Tag Archives: Sobriety

Tag Archives: Sobriety


Woman journaling to help addiction recoveryMuhammad Ali, American professional boxer, activist and philanthropist, once stated,

“It isn’t the mountains ahead to climb that wear you out, it’s the pebble in your shoe.”

Everyone – whether in addiction recovery or not – has struggles to work through. It’s part of human nature and it’s something we have to learn to work through by taking it one day at a time. Addiction recovery in particular requires not just treatment for addiction, but also love and support for the mind, body and spirit. We all have so many memories, traumas and experiences that have weighed heavily on our hearts – and as fragile human beings, this affects us greatly. Recovery is a chance for us to open up our mind and soul to learn more about ourselves, others and the world as we know it.

Journaling has been used for many years as a way to gain perspective on life, or even to release what has been holding us down. If we try to hold in all of what’s been bothering us, we may find that we’re more stressed, exhausted and irritated than if we were to release what we’re feeling out on a piece of paper. Self-expression is incredibly important; in 2016, a review titled “No Matter How You Word It, It’s for Me” listed several self-expressive assignments that those in recovery can write on their own:

  1. A letter to their inner child
  2. A letter written to their body, as a form of peace treaty or amendment
  3. A letter written to their addiction, whether in the form of what they miss, what they despise, the pain that addiction has caused them or something similar
  4. Daily journaling about thoughts and feelings that come up throughout the day

Journaling can be a formal or informal practice, but it can truly open our perspective to life and our overall purpose. If you’re contemplating journaling, find an empty sheet of paper and start writing. You don’t have to have a prompt – just see what spills out onto the page.

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.

Call us today at 1-800-646-9998 to take the next step towards your happiness and health.

Young people abusing prescription drugsAccording to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) 11.4% of young people ages 12 to 25 are using prescription drugs for nonmedical reasons each year. While we’d much rather like to believe younger people are not battling this, they are – and these types of drugs have been more accessible than ever before. Whether through buying and selling, online transactions, obtaining them from friends/family members or simply coming to abuse them after being treated for an injury, medical condition or something else, it’s safe to say that our young people need support. One of the best ways to provide support, however, is to gain more information – particularly around the motivations surrounding prescription drug abuse. What are their biggest reasons for abusing prescriptions drugs? Let’s find out.

A 2015 study published in the journal Drugs sought to explore these very motivations of prescription drug abuse by conducting interviews with 70 young people. The following were the most commonly reported reasons:

  1. Experimentation – during a time where young people are experiencing much freedom, it was well noted that experimentation was a major motivation factor. Whether to bond with friends, “see what works”, or to use as a normalized part of high school or college, many participants shared similar views regarding experimentation.
  2. “Work Hard…” – for young people who identified themselves as “over-achievers”, some prescriptions drugs, like Adderall, reported misusing drugs as a way to cope with high expectations.
  3. “Play Hard, Relax Hard” – in addition to nightlife contexts, many young people expressed their desire to add more entertainment to “mundane” activities, like watching TV, by misusing prescription drugs.

It’s clear that our population of youth and young adults is struggling. They need more support, more resources and more effort placed in providing them with the tools they need to overcome day-to-day challenges. If we can encourage them to seek help earlier on, we may save more lives.

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.

Call us today at 1-800-646-9998 to take the next step towards your happiness and health.

Holidays: What Are Some Benefits to Being Sober if I’m Alone This Holiday Season?

American musician and songwriter Ace Frehley stated in his book titled, No Regrets: A Rock ‘n’ Roll Memoir“I personally believe this: We have only today; yesterday’s gone, and tomorrow is uncertain. That’s why they call it the present. And sobriety really is a gift…for those who are willing to receive it.”

Alcohol and drugs often give us this illusion that they’ll solve all of our problems, only to find that after the “high” is gone, they’re still there. The same thoughts, feelings and life circumstances continue to plague us, and even more problems seem to appear because now we’re chasing after the intense craving that comes with dependence and addiction. Sobriety is an incredibly powerful way to live because it forces us to battle our demons every single day. We have to use the tools we’ve learned to climb up that mountain of emotions and with every ounce of strength that we have; we have to pull ourselves back up – again, again, and again.

The holidays are a time that bring up a lot of challenging emotions, especially for people in recovery. This is because for many of us, friends and family are absent from our lives, or we’re unable to celebrate because we’re still working through our recovery. No matter what you’re going through this holiday season, you must remember to separate the story that society tells us is important from the real story that applies directly to you. Media, movies, billboards and more try to convince us that everyone’s out there having a great time with their loved ones during the holidays, when the reality is that there are so many people celebrating the holidays on their own – and so many others are focusing on their sobriety, too.

Don’t allow yourself to become overwhelmed by feelings of guilt, sadness, loneliness, or anger. Be open to experiencing all of the wonderful benefits that come with being sober this holiday season, including:

  • Becoming a warrior for your recovery by using the tools you’ve learned thus far
  • Strategizing the holidays as you would any other day – because that’s what they are
  • Amping up your self-care, which could include crafts, watching a movie, relaxing, cooking some new food, reading a good book and much more
  • Promoting others’ well-being by volunteering at local food banks and similar places this holiday season

This holiday season, you have a choice – and you’re strong enough to stay sober and build up your strength in recovery, which is something you can be extremely proud of.

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-campus, we are made up of 2 twelve-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.

Call us today at 1-800-646-9998 to take the next step towards your happiness and health.

Adolescent Assessments Presentation at The Cookery, Nashville

WHO: Amara Schweinberg, MA — Kyle Cruze, LMFT, — Dean Porterfield, LPC-MHSP, NCC
WHAT: Adolescent Assessments Presentation
WHEN: Wednesday July 18, 2018 from 8:30AM – 10:30AM
WHERE: The Cookery in Nashville 1827 12th Ave S, Nashville, TN 37203
CONTACT HOURS: 2

PRESENTER BIOGRAPHIES:
Amara Schweinberg

Amara Schweinberg, MA

Amara Schweinberg is the Adolescent Admissions and Outreach Specialist for Cumberland Heights. Amara completed her undergraduate in Psychology at Middle Tennessee State University and went on to complete her graduate degree in Counseling at Trevecca Nazarene University. Amara completed her internship at Father Ryan High School in the Personal Counseling Department. Amara started in the Intake Department at Cumberland Heights in 2012 and now focuses on adolescent admissions.

 

Kyle Cruze

Kyle Cruze, LMFT

Kyle Cruze is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and the Clinical Coordinator of the Adolescent Program at Cumberland Heights. Kyle completed his undergraduate work at the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, MA and went on to complete his graduate work at Trevecca Nazarene University in Nashville, TN. Kyle joined the Cumberland Heights team in the fall of 2014. Kyle also maintains a private practice in Brentwood, TN.

 

Cumberland Heights - Adolescent Program Director - Dean Porterfield

Dean Porterfield, LPC-MHSP, NCC

Dean Porterfield currently serves as the Director of ARCH Academy. Dean has been with Cumberland Heights for over 8 years. As the Director he is responsible for day to day operations of ARCH as well as overseeing program development, staff development, referral relations, research and community outreach/education on teen addiction.

Dean has served as Executive Director of an outdoor therapeutic program for male adolescents for over 10 years. Dean also has served on the Board of Director of NATSAP (National Board of Therapeutic Schools and Programs), and frequently presents at national, regional and local conferences. Dean is also an approved LPC clinical supervisor.

Dean brings over 18 years experiences working with the adolescent population and their families. He believes in a strength-based approach and understands that authentic relationships with the teens and families we serve is paramount for lasting change. Dean is also invested in combining true tested approaches such as the 12 steps with other evidenced-based clinical modalities of intervention to treat not only the substance abuse, but also the underlying struggles that complement the teen’s self-medicating behavior.

Join our Alumni Relations of Cumberland Heights for Take Me Out to the Sounds Game!

Alumni Relations of Cumberland Heights present Take Me Out to the Sounds GameAlumni Relations has reserved the AMi Power Alley for our annual night out at the ballpark! This area accommodates 40 guests with a mix of high-top table seating, couches and standing room. The RSVP cost for this event is $8.00 per person, limit 4 tickets per family. Once you reserve your spot (using the form below), your ticket will be available for pickup on August 18th beginning at 6:00pm at the Right Field Entrance. Please contact Jaime Gibbons for more information.

Don’t miss the Nashville Sounds taking on the New Orleans Baby Cakes!

WHEN: August 18, 2018 at 6:00PM
WHERE: First Tennessee Park, home of the Nashville Sounds
WHO: Alumni Relations of Cumberland Heights (All CH Alumni and Friends invited!)
COST: $8.00 per person/ticket
UPDATE: As of 08/07/2018 we are currently sold out. If you’d like to put your name on the waiting list, please email Jaime Gibbons at jaime_gibbons@cumberlandheights.org or call (615) 432-3222.

Also, due to limited ticket availability, we ask that you make every effort to attend the event or make sure to cancel at least 48 hours prior to the event.


Join our Alumni Relations of Cumberland Heights (ARCH) for Take Me Out to the Ball Game!

Components of a Continuing Care PlanWhen I was a patient at Cumberland Heights the idea of leaving the bubble to begin life in recovery was overwhelming. Luckily, I did not have to figure out how to live life on life’s terms alone. I had a counselor and case manager who collaborated on a Continuing Care Plan that would guide me toward resources which would help me develop skills to remain clean and sober one day at a time.

A Continuing Care Plan is developed and managed by a patient’s Case Manager. It’s comprised of several clinical recommendations by a patient’s treatment team and designed to support his/her recovery once s/he leaves campus.

Providing an alumnus with a firm foundation for his/her recovery is not only a recommendation; it’s essential. Look at it as a road map to sobriety.

A good Continuing Care Plan may encompass some of the following components:

  • Ongoing Treatment… such as Extended Care to work more deeply on co-occurring disorders or trauma while practicing recovery.
  • 12-Step Immersion… for those who would benefit from an intimate community doing an in-depth look at applying the 12-Steps of recovery.
  • 12-Step meetings… these help form the foundation of abstinence based addiction treatment. It’s an important step to find a home group and a sponsor. There are AA and NA meetings in most communities across the country. Find more information at www.aa.org or www.na.org.
  • Aftercare meetings… are an ongoing support network for alumni and their family members. The goal of Aftercare is to foster and encourage accountability, identify and arrest relapse symptoms and nurture long-term recovery. Aftercare is a FREE service provided for all former patients and family members to attend for life and is offered weekly at a several convenient Cumberland Heights locations.
  • Sober living… is recommended to an alumnus when it is felt they would benefit from additional structure following the residential program. For someone new in recovery sober living provides a sober support system while transitioning to independent living.
  • Outpatient Recovery Centers… can offer day or evening group therapy for the next step for an alumnus who began his/her recovery within an inpatient residential program. It affords a transition back to the home and work environment while still being supported in early recovery practices.
  • Meeting with a psychiatrist and/or therapist who is informed about addiction… this gives an alumnus a clinician to speak to in a confidential environment and a platform to work through issues such as trauma. Additionally, a psychiatrist will understand mental health and various therapy and pharmacology options for each condition.
  • Wellness checkups with a primary care physician… to ensure an alumnus doesn’t have an undiagnosed medical condition for which s/he needs treatment. Also, to maintain communication between the alumnus and his/her physician where medication may be of concern.
  • Alumni Activities… connect and have fun in recovery. As you continue your recovery process, Alumni services may be provided where you’ve completed treatment. Participation is encouraged in the wide range of activities and events offered in a safe and friendly recovery environment.

I cannot say enough about how critical a Continuing Care Plan is to a person’s overall outcome. Following the specific steps of a Continuing Care Plan ensures a greater degree of success in long-term recovery. With a road map in hand, each alumnus bravely begins recovery, taking the recommendations and each of the 12 steps, one at a time…one day at a time.


Components of a Continuing Care Plan | Blog Author Katrina CornwellKatrina Cornwell is a case manager at Cumberland Heights, a motivational speaker, blogger and three-time, first-place award winner in the annual Tennessee Press Association contest.

In her presentations, she speaks about her addiction to drugs and alcohol and how those habits led to a drunk driving accident which killed a man in October 2009.

When I was discharged from Cumberland Heights I knew one thing for certain…treatment may have been complete, but recovery was just beginning. Today, there are many ways I’m active in my recovery and one of the most rewarding is what I’m able to do for others. Service work is an integral part of what keeps me sober one day at a time. Each simple act keeps me out of my own head long enough to focus on another individual or group’s recovery. I’m not seeking recognition, only trying to make someone else’s journey in sobriety a little easier. And while focusing on someone else, something magical happens…people begin to recover together.

With this in mind, here are 10 ways to be of service to others in recovery:

1) Sponsorship – Becoming a sponsor is the ultimate way one person suffering from addiction can help another. A sponsor gives his or her time; meeting sponsees to help them work the steps, to ferret out the root causes of his or her addiction, and develop a deeper relationship with a Higher Power of their understanding.

2) Be a sober contact – Newly recovering people are always encouraged to get as many phone numbers as they can so they’ll have plenty of people to call when they’re triggered to use or drink. Being the person on the other end of the call can save a life.

3) Take meetings to detox units – I’ll never forget the first message of recovery, strength and hope I heard was in a detox unit at a local hospital. Providing this vital area of service work, you can inspire hope in someone about a program with the potential to change their life for the better.

4) Chair 12-Step meetings – A certain amount of responsibility comes along with steering the ship at a 12-Step meeting. The chair passes out the readings, and often, chooses the topic of discussion. This role serves every person attending.

5) Attend business meetings – Each home group has a meeting set aside to discuss financial details: bills for rent, items needed for purchase such as soft drinks; and the collections to pay for expenses. This is a good way to serve the home group.

6) Greet people – Making someone feel welcome in a 12-Step meeting is a wonderful way to give back. Shaking hands, taking an interest in a newcomer, offering a smile or a friendly hello can be the one thing someone needed to hear to come back to another meeting.

7) Clean up – Each month my home group assigns someone to clean up our meeting place. Wiping off tables, sweeping floors and cleaning up the facility to keep it nice for our meetings is one way to get out of ourselves and help others.

8) Offer transportation to meetings – In recovery finding our way to meetings is our responsibility. However, some provide rides as service work. I was blessed enough to have someone who helped me get to meetings when I couldn’t drive.

9) Participate in fundraising – A clubhouse where I got sober recently held a yard sale. Providing clothing, tagging items or volunteering time at an event like this are all ways to provide service work.

10) Host sober activities – A common complaint among someone new in recovery is that they don’t know how to have fun without substances. Hosting an event for sober people to have a bonfire, barbecue, movie night, canoe or camping trip; or just a gathering to walk together downtown is more helpful than you might realize.


10 Ways to be of Service to Others in RecoveryKatrina Cornwell is a case manager at Cumberland Heights, a motivational speaker, blogger and three-time, first-place award winner in the annual Tennessee Press Association contest.

In her presentations, she speaks about her addiction to drugs and alcohol and how those habits led to a drunk driving accident which killed a man in October 2009.

In the days and weeks after leaving Cumberland Heights for a new adventure in early recovery, I discovered I was painfully shy when it came to meeting new people in the rooms.

Initially this made it difficult for me to make the meaningful connections so necessary for someone in early recovery to achieve and maintain sobriety.

I was afraid of them. I was afraid of me. I was afraid to be vulnerable enough to let anyone see how much I was hurting over what I’d done and how I’d hurt others and myself through my actions.

So, I went to the meetings, kept to myself and left immediately after for many weeks isolating myself in the crowds of recovering people. I warmed up slowly to the people in the AA groups I attended. I paid attention in particular to the women who demonstrated the kind of recovery I wanted to emulate.

One day, I stepped outside of my comfort zone and walked up to a woman I had grown to admire very much for the way she worked the program. I asked her to be my sponsor. Although she was not able to accommodate me, she connected me with a lady who became my sponsor and devoted friend for more than six years. Although she is not my sponsor now, she remains one of my most trusted friends in recovery.

Katrina Cornwell with members of her recovery community.
Katrina Cornwell with members of her recovery community.

Finding a sponsor who I could trust with my deepest darkest secrets, someone whom I could count upon to be my spiritual guide through the 12 Steps was another way I grew in recovery.

Working the steps with my sponsor solidified our commitment to each other, helping each other stay sober one day at a time, spending time together and staying in the literature.

I remember so clearly sitting down with her for my fifth step, not knowing how long it would take or what her reaction to all of my heinous sins would be. Never did she wince or cast a judging glance, she just loved me. She helped me grow until I became strong enough to reach out my hand to help someone else.

My sponsor took me to AA meetings, went to dinner with me and to the movies. She wrote a letter to the judge in my case. She even testified on my behalf at court twice. It was a connection like no other in the program, and it is vital to the successful recovery of the newly recovering alcoholic or addict.

Establishing this relationship in recovery helped make me the woman I am today.


K HeadshotKatrina Cornwell is a case manager at Cumberland Heights, a motivational speaker, blogger and three-time, first-place award winner in the annual Tennessee Press Association contest.

In her presentations, she speaks about her addiction to drugs and alcohol and how those habits led to a drunk driving accident which killed a man in October 2009.


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