Category: Recovery

Recovery Support Group

The Importance of a Recovery Support Group After Addiction Treatment

Addiction can take complete control over an individual’s life.  Fortunately, it can be overcome through proper addiction treatment.   Once a person goes through treatment and achieves their sobriety, it can be very relieving and be freeing.  But being released from rehab can either be something a person looks forward to or fears.  An individual comes from a lifestyle full of using substances, goes into a very safe environment that is conducive to their sobriety, and after departing from this stable facility, it can feel imposing to be able to confront the barriers and difficulties of day to day life alone. For this reason, it is imperative to have a recovery support group that you know you can depend on when times get tough.

Importance of a Recovery Support Group

What constitutes a proper recovery support group can be different for every person, as some may need more comprehensive support.  There are several different types of support that a person can reach to once out of treatment, such as:

  • Continued Treatment – There are several lower levels of treatment that a person in recovery can utilize to fortify their sobriety. Outpatient can be an excellent way to continue treatment when back in the day to day life.  Outpatient will have set appointments that an individual can go to and take up any issues that they have experienced in recovery. Sometimes trying to jump right back into life may not be the best thing for an individual in recovery. Instead of jumping right back into life, transitional housing could be of great help.  Transitional housing, also called sober homes or halfway houses, allow an individual to stay in a more structured environment.  They will be residing with other people who are working to recover from their addiction, and these people can be a great support group.
  • Professional Assistance – Individual professional assistance can be a great way to get support in transitioning back into life. One can seek a personal counselor or therapist to help them to continue to work through their addiction.  A person does not have to simply grin and bear it if they feel they need more help, as professional assistance can be beneficial.
  • 12 Step Groups – Attending 12 step meetings can be an easy way for a person to build a support group once out of treatment quickly. These groups, such as Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous are full of people looking to stay clean from their addictions and help others to do the same.  You can work the steps yourself, and the group can contribute to assist you in going through them.  Part of the 12 step system is an individual called a sponsor, and they will be there to help you personally.  A sponsor is another person who has achieved sobriety and is in recovery and takes others under their wing to help them.
  • Loved Ones – Loved ones can provide some of the most valuable support out there for a person. They can be there to help guide and encourage a recovering individual.  Some people feel bad about leaning on their loved ones, but it is never shameful to let your loved ones contribute to support you.

Call Best Drug Rehabilitation Today

Here at Best Drug Rehabilitation, we know struggling with an addiction can be one of the most difficult conditions to be in.  That is why we are here to help people to overcome it.  Our comprehensive program is tailored to each and their needs, which allows the whole of their addiction to be addressed.  Programs that simply have a one size fits all mentality tend to be much less successful than centers like ours.  If you have any questions, give us a call today.

Encouragement for Addicts in Recovery

Best Words of Encouragement for Addicts in Recovery

When an individual has overcome the massive difficulties and struggles that come part and parcel with addiction, they have achieved a monumental task.  They have worked very hard to achieve this, and for that reason, their family and other loved ones need to be there to help guide and encourage them along this path of sobriety. Sometimes, recovery and sobriety can sit teetering on a fragile line for some individuals, so words of encouragement and support to these people can go miles.  Words of encouragement for addicts in recovery that highlight the accomplishment of what they have done can be the one thing that keeps them in recovery.

Addicts in Recovery Need Words of Encouragement

How to voice words of encouragement to addicts in recovery can be extremely important so that they have the most positive impact and success.  Since these words can be so critical for assisting in maintaining and encouraging an individual’s sobriety, it is important to voice them correctly, to truly validate them.  Saying things such as, “Good job on getting clean,” versus “I have noticed such a great change in you after you got out of rehab.  You seem much calmer and confident,” can have a large difference in impact.  False or insincere words of encouragement can be seen through, so be sincere and genuine in what you are praising them about.  Pay attention and notice details and tell them what you have seen to help bolster these positive changes.

Some of the best words of encouragement for addicts in recovery are regarding subjects such as:

  • Significant positive changes you have observed
  • Changes in behavior
  • Increases in confidence
  • Successful accomplishments
  • Positive changes in emotions
  • Noting how proud of them you are
  • Promoting your faith in them
  • Pride of their overcoming old habits
  • Good choices that they have made

Use these subjects to form some words of encouragement for your loved one.  You are their support team, and functioning as such is important to help fortify your loved one for the long term.  One of the most important things when offering words of encouragement is to point out specifics, as it shows them you are noticing the valuable and positive changes they have made.

Be Your Loved One’s Cheerleader

Generalized compliments or encouragement can be picked up as banal or insincere, so stay aware of the things they are changing and doing to live a sober and more confident life.  Being your loved one’s cheerleader helps to show them that what they are doing is worth it and motivating the continuation of their sobriety and change.  Recovery from addiction can be tough sometimes when those impulses, triggers, or cravings hit, so having a reliable support system of loved ones that encourage and motivate them to continue helps them to get past those difficulties.

Seeking Treatment for Addiction

Best Drug Rehabilitation is here to help you or your loved one overcome the challenge of dependency.  We know it is a strenuous task to get past the struggles of addiction, but we can assist you with that.  Our program was founded to create a rehabilitation center that will treat every person as an individual.  Addiction is a condition that does not have a one size fits all solution.  Here at Best Drug Rehabilitation, we function upon that premise and tailor a program that is unique to each person that enters our program.  This way particular underlying issues that are unique to the person get taken up and addressed, where many times they otherwise would not.  Take the first step toward a sober life and give us a call today.

Inpatient Rehab, More Effective for Drug Treatment

Why is Inpatient Rehab the Most Effective Program for Drug Addiction?

When you’re checking out different drug addiction rehabilitation programs, you’re going to find both outpatient and inpatient rehab information. At first glance, you may think that outpatient treatment is better because it causes fewer changes in your life. However, when you’re in a dangerous place with drugs, you likely want to infuse as many positive changes as possible.

Read more

Continuing Recovery: Discovering Methods of Controlling the Urge to Use

Continuing Recovery: Discovering Methods of Controlling the Urge to Use

The Best Drug Rehabilitation program is not just about helping our patients to get clean and sober. It is about helping them to make the lifestyle changes that will allow them to stay that way. In recovery program meeting rooms across America, you can often hear similar tales of a person who has been “in and out of rehab.” It is evident that they have the desire to quit using drugs or drinking, but for some reason, they just can’t seem to shake the urge to use. They may be clean for a few days, weeks, months or even years, but somehow, in the end, they always wind up going back out and using. Sadly, this seems to be a fairly common issue with people in recovery from drug addiction or alcoholism.

Of course, not everyone is like this. There are those who stick to it and remain clean and sober after just one trip to a recovery center. There are those who can maintain sobriety without even needing to go to rehab, choosing to use the strength and support that they find in 12-Step recovery programs. There are even some, although they are few and far between, that don’t even use that or any other method of recovery, just one day choosing to quit using or drinking and never picking it back up.

More commonly, however, most people who are or have been in a recovery program have made multiple unsuccessful attempts at remaining drug or alcohol-free. They are not at fault. Addiction is a powerful thing and does not loosen its grip easily. Once addiction has taken control of a person’s life, it wants to remain in control, and it has all kinds of tricks that allow it to do so.

Subconscious Urges: When Even Sleep is Not an Escape

One of those devious tricks that addiction will play on a person in recovery comes in the form of dreams. According to research that was recently released by the National Center for Biotechnology Information, a department of the National Library of Medicine and the National Institutes of Health, examiners found a direct correlation between the frequency and occurrence of dreams that involved active substance abuse and a person’s increased desire to use drugs or alcohol(1). In a study that was conducted over a five week period, 86 participants used dream journal methodology to report the regularity and content of their dreams, and rating the level of their cravings afterward.

The study concluded that dreams, where a person is actively using their drug of choice, will sometimes function as a conditioned stimulus to those in recovery from addiction, elevating the urge to use. What this means is that, even when they are asleep, addiction is trying to regain control over the life of a person who is fighting to overcome it. With the deceptive nature of addiction, is it any wonder that a person might relapse at any time? When an individual who has been clean and sober for only a short period wakes up in the morning with the urge to use, one that is decidedly stronger than when they went to bed, how can we expect them to remain clean and sober?

Relapse Prevention: The Keys to Remaining Substance Free and Controlling the Urge to Use

The answer, of course, lies in the tools that they have available to them that allow them to face these urges without succumbing to them. Relapse prevention is a crucial part of the recovery process. Without it, most are doomed to repeat the dangerous and deadly cycle of addiction endlessly, until they become completely consumed. In recovery from addiction, it is not enough to just help a patient detox, merely cleansing the body of toxins and sending them back out into the world. To hope for someone who is suffering from addiction to remain clean and sober without addressing the underlying causes of their addictive behaviors and supplying them with the tools to stay substance-free after the completion of a recovery program is nothing short of folly.

So, what are these tools? Well, they are numerous, and they differ for everyone. Each person that comes to Best Drug Rehabilitation is unique, and they all have different needs in an efficient recovery program. It for this very reason that the BDR rehabilitation strategy is designed to be adaptable to each patient by offering various options in treatment methods and allowing them a certain level of freedom in determining the direction that their program will take on the path to recovery. We believe that, while the ultimate goal of leading a drug and alcohol-free life is the same for all of our patients, there are more ways than one to reach that goal. Each person’s journey to our recovery center was different. Likewise, each patient’s journey through recovery and beyond will be different, even though, ideally, the results will be the same.

While the Relapse Prevention tools a patient uses to remain sober will be different for each, they can be characterized similarly, and grouped into general categories that cover just about every aspect of life after graduating from our program.

  • What is causing these cravings? – Identifying the Potential Triggers of Substance Abuse – One of the biggest causes of relapse is what is known as a “trigger.” A trigger can be a person, place, situation, even an active memory or, as we have seen, something as simple as a dream. Some of these triggers are unavoidable. We don’t have any control over our dreams, and we can’t help it if we run into an old drinking buddy at the grocery store. However, in identifying our triggers, we learn to find those things that have strong connotations of drug use or alcoholism and then do everything in our power to remove these things from our lives. Removing triggers is also one way that we reclaim control over our lives and futures from the clutches of addiction.
  • Find something else to do – Alternative Responses to the Desire to Use – Another tool that we have to break down our mind’s attachment to a craving or the urge to use is found in the redirection of that attachment to a different result. For example, a person who is trying to quit smoking cigarettes may take to chewing gum or a toothpick whenever the craving for nicotine enters their minds. This example, while simplified, is one way that a person struggling to overcome their addiction might gain a bit of control over their urges. Some clinics and recovery centers have taken this a step further, by using a less potent drug to fend off the cravings of a person addicted to opioids or other narcotics. However, at BDR, we believe that this is not actually recovery from an addiction, but merely the replacement of one drug with another, and will almost always result in relapse. Instead, we encourage our patients to discover healthier and more productive activities to fight the urge to use. Music, art, writing, exercise, meditation, yoga, sports, just about anything that will help them to build up their minds and strengthen their bodies, while simultaneously helping them in avoiding the deadly path of substance abuse.
  • Reach out and talk about it – Support Networks and Communication – Perhaps one of the most valuable assets in overcoming the urge to use that a person has at their disposal is the Support Network. Friends or family members who understand what they are going through, who understand how tough it is to beat an addiction and are willing to listen and offer guidance and strength to them, are instrumental in recovery. These interpersonal bonds begin taking root when the patient learns to form healthy relationships, to repair the connections that have been damaged by their substance abuse, and to remove those unhealthy associations that were formed through drug or alcohol use. The extensive Aftercare Department at Best Drug Rehabilitation also offers assistance in finding local support groups and recovery meetings for graduates of our program, which are essential in maintaining a clean and sober lifestyle while controlling the urge to use.

An In-Depth Recovery Program: Best Drug Rehabilitation

At Best Drug Rehabilitation, we place great emphasis on helping our patients to discover and address the underlying causes of their addictive behavior. We also focus intensively on helping our patients to find the abilities and strengths within to remain clean and sober after they have completed their recovery program and returned to “normal” life. With Relapse Prevention tools, we strive to give our patients everything that they need to face the pressures and obstacles of modern life without resorting to drug or alcohol abuse. Our graduates leave our recovery center with a renewed sense of purpose and control in their lives. They understand the level of personal responsibility that they hold in their sobriety. They understand that, while our goal is to help them in any way that we possibly can with every step that they take on the path to recovery, the power to avoid a relapse and remain clean, sober and substance-free remains, ultimately, in their hands alone.

Tips for Coping After Rehab

10 Tips for Coping After Rehab

Anyone going through a drug rehabilitation program should be personally invested in the process. If a person is just doing it “because their family wants them to” or something of the sort, their chances of success are slimmer. If they are not honest about it and are just going through the motions, if they are just looking busy and not really doing the program, they will not get all the attainable results. There is also the situation of it not being the right plan for the individual, which is where holistic rehabilitation comes in. Once you have found the right program and completed it, there is still the process of coping after rehab, which is not always easy.

But providing that we have a good result after rehab – the individual has cleaned up and feels ready to get on with life – we still have post-rehab existence staring us straight in the face. Even when rehab was a howling success, facing life afterward can be utterly terrifying. There are many reasons for this, not the least of which is the fact that anyone who has kicked drugs has probably quit and relapsed several times in the past. They’ve been around the block more than a few times. Coping after rehab can be just as daunting as any step of rehab itself if not far more challenging. Here are ten points to heed based on decades of experience:

  1. Friends, Family, Support Network

The value of a strong support network cannot be overstated. These are your trusted family and friends and should also include members of the rehab facility’s aftercare section. Regular communication is essential, especially for the first couple of months. But actually, the support never really ends. The rehab graduate should be able to discuss what they are running into and what kind of environmental pressures they may be experiencing. After talking with a member of the support network, something that had “no solution” will often practically solve itself. Communication is fundamental in coping after rehab.

  1. Focus, Self-Discipline, Interests, Pursuits

When one has hobbies, interests, pursuits, goals, and ambitions, one does better at focusing his or her attention. There is something on which to focus and a reason to employ self-discipline. It’s like a river. Without any channel, there is no flow. There is “dispersal” instead of direction. When the water is directed, it reaches its destination, the ocean. When someone is focused on a goal that they are personally interested and invested in, they will – to greater or lesser degree – hold the channels in place. Focusing one’s efforts and having the willpower to work toward goal attainment is significant to post-rehab life.

  1. Art, Creativity

Art is a powerful therapy. Many people recovering from substance abuse find solace in creativity – others’ creativity and their own. Learning an instrument, painting, writing, photography, and any other creative field are all excellent ways to channel emotions and communicate. Coping after rehab can be put into startling, compelling and beautiful perspective through the arts.

  1. Hard Work, Honesty

One’s value to society is most commonly measured by the work you perform. One should be able to perform an honest day’s work and be squarely compensated for it. When a person holds a job, they get a sense of their inherent value to society. Even when a person feels they are in a “dead-end job,” at least they’re working. Individuals who cannot work have a much bigger problem. You can always look for a new job, seek advancement, start your own business – the field is wide open. The stability of holding a job should not be underestimated. It is often the bedrock upon which one builds the rest of his or her life.

  1. Plans

It’s not enough to have a destination. Without a roadmap, you’ll never arrive. Formulating a plan is a major component of building a post-rehab life. Plans can go from very broad, like “go back to school” to encompassing the next month, all the way down to what you’ll do in the next hour. Plans are beneficial for focusing and channeling one’s efforts as noted above. One must also have the ability to adjust the plan as needed.

  1. Dealing with Cravings, A Major Part of Coping After Rehab

Your plan for coping after rehab must include what to do about cravings. Cravings do and will happen. It is crucial and must be part of the personalized aftercare strategy worked out before completing rehab. Each person’s approach is different. It could be as simple as going outside and taking a walk, calling a trusted friend, reading a message one wrote for oneself, or playing a video one made earlier for just this occasion or any number of other approaches. It must be something effective a person can do immediately without hesitation in the advent of cravings.

  1. Maintain Positivity

Remain positive” is not just a catchphrase with no practical application in the real world. Just living life and trying to get ahead can get you down. Coping after rehab is not necessarily easy. Falling into despair doesn’t solve the situation, nor does drug abuse and numbing one’s feeling with chemicals. Maintaining positivity is an animated, alive, tangible, genuine and continuous action undertaken to conquer life and all its annoyances, setbacks, heartbreaks, barriers and opposition. It means not getting too “serious.” It means maintaining one’s sense of humor. And it is done each morning and with each passing moment. You fall down, but you get up, right? This is all part of coping anytime, especially in coping after rehab.

  1. Your Health

You see a medical doctor and complain about something, and they’ll probably prescribe a drug or medicine of some sort. Nothing against physicians – we need them – but they tend to treat the SYMPTOM rather than the CAUSE. Only eating right, exercising, doing some sports, and taking a few supplements can go a long way toward re-building and maintaining general health. Seeing a competent nutritionist, for example, can prove very enlightening and open the door to renewed vigor. All these elements help you cope with life. If your body is ill, fatigued, tired, etc. it doesn’t help you reach your goals. Paying due attention to your body (without worshiping it) is integral to a post-rehab strategy.

  1. Your Environment

Hanging out with your old hard-drinking, drug-using buddies isn’t very conducive to staying clean and sober. If they encourage you to use again, you should ask yourself what kind of “friends” they are. Perhaps they need help too, but testing your limits is not the wisest choice. You don’t have to lean over the edge to know it’s there and that it’s a long way down, especially if you’ve fallen over it before. So maintaining a positive environment, one populated by positive people, is vital.

  1. Doing Your Part

Another expression that is far more than a catchphrase is “giving back.” It means reaching out and helping others. Recovering addicts in rehab help other addicts as a matter of course. It is an important part of recovery, and there is no reason to stop post-rehab. Helping others, whether it’s other addicts looking to get cleaned up, tutoring kids in an after-school program, volunteering at your church, or just being a good friend, all add up to giving back in its many forms. It puts things in perspective. You just feel better. Who knows, you just may find a new calling while going through methods of coping after rehab.

Stay Sober After Rehab

How to Stay Sober After Rehab

If you have been addicted to drugs or alcohol, there is a chance that you have had some scary times with it. Whether you were placed into dangerous situations because of your need or whether you had to confront things about yourself that were unpleasant, fear is a very present companion. However, after getting out of rehab, you have to face the fear of relapse, which is different, but no less a terrifying specter. Many former addicts feel that this fear follows them, sometimes stronger, and sometimes weaker, but it is there, and dealing with it is an important part of recovery. Here, we discuss how to stay sober after rehab.

Ways to Stay Sober

Keep Moving to Stay Sober After Rehab

Recovery is a process, and the way that some people look at it, it is never over. It is important to remember that getting out of rehab, you are not in a great place. You likely feel great, and you may feel as if you can take on the world, but the truth is that in many ways, you are still very vulnerable. The key is to make a plan including some goals on how you are going to avoid going back to your old habits.

Replace Old Thought Patterns

Addiction has far more to do with the mental state than with a physical dependency. After getting out of rehab, you are no longer chemically dependent, but that does not mean that you won’t be tempted to return to your old patterns. It is not enough to simply take a drink from a soda bottle when you are craving alcohol; ideally, you will change the thought process that leads to you needing to take a drink in the first place. Getting to this point is something that can take time and effort, but in the end, it is what will prevent you from relapsing in the future. An effective treatment program offers specific training and counseling that will help you change the old thought patterns for a more lasting recovery.

Be Careful Around Old Friends

If you are dealing with drugs or alcohol, one thing that you will learn is that you need to avoid the circumstances where you formerly abused these things. If you are alcoholic, for example, you must stay away from the bars, of course, but this also includes people as well as places. If you had friends, who used to drink with you, avoid them. It is one thing if you can prevent them from drinking in your presence, but across the board, many former addicts found that it was far better to avoid friends who were heavy drinkers simply.

The Longer You Stay Sober After Rehab, the More Likely You Are to Stay Sober

In the 80s, 90s and early 2000s, there was a general belief that if you stayed sober at least 30 days, everything else would work itself out. However, in 2008, the Los Angeles Times did a survey of a vast number of clinics in the area and found that as a matter of fact, there was nothing magical about thirty days at all. The truth is that the longer you are sober, the more likely you are to keep being sober. There is no magical day when you will simply be less susceptible to an addictive substance. More and more programs are realizing that long-term inpatient stays are better, and that might be a resource you need to look into.

Consider Inpatient Care

Life doesn’t begin or end after rehab. It’s still life, and the chances are good that you still need to figure out what you are doing. While rehab is a significant step, it is far from the only step, and that is what inpatient care is all about. With the right program, you will have the monitoring you need as well as the care that it takes to change your life indeed. It is challenging to deal with addiction while you are managing other aspects of your life, and that is something that inpatient care can alleviate.

Getting out of rehab is an incredible step, but the truth is that your journey and your efforts cannot remain here. Learn more about how you can proceed and what it will take for you to grow into the person you know you can be. Today is only the beginning of something amazing!

Learn more about creating a relapse prevention plan that will help you to stay sober after rehab by reading our relapse prevention post.

Overcome Temptations After Rehab

How to Overcome the Temptations After Rehab

After you’ve completed your treatment program and moved back into your regular routines, you may find that you are fighting the temptations after rehab. The US Department of Corrections states that 46 percent of people arrested on drug charges will be arrested again within one year on similar charges. Even if your drug issue never involved the law, working to stay clean is obviously a challenge for many previous users. It doesn’t matter what your drug of choice was; you need to find strategies to resist the urge to use again. While each person is different in their situation and behavior, finding your own plan to avoid relapsing is part of your recovery.

Ways to Avoid the Temptations After Rehab

Avoid Toxic People

While, of course, you will want to avoid acquaintances you knew only by having a shared habit, you will also want to weed out any toxic people from your life. Toxic people are those who refuse to be supportive. They may use phrases such as:

  • “You will relapse. You always do.”
  • “You know you can’t kick the habit.”
  • “You are a disappointment to your family and will always be a druggie.”

None of these attitudes are helpful to you. Do not accept negative attitudes or snarky put-downs. You need to surround yourself with people who will be positive, support you, and help you fight past any stumbling blocks you encounter on your road to permanent sobriety. If the negative energy is coming from your family members or loved ones, you may need to have a serious discussion about their attitude. If this fails, you may want to limit contact with negative individuals until you are more secure in knowing that you are strong enough to overcome these temptations after rehab.

Find New Interests and Hobbies

If you lived with your addiction for an extended period, you might not know what to do with all of your extra time once you stop using and complete rehab. You should focus your energies on activities that will take up your time and leave you with a positive feeling. Some former addicts may enjoy hiking, adopting a pet, playing sports, or creating art. Whatever you decide to try, it will occupy your mind and make you feel more accomplished. Keeping busy with hobbies such as these will go a long way in helping you with cravings and other temptations after rehab.

Learn to Nourish Yourself

Many addictions can have profound effects on a person’s digestive tract and hunger response. Once you are no longer using, you may find that your appetite has returned with a vengeance. This can lead to binge eating and weight gain. You may need to learn how to eat three healthy meals again, as well as make balanced food choices. If you have trouble eating a full meal at once, try six smaller meals spaced evenly throughout your day. Drink plenty of water, and don’t forget to add fruits and vegetables into your diet. All of this will give you something new to focus on while ensuring your future health.

Plan and Schedule Your Days

At first, it may seem that temptation is lurking around every corner. However, if you plan out your days, you will have a purpose and are less likely to become ensnared in dangerous distractions leading to temptations after rehab. Not only will this help you avoid using again, but it will also help you to develop a sense of purpose and drive to do well with your life.

Consider More Inpatient Treatment if Needed

If you find yourself using again or are seriously doubting your ability to stay clean, know that you can always check into an inpatient facility to get more help. At inpatient facilities, the staff is trained to help you learn new behaviors and develop new strategies for sobriety. Don’t wait until you are thoroughly ensnared by addiction once more before asking for help.

The temptation to use drugs again after rehabilitation can be enormous. However, by using these strategies, you can avoid falling back into your old habits and lead a sober, drug-free life once again.

Source:

Connecticut Department of Corrections

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