Tag Archives: Sobriety

Tag Archives: Sobriety

Training Dates: October 27-29, 2019
Advanced Training Day: The Music Industry: October 30, 2019 with Harold Owens (MusiCares)
*check training prerequisites


This educational program was created and written as the most comprehensive training for individuals interested in becoming a professional in the supportive role of a mentor, coach or companion to someone that is in the early stages of recovery from a substance use and/or mental health disorder.

Providing the theoretical basis, ethical standards, and practical skills required for services offered by Recovery Specialists and Peer Recovery Specialists is the primary goal of this program.

The coursework is delivered as a combination of independent study, classroom instruction and consultation. Educational components of this program include:

  1. The Ethical Role & Responsibility of Recovery Specialists
  2. Developing the Skills and Tools of Recovery Specialists
  3. Providing Safe Passage (transports)
  4. History and Evolution of the Recovery Specialist
  5. Composition of Recovery Plans Practical Application and Role Play


This unmatched training opportunity is designed for every recovery professional including:

  • Direct Care Staff Discharge
  • Planner Admissions Personnel
  • Sober Companion / Coach Transports

Recovery Specialist is defined as an individual who provides one on one client and family services within a treatment setting and/or client’s home, community or travel travel and has completed the accredited training offered by IRI.

Experiencing a relapse does not mean you have failed

In 2017, Live Science – a website that publishes information related to news, technology, health and more, explained that actor Ben Affleck entered rehabilitation for alcoholism for at least his second time; a Facebook post published by him stated,

“…Something I’ve dealt with in the past and will continue to confront.”

Ben Affleck is just one of many celebrities – and people – across the world, who’ve battled with sobriety. As much as relapse is downplayed, the reality is that it’s quite common – and of all things, it doesn’t mean you (or anyone) have failed. The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) notes that relapse is less of a sign of failure, and more of a sign that certain aspects of treatment need to become incorporated, changed or reinforced – and it would make sense that this would occur, because each person is different. We all have to take our time in recovery to discover exactly what works for us versus what doesn’t, and sometimes relapse is the guiding factor that tells us what needs to change in our lives.

From a basic biological standpoint, addiction is a disease that affects the way we think – and even in recovery, the brain can have moments where it reverts back to what it learned when addiction was active. In the brain, sensations can occur where it almost feels like a person will die if they don’t have that substance again – and, naturally, our survival mode wants to protect us from this. U.S. News explains that even if a person has relapsed, there are several steps they can take to either minimize the risk of relapse or reinforce positive aspects of recovery in a person’s life:

  1. Attending a 12-Step program.
  2. Surrounding oneself with loving, supportive people.
  3. Becoming more strongly aware of H.A.L.T. – that is, the emotions that can yield a higher risk of relapse (hungry, angry, lonely, tired)

If you’re ready to take a stand for your health and 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 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.

Join our Alumni Relations of Cumberland Heights for ‘Take Me Out to the Sounds Game’ for the Nashville Sounds vs. Omaha Storm Chasers

Alumni Relations of Cumberland Heights present Take Me Out to the Sounds GameAlumni Relations has reserved open seating in 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 $10.00 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 17th beginning at 6:00pm at the Right Field Entrance. Please contact Amy Lutz for more information.

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!

Don’t miss the Nashville Sounds taking on the Omaha Storm Chasers!

WHEN: August 17, 2019 at 7:00PM
WHERE: First Tennessee Park, home of the Nashville Sounds
WHO: Alumni Relations of Cumberland Heights (All CH Alumni and Friends invited!)
COST: $10.00 per person/ticket
UPDATE: We apologize bt as of 08/13/2019 we are currently sold out of tickets. If you’d like to put your name on the wait list, please email Amy Lutz at Amy_Lutz@cumberlandheights.org or call (615) 432-3009.

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.

The MusiCares® Sober Jam is a quarterly event offering musicians an opportunity to perfor, in a safe and sober environment. The Sober Jam begins at 6:00PM with solo performances, facilitated by emcee Phil Bogard. Each event includes an unannounced special guest performance. All attendees — both on and off-stage — are considered to be active participants in the Sober Jam. By simply showing up, listening to music, and offering an applause between songs, each guest plays a meaningful role in creating a safe environment for the performers.

This event is brought to you by Cumberland Heights Recovery Center & Nashville Recovery Center.

WHAT: MusiCares Sober Jam
WHEN: August 20, 2019 from 6:00PM – 9:00PM
WHERE: World Music Nashville – 7069 US-70S, Nashville, TN 37221

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.

Your personal recovery journey is like a fingerprint. While many of them look and feel the same, unique experiences make our stories one of a kind. They can inspire, heal, create hope or even push someone to take that first step in their own journey.

Liz sits down with our Alumni Relations & Volunteer Coordinator to talk about what 16 years of sobriety looks like and how engaging with friends in recovery kept Jaime clean. Also in this episode: relationships that make you sick, a spiritual awakening while free-falling 30 feet, and Jaime's greatest triumph in recovery. Hint: It's a person and he only stands about 2.5 feet tall.

That’s what Cumberland Heights’ new podcast “Recovery Live” is all about. Liz Stanislawski, Marketing and Public Relations Manager and former WSMV journalist will be interviewing alumni, staff, family members, counselors – really anyone who has been touched by addiction. The podcast is co-produced by Jaime Gibbons, Alumni Relations & Volunteer Coordinator. She is the very first guest, talking about what 16 years of sobriety looks like.

Travis Meadows

Cumberland Heights also welcomed Travis Meadows on the show. The successful singer/songwriter is known for penning hits for several country music stars including Wynonna Judd, Jake Owen, Eric Church, Brothers Osborne and Hank Williams Jr. He also has several albums of his own like “Killing Uncle Buzzy” which was inspired by journal entries he wrote while he was in treatment at Cumberland Heights.

Click here to listen!

Future guests include a meth addict whose story was broadcast to millions on the A&E reality show, “Intervention”, a teen who grew up in the recovery world and ended up becoming addicted himself and a woman who as a young teen had to take care of her siblings when her mom disappeared for days.

These stories don’t sugarcoat. They are real, raw and honest. From teenagers with just a couple years of sobriety, to those who haven’t picked up a drink or drug in 30 plus years.

We are so excited to share this new project with you and hope you’ll gain as much from listening as we have putting it together.

Learn the celebrities who have spoken about sobriety

Celebrities are known for their charisma and talent, but they’re also often talked about outside of the spotlight. Many interviews have been conducted with celebrities surrounding their use (and abuse) of substances – and while we see so many celebrities struggle, there are just as many who’ve made the decision to stay sober. Thankfully, mental health and substance abuse have become less taboo over the years – and celebrities are starting to open up about their experiences.

According to Insider, these are some celebrities who’ve been practicing a sober lifestyle for quite some time – and they’ve spoken up about it, too.

  1. Eminem

With 11 years of sobriety, Eminem has come a long way since almost dying from an accidental methadone overdose back in 2007. Last year was his 10-year mark, and he continues to push towards his recovery.

  1. Joe Manganiello

One of the most powerful people in media, Joe struggled with addiction at a young age – and he had to learn that just because he didn’t fit the typical “stereotype” of what a person with addiction looked like, didn’t mean he didn’t need help.

  1. Toby Maguire

He may have been a superhero on screen, but Toby found himself recovering from alcoholism many years ago; he once explained in an interview with Playboy magazine about his experience with Alcoholics Anonymous (AA). He stated:

“It’s just all practical. There are no holes in the program. It’s so, so simple. I come in, I ask for help. It has totally changed my life”.

Sometimes it’s hard to imagine the trials and tribulations that successful stars have gone through; we see them on the screen and attribute so much happiness and ease to their lives that we can’t quite comprehend how addiction can enter the picture. Celebrities experience real-life issues, too – and thankfully, more and more are seeking help.

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.

Does social media and sobriety influence each other?

Research estimates suggest that worldwide, there are around 2.34 billion social media users – and that number is expected to increase to 2.95 billion in the year 2020. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, you name it – there are more apps than a person can count, and they all have a place in various aspects of living. Social media used to be simply for connecting with long-lost friends, but it’s become a staple component of daily life – to give updates, to network, to propel movements and to help people. The addiction recovery realm has seen a surge of social media applications specifically for this – to connect with other people in recovery, to seek advice for issues pertaining to sobriety or addiction, to find meet-up groups and others. At this day in age, the question still remains: Is social media helping or harming? And, more, specifically, is it helping or harming those who are pursuing sobriety?

Social Media and Mental Well-being

According to a 2018 publication titled, “Digital Health Practices, Social Media Use, and Mental Well-being Among Teens and Young Adults in the U.S.”, social media is having some pretty negative effects when it comes to mental health:

  • It’s leading teens and youth to feel “less than” compared to their peers
  • It’s hurting those who are victimized or receive a continuous stream of negative comments
  • It’s contributing to the rise of depression and anxiety
  • And more

Of course, the experience individuals have with social media could be due to a number of things – how often they’re on social media, which platforms they use, how they utilize these platforms and more. For others, social media serves a number of potential benefits when it comes to mental well-being:

  • Individuals can use social media to connect with others who are struggling with certain health problems
  • Social media can provide information to those looking for health-related news and self-help tools
  • Creative expression through social media platforms can be therapeutic for some users
  • And more

How does all of this fit into addiction recovery? Mental well-being is critical for individuals pursuing sobriety, and while outpatient treatment is incredibly successful in providing support, tools and resources to helping a person maintain and achieve their recovery goals, a person does return home to their “normal” life at the end of the day – and the way they use social media could either help or hinder their progress in recovery.

It’s All About the Way You Apply It

A study conducted by researchers from California found that those in addiction recovery tend to be more honest about their experiences through social media support services rather than face-to-face. Positive reactions on social media were found to build up online support as well, which can certainly have positive implications for someone in recovery. A 2017 study published in the journal Drug and Alcohol Dependence found that advice and support and the two most common motivating factors for those in addiction recovery using social media – and if you find that it does provide an added level of security to your sobriety journey while you work in your outpatient treatment program, you should certainly maximize on the benefits of this.

In 2017, Beau Mann explained his story to Business News Daily of using social media to his advantage in addiction recovery. He explained,

“I was 24 years old, and I was ready to break free from my addiction. I entered a 12-Step program, became part of a supportive community, and began my journey towards recovery.”

He explained that while in recovery, he experienced loneliness – and this loneliness led him to create a recovery support network online that brought people together. In 2015, he launched Sober Grid, where his business has now helped over 80,000 people connect with others in a community dedicated to sobriety. For him, social media was only a stepping stone towards creating a platform that would change the recovery world for the better. He stated,

“As I know from experience, becoming and remaining sober is anything but easy. Without support networks in place, it almost feels impossible. That’s why I’m so incredibly proud to have built a platform that connects individuals with a community dedicated to recovering from addiction.”

Apps to Support Your Sobriety Journey

In addition to Sober Grid, there are many other apps that you can utilize to help boost your motivation in sobriety:

  • Twenty-Four Hours a Day – a meditative app with daily prayers and teachings
  • 12 Steps AA Companion – you get the Big Book of AA right at your fingertips, along with prayers, promises and a sobriety calculator
  • I Am Sober – it notifies you of new milestones you’ve reached in recovery
  • Happify – this app includes over 30 audio recordings that will guide you towards positive thoughts

If you’re ready to become more independent in your recovery while also maintaining a strong supportive foundation in therapy, group activities and more, speak with a professional from Cumberland Heights at Crossville Treatment.

Cumberland Heights in Crossville Tennessee is a 12-Step based outpatient alcohol and drug rehab program. Cumberland Heights’ Intensive Outpatient Program is designed for individuals age 18 and above who may be in the early stages of dependency or are experiencing problems with alcohol or drug use. If you’re ready to seek help today, call us at 931-250-5200.

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