Tag Archives: Sobriety

Tag Archives: Sobriety


“Minds are like flowers. They only open when the time is right.” This quote by Stephen Richards resonates not only with people in recovery, but anyone who has been through a journey of growth. Just like the earth and atmosphere go through seasons of change, so do our minds and our spirits.

Whether you found sobriety in winter, fall, summer or spring you felt a new season within yourself. Maybe it was November on the calendar when you got clean, but spring in your soul.There are many parallels between springtime and recovery. Think about the transformation you made when you got sober. You, like spring, experienced blossoming, renewal and probably began to physically look a little brighter too.

Recovery Blogger “Magz” wrote this about springtime being an inspiration for recovery: “I love the significance of spring combined with Easter as the time of rebirth and renewal. When I see the little flower buds opening up on the trees and I think about the significance of Easter, I think about the huge transformation that sobriety has made in my life. In a sense when I quit drinking I died, and then I was reborn again in recovery. My life is nothing like what it was when I was drinking, and I am often overwhelmed by this truly unbelievable transformation.”

But the outside didn’t always look this way did it? Before there were birds chirping, flowers blooming and streams flowing there was lot of dormant grass, frozen creeks and not a flower in sight. In the dead of winter, it’s hard to picture life and vibrancy again, just like when we are in the throes of addiction. But as Mother Nature proves over and over again, no matter how cold, dark and lifeless it may seem, rebirth is on the horizon.

man receiving successful treatment in a sober living homeA lot of research has been done on the efficacy of sober living homes, primarily because of the environmental factors that separate them from typical neighborhoods. Sober living homes are defined as facilities used by those recovering from substance abuse that serve as “an interim environment between rehab and mainstream society”. Sober living homes aren’t just for anyone – they’re typically for those who have completed a residential treatment program for a period of time and are ready to start transitioning into independent living. Sober living homes provide more support than a person would receive by returning home, because those in recovery are surrounded by other people who want to reach sobriety goals, too.

There are many ways in which sober living homes can benefit multiple areas of a person’s life, and we’ll explore several of them:

Employment is Fostered

A 2019 study published in the Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment sought to identify the characteristics of sober living homes and how they impact certain areas of individuals’ lives. After looking at 330 residents in 49 sober living homes, researchers found that this type of setting actually increased odds of employment – and this was found after having conducted interviews 6 and 12 months after initially speaking with participants. Why might this be? Sober living environments remind residents of their goals, and, because structure is still there (such as a substance-free living environment, 12-Step support groups, house rules such as paying rent and completing household chores and more) those in recovery are more likely to feel confident in applying and interviewing for positions.

Social Support is Provided

Peer support, as well as participation in recovery services while in a sober living home, can greatly improve a person’s outlook on their life. In 2016, researchers from New Hampshire assessed 28 female residents and found a number of social components that boosted their recovery:

  • Support – family, love and consistency amongst those in the sober living environment helps people in recovery feel part of a larger community
  • Education – services provided help many in sober living homes gain access to information that could be applied to their everyday lives
  • Empowerment – food, clothing and housing are basic needs for some in addiction recovery, and this help – paired with people who believe in them – can have significant effects on their growth potential
  • Directions – 12-Step programs, therapy and other recovery-related activities provide guidance for those trying to make their way back into mainstream society. It’s a long, difficult journey, but it’s well worth the effort

Sobriety is Reinforced

One of the most common fears of those returning home from rehabilitation is becoming triggered and ultimately relapsing. Relapse is possible no matter who you are or how long you’ve been in recovery, but the environment you live in can become more influential than a person realizes. A 2015 study published in the journal Substance Abuse Rehabilitation assessed those in a sober living community for over 18 months; they found that having support peers enhances a person’s chances of sobriety because they’re more likely to feel understood, to recognize the vulnerability in others, to identify with recovery paths that other people are taking, to receiving confrontation in a loving way, and to hold each other accountable. There’s no doubt that social support is one of the strongest factors of motivation – and when someone is surrounded by people who work to uplift one another, the results can be truly transformative.

A Community of Empowerment

Sober living homes provide truly unique settings for those in addiction recovery to thrive. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) highlights that for those who aren’t quite ready to return home yet, sober living homes provide the time, space and support for people to become more confident in their sobriety. Lori Criss, Associate Director of the Ohio Council of Behavioral Health and Family Services Providers, told SAMHSA in 2016,

“Who we spend our time with, where we go, and the things we surround ourselves with all impact who we are and the decisions we make…Recovery housing can [fill the pain and isolation often felt in recovery] with a safe place, compassionate people, and a life full of purpose and fun that doesn’t involve alcohol or drugs.”

12-Step programs, such as Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) or Narcotics Anonymous (NA) further strengthen opportunities for those in recovery to build strong support systems while also continuing to follow a structure that will aid in the mental, physical and spiritual health. If you believe you may be ready to transition to a sober living home, please call Cumberland Heights today. There are many tools, people and resources that can aid in your recovery and make it easier for you to transition to more independent living – it’s 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 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.

How social media influences sobrietySocial media is a normal part of daily life for many in the United States; platforms such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter have direct connections to millions of users each year, and for a variety of reasons. For some, social media is merely a tool to keep in contact with distant relatives and traveling friends; for others, these platforms are information hubs filled with inspiration, storytelling, new-related events and more. One of the drivers of motivation for those in addiction recovery is to lead a seemingly “normal” life – to go about their day, to pay bills and, oftentimes, to do everything that their addiction prevented them from doing. How does social media fit into this?

Ways It’s Helping

Social media is just that – it’s social. Previous studies have shown that we need sociability in our lives, because as humans, we’re social beings. The support that we garner from others is what can propel us to follow through with our goals and long-term aspirations; for some, it’s even inspiration to start their own recovery support networks.

1. It’s Sparking New Ways to Connect

In 2017, Business News Daily covered the story of a young man – Beau Mann – who struggled with addiction at the age of 24. After taking part in a 12-Step program, he felt inspired. He wanted to create an online platform where those in recovery could connect with others living the sober lifestyle. In 2015, he launched an app called “Sober Grid” and, since then, the app has helped over 80,000 people connect to a sober community. What’s even better – the app now features a “Burning Desire” feature where app users who are cravings substances or being triggered can receive immediate support online, no matter where they are.

2. It’s Raising Awareness

With social media, access to information about our closest friends – all the way to their distant family – is nearly right at the edge of our fingertips. With easy access to stories and information, social media platforms are changing the way we talk about key issues in society today – such as addiction and recovery. In 2017, Adweek mentioned the fact that some photos uploaded onto social media have created major waves in communities, as they’ve shown people the reality of addiction.

3. It’s Allowing People to Support Those in Their Community</9>

A few years ago, The Atlantic highlighted the significance that social media has been playing in showing people support for sobriety. One person stated in an interview,

“You’ve seen that person down at their worst, and then [when] you see them looking happy, it’s like, ‘I can do this too’. It’s like support groups, kind of, to see that everyone is touched by it.”

Along with the benefits of social media, however, there are some ways that it’s hindering sobriety, too.

Ways It’s Hindering

There’s always an upside and downside to entities like social media, and there’s always factors that those in recovery should watch out for while scrolling through Twitter or Facebook. Let’s take a look at some of the negatives:

1. It’s Perpetuating Social Media Addiction

In 2014, Forbes Magazine highlighted the fact that not only are we social beings, but we tend to have this inherent need for validation from others. For those who are in recovery and trying to maintain a sober lifestyle, time spent on social media could seem harmless – but it could be sparking a new addiction: an addiction to technology. In addition to sociability and validation, we tend to fear that we’re missing out on something much larger than ourselves – and that could keep us coming back for more. According to The Fix, Marc Benioff, CEO of Salesforce, once stated that Facebook should be regulated “exactly the same way you regulated the cigarette industry.”

2. Partying May Be Glamorized

There’s a high possibility that at some point on social media, we’ll run into images of our high school friends or current family members drinking. Our society likes to embrace drinking as a way of celebration – but for those in recovery, celebrating in that way would be a recipe for disaster. Those who are in the early stages of their recovery may become easily triggered by these posts, which is why it’s important to approach social media very cautiously (and preferably avoid it altogether at the beginning of recovery).

3. Certain Movements Don’t Make It Any Easier

As our society tends to normalize drinking culture, those in recovery may see a slew of memes pertaining to drinking wine and using other substances. In 2018, a woman who previously struggled with alcoholism talked about the dangerousness of “Wine Mom” culture and how it can lead moms to think that in order to get through the day of being a parent, they need to drink. She explained that she was 100% on board with this movement:

“That is, until I got sober, and I saw it for what it is: hugely problematic, potentially offensive and dangerous for those moms who are genuinely struggling to keep it together and might not know how or where to get help.”

Overall, it sounds like there are some major benefits – as well as some major drawbacks – to the use of social media while in recovery. Only you know where you’re at in your journey – be sure to make choices that will benefit your wellbeing, not hinder it.

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.

Man finding success in sobrietyLiving a life of sobriety takes a lot of time and consideration, especially as a person must figure out over time what boosts their motivation for recovery versus what hinders it. No matter how long you’ve been working towards your recovery thus far, it’s important to think about the various factors that have made up your sobriety and how well it’s worked for you. Assessment is a critical tool for recovery because it allows you to think about what’s working and what’s not – which ultimately allows you to make changes to your daily structure. If you’re ready to boost your success in recovery, consider making sure that the following factors are in place:

  • Abstinence from substances
  • Attending lectures on addiction
  • Engaging in small group discussions
  • Assessing your recovery through written tasks (such as through journaling, diary keeping, self-analysis, etc.)
  • Individual and group therapy
  • Sports
  • Building your spirituality through prayer, meditation, yoga and more

As a 2015 study published in the journal Russian Psychological Society noted, many people fail in recovery because they do not have the correct structure set in place. Sobriety is truly a lifestyle, which means that it incorporates your mind, body and spirit. Those who are most successful in recovery go on to develop nearly every aspect of their lives and, in turn, reap so many benefits from it.

12-Step participation is a key form of support for those in recovery, as they’re able to establish meaningful connections with peers and receive guidance from a sponsor. Education on addiction is provided as well, and the weekly structure of 12-Step meetings only further emphasizes recovery goals. As American writer Ramona L. Anderson once stated,

“People spend a lifetime searching for happiness; looking for peace. They chase idle dreams, addictions, religions, even other people, hoping to fill the emptiness that plagues them. The irony is the only place they ever needed to search was within.”

Start building your life of recovery today. It’s never too late.

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.

“Every Brilliant Thing” – Alumni Relations March Event

Event:

“Every Brilliant Thing” by Duncan Macmillian, with Jonny Donahoe
This one-woman play depicts a daughter who learns as a child that her mother has been hospitalized for doing, as her father puts it, “something stupid.” She resolves to show her mother that life is worth living, by writing a list of 1,000 brilliant things and leaving them on scraps of paper for her mother to find.

Details:

Description:

“Every Brilliant Thing” offers an unflinching view of chronic depression and the lengths we will go to for those we love. Far from being sad or tragic, the play approaches the topic with love and sincerity, with hope and even humor. This unique theater experience involves the audience in the story, evoking empathy, tears, laughter, insight and deep compassion.
After the show, a panel featuring Cumberland Heights staff & alumni will discuss the impact of mental illness on the family.

Tickets:

Alumni Event Registration & Ticket Purchase

  • STEP 1 - Personal Information

    The cost is $8.00 per person. Please also provide your name, email, cell & credit card information to hold your reservation. Please note tickets are non-refundable and will go to the Cumberland Heights Foundation General Donations Fund.

  • Ticket price total: .00

  • STEP 2 - Credit Card and Billing Information

    We accept MasterCard VISA American Express & Discover

    There is a required of $8.00 reservation per person that is non-refundable and will go to the Cumberland Heights Foundation General Donations Fund. Please fill out your credit card number, expiration month and year, CVN number and billing address to where your credit card statement is sent below.

Sober livingIn 2015, yoga teacher and addiction recovery writer Tommy Rosen wrote an article for the Huffington Post on what a life of sobriety means to him. This is an excerpt from his article:

“My recovery mantra is: ‘Don’t just survive in addiction. Thrive in recovery.’ I believe people in recovery must work toward the great shift from staying sober out of fear and necessity to staying sober out of love for the life they get to live as the result of staying sober.”

Sobriety is an all-too-often feared subject of those starting out in recovery, as the concept itself seems so different from what they’re used to. The truth is, a lifestyle of sobriety is different from one of active addiction – but it’s for a good reason. The benefits of sobriety are insurmountable compared to anything else; they not only give you your life back, but they give you the tools, support and resources you need to enrich your life more than you ever thought possible.

A 2017 study published in the Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment found that even one year of sobriety can make a world of difference; participants who remained sober for one year already showed improvements in life satisfaction, executive functioning and improvements in psychological distress compared to those not living a lifestyle of sobriety. Of course, there are many other powerful transformations that result from sober living, such as:

  • The reversal of some of those aging effects that addiction can cause (not only will you feel better, you’ll look better, too!)
  • The ability to connect with people and form meaningful relationships that are deeper than you ever had before
  • Feelings of empowerment as you’re able to control your mindset rather than letting your thoughts and emotions get the best of you
  • A life that is centered on what really matters – family, friends, passion, hobbies, career, adventure, love, values, spirituality and so much more

Sober living is an entire mind, body and spirit transformation. We shift from living a self-indulgent, unhealthy lifestyle, to one filled with balance, strength and hope.

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.

Living a life remission from addictionA term often used in contexts related to cancer, remission is defined by the National Cancer Institute as

“A decrease in or disappearance of signs and symptoms of [a condition].”

The term ‘remission’ is also used widely with addiction, because it is considered a disease of the mind, body and spirit. Those in active addiction experience signs and symptoms that cannot simply cease; in fact, many with addiction attempt to stop, only to find that their efforts fail. This is because addiction is a powerful disease that requires much more tools, resources and support to help a person recover. The American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) emphasizes that in order for those in recovery to achieve a state of remission, they must remain actively involved in their recovery. This may include:

  • Attending 12-Step meetings, such as through Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) or Narcotics Anonymous (NA)
  • Meeting regularly with a therapist
  • Participating in group therapy sessions
  • Maintaining contact with a 12-Step sponsor
  • Engaging in spiritual recovery practices, such as prayer, meditation, yoga, etc.
  • And more

A life of remission from addiction is ultimately a life of sobriety, and it is during this time that a person has worked so hard for an enriching life filled with balance, connection and hope. The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) notes that by the state of remission, a person is likely to experience improved mind and body functioning, with more control over their cravings and triggers. In essence, remission takes a lot of time and dedication in recovery – but it’s absolutely worth it.

One person shared their personal experience with remission from addiction via the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI). They explained that ever since they started living a life of sobriety, their voice has become stronger in standing up for themselves, their values, their happiness and health. In a very powerful statement, they stated:

“I know that each morning, when I wake up, there is only going to be one person who will never go away from me – and that person is myself.”

Start working towards a lifestyle of sobriety today. It’s never too late.

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.

Living life sober of alcoholThe path to sobriety is a long, winding road, but so many people find immense healing and transformation along the way.

If you’re just beginning your journey or are contemplating it, you’re not alone in feeling apprehensive.

Recovery means change and change can be scary – but that doesn’t mean it couldn’t improve your life in ways you never thought possible.

Holly Glenn Whitaker, the founder of HipSobriety.com, a website that shares her personal story with addiction and eating disorders, explained some of the most inevitable changes those in recovery are likely to experience via Self.com.

These are noted:

  1. Friends will change.
  2. Social situations will change as sobriety is placed as a higher priority.
  3. You will learn more about your true self – and your real personality that is no longer masked by substances.
  4. Questions may come your way about why you don’t drink or use other substances and you’ll become more confident in responding with however you feel is appropriate.
  5. Intimacy will take on an entirely new meaning.
  6. Certain friends or potential love interests may no longer be interested in the “sober” you – and that’s okay because they weren’t meant to be in your life anyways.

Not only will your social circumstances change, but you’ll witness some amazing changes in your mind, body and spirit, too. A 2017 study published in the Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment sought to explore how abstinence affected those in addiction recovery. Participants who successfully quit substance abuse for one year showed greater life satisfaction, executive functioning and less psychological distress compared to groups who did not practice sobriety.

We have to stop fearing change. This type of fear is what holds us back from living a life that will benefit us in so many ways; if you’re ready to start your journey to recovery today, speak with someone from Cumberland Heights. The time is now.

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.

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.


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