’t ready to reconnect, we must let it be.

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 2 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.

Safe start program focusing on the opioid crisis at Cumberland HeightsThe National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) reports that in 2017, more than 47,000 Americans lost their lives to opioid overdose. The tragedy of this nationwide occurrence has left so many broken families and communities in a state of disorder, as government agencies, healthcare professionals and organizations alike have been working diligently to combat the horrific outcomes that have resulted from the opioid crisis. Safe Start is an evidence-based program of Cumberland Heights that provides those struggling with moderate to severe opioid addiction with medication assisted treatment (MAT).

The MAT program utilizes Naltrexone, which is an opiate antagonist that works in the brain to prevent opiate effects such as euphoria, pain relief, etc. The generic form of the brand name Vivitrol, Naltrexone can help reduce someone’s desire to use opioids, but of course, this medication alone isn’t as effective as it would be combined with other forms of treatment. Dr. Chapman Sledge, Chief Medical Officer at Cumberland Heights, stated,

“The basis of a strong spiritual foundation in the recovery process is essential. Medication is only part of the solution.”

The Safe Start program at Cumberland Heights starts with an evaluation to determine if a potential client is a good fit; after that, and once Naltrexone has been assessed as a good fit for the individual, they will detox in a safe residential setting with 7-10 days to allow their opioid receptors to clear before starting the MAT. With this Safe Start program, a person will have everything they need to start restoring their mind, body and spirit. Intensive support is provided, and with 12-Step programs such as Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and Narcotics Anonymous (NA), individuals are likely to be well on their way to safely transitioning from a life of active addiction – to one of recovery.

Once a person has transitioned out of residential treatment, Cumberland Heights will assist the individual in creating a plan in which they’ll receive the Naltrexone shot every 28 days. If a person’s recovery is going strong after a year, a person may they choose to discontinue the medication. If this is something you or a loved one may be interested in, please 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 2 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.


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