family of addicts/what to do after a relapse

How to Cope with Living with an Addict

There’s no doubt that individuals who have an addiction have it tough. However, living with an addict can cause an unimaginable amount of fear, sadness, and grief. Living with a loved one who needs to seek treatment for addiction can be extremely difficult, bringing hardship to the entire family.

Addiction brings with it a world full of lies and deceit, leaving the people who are being lied to with unanswerable questions and haunting doubt.

Living With an Addict Takes Its Toll

Living with someone who suffers from addiction is difficult no matter if that addict is your spouse, parent, child, or friend. It’s incredibly difficult to watch them struggle with a problem as serious as addiction. It’s especially difficult to know that there is no sure way to get through to them and get them to just stop abusing drugs or alcohol. When addiction is involved, the desire to get sober has to come from the addict, and no one else can force them to recover from alcoholism or addiction.

For someone who is living with an addicted individual, this can be incredibly frustrating. As hard as it is, individuals who are living with addicted loved ones must draw lines and set boundaries in order to prevent the living arrangement from becoming an enabling atmosphere. In an attempt to be caring, people often cross the line into enabling the addict to continue with their addiction.

Enabling behaviors include things like giving the addict money, which they will more than likely spend on drugs or alcohol, even if they swear they won’t. It could also be ignoring the addiction, proverbially “sweeping it under the rug.” It could also mean that you are allowing them to continue living with you, despite things like drinking and getting high, or maybe even stealing from you.

Enabling Behaviors Come in Various Forms

Some further examples of enabling behavior include:

  • Taking the responsibilities of the addict as your own.
  • Making excuses for them and covering for them.
  • Providing access to drugs and/or alcohol by having them in the home.
  • Giving the addicted individual empty threats – like threatening to kick them out but failing to actually do so.
  • Drinking or getting high with the person.

It is very difficult to differentiate between enabling an addict and being a caring person. Also, it can be challenging to find the fine line that stands between helping someone and enabling the person. Your loved one may sometimes seem desperate to have more drugs or alcohol. As his or her body goes into withdrawal between periods of substance use, the individual will struggle to feel “normal”. So, your loved one may ask you for help in acquiring drugs or alcohol.

In these challenging moments, seeing your friend or family member in a desperate condition can be overwhelming. In an effort to end your loved one’s suffering, you might give in to the pressure and give him or her money or access to the substances they abuse. 

Of course, this may seem like the best thing you can do in order to help your loved one to feel better. But, it’s only worsening the problem in the long run. Tough love is absolutely essential in this scenario. Spending more time and energy enabling your loved one’s addiction will take away from his or her health. It will also take away from your own life: your time, sanity, and money.

The Importance of Evaluating Your Situation

During this time, it may be difficult for you to figure out what you should do about your loved one’s problem. But, it’s important to evaluate the circumstance and determine whether you should continue living with your addicted loved one or if it’s best for you to separate yourself from the situation for a while.

Many individuals become tired and frustrated because of a loved one’s substance use problem. They may continuously beg their friend or family member to seek help. But, sometimes, people who suffer from addiction don’t desire or feel ready to take that step. 

This can obviously take a toll on the emotional and even the physical health of those who are connected to addicted individuals. It’s especially hard for those who are living with people who struggle with addiction. 

Sometimes, people who have substance use disorders don’t truly recognize how severe their problem is. In other cases, they may be aware of the effects of their problem but they may not want treatment. Perhaps your loved one isn’t expressing any interest in getting help. You may consider removing yourself from the situation or asking them to leave or get help.

Understanding Your Loved One’s Struggle With Addiction

One of the most common misconceptions when it comes to substance abuse is the idea that individuals who have addictions are choosing to continue using drugs and alcohol. In essence, many people believe that addiction is a choice.

This can often seem to be the case when it comes to your loved one. Perhaps, no matter how much you ask them to avoid substance use, your loved one continues to use and abuse drugs or alcohol. It can seem like your friend or family member is actually choosing substance abuse over everything else. 

But, the truth of the matter is that addiction is never a choice. In most cases, addiction develops over a period of time. Although there are usually signs of a developing problem, these indications are not always obvious. Sometimes, people become dependent on drugs or alcohol without realizing it. And, eventually, they find themselves suffering from addiction.

The Importance of Professional Treatment

Your friend or family member is suffering from a disease that they can’t overcome by simply choosing to stop drinking or using. Substance abuse is more than the physical action of using alcohol or drugs. It also involves underlying causes, including emotional and mental challenges.

This is one of the reasons why professional treatment is so important. Ending substance abuse is challenging because of the withdrawal symptoms that come with this process. Your friend or family member may need medical attention and guidance throughout their recovery. 

Do What’s Best For You and Your Loved One

Whether or not you continue to live with the individual, it’s best for you to set healthy boundaries between yourself and the addict so that you are not consumed by their actions. Make yourself a priority, and think about constructive ways you can help your friend or family member without devoting your whole life to it. The bottom line is that an addict will continue to use drugs or drink until they are ready to stop.

Getting them into treatment is obviously a great goal to have. It’s also worthwhile to educate yourself on what options are out there so that you can be ready with suggestions once the time comes. Also, use resources to help yourself, like support groups, or you may even want to consider therapy yourself.

If you are desperate about the situation, consider staging an intervention by bringing together people who genuinely care about the addicted individual in your life and want to see him or her do well. The overall goal is to get your loved one into treatment. But, in the end, that is only up to them.

Family Therapy as a Part of Addiction Treatment

Once a person is in an addiction treatment program, it’s important for families to be involved so that they can learn how to best deal with the behaviors that go along with addiction and recovery. In family therapy, you will benefit from a number of things, including:

  • You will stay updated on the progress of the addict’s treatment – setbacks, achievements, and all.
  • You will be invited to speak with a therapist without the addict present so that you have the opportunity to voice concerns about the situation.
  • Everyone, including the family and the individual in recovery, will come together with the therapist either in person or via a phone call to openly discuss and resolve any issues that may be going on.
  • You will be given resources for help so that you can move forward in a healthy relationship with the addict once treatment is over, and learn how to prevent and spot a relapse.

There is help out those who are suffering from addiction. Both the addicted individual and everyone around them can find hope through professional treatment and therapy. The sooner you can get help, the better the situation will be.

Getting Help at Discovery Institute in New Jersey

Here at Discovery Institute, we have been helping addicts and their families recover from drug and alcohol addiction for years. We understand the severity of addiction and we know what it takes in order to end this problem in the lives of our clients. Our team is dedicated to taking care of those who come to our facility and we also work to provide support and education to the families of our clients.

Living with an addicted individual is often challenging. It’s not easy to see your loved one struggle. But, Discovery Institute is here to help end this struggle in your family and bring peace to your home through recovery.

To speak with a staff member today and discuss the best options for you and your loved one, just contact us today by calling (844) 433-1101.

References:

https://www.drugabuse.gov/related-topics/treatment/what-to-do-if-your-adult-friend-or-loved-one-has-problem-drugs 

https://www.addictioncenter.com/rehab-questions/how-do-i-help-a-recovering-addict-or-alcoholic/ 

sober living homes

A Quick Stop on Your Road to Recovery: 5 Signs You Should Move into a Sober Living Home

Do you or a loved one struggle with addiction? Have you been on a hard road toward recovery for longer than you can remember?

Desire is the first necessary step to getting clean. But even when you “get clean,” you may not feel ready to re-enter society.

Sober living homes are sometimes called “halfway houses” because the residents are halfway to recovery. They’ve accomplished the initial actions required to get clean, but they’re not quite healed. They need help to stay clean.

If you feel hesitant to jump back into your normal life, don’t worry. You may not have to. Sober living homes are built for YOU.

Sober Living Homes vs. Rehab

First, what’s the difference between a sober living community and “rehab”? Sober living acknowledges that its residents have moved through the initial stages of recovery. Full-on rehab and detox centers deal with those still entrenched in their addictions.

Because of the recovery stage of their residents, rehabs have intense requirements and rigid rules. For example, rehab residents cannot leave the premises. They are constantly under strict supervision.

In comparison, sober living residents can usually come and go as they please. They do have strict, non-negotiable rules (sobriety being the main one), but they have greater freedom within the community.

Sober living homes aren’t for dragging you out of your addiction, they’re for relapse prevention.

Take a look at these five signs you should move into a sober living home.

1. You’ve Done Rehab

Most sober living homes require some degree of rehab before admission. This doesn’t necessarily mean you had to complete rehab or an entire 12-step program. But sober living is, in fact, a halfway house, not an inpatient facility.

Different homes vary, though, on their admission requirements. Some will take those who haven’t done any rehab! So be sure to ask about requirements when checking out different homes.

If you HAVE done some degree of rehab or detox, you may be a perfect fit for a sober living home. You may be looking for a safe place to move into after your intense treatment. In that case, a sober living community could greatly serve your continued recovery.

2. You Don’t Want a Time Restriction

Imagine you’ve moved into a recovery center and you’re making great progress on your path to sobriety. But you hear in your mind a constant ticking clock, counting down the days, hours, and minutes until you have to leave.

Some recovery centers have a time limit on how long you can live there. Whether you feel confident at the end of your stay is irrelevant. This rule may be well-intentioned, but YOU may feel that it puts pressure on your recovery.

Sober living homes work with YOU to determine your length of stay. The idea is to ease back into normality and independence, not rush!

You want to do it right the first time, regardless of how long it takes. If you need or want more time in a sober living environment, usually you can have it.

3. You Don’t Feel Ready to Be On Your Own but You Want Independence

You’ve completed some degree of rehab, now you want to prove yourself. BUT you don’t feel 100% confident on your own.

You don’t need intense treatment anymore, but you’re not fully adjusted to sobriety yet. The time is right to move into a sober living home!

Sober living homes offer a certain level of independence. You can get a job, see your family, go to the store, pretty much anything but break your sobriety. This is very different from the intensity of a 24/7 rehab center.

If you follow the rules, you keep your freedom. You’re subject to drug tests, but that is part of allowing you your independence.

Do you feel ready to handle your addiction in a safe, sober, supportive environment? Then don’t hesitate to look into a sober living home.

4. You Want a Support System

A large part of kicking an addiction is kicking the friends, acquaintances, and even family that enable the addiction. Ending those relationships is crucial to any 12-step or rehab program. So what do you do afterward, when your circle has dwindled?

Sober living communities offer you a new support system. Staff and counselors are there to teach you, coach you, and guide you on your path to sobriety. Even more importantly though, are the friends you’ll make IN the community.

You’ll be surrounded by other recoverees who are just as committed to change as you! Can you think of a better support system? You’ll be blown away by how many people you have cheering you on.

You and other residents can relate to each other in a way most others can’t. You can also keep each other accountable in your recovery goals.

The friendships you make in sober living can be deep and lifelong. How amazing does it sound to have close friends who have been through what you’ve been through AND are beating their own paths to recovery?

5. You’re Fully Committed to Sobriety

Even though you may feel daunted by the idea of handling your addiction on your own, you can also feel fully committed to sobriety. The two feelings are not mutually exclusive.

After whatever rehab, detox, or program you’ve done, do you feel committed to continuing toward recovery? Are you willing to do whatever it takes to get there?

The future can feel scary and unsure, but as long as you’re genuinely committed, a sober living home is right for you!

Continue on YOUR Path to Sobriety

In 2017, 19.7 million American adults reported suffering from substance abuse. That’s around a whopping 7%! If you struggle with addiction, you are not alone.

You’re also not alone in your battle for sobriety. Rehab centers, detox centers, and sober living homes are funded, built, and run for YOUR recovery!

If you’re on your path to sobriety but don’t feel comfortable jumping back in to complete independence, a sober living home may be your answer. And even the KEY to your recovery! Here at the Discovery Institute, we specialize in recovery, healing, and relapse prevention.

Check out our contact page to get in touch with us for details and admissions. Complete healing IS an option!

Bryn Davis’s comment (writer)
I’m not sure where to leave the list of resources asked for, but here it is:
https://www.addictioncenter.com/treatment/sober-living-homes/
https://drugabuse.com/sober-living-homes/
https://www.rehabs.com/treatment/sober-living/
https://americanaddictioncenters.org/rehab-guide/addiction-statistics
https://www.discoverynj.org/

family of addicts/what to do after a relapse

Getting Back up Again: What to Do After a Relapse

You didn’t quit, you just fell down.

Studies show that one of the top 5 reasons people relapse, is because they stop investing time in their self-care. When we talk about self-care, we mean the small, and large things you do, to take care of your physical, and mental health.

Exercising, eating healthy foods, and having healthy social outlets, is important for any human being. Yet it’s especially important for individuals who are in recovery, even if they’ve been in recovery for a long time.

Learning what to do after a relapse, starts with understanding that you aren’t a bad person. The American Institute of Stress found that gambling, or using drugs and alcohol, is often a symptom of chronic stress. Without a strong self-care plan, stress builds up, and your chances of sobriety begin to fall away.

Don’t worry though, just because you’ve used again, it doesn’t mean you have to stay trapped in the world of addiction.  Read on to learn about how to pick yourself back up again, after a relapse.

What to Do After a Relapse

Taking immediate action following your relapse is the best way to get back on the road to recovery. Here are the first 3 steps you should take immediately following a relapse.

  1. Reach out for help
  2. Seek medical attention if necessary
  3. Create a recovery program

Knowing what to do after a relapse, can empower you to get your life back on track again. Let’s start by looking at how powerful it can be to reach out, immediately following a relapse.

Finding Comfort by Reaching Out

You’ll need outside support to help you deal with overwhelming feelings, and emotions, that can surface after a relapse. Without help, the intensity of these feelings can easily trigger another relapse.

Intense Negative Emotions

Not only does guilt exhaust you mentally, but it also takes a major toll on your mental health. Doctors are finding out that guilt can cause issues such as back pains, headaches, weakened immune systems, and even cardiovascular disease.

Why Reaching Out Speeds up Recovery

Researchers are discovering that isolation contributes to drug use, overdoses, and relapses. If you want to prevent another relapse from happening, you’ll need the help of friends, and when possible, family.

The second you reach out for help, you’ll start breaking free from the bonds of isolation. Find someone in your circle of friends, or family, who is already aware of your past struggles with addiction.

Let them know you’ve relapsed, and need someone to talk to about it. Then, if possible meet with your loved one in person. If they don’t live nearby, a phone call will suffice, but you should still reach out to someone you can meet up with in person.

What to Say to Friends and Family

During your meeting, with your trusted friend, or loving family member, you’ll want to catch them up on what’s been going on. You don’t have to give them every detail, yet rather just let them know what type of relapse you’ve had, and how you’re feeling physically.

If you want to, you can share with them, all of the emotions, and feelings you’re experiencing. Yet, if you’re not ready to talk about how you feel, that’s completely okay. Instead, just focus on getting the facts out to your friend so they can assist you in finding the help you need.

Gambling Addictions

Individuals with gambling addiction should be honest about pending financial problems. For example, has the relapse jeopardized your chances of paying rent, or having money to get to work during the week? Don’t be frozen by shame, just be honest, and upfront about how much you gambled, and the financial repercussions you’re facing as a result.

Unburdening yourself won’t only feel great, it’ll increase the chances of getting the help you need to minimize your financial hardships. Even if family and friends can’t help you financially, you’ll feel relieved knowing the amount you’ve spent is no longer a secret.

Substance Abuse Addictions

If you have a substance abuse problem, like an addiction to alcohol, you should never try detoxing alone. Instead, you’ll want to find an inpatient, or outpatient program to assist you.

When you arrive at the detox center, be honest, and transparent, about what substances you’ve used, the amount, and for how long. The medical staff will need as much information as possible, to help your body heal efficiently.

Create a Recovery Program

After reaching out, and possibly going through detox, you can start building a recovery plan. One of the first steps in your plan should be to develop a support network. You can do this by spending your free time, hanging out with people who are also living a substance-free lifestyle.

You’ll also want to start investing time in your self-care. Set aside time, every day, that’s just for you. During this time, do a healthy activity, that can help either your mental health or physical well beings. You could spend your time walking, meditating, journaling, or even playing an instrument.

Remember, you don’t have to go through the journey of recovery alone. One of the best ways to help secure your path to recovery is by getting help from experienced professionals.

Trained professionals can help you gain insight into how addiction works, and the many ways it affects your entire being. The more you know about addiction, the more equipped you’ll be to maintain sobriety and find inner peace.

Tools for Recovery

Now you know more about what to do after a relapse. As you begin to piece your life back together, be kind, and patient to yourself.

Here at the Discovery Institute for Addictive Disorders, we know just how challenging a relapse can be. We understand that addiction doesn’t just affect one aspect of your life, it challenges your entire existence as a person. Your behavior, belief system, and lifestyle are all affected when you’re struggling with an addiction.

If you, or a loved one, has recently had a relapse, we can help guide you on the path to recovery. We’ve helped over 7,000 chemically affected people, find freedom and hope.

Are you ready to end the nightmare of drug abuse and alcoholism? Reach out to us today, using our contact us page and let us show you how we can help.


Sources

https://www.eruptingmind.com/the-psychology-of-guilt-overcoming-types-of-guilt/
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4553654/
https://www.huffpost.com/entry/the-real-cause-of-addicti_b_6506936?guccounter=1&guce_referrer=aHR0cHM6Ly93d3cuZ29vZ2xlLmNvbS8&guce_referrer_sig=AQAAAC18pEErVi65s1KGEmDsXxaiQRpMvpDrCYMTI-FKAAssCNU0w7d4kOiOl6yAJaQHvRB8pcCUROaDJ7Phj-u7V-6Jg70vn0cqJm0xi1TJhyb9wwDEbX65B1bHBR_s1Db2j9RbC7g_jJbe29kBdSPXjz0tCsmtChUK16TOmh-at_VV
https://www.stress.org/stress-effects
drinking with friends

Drinking With Friends: Making New Friends During Recovery

Did you recently commit to quitting drugs or alcohol and getting yourself sober?

You should know that you have a long road to recovery ahead of you. Studies have shown that anywhere from 40 to 60 percent of people who attempt to kick a drug or drinking habit relapse at some point.

One reason why some recovering addicts relapse is because they continue to hang around with old friends who don’t have their best interests at heart. They end up drinking with friends or using drugs with them simply because they spend a lot of time around them.

If you’re worried about this becoming a problem for you, there are steps you can take to create boundaries between you and your friends. You can also set out to make new friends during recovery to avoid relapsing.

Here are some tips for navigating the rocky road that awaits you.

Let Old Friends Know You’re Done With Drugs or Alcohol

When you decide that you’re going to make some changes and stop drinking with friends or doing drugs with them, let them know about it. Explain why you’re making the decision to do it and tell them how you plan to get help.

They might scoff at your decision and try to convince you not to quit. But they might also push you in the right direction and reassure you that you’re making the right call.

Either way, it’ll give your old friends some indication of why you’re not returning their calls or coming around to see them for a little while. It might even encourage them to think about whether or not they need help for a drug or drinking problem.

Cut Them Off If They Don’t Support Your Decision

There is a chance that your old friends might not be all that supportive of what you’re planning to do. That might not make you feel good, but it also shouldn’t stop you from getting the help you need.

If your friends refuse to support your decision to stop drinking or using drugs for any reason, cut them off for the time being. They’re going to add stress to your life at a time when you need it the least if you stay in touch with them.

Make your way to a rehab facility to get treatment and don’t look back. If your friends are really your friends, they’ll understand why you made the decision that you did one day.

Set Up a Strong Support System for Yourself

You can overcome an addiction to drugs or alcohol without a support system in place. But it’s going to be difficult to do it.

Therefore, you should create a strong support system for yourself from the time you decide to check yourself into rehab. Your support system can include:

  • Your parents
  • Your friends who don’t abuse drugs and/or alcohol
  • The doctors, nurses, and counselors you meet in rehab
  • People you meet in group counseling sessions
  • Any other important people in your life

You need people who will be on your side through thick and thin. Think about who will stay by you while you work to get your life back together.

Meet New Friends

Studies have shown that most people make friends up until the time that they turn 25. At that point, they often start to lose friends after getting married, starting a family, and making other big life changes.

You’re going to be making a big life change yourself. But in your case, it’s a good idea to try to make new friends to replace some of your old ones, regardless of what age you might be.

You’re going to be hanging around in new places with new people once you’re sober. Take advantage of that by befriending some of the people you come across.

Find New Hobbies to Occupy Your Time

Outside of making new friends, you should also attempt to fill all the free time you’ll have once you stop using drugs or drinking with new hobbies. Try things you’ve never done before until you land on something you love.

Some newly sober people will sign up for the gym and spend a lot of their free time working out. Others will read books, participate in recreational sports, or even volunteer their time to help others.

Whatever you choose to do, it’s great to fill your time with something. It’ll reduce the urges you have to use drugs or drink out of boredom.

Avoid Trying to Force Old Friends to Change

Unless you pick up and move to a new state once you become sober, you’re going to cross paths with some of your old friends from time to time. You’ll see them around town, and you might even stop and say hello.

You might also be tempted to try and get them to change like you have. You may try to sell them on getting help or even offer to assist them in checking into a rehab facility.

If they specifically ask for your help, that’s one thing. But otherwise, you should steer clear of trying to force them to change because you did. You should also rebuke their invitations if they ask you to have a drink with them or go back to using drugs.

At this stage in your life, it’s just not going to be possible to reunite with old friends without putting yourself into harm’s way. You’re better off sticking with your new friends since you know they won’t put you into a position where you might use drugs or drink again.

Keep Reminding Yourself Why Drinking With Friends Is a Bad Idea

If you spent a lot of time drinking with friends and using drugs with them over the years, you made tons of memories with them. Most of those memories are probably bad memories, but there are no doubt some good ones in the mix, too.

Those memories might make you miss your old friends every now and then. But you shouldn’t allow memories to dictate who you hang out with today. Remind yourself of the bad memories to keep yourself on the road to recovery and prevent a relapse from taking place.

Contact us today if you need any help at all with addiction recovery.

The Common Story vs. Narrative

Everyone who enters a New Jersey detox facility for opioid use will have their own story. Addiction treatment in New Jersey, as well, has its share of tales told by people who come in for treatment. That story, however, seems to be counter to the narrative of what is known by people who aren’t close to someone who has an addiction to opioids and opiates like Vicodin, Oxycontin and heroin.

The narrative we culturally spread to each other when we have no personal experience is that addiction to any substance, whether to candy or methamphetamine, is absolutely, without a doubt, undeniably a moral failing; that it’s a choice someone made deliberately to destroy their own life or an attempt to harm others. Troll any comments section to a story about opioid abuse, which is currently the hot topic and highlight of addiction today due to the growing amount of overdoses (which overtook vehicular fatalities last year in numbers) and you will undoubtedly come across someone paroting that narrative.

You’ll often see “It’s their own fault”, “They made the choice to take the drug, they deserve what they get”, etc. People like to think they’re completely in control of their life, that they’re immaculately informed about everything they are doing and of sound mind during those decisions made, that humans are perfect and by extension that other people are as well….except when they aren’t. The problem with this illustration of addiction being a complete choice is that, especially with the opioid and heroin addiction epidemic in the news, seems to often times originate out of a doctor’s office by people who hold these very same beliefs.

A recent story out of Texas told the story of a woman who was introduced to hydrocodone by her doctor after she fell out of the back of the truck, complicating back pains she had since she was a teen. For ten years, she was an on again, off again of painkiller addict and graduated to heroin for its price and effectiveness for the problem she thought she was treating. She even stated at one point, “I could feel the overdose coming, and I just didn’t care.”

According to an addiction recovery council member in Texas, Justin Uphill, “You can actually become dependent on an opioid in a week.”

Considering the prescription came from someone charged with the public trust, someone who’s entire job is to not harm but to help, it really throws the wrench in the spokes of ‘THE Narrative’ of choice. There’s always going to be someone who will find a way to put absolute blame on the person rather than circumstances and other known contributing factors that lead to addiction developing in a person, but the overall theme of ‘it’s your fault’ keeps following the condition around.

Discovery InstitutePeople sometimes make mistakes, whether they’re doctors prescribing a potentially addictive and dangerous drug in an attempt to help a patient, or someone who’s genetically or psychologically susceptible to addiction not knowing they are taking a potentially addictive substance. Instead of blame, which solves nothing, let’s listen to their story instead of buying into the one-size-fits-all narrative.

If you or someone you love might be suffering from substance use disorder, make the choice to find sober living in New Jersey by calling Discovery Institute at 844-478-6563.

 

Family Ties

If you’re a person who’s close family member is someone you suspect is suffering from addiction, or a substance use disorder, you may be desperate to get them into addiction treatment in New Jersey but feel pressured to wait for them to hit ‘rock bottom’. It’s a scary thing to wonder if that point may end up with their death or permanent brain or physical damage from their drug use.

A recent article in Psychiatric Times (https://www.psychiatrictimes.com/article/coaching-families-address-addiction) presents a variety of methods for parents, brothers, sisters, cousins and even friends navigate the complex behavior that accompanies someone’s addiction and ways to encourage them to seek help and find sober living in New Jersey. Often times the concerned family members have already come into contact with the more deceptive and manipulative behaviors of someone who is struggling with their substance use disorder.

“Family members who have been manipulated by a person with an addiction for money or other support are often angry and resentful. But by providing the family with psychoeducation – specifically, approaches that are likely to be helpful but also protect the family from being further abused – one can reassure family members and bring them into a makeshift ‘treatment team’”, says Laurence Westreich, MD and fellow of the American Academy of Addiction Psychiatry, the article’s author. He warns against simply handing over cash or access to material support an instead setting up specific lanes of discussion or support that inches the person towards treatment without force.

The article also warns of ‘intervention’, despite the method gaining popularity within popular culture from various television shows that are more interested in capturing drama than promoting ways to help people with addiction. Instead, Dr. Westreich gives reason and examples to use non-confrontational communication and to practice such things before attempting to talk to their family member about seeking help.

“The essential point for family members to understand is that they are trying to build a therapeutic alliance with the person with addiction – and this is a skill that can be taught, even to non-clinicians, and even in the heat of a deteriorating clinical situation,” says Dr. Westreich. “The attitude must be that ‘we are together and we’re going to get through this’ rather than ‘you need to stop acting like a child’ or (even worse!) ‘just say NO!’”

Also covered is motivational enhancement, which emphasizes empathy in communication in place of dialogue that can be misconstrued as accusational. It is also emphasized that this technique, while effective, is often a long-term game to build trust.

Discovery InstituteThere are many ways to approach a family member suffering from substance use disorder and the sooner they enter treatment, the more chance of success and, more importantly, avoiding the devastating effects of drug abuse can be successful. If your maintain love for the person who is suffering from the condition, then you are already on the right track.

If you or someone you know is ready to handle their substance use disorder, call the one of the top rated drug rehab centers, Discovery Institute, at 844-478-6563.

Running For Your Life

Activity and physical therapy is an important component of holistic substance use disorder treatment in the best New Jersey rehab centers. Part of the treatment process when someone enters rehab in New Jersey, which includes emotional therapy and mental health, is to introduce patients to alternative behaviors they can replace addictive habits with that aren’t dangerous to their health and keep them focused on long term relapse prevention.

Judge David Reich, a judge in Bismarck North Dakota, realized even with his brief interactions with court cases related to drug offenses, that environment plays a large role in how people are able to handle their recovery, leading him to put together a running group called RADD, or Runners Against Destructive Decisions. The organization encourages and invites those battling with addiction, in treatment or already out of treatment to train and participate in multiple 5k runs per year. His goal wasn’t just to get people to exercise, but also to help build a community of support for people who might otherwise have been alienated from the actions they undertook while under the influence of their substance use disorder.

“After our Saturday runs, we have coffee and bagels and sit around and talk. I think that time might be as valuable as the exercise for many of the people in our program,” Judge Reich wrote in the Bismarck Tribune about the group. “RADD builds relationships and changes perceptions. One of our runners once told me that he never thought of a judge as a person before. Now he does!”

The group incorporates, as well, members of the law enforcement community who are more interested in the overall health and community relationship than ‘just doing the job’, with several ranking officials of both local prison and law enforcement agencies running alongside those who are there and often at the opposite end of the law.

“I think RADD allos them and our RADD participants in recovery to see each other in a different light, as people, and not as addicts or criminals. Judge Craig Mitchell said in an interview that if we could stop addiction by passing laws or spending money, we would have done that by now,” continues the Judge Reich’s article.

One of the main problems with tackling drug use at the policy level has been not only stigma but the adversarial nature of the entire operation. The cut and dry, simplistic approach of ‘drugs are bad and users of drugs are criminals and must be locked up and punished’ has been applied for over fifty years as policy. Yet, many individual cities and local programs continue to prove this approach exacerbates the situation, strains community relations and in the end does nothing to actually make a dent in the problem it claims to want to fix.

Discovery InstituteAs the culture slowly shifts towards one of community rather than criminality with regards of substance use disorder, we will continue to see more positive change in the way we as Americans treat our fellow citizens when it comes to beating addiction and finding treatment and achieving sober living in New Jersey.

If you or someone you know is at risk from their substance use disorder, call Discovery Institute at 844-478-6563.

 

Abstraction Through Numbers

There are approximately 15,000 drug rehab centers in the United States in operation today. Approximately two million Americans suffer from substance use disorders related to drug and alcohol use. Over 70,000 drug overdose deaths occurred in 2018, with another 100,000 deaths from complications from drug and alcohol use not directly attributed to overdose.

An old saying, often misattributed Stalin, but actually dates much further back in history illustrates a tendency we have about how numbers abstract the human experience;

“If one person starves to death, it’s a tragedy. If millions starve to death, it’s a statistic.”

When someone is attempting to find help either through a New Jersey detox program or seeking longer term rehab in New Jersey, it’s very easy for them to feel like they’re just a statistic, unimportant. The greater population still largely perceived substance use disorder as a personal moral failing on the part of the person suffering, which dehumanizes them and then often that same person will have to go through facilities in which hundreds of thousands of people pass through with similar problems every year. Yet, to them, their experience is uniquely personal.

A person, in their life, will experience similar things as everyone else but in their own context, through their own life, through their own eyes. One person may remember the first time they got behind the wheel of a car, learning to drive; the sound of the engine of the truck, how big the felt sitting above the road, the responsibility they felt holding on to the big steering wheel and the care from their dad as he taught them how to shift gears for the first time. Another person who learned to drive might remember the car they had to repair to even get a chance to attempt driving, the parking lot of a grocery store they practiced alone in with their brother and the driving school they saved up for to get their license. Yet, both of these experience, unique as they are, can be distilled into a clinical number with millions of others; people with driver’s licenses.

Addiction is a widespread epidemic that continues to claim lives, wreck families and destroy communities as well as creating generational ripples of despair through time, where babies are born with addiction, others are born with a predisposition genetically to be easily addicted to drugs and alcohol, but all of these events are very real experiences to these people.

Discovery InstituteIt’s important that we remember there’s someone underneath the bizarre self destructive and outwardly destructive behaviors. They have a life, a story, an origin and that being a statistic is not only dehumanizing, but ignoring any circumstance whatsoever the person may have endured which lead them into developing a substance use disorder is the most dehumanizing of all. No addict wants to be a slave to a substance and treating them like humans who share in the human experience is the best way to encourage them to find help.

Finding sober living in NJ starts with a phone call to Discovery Institute at 844-478-6563.

Heroin ‘Vaccine’ Enters Early Testing

As heroin and other drugs continue to see an increase in rates of addiction, overdoses and related fatalities, medical researchers and psychologists scramble to find solutions to the what is deemed by many states and the federal government as a public health crisis. Researchers at Upstate Medical University in Syracuse will participate in a study involving an experimental ‘vaccine’ that attempts to block the addictive properties of heroin in users.

The project, which is part of an initial 3.7 million of a 7 million dollar plan to be undertaken by the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research involves a vaccine developed the institute’s HIV Research Program in association with the National Institute on Drug Abuse in Maryland. The group already made headlines in 2017 when the former US Health and Human Services secretary mentioned the institute’s efforts already underway in a public statement addressing the nation’s growing addiction problem. They are just one, however, of several groups investigating the plausibility of using vaccines to help heroin addicts get healthy. Scripps Research Institute of California’s program into a heroin vaccine is nearing human trials and the Minneapolis Medical Research Foundation is participating in their own research into a vaccine.

Dr. Stephen J. Thomas of the Walter Reed institute and project coordinator, explains that “the vaccine replicates the active metabolite of the heroin, attached with other materials, making the body develop antibodies against it. This, in turn tricks the body into rejecting heroin when it’s used next, preventing it from having psychoactive effects.” If the United States Food and Drug Administration approves the vaccine testing trials, testing could begin as early as this year.

Discovery Institute

For most drugs and vaccines, testing can take between 2 and 10 years, but considering the country’s focus on the opioid crisis which has links directly to heroin usage, which is an opiate or natural version of an opioid which is synthetic, it could see more attention and effort to get approval more quickly in order to get it into hospitals and rehabs. Similar kinds of prevention drugs are in development for other addictive substances which add to the nation’s growing overdose rates. This year also saw an experimental drug which interrupts the dopamine stimulation in mice when given cocaine. Dopamine is acknowledged as a primary component within the brain which induces addictive behaviors to both controlled substances and non-controlled substances or habits such as social-media addictions as well, and the primary reason addiction is medical condition under the category of ‘chronic illness’. Dopamine issues are also related to other severe diseases like Parkinson’s.

Currently, hospitals have been receiving extra funding for maintaining a supply of heroin overdose prevention drugs like naloxone, which do provide promise that an effective vaccine is possible. While these new drugs will not surface for a while, it’s still important for addicts to seek help at rehab facilities.

Top rated drug rehab centers in New Jersey include detox, Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) and promote sober living in NJ. The Discovery Institute (844-478-6563) offers many treatment options for those suffering from substance use disorder.

 

Opioids are Widely used Drugs in Today’s World 

Do you live in the in New Jersey or the surrounding area and need addiction treatment? Addiction treatment in New Jersey and sobriety remain only a phone call away. 

Opioid use and addiction have increased dramatically in the last few years. Using opiates starts innocently enough. You may have an injury, surgery or a dental procedure that is painful and be given a prescription pain medication to ease your pain. Unfortunately, taking these medications remains the beginning of opioid addiction.

It’s not all your fault. Opium-based medications are highly addictive. But admitting that you have a problem with opioids or any other kind of drug remains the initial step to dealing with any addiction.

Some of the types of opioids that are available both legally and illegally are:

• Percocet
• Oxycodone
• Fentanyl
• Heroin

More substances besides opioids remain abused, such as:
• Meth or methamphetamines
• Cocaine
• Alcohol

What can you do to get off of these drugs? The first and most important suggestion is that you get help from a reliable drug and alcohol treatment center. Addiction treatment in New Jersey keeps you in a centralized location on the east coast of the US. Plus, a qualified treatment program offers inpatient, outpatient, detox, and sober living situations to help you get drug free and sober once and for all.

Inpatient or Outpatient Rehab

Whether you go to inpatient or outpatient rehab remains a personal decision in most cases. If you need to care for your family or continue to work to provide for others, you may choose to go to outpatient therapy. In intensive outpatient therapy, you attend group therapy meetings and cognitive therapy individual treatment during times when you don’t have school or work. In inpatient therapy, you’ll live at rehab and participate in their treatment program. Either method of attending rehab is effective.

Counseling in Rehab for Drug and Alcohol Addiction

Two basic types of counseling exist in most high-quality rehab facilities, namely individual and group counseling. These two types of counseling utilize cognitive behavior principles to help addicts stay off their drug of choice. Cognitive behavior therapy, or CBT, uses therapy to modify and work with dysfunctional emotions. CBT focuses its energies on changing behavior and distorted ways of thinking. Harmful thoughts become identified during this process, and a plan to change these harmful thoughts helps you keep from harming yourself with substance abuse.
Group therapy utilizes a small group of people like those in a 12-step group to assist each other with the daily struggles that all addicts encounter.
Sober Living NJ
Eventually, you will be able to start heading back out into society as a sober individual once again. To gain some practice in working, going to school, and participating with people outside of a treatment setting, you’ll be able to live in a sober house for a while. You’ll have responsibilities in this house, but you’ll also have more freedom, too.
To get started with addiction treatment whether the substance you’re hooked on is an opioid or any other, contact us today.

7 Ways to Support a Family Member’s Sober Living

Getting sober is one of the hardest tasks people can face in this world, but the support of one’s family can do wonders in helping ease the process and increase the chances of success. If you have a family member who is going through sober living in New Jersey, then there are plenty of helpful things you can do to help them with this transition. Here are seven different ways you can help a family member with their situation.
1. Offer Optimism
While going through sober living in New Jersey, one of the hardest things to do can be simply staying hopeful. By offering optimism to your loved one through the use of positive, supportive conversation, you can be sure that they’ll continue to work through these hard times and fight against negative impulses.
2. Don’t Be an Enabler
One of the hardest parts of dealing with a loved one who is getting sober is not enabling their destructive activities. While it can be extremely painful to watch a family member go through the process of getting sober, helping that individual revert back to their old habits with do nothing but hurt them in the long run.
3. Encourage a Healthy Routine
An addict’s normal routine is usually built around their drug of choice, so it’s important to replace that daily agenda with something better when sobriety is the new goal. By encouraging a healthy schedule involving exercise, whole foods, plenty of water, and regular sleeping hours, you can give your family member a new perspective on the day at hand.
4. Help Them Get a Hobby
In addition to a new schedule, someone who is getting sober in New Jersey could also use a new hobby. Whether it’s hiking, basketball, or just going to the movies, it’s important to help your loved one find a hobby that can hold their interest and fill their schedule.
5. Focus on the Present
Some family members have trouble letting go of the past when it comes to addiction, but a focus on the present can have a huge impact on your family member’s morale. Sobriety is a never-ending struggle, and focusing on today can help your loved one stay positive about their situation.
6. Give Your Loved One Some Freedom
While you may have the urge to track every little thing that your formerly drug-abusing family member is doing, you have to remember to give them their space at times. It is sometimes a good idea to set some boundaries in terms of how often you should check-in on your loved one during their path towards sobriety at the beginning of the process.
7. Be There
At the end of the day, the best thing you can do for a loved one who is getting sober is to simply show up. Showing that someone else cares can do wonders for someone who is in one of the darkest times of their life.
If you or a loved one is fighting substance abuse, Discovery is here to help with a variety of addiction treatment programs suited to fit your needs. Contact us today to learn more.

Family Addiction History and Managing Health

Research continues to be conducted on the links between addiction and possible underlying causes such as genetic predisposition. While the studies into this link are are ongoing and relatively new, it’s agreed by most that genetics and family history play some role as a contributing factor to severe addictions such as chronic alcoholism and cocaine abuse. This makes it all the more important for people who might be in situations where they are exposed to certain addictive substances to be very observant of their family history regarding addiction as well as being extremely open about such histories when entering medical care in which treatment may include drugs known to be addictive like oxycodone and hydrocodone.

 

Getting Help

Preventing and managing addiction becomes more successful the more outside help a person has with it. Once it sets in, it’s very difficult or even impossible to regain control over drug or alcohol addiction through the addicted individuals actions. There are several ways to protect your sobriety and risk to addictions to alcohol and drugs to maintain a healthy lifestyle.

Being open about your family’s addiction history when going in for surgery or being prescribed painkillers after an injury can be one of the most important ways to combat addiction before it gets out of control. Your healthcare provider, when alerted to the history, can more closely monitor for signs of addiction or even prescribe alternative painkillers with lower risks to addictive behavior. Your family’s addiction history should also be discussed with your romantic partner when the relationship begins to get serious. If your partner cares about you, alerting them early on about your possible elevated risk of addiction can help identify symptoms of abuse and addiction earlier and thus make them easier to treat and prevent health complications from substance abuse.

 

History of Addiction

For people who have a history of alcoholism, abstaining as much as possible from alcohol use is a huge one. This doesn’t mean it’s required to never drink, but limiting drinks to special holidays once or twice a year is highly recommended. Sharing a glass of champagne with friends at New Year’s, for instance, is just fine. If at any time it goes beyond a moderated celebratory use, those should be taken as warning signals.

Finally, it’s not just your own health at stake when it comes to family history of addiction. If you have kids, it’s important to let them know as well and to imbue in them a sense of responsibility to take the precautions you yourself take when it comes to being open about family history with addictive substances. While they’re under your care, it may not matter as much if they’re not exposed to situations where they’ll have to make important choices about drugs, medication or alcohol, but if they aren’t aware of their possibly reaction to them, they may end up being unintentionally affected. It goes without saying, as well, that alerting a physician about addiction history when your children are being prescribed medication is important as well.

If you or anyone you know suffers from addiction, getting professional treatment is important. Discovery Institute New Jersey’s staff of trained counselors are available for questions and discussions on options for those seeking help at 844-478-6563.