Why Rehab May Take More than One Attempt

Why Rehab May Take More than One Attempt

Multiple stints in rehab can give you the resolve to get and stay clean from drugs

Ask any recovering addict if it is easy to get clean from drugs, and the answer will be no, but sobriety is worth the effort. Addiction recovery is a lifelong process that requires constant tweaking not only from the recovering addict, but also from her loved ones. So, if you need more than one stay in rehab, it is not because you are a failure, but because you are due for an update. Read more

3 Signs of a Bad Therapist

3 Signs of a Bad Therapist

The right therapist can mean the difference between recovery and relapse

Choosing the right therapist is an important part of the recovery process. Your therapist should understand your unique needs and earn your trust. During rehab, your team of doctors, psychotherapists and other workers will help you accept your addiction and learn how to live a drug-free life. Continued therapy after rehab ends is also important to the success of your recovery. Many facilities offer continued therapy for their patients, and others refer patients to local therapists. In any case, a crucial step to continued recovery success is finding the right therapist. The following signs of a bad therapist can help you get started. Read more

What Is Aftercare?

What Is Aftercare?

Comprehensive individual counseling and diagnosis of all underlying or co-occurring disorders is a part of successful rehab

Most people logically think of inpatient rehab when they think of addiction recovery. While it is certainly true that high-quality treatment is a critical first step in the treatment of drug and alcohol dependence, what many people do not realize is that solid aftercare is often the key to lasting sobriety. It is this ongoing aspect of addiction treatment that sets the tone for a new life free of substance abuse. Read more

Importance of a Routine in Recovery

Importance of a Routine in Recovery

Establishing a daily routine is an important aspect of overcoming an addiction

Drug addiction impacts every facet of an individual’s life, including the people he spends time with and the places he goes. Drug use can become a fundamental part of a person’s daily behavior that affects almost every decision he makes. An individual struggling with an addiction often makes decisions that have negative consequences because he is so dependent on his drug of choice that he feels as if nothing is more important than drug use. In rehab, patients are provided with the tools they need to overcome their physical and psychological addiction and to stop living for substance abuse. In order to break away from the cycle of addiction, Californians seeking addiction recovery can establish a new routine that makes it easier to avoid the people, places and activities that foster his desire for drugs. Read more

What Does it Mean to Be in Recovery

The word “recovery” is used quite liberally in both the mental health and addiction treatment fields. For those involved in those fields the term likely makes perfect sense, but to someone new to the vernacular it may seem oblique or confusing. What exactly does it mean to be “in recovery” anyway?

Understanding Addiction as a Disease

One of the most significant and helpful developments in the treatment of addiction was the realization that it functions as both a physiological and psychological disease in the brain. While substance abuse may start off as a choice a person makes to get high, over time the chemistry and physical characteristics of the brain is changed. Neural pathways, the microscopic electronic highways that connect emotions, thoughts, and actions, are changed by addiction. A certain experience, such as physical pain, emotional distress, or even boredom, triggers an almost reflexive response in the brain that causes the person to seek relief by drinking or using drugs. Addiction overrides the brain’s ability to make conscious decisions related to self-control. This is why addicts find themselves using even when they desperately want to stay clean.

Once doctors and mental health experts understood the disease nature of addiction, a new treatment paradigm emerged. Instead of focusing on the relatively simple process of detoxifying the addict’s body, treatment expanded to include the following techniques that allow the addict to become more aware of the triggers that cause him to seek relief through substance abuse:

  • Counseling
  • Education
  • Motivation
  • Strategizing for long-term sobriety

The goal changed, then, from enforcing abstinence to allowing the addict to heal. The underlying belief is that when the proper treatment techniques are applied, an addict can recover the following critical skills:

  • The ability to tolerate distress or discomfort
  • Delaying gratification
  • The ability to think before acting
  • Cultivating a habit of accountability with trusted partners
  • Being aware of, and concerned about, the effects one’s actions have on others

Like a victim of nerve damage would work to recover his ability to walk, or the victim of a head injury may work to recovery lost memories, addicts in rehab work to recover control over their actions and emotions.

What Does Recovery Look Like?

There are two basic phases of recovery:

  • Active Treatment is the time spent in a residential program where the addict is removed from the pressures and temptations of daily life and allowed to focus all energy and attention on the healing process
  • Aftercare often involves ongoing individual or family counseling, support group meetings, continuing education, and involvement in social activities that support and promote a sober lifestyle

Many addicts, understanding that the addictive behavior patterns remain imprinted in the subconscious part of their brain, accept that they will be “in recovery” for the rest of their lives. To be in recovery means to be mindful, to be connected with a support group, to be involved in meaningful relationships with fellow recovery patients, and to do whatever is necessary to avoid relapse.

24 Hour Recovery Information Helpline

If you would like more information about what it means to be in recovery, or would like to be connected with the most effective and transformational recovery resources available, please call our toll-free helpline today. The call is confidential and free and there are no strings attached.

How Short-Term Thinking Maintains Long-Term Recovery

If a recovering addicts thinks about sobriety in terms of avoiding drugs and alcohol for the rest of his life, he is likely to feel overwhelmed. Committing to anything for a lifetime can seem scary, especially at first; to cope with the life changes that come with recovery, many people use short-term thinking. For example, getting through 24 hours without using drugs seems more doable than never using again. Therefore, many  recovering addicts live one day at a time, which means that short-term thinking can maintain long-term recovery.

Taking Recovery One Day at a Time

The difference between “I am going to be sober today” and “I have to be sober for the rest of my life” can help people avoid relapse. One day is a relatively short amount of time, so it can seem like a small obstacle to overcome—staying sober everyday eventually becomes weeks, months, years and finally a lifetime. As author Annie Dillard has said, “the way we spend our days is, of course, the way we spend our lives.”

Recovering addicts can apply the concept of living one day at a time to many areas of life. For example, in addition to remaining sober, they can commit to the following goals at the beginning of each day:

  • Be kind to others
  • Find joy in the small things
  • Set aside a half hour or more to relax and reflect
  • Work hard at a career or school

Taking life one day at a time is a valuable skill for anyone. Life happens in the present, and no one can predict or control the future. Likewise, the past is done, and, although it is important to use past experiences to facilitate positive change, agonizing over mistakes is counterproductive. Tackling goals or obligations one day at a time allows people to let go of the stress that comes with worrying about the future. This mindset also allows for more success than if one’s mind dwelt on future possibilities or past mistakes. Thinking about the past or the future too often can lead to discontentment, but living one day at a time allows people to find happiness in the present, thereby a satisfying life of sobriety.

Find Quality Addiction Treatment

If you or someone you love needs support maintaining long-term addiction recovery, then please feel free to contact us for help. Our admissions coordinators can connect you to resources that will equip you or your loved one for long-term recovery. Our toll-free helpline is available 24 hours a day, so call now to learn more about how our staff can help you begin your journey to recovery.

Challenges Facing Young Adults in Recovery

According to the National Institute on Drug Addiction, over 23 million people age 12 and up needed treatment for drug abuse problem in the U.S. Young adults aged 15-18 made up a little less than 20 percent of that group. Unfortunately, many of those young adults do not get help for their substance abuse. As a result, young adults (especially those with a co-occurring mental health disorder) are more likely to experience fierce challenges in their lives.

Compared to their peers who do not use drugs, young addicts are:

  • More likely to experience homelessness
  • More likely to be arrested
  • More likely to drop out of school
  • More likely to be unemployed

Many of these young adults have difficulty affording treatment for their addiction. This makes it even more challenging to get the help they need.

Challenges of Young Adults in Rehab

Once young adults do enter recovery, they face a set of challenges that are unique to their age group. As a result, many of them do not complete recovery and eventually relapse into active drug addition again.

Challenges young adults face in recovery include:

  • Young adults often have a lower level of frustration tolerance. This means that they become frustrated quickly. They have a hard time with delayed gratification and may not readily see the long-term benefits of addiction recovery.
  • Young adults may lack critical thinking skills and the ability to connect their actions with the subsequent consequences. This is especially true if their cognitive development has been delayed because of serious drug use.
  • Young adults are sometimes diagnosed with a mental health disorder during treatment, which can complicate addiction recovery.
  • Young adults have not had the life experiences necessary to learn positive coping skills (rather than using drugs), so they may have an added challenge in this aspect of rehab.
  • Young adults have had less time to learn how to interact with people in a healthy manner. This may add extra difficulty to group therapy and living in a treatment center, especially if they have to room with another person.
  • Young adults may be less aware of their emotions, since this usually develops later in adulthood. This may present an added challenge in processing the roots of addiction.

Every person who goes through recovery will face his own set of challenges. Fortunately, professionals in addiction recovery are trained and experienced in helping people of all ages overcome any hurdles they may face.

Getting Help for Your Addiction

If you or a loved one is struggling with an addiction, we are here to help. You can call our toll-free helpline any time, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. You can discuss your situation with an admissions coordinator who can help you decide how best to approach your recovery. We can even recommend treatment programs that specialize in helping young adults. You have a long future ahead of you. Don’t trade it for a high that won’t last. Call us today and start on the road of recovery.

Why Do I Have to Go to Therapy During Rehab?

Why Do I Have to Go to Therapy During Rehab?

Understanding how addiction works shows why recovering addicts should attend counseling and therapy

Although physical recovery is an important part of rehab, psychological and emotional wellbeing are also desired in most programs. The reasons for this type of care are many—mostly because someone is not free of drug abuse when emotional and psychological scars from addiction go unaddressed. Therapy during rehab is usually imparted in one of two settings—individual and group therapy. Understanding how addiction works will show you why recovering addicts should attend counseling and therapy. Read more

7 Best Ways to Prepare for Someone Coming Home from Rehab

7 Best Ways to Prepare for Someone Coming Home from Rehab

Preparation helps loved ones support recovering addicts who return home from rehab

When an addict returns home from rehab, her friends and loved ones can play a major role in supporting lasting recovery. Below are seven ways to prepare to provide the best support possible for recovery:

  • Learn about addiction – If you want to help, start by learning about addiction. Some people errantly believe that addiction is a matter of character and self-control, but it is actually a disease of the brain reward system that affects memory, motivation, perception and neural circuitry. Learning about addiction instills compassion and it empowers people to provide more effective help, such as recognizing relapse risks and signs.

Read more

Dealing with the Speed Bumps of Recovery

Dealing with the Speed Bumps of Recovery

Reach out for the help you need to get back on track

The road of addiction recovery lasts a lifetime, and it is unfortunately strewn with speed bumps along the way. While it is sometimes possible to navigate around these speed bumps, they are often unavoidable. When facing inevitable setbacks and challenges, special care must be given to move forward and make your way back onto the road of recovery.  Read more

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