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

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.

 

Naltrexone on the Path To Sober Living in New Jersey

Medication-assisted addiction recovery treatment programs are created to be used for those suffering from an addiction to drugs or alcohol. The drug afflicting these patients is usually an opioid such as heroin or some other form of opioid. Addicts who are afflicted by an opioid addiction are under the influence of some of the most pernicious substances around.

It is these folks who often end up getting treatment through a medication-assisted program that uses medications like naltrexone, along with behavioral therapies to treat alcohol or illicit drug-addicted individuals. While medications like buprenorphine and methadone, two other medications that are often used for medication-assisted recovery, do indeed leave the possibility that a user who has been dealing with addiction to opioids may become addicted to them, naltrexone is a drug that is a non-narcotic.

What are Opiates?

The name opiate refers to a kind of drug derived from a natural opium poppy plant. Opiates are simply the purest form of opioids.

Some forms of opiates:

  • Opium
  • Heroin
  • Codeine
  • Thebaine
  • Morphine

What are Opioids: Opioid, however, is a label that covers both the natural and synthetic types of this family of narcotics. Narcotics are different drugs that change the user’s brain function. Synthetic opioids are designed to create the same type of experience for the user as if they had used a natural opiate.

Some forms of synthetic opioids:

  • Hydrocodone
  • Oxycodone, OxyContin, Percocet, or Percodan
  • Hydromorphone, or Dilaudid
  • Duragesic, or fentanyl

Taking Naltrexone at Discovery Institute’s Rehab New Jersey Detox Facilities

Discovery InstituteNaltrexone is a drug designed to help those who are struggling with some type of substance addiction, whether it be alcohol or drug-related, though opioids are this drug’s most specific target. Throughout their detox and rehab recovery, the addict will find that naltrexone reduces their cravings and makes it easier to feel hopeful. This drug is specifically made to assist those suffering from opioid or alcohol addiction.

Naltrexone helps those suffering from opioid and alcohol addiction to have a higher chance of getting through a treatment program successfully and to reenter the world with their cravings and triggers in check. A big pro for naltrexone in the lengthy pros and cons list that any addict may make about different treatment programs is that naltrexone, unlike other drugs such as buprenorphine and methadone, is a not an addictive substance.  

This non-narcotic that attaches itself to the brain’s reward and pain centers of the brain completely blocks other drugs from accessing these regions of the brain and therefore naltrexone has become opioids’ worst nightmare.  This drug is used more and more in treatment centers across the United States and throughout the world because naltrexone is an invaluable resource in treatment programs. Naltrexone helps through each stage in recovery.

As a patient gets sober from their addictive substance of choice, like heroin, alcohol, or Vicodin, they will experience serious withdrawal symptoms, and those symptoms can frequently scare people right out of their treatment plan and right into what they feel like is the safety of intoxication, or in other words right into relapse. Relapse is the furthest thing from safe. Most people who relapse forget that they have been sober from their medication and therefore cannot take the same dosage of the drug that they used to.

This far too often ends in a fatal overdose. Naltrexone, however, blocks that substance, removing the urge to take a drug that will not actually offer the user the effect they are looking for. New Jersey rehab clinics and detox facilities suggest naltrexone to their patients when they are suffering from an opioid or alcohol addiction in hopes of helping the user through the difficulties of detox and rehab with such a potent addiction and giving them a good foundation for future sustained sobriety. Naltrexone helps not only on the basic biological level and with withdrawal symptoms, but also psychologically.

As people are going through rehab for opioids, they usually go through some kind of therapy. They often have a dual diagnosis or co-occurring disorder, or perhaps unaddressed trauma that they need to spend this time working on. Naltrexone offers patients the mental space to be able to focus on working through the shame and self-loathing that so often comes along with addiction, and can offer them a firmer foundation for sobriety.

Naltrexone is the generic version of the following brand names:

  • Vivitrol
  • Depade
  • Revia

Treatment For Opioid Addiction in New Jersey

There is help out there for those suffering from alcohol or opioid addiction. Alcohol and opioid addictions are daunting afflictions for anyone to suffer from and they are not the kind of thing you just walk away from. Addiction is a chronic illness that is not always fully curable. However, it is totally possible to live a normal life with symptoms in remission if proper treatment is found and a recovery program is successfully completed.

It is vital that therapy is continually pursued throughout the addict’s life to keep their addiction in remission. No one can beat back their addiction on their own and at Discovery Institute we believe that everyone deserves support in their efforts to get sober.

Our licensed medical staff and therapists are here for you. Call us to learn more about how you can get help.

Going to Jail – The Worst Path to Sober Living in New Jersey

While going to a top rated rehab facility like Discovery Institute is one of the best ways to help people go through detox and rehabilitation programs on a path to sober living in New Jersey. However, many people with drug abuse problems don’t ever even get the option to go through a rehab program, especially when their addictions get especially bad – they often just end up in jail.

As experienced by Jason Wasylenko, going to jail also means being forced into what is basically a drug detox program, but without the help of a helpful staff and facility that is especially well suited to dealing with substance addiction.

 

Jason Wasylenko gave the prison employee his sizes and was handed a pair of jeans and a chambray shirt.

The 32-year-old gathered his belongings — some art made by other inmates, sports posters, a TV and stereo, books and knickknacks — and left his cell of the last three years.

He went to medical, then the business office. He filled out paperwork and verified his identity so the guards at the State Correctional Institution in Rockview, in Centre County, Pennsylvania, knew they were releasing the right person. He’d been through it all several times before.

Still, he was anxious.

Jason was accustomed to life behind the wall. He knew what to expect. And he knew what to expect after he was released, too — both good and bad. Click Here to Continue Reading

Continuity of Care: The Necessity for Aftercare Services

Continuity of Care: The Necessity for Aftercare Services

Since addiction is a disease that there is no known cure for, recovery is a continuous process. Just like other diseases which require treatment throughout the remainder of a lifetime, the treatment of addiction must be a lifelong ordeal. Aftercare services provided by treatment centers can help provide recovery resources, support, and care for individuals who have already completed a treatment program. There are many benefits that come with utilizing recovery aftercare services, and they should not be overlooked for individuals recovering from an addiction to any substance.

Aftercare Services Help to Reduce Risk for Relapse

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, relapsing after detoxing from an addictive substance is not only common but likely. Relapse rates for substance abuse are actually around the same as other common diseases like hypertension, diabetes, and asthma. So, because we know that relapse is possible and common amongst individuals who have completed addiction treatment, it’s important to try to prevent relapse. Preventing relapse is of great importance because the majority of overdose deaths occur during a relapse in the days of early recovery. This is due to reduced tolerance as a result of detoxing throughout treatment. The body is no longer used to high doses of the drug of choice, causing a fatal overdose. Aftercare services allow these individuals in early recovery to continue treatment and reduce the risks for relapse.


The Risks for Relapse

Confidence: It can be challenging to finish a treatment program and be completely confident that you are going to succeed in recovery. Along with the obvious risk for relapse, assimilating back into society that embraces drug use is a trigger in itself. Aftercare services allow less-than-confident individuals to return to the treatment methods that they are comfortable with whenever their confidence wavers. It’s important to be confident throughout recovery in your ability to stay sober, and aftercare services can help with this by providing the methods and resources you need.

Assimilation: Going from residential treatment back to the real world can be extremely stressful. It takes time and commitment to make lifestyle changes, and 30 days at a residential facility is just not that much time to gain new lifestyle perspectives and routines. With aftercare services, individuals can talk about the challenges that they face in assimilating back into society now free from using drugs or alcohol. Additionally, aftercare services often help with the assimilation process offering resume building, job searching, and school placement services.

Motivation: Obviously, without motivation to stay sober, remaining sober isn’t likely. Being surrounded by recovery support and resources can keep individuals in recovery motivated to stay sober. Aftercare services allow graduated individuals to gain their motivation for sobriety at alumni meetings and events where they can interact with like-minded recovery individuals.

Aftercare Services Offered at Discovery Institute

Here at Discovery Institute, we understand how important aftercare services are for our treatment graduates in reducing the risk for relapse. We want our patients to have the best chance for long-term recovery success. We offer aftercare services for each and every treatment graduate which includes:

Doctor Referrals: Whether patients are local or from out of town, therapists and doctors will be required to continue recovery needs like therapy and medications. Discovery Institute has many relationships with numerous reputable doctors and therapists around the country which all instill the same compassion and respect for their clients. We can refer our graduated patients to these recovery doctors and therapists as a part of our aftercare services.

Sober Living: To help with assimilating from treatment back into the real world, many individuals who have completed treatment can benefit from living in a sober living environment. This gender-specific housing facility can help to place people on the right track to getting jobs, going to school, and recovering relationships. With a high standard for recovery expectations, individuals who live in sober living housing are less likely to relapse once treatment is complete.

Sobriety Support: Of course, meeting with others in the recovery community through 12-step methods are supportive throughout sobriety. These meetings are available to anyone who wishes to join, including alumni of Discovery Institute.

If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction, please give us a call today at 888-616-7177. You can get free from your addiction, and we can help!

 

What it Means to Live One Day at a Time in Recovery

What it Means to Live One Day at a Time in Recovery

What it Means to Live One Day at a Time in Recovery

If you have ever been to treatment or known someone who has attended drug or alcohol addiction treatment, you may have heard the saying, “ live one day at a time ”. The phrase is not just a common encouragement, it holds great meaning representing the gratitude an individual feels about their sobriety, and the importance of it presently. Exploring this common addiction recovery phrase and the importance of carrying it out can help us to live each day as they come so that we may remain sober and grateful.

To “Live One Day at a Time” through AA

Although not taken from one of the 12 steps, Alcoholics Anonymous and their “Big Book” are attributed for the phrase, “live one day at a time”. It derives from the original concept of AA which is that each individual each has 24 hours of sobriety. Essentially, this means that each individual has a daily obligation to feed their spiritual needs, including managing their own sobriety. There is no cure for addiction, just a responsibility to the self upon each new day to remain sober. This allows individuals in recovery to not have to fret over a commitment to sobriety forever, but only the present day. Taking sobriety on for today is an easier pill to swallow than forever, and allows an individual to feel comfortable with their recovery goals.

Being Present throughout Recovery

To “live one day at a time” is to focus on the present moment, and not have to worry about the past or future. Recovering individuals will likely feel guilt and shame about their past addictive behaviors, and this can be a trigger to use. Also, recovering individuals may be unsure about their future and anxious for the unknown, which can also be a trigger to use. Focusing on the goals and mission of the present moment allows these individuals to work on developing useful coping skills now, so that they are prepared for the future and able to handle the past.

Committing to Living One Day at a Time

Not only is a person committing to living today sober, but they are also committing to doing all that staying sober entails throughout the next 24 hours. These commitments include:

  • Keeping a positive attitude
  • Taking on one problem at a time
  • Expanding knowledge in some way
  • React amiably to others and do good towards them
  • A focus on loving the self through meditative techniques
  • A willingness to step outside of a comfort zone to try new things

One Day at a Time; One Problem at a Time

During addiction treatment and recovery, individuals are swarmed with emotions they have been running from through active addiction. It can seem challenging, overwhelming, and nearly impossible to deal with every emotion that comes to play. Taking recovery one day at a time means also dealing with these emotions one at a time, as they come. It’s much easier to deal with present problems rather than to worry about all of the problems and become stressed. When a person works on what is in front of them rather than worry about tomorrow’s issues, they are more likely to handle what is in front of them and be prepared for the next day as it comes.

Utilizing Mindfulness throughout Recovery to Remain Present

It doesn’t simply just take repeating the phrase, “ live one day at a time ” to remain present. It takes a willingness to stay focused and a commitment to a changed thought and perception. This is easier said than done. One technique that can help an individual in recovery to learn to remain in the present moment is mindfulness meditation. This is meditation with an inner focus on emotions, issues, and goals of the present. With practice and patience, meditation can help to shape mindset and help an individual remain in the present moment so that successful long-term recovery is achieved.

Ready to Live One Day at a Time?

Are you ready for a change of mindset so that you can live in the present moment and fight your addiction one day at a time? The Discovery Institute can provide you with the skill set, knowledge, and healing that you need to live a successful live in recovery. You don’t have to be addicted forever! You CAN get help and stay clean if you take each day at a time and practice being present in this moment. Have questions about what treatment is like at our facility, what we offer, and how to enroll? Give us a call to speak with an addiction specialist confidentially at 844-433-1101.

 

4 Fun Ways to Stay Sober During the Holidays

4 Fun Ways to Stay Sober During the Holidays

4 Fun Ways to Stay Sober During the Holidays

With all the get-togethers and parties that go on during the holiday season, it seems, even more, challenging to stay sober. For many in recovery, the holidays can be a triggering reminder of past times that drugs and alcohol were used to celebrate. During this time, it is important to focus on your sobriety more than ever so that a relapse does not occur. After all, you didn’t work so hard on your sobriety just to throw it away during the holiday season. Thankfully, there are a few fun tips for ways to stay sober during this time of year.

#1: Get out and Play!

Exercise is a great way to get your mind off of all the cravings and temptations you may have surrounding you during the holidays. It also is a great mood regulator, so getting out and moving or working out can help to keep the dreaded holiday blues at bay. Recruit family members to get outside and play a game of touch football or see who wins in a competitive game of horse. Not only is exercise a great way to keep your mind off of drugs or alcohol and stay sober, but it is a great way to have a fun time with loved ones. Who knows? It may even turn out to be a new holiday tradition.

#2: Stay Grateful and Accepting

The main reason that it is so important to find ways to stay sober during the holidays is that it is a big time for relapse. This is mostly due to the high rate of people in recovery feeling depressed during this time of year. Whether it is due to isolation or expectations not being met, depression is extremely dangerous to your sobriety. It can be hard to be excited about the holidays if you do not have the support from family that you desire or if plans fall apart and loved ones disappoint you this season. To prevent or help with the holiday blues, remember to stay grateful and accepting. You may not have the Christmas that you had envisioned but, you do have your recovery success. To remind yourself of all that you are grateful for, write down a list of your blessings so that you are made aware of all that you do have instead of all that you do not. Also, work on meditation techniques to help keep your mind at peace. This helps to accept the things that we cannot change, like a holiday season that doesn’t go as expected.

#3: Make New Traditions

Especially if you associate the holidays with drinking and doing drugs, you will need to make new traditions so that you don’t assimilate back into your old habits this season. Although it may have been a good time to sit around with family and share a few drinks, this is no longer an option to you in recovery. Firstly, make sure that your family is supportive in no longer taking part in these unsober holiday activities. Once everyone is on the same page, you can think of ways to stay sober by implementing new traditions. Try a new board game, play a holiday gifting game, or even get out of the house to see a movie or go to a museum with the whole family. Not only will your family get a new tradition to look forward to each year, but you will have a new supportive and sober activity to experience with you family and loved ones.

#4: Help those in Need

A great way to get your mind off of your own misfortunes is helping others in need. There are those in the world who have it far worse than you this holiday season. Helping others can help you gain a sense of gratitude this season and also make you feel good about your success in recovery. After all, the holidays are about giving, not receiving. If you remind yourself of this, the holidays are sure to mean more than what you expected to receive from them. Like the much cherished holiday classic figure Dr. Seuss,’ The Grinch Who Stole Christmas pondered, “Maybe Christmas doesn’t come from a store. Maybe Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more!”

 

staying sober

How An App Can Help You With Staying Sober

It goes without saying that staying sober is a challenge. It requires a complete lifestyle modification that many people aren’t willing or able to undertake. For those that do, however, the rewards are beyond worthwhile. A sober lifestyle will open up doors and opportunities that you may have never thought were possible. You will be healthier, happier, and have a brighter future. It is important to do everything you can to stay sober, and with modern technology, there are plenty of Apps to help you achieve it.

Staying Sober? There’s an App for That.

In early addiction recovery, your life should revolve around staying sober and it should be your number one focus. It is important to make sure you have all the right tools and people on your side. For example, it’s a good idea to have:

  • A sponsor
  • Friends with long-term sobriety
  • A long-term recovery plan
  • Sober living
  • Hobbies to occupy your time

Now, you can have an app to keep you on track and keep staying sober on the forefront of your mind. Let’s face it – having more reminders is better than less! Here are some of the top sobriety apps, in no particular order, to save you the time of sorting through hundreds of others that don’t quite make the cut. These four were recently highlighted in an article by adweek.com.

  1. A-Chess comes recommended by a leading scientist at the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA). It is a newer app that was developed by researchers at the University of Wisconsin and is based on relapse prevention support for people in addiction recovery that recently left treatment.
  2. recoveryBox is designed to promote accountable behavior in people recovering from various addiction. The app is nice and customizable and behavior can be tracked daily. It is based on a light system – green, yellow, and red – that are given based on behaviors and how supportive they were of your recovery.
  3. Sober Grid is more peer-oriented, to bring sober support to your fingertips, literally. The app is based on your location, and rather than calling a sponsor you can simply press a key that says “burning desire” during moments of intense craving. Peers then respond with their support so that you are not alone. GPS and identity are optional for people who prefer privacy.
  4. 12 Steps AA Companion is a great tool to use along with AA, just as the name implies. You will have access to a mobile version of the big book and a sobriety calculator that tells you how long you have been sober to keep you motivated to stick to it! The app also offers a contact database so that you can stay in touch with other local AA members.

Use All Possible Resources When Staying Sober

It’s important to give your recovery the best shot you can. This means having an arsenal of defenses against temptation to prevent a relapse. These apps help to keep a daily reminder at the forefront of your mind.

The tools are out there, so use them! Staying sober is challenging, but success is possible and certainly worthwhile.

 

Sober Living in New Jersey

Sober Living in New Jersey is Great for Recovering Addicts

Sober living in New Jersey often still gets a bad rep. Halfway houses are looked upon like they only house criminals and people who are addicts and intend to stay that way. While a handful of places, unfortunately, give sober living homes this kind of reputation, the truth is that many facilities are wonderful. The good facilities are responsible for getting recovering addicts back on their feet and functioning in our society like every other adult.

Sober Living in New Jersey Keeps People Healthy and Focused

Deciding to go to a sober living home can be the deciding factor in whether or not an addict remains sober. This is because when a recovering addict first leaves drug and alcohol treatment, they are suddenly given loads of freedom that they may not have had during rehab for one to three or more months.

Making a sudden jump from the safety net of rehab to regular living can be too much for someone in recovery to handle, resulting in a very fast downward spiral. No one wants this to happen after all the time, energy, effort, and money spent during treatment. Not only that, but a relapse can lead to the thing an addict’s loved ones fear most – that person’s death.

Sober living, on the other hand, provides a transitional living space while a person fresh out of rehab reintegrates themselves back into the real world.

The Benefits of Sober Living

There are many benefits to sober living in New Jersey. Here are some.

  • If you are from New Jersey, you are still close to home and can continue living your daily life and going to school, work, whatever it may be. You can have your family and friends nearby to support you, but with a healthy distance so that you don’t get caught up if one of them tempts you.
  • You’ll have rules, which makes you accountable. In sober living homes, you’ll have a curfew, and you’ll have to adhere to rules like making your bed daily, finding a job or attending outpatient rehab, and going to a certain number of twelve step meetings per week.
  • You get drug tested. If you come up positive for anything, you’ll be kicked out. This knowledge alone can be a factor in keeping a person away from drugs or alcohol, even when they are tempted.
  • You won’t have to worry about being alone. You’ll be in a house with a number of other recovering addicts, so you’ll always have someone to talk to when things get rough who understands your situation. Boredom and loneliness can be one of the worst things for an addict, but rest assured you shouldn’t be bored or lonely living in a sober living home.

If your personal life doesn’t restrict you from doing so, definitely consider sober living in New Jersey whether or not you are from the area. It is a great next-step after rehab in your recovery. It can help to solidify your sobriety and give you more sober