How a Gratitude List Can Help Your Recovery

During active addiction, individuals experience adverse and profoundly harmful effects that occur as a direct result of their chemical dependencies. The effects of addiction manifest rather quickly with some of the earliest being physical in nature; individuals often experience changes in weight and personal hygiene while generally looking unkempt and disheveled. Many users pursue substance abuse under the misconception that they somehow can prevent their budding addictions from affecting any other aspects of their lives; meanwhile, everything begins to unravel.

Attendance at work or school takes a turn for the worst, culminating in the loss of employment and many other opportunities, financial hardships, and perhaps even homelessness. “Rock bottom” is a concept that has emerged to describe the cumulative destruction wrought on an individual’s life by his or her own addiction, being the point at which one’s chemical dependency couldn’t possibly dig them any deeper into the hole of misfortune and ruin.

While it can be tempting to give up altogether once a person has reached the proverbial rock bottom, there’s a bright side or silver lining to the situation: When you’ve reached the ultimate low point of your life, the only place to go is up. People who are addicted to alcohol, drugs, and even to behaviors like sex, gambling, and eating can find solace in the numerous recovery options that are available to help individuals overcome dependency to such harmful substances and behaviors.

The counseling and psychotherapy that form the basis of most addiction treatment programs help individuals to identify the altered patterns of thought that contributed to the development of addiction while learning healthier and more productive ways of thinking that will minimize the chance of relapsing back into destructive habits. Moreover, 12 Step recovery groups like Alcoholics Anonymous—and its many derivative groups, such as Narcotics Anonymous, Gamblers Anonymous, Sex Addicts Anonymous, and so on—help individuals to not only recover from addiction physically but also socially and spiritually.

The thought of recovery from addiction often conjures images of sterile rehabs and psychotherapy, but there are other equally important components to overcoming chemical dependency. As mentioned, there are many treatments and programs available that emphasize the path to emotional, social, and spiritual recovery after years spent in the throes of active addiction. Especially after a length of time of suffering from addiction, individuals often feel depressed, unfulfilled, lonely, unattractive, and even unhealthy.

Because of this sustained numbness, recovery can often be a very intense time. However, once individuals can process the flood of emotions that are realized during early recovery, they usually begin to feel very thankful for the opportunity to rehabilitate and right many of the wrongs in their lives.

What Is a Gratitude List?

Twelve-step recovery has become a prominent tool for people who have struggled with chemical dependency or behavioral addiction. Much of the 12-step method has individuals accepting powerlessness to the disease of addiction and turning themselves over to the higher power of their understanding to derive the strength for long-term abstinence from one’s spirituality. As one gets further into the 12 steps, amends are made with those who have been harmed and those who are finishing working through the steps themselves become ready to help others work through the steps.

A major theme of 12-step recovery involves aligning one’s mentality and spirit with the tenets of recovery. Through the course of recovery, individuals become increasingly aware of the things for which one can be thankful. For instance, non-addicted people tend to have better health than people who abuse substances. Additionally, those who have successfully overcome an addiction regain their independence by finding and maintaining employment and stabilizing one’s financial situation.

Recovery also allows individuals to repair relationships that might have been damaged when a person was in active addiction. On a daily basis, those in recovery will notice more and more things about which they can be thankful. As such, it’s not uncommon for one’s recovery treatments to incorporate what is called a gratitude list, which is a list that one writes, containing each of the things for which he or she is thankful.

Moreover, it’s often taught that an individual should write one gratitude list every day, or one list for every day of sobriety. As time goes on, those in recovery will notice that the list continues to grow as they find and gain more and more things for which they are grateful.

The Importance of Being Grateful in Recovery

When an individual begins his or her recovery, he or she will often have just reached the point of rock bottom or the lowest that they have yet been in life. This can take the form of having no employment or money, being homeless, contracting a deadly disease during one’s substance abuse, loss of important relationships, and so on.

As such, when an individual begins the journey of recovery, it can often feel like there’s nothing for which he or she can be thankful. However, with each passing day, he or she can add the previous day’s abstinence to the list, meanwhile accruing other things for which the newly sober individual can be thankful. As a gratitude list grows, individuals are further inspired by their progress in life.

Especially compared to the state of one’s life at rock bottom, a growing gratitude list can become to motivation to continue with one’s recovery; moreover, it can make individuals feel like they have a lot they could lose in a relapse. In short, gratitude lists help recovering users to focus on the progress made in life and sobriety, showing them the successes they’ve had and are continuing to have while maintaining abstinence from alcohol and drugs.

Get Addiction Help Today

If you or someone you love wants to overcome an addiction to alcohol or drugs and would like to learn more about rehabilitation, Serenity of Summit can help. Our experienced recovery specialists help countless individuals find the addiction treatment programs that best address their individual recovery needs, allowing them to return to lives of sobriety, health, and fulfillment. Give us a call at 844-326-4514 or connect with us online today to learn about our services and how they can help you start your journey to a new life.

Serenity at Summit Announces Relocation To New Facility

The outpatient facility provides personalized addiction treatment in a welcoming environment

Serenity at Summit is proud to announce its relocation to a new outpatient facility at 83 Hanover Road, Suite 160, Florham Park, New Jersey. The new facility will continue to offer Summit’s unique brand of personalized addiction treatment programs for people suffering from substance abuse disorders and alcohol dependency.

“We’re happy to announce the relocation to our new home,” stated Tricia Kostin, Clinical Director of Florham Park. “Although we’re just a few miles down the road from our old location, we feel as if this is an expansion in many ways of what has made our facilities so well-equipped to help people on the road to recovery.”

The Florham Park facility provides intensive outpatient services catered to each client’s individual needs with our flexible scheduling, adult and adolescent programming and family support. Patients in the outpatient program have access to professional counseling and group therapy sessions that provide them with the skills necessary to progress on the road to recovery.

“Our outpatient addiction treatment programs include educational sessions, ongoing support, family counseling, and access to behavioral counselors in times of need,” Bethany Kassar, Executive Director of Outpatient Services. “We offer both adolescent and adult programs and conduct assessments to ensure that the team designs unique treatment programs based on each patient’s needs. Summit views addiction as a family disease and holistically treats the entire system by having a client’s family actively involved in the recovery process.

Patients who choose outpatient treatment can maintain their daily lifestyle and pursue education and career goals while also having the assurance of anonymity and privacy that some patients need because of the possible consequences that discovery of their addiction might cause professionally and personally. Summit’s treatment programs have multiple levels of intensity based on a patient’s clinical history and existing struggle with addiction.


Serenity at Summit programs are based on the fundamental belief that no single treatment philosophy or approach is best for everyone. Our experienced staff collaboratively creates each client’s treatment plan to reflect their unique needs and empower them to succeed. We partner with the individual to begin a transformational journey from hope to healing and beyond. Serenity at Summit operates addiction treatment centers that offer different treatment programs that include: drug and alcohol medical detox, inpatient treatment in a residential facility, and intensive and non-intensive outpatient treatment.

The Health Risks of E-cigarettes for Young People

Although smoking itself is at an all-time low e-cigarette use has risen steadily

Also known as “vaping,” e-cigarettes have become increasingly popular, especially among young people. Although smoking itself is at an all-time low according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), e-cigarette use has risen steadily. Surveys reveal that about 24.6 percent of high school students and 7.7 percent of middle school student say they’ve tried some form of tobacco. Public health advocates say that e-cigarette use has climbed for a variety of reasons, including low cost and different flavors like gummy bear and cotton candy — both of which appeal to young people.

Are E-cigarettes Safer Than Regular Cigarettes?

Unlike regular cigarettes, e-cigarettes are battery-operated devices that emit an aerosol, which the user inhales. In many cases, the aerosol contains both nicotine and a flavoring to make the vapor taste better.

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), research suggests that e-cigarettes might be safer than traditional smoking, but only in cases where smokers switch from regular cigarettes to vaping. This is not the case for the majority of young people, who tend to start vaping without ever having smoked regular cigarettes.

The vapor in e-cigarettes contains toxic chemicals and known carcinogens, as well as high levels of nickel and chromium. As the NIDA states, “…nicotine in any form is a highly addictive drug. Research suggests it can even prime the brain’s reward system, putting vapers at risk for addiction to other drugs.”

The Health Risks of Vaping

E-cigarettes still contain nicotine, which has a powerful effect on the body’s adrenal glands. When a person vapes, their brain is stimulated to release the hormone epinephrine (also known as adrenaline), which increases the levels of dopamine in the brain. This is the so-called “reward system,” which tricks the brain into a calmer, more relaxed state. As so many people have discovered, however, this reward is only temporarily — and users eventually need more and more of the drug to achieve the same pleasant results.

In addition to pushing the body’s reward system into overdrive, e-cigarettes also contain other harmful substances. The U.S. Surgeon General warns that vape pens release ultrafine particles into the lungs, as well as volatile organic compounds. People can even inhale heavy metals like nickel, tin, and lead — all of which have been shown to be toxic in the body.

Because the brain continues to develop all the way to age 25, nicotine exposure as a high school student or young adult can cause long-term problems. Additionally, research shows that e-cigarettes can open a gateway to other types of drug use.    

Contact Serenity at Summit Today

Serenity at Summit offers both inpatient and outpatient programs to help people overcome drug and alcohol addiction, as well as co-occurring disorders. It is possible to obtain a lasting recovery — even if you have relapsed before. Our programs are personalized and medically supervised. Call our behavioral health professionals today at 844-432-0416 to speak with a substance abuse expert about your treatment options.

Detox Treatment

1000 Galloping Hill Road

Union, NJ 07083

Phone: (908) 481-4400

Summit Behavioral Health – Serenity At Summit

Detox & Residential Treatment

61 Brown St

Haverhill, MA 01830

Phone: (978) 641-3001



Saying Thanks to Someone Who Supported You During Recovery

Research shows that expressing gratitude can actually be good for your health

In many cases, addiction recovery is focused on the patient. This is normal and to be expected — after all, the person being treated should be at the center of any recovery effort.

However, supportive individuals are key to a lasting recovery. Although it’s very possible to achieve a lifelong recovery on your own, it is always best to surround yourself with friends and family members who support what you’re doing and go out of their way to ensure you are given the encouragement and acceptance you deserve.

If you’ve been through treatment for a drug or alcohol addiction, and you’re now in recovery, saying thank you to the people who supported you can be a great way to recognize them, as well as further cement your bond with them. Here are some ideas for making sure your support system knows you appreciate their help and compassion.

Write a Letter

Research shows that expressing gratitude can actually be good for your health. In a 2012 study, researchers found that grateful people experience fewer aches and pains, exercise more often, and live longer than those who don’t take time to say thank you to others. In today’s busy world, most people don’t write letters anymore. Sending a heartfelt card or letter to people who supported you during your recovery will make them — and you — feel great.  

Include them in Your Recovery Journey

Recovery is a lifelong process. Even if it’s been years since you kicked your addiction, it’s always important to stay focused on your recovery journey. There are many ways you can include your support partners on your journey. Examples include talking to them about temptations you face, sharing experiences in which you turned down a chance to use alcohol or drugs, and inviting them to attend therapy sessions or treatment meetings.

Spend More Time Together

It’s always nice to spend time with people who care about you. Even if you can’t get together in person, you can still connect through email, video messaging, and text. If you live near each other, consider inviting supportive individuals to go shopping, eat dinner, or take a walk together. You don’t have to plan a big or expensive outing — often, small gestures are the most special.

Offer Support in Return

You never know when someone who supported you will need a helping hand themselves. Look for opportunities to give back. For example, offer to run errands for someone who comes down with the flu or suffers an injury. Small gestures of kindness are a wonderful way to let someone know how much you appreciate their support when you needed it. It’s also a great feeling when recovery enables you to be the support person someone else needs.

About Serenity at Summit Today

Serenity At Summit offers drug and alcohol addiction programs in New Jersey and Haverhill, MA. They offer personalized and drug and alcohol detox under medical supervision.

1-908-481-4400 (NJ)

1-978-641-3001 (MA)



Why You Need a 30-Day Sugar Detox

A sugar detox may sound extreme but the benefits that you will see and feel are worth the uncomfortable first few days

Millions of Americans suffer from high blood pressure, obesity, and fatigue due to the diet that they put into their bodies. It’s unfortunate, but feeling lousy, achy, tired, and carrying extra weight has become the new normal for many people. If you are one of them, you may be suffering from a sugar addiction that is contributing to your ailments. It may be time for you to consider a 30-day detox from sugar.

A sugar detox may sound extreme, but the benefits that you will see and feel are worth the uncomfortable first few days. Not only will it help you physically by restoring balance to your blood sugar, reducing spikes of insulin, balancing your hormones, boosting your metabolism, and reducing inflammation, it will also improve your mood and self-image, and you will likely lose weight.

Sugar Addiction

Many people today eat diets that are high in sugar, and as many as 10% of Americans are true sugar addicts. While sugar addiction may not be on the same level as drug and alcohol addiction, there are many similarities. In fact, research shows that for the sugar addict, sugar affects the pleasure center of the brain and induces cravings that are similar in extent to those same symptoms in drug addicts.

For many people, one of the most concerning facts about sugar is just how much is added to our diets without us even realizing that it’s there. When we think of sugar, we think about cakes, cookies, and ice cream. But the reality is, it’s in many foods that don’t even taste sweet. – bread, sauces, salad dressings, and pasta. You may be eating sugar all day and not know it.

Even if you are not a true sugar addict, you will benefit from reducing the amount of sugar in your diet, or be doing a 30-day sugar detox. It will require that you read labels, eat whole foods, and stay away from prepackaged foods, but the results will be worth it. 

How to Detox from Sugar

Getting the sugar out of your system requires that you go cold turkey for the first three days of the detox. This sounds daunting and you may wonder why it’s not recommended to just cut down on the amount of sugar you consume. The reason is simple, you would not ask a drug addict or alcoholic to just have a couple of pills or beers a day. For true addicts, this would be impossible. If they could moderate their use, they would already be doing it. The same is true for sugar addicts, and that’s why the first three days have to be sugar-free.

For the first three days, you should have no added sugar. That means no fruits, grains, dairy, starchy vegetables (corn, peas, potatoes, and squash), and alcohol. You can fill up on proteins, vegetables, and healthy fats.

A typical sugar-free day may look like this:

  • Breakfast – Three eggs, cooked any way you like them
  • Lunch – As much as six ounces of poultry, fish, or tofu, and a salad
  • Dinner – Same as lunch, but you can substitute steamed vegetables for the salad
  • Snacks – Nuts (1 oz. servings), hummus, vegetables

You will want to stay away from artificial sweeteners because they may make you store more fat and end up overeating. Stick to water, unsweetened tea, and black coffee.

Starting on the fourth day, you add one apple and one dairy food (full-fat and unsweetened) each day. You’ll find that after three days of no sugar, your taste has recalibrated and things that didn’t use to taste sweet now do. You can also add back in some of the higher sugar vegetables like carrots and peas, and have up to three glasses of wine for the week.

For week two, you add another serving of dairy, a serving of berries, and starchy vegetables like squash and yams.

Week three allows you to include grains (like oatmeal, quinoa, and barley), and additional fruit like grapes, tangerines or another citrus, and bananas, and an ounce of dark chocolate.

Week four begins the maintenance part of the plan. You can add two starches each day, and up to five glasses of wine per week.

By the end of the four weeks, your addiction to sugar should be broken and be eating healthy sugars, like fruit and whole grains should be satisfying enough that you no longer crave sugar-laden foods. Of course, once you complete the 30 days, having a small dessert or piece of birthday cake isn’t going to send you back into the throes of sugar addiction. Now is when moderation is possible because the addiction to sugar is broken.

Benefits and Risks of Sugar Detox

Doing a sugar detox can result in significant weight loss. Some people lose between five and 20 pounds in the first 30 days, depending on their starting weight and severity of their sugar addiction. People who detox from sugar also experience increased energy, fewer mood swings and blood sugar fluctuations, and have improvements in the appearance of their skin and brighter eyes.

The drawback of any detox is the discomfort you feel in the beginning. The first three days of a sugar detox can make you feel irritable, tired, and anxious because you are actually going through withdrawal. It’s important that you plan to start your detox at a time when you will be around supportive and understanding people who will help you through the challenge.

Doing a 30-day sugar detox will be helpful to nearly everyone – but if you are diabetic or pregnant it may not be right for you and you should check with your doctor before starting.

Can Yoga Help with Drug Addiction Recovery?

If you’ve never tried yoga, you might think of it as something that involves contorting one’s body into complicated or boring poses. Or, maybe you imagine that it involves deep breathing or chanting.

The reality is that yoga comes in a variety of forms and disciplines — and there are well over 100 different variations of yoga. It’s also practiced by a wide variety of people, from elite athletes to people trying to transition from a sedentary lifestyle to a more active one. Whether you’re an exercise novice or an expert, you can start yoga at any level of skill.

Yoga for holistic treatment in addiction recovery @SummitBH

According to the American Yoga Association, yoga has been around for about 5,000 years, and the word “yoga” actually means “to join or yoke together,” which is a reference to bringing mind and body closer together.

The association also states that yoga is based on three principles: exercise, breathing, and meditation. Although yoga is not a religion, many people who practice it find that they feel more spiritually in tune with the world around them, as well as happier and more at peace with their own thoughts.

Yoga as Part of Drug Addiction Recovery

Yoga can also be incorporated into a drug addiction recovery program. Most forms of exercise are an excellent complement to addiction treatment. Before you begin any yoga plan or other exercise plan, however, it’s important to discuss it with your doctor.

According to Social Work Today, research shows that yoga can be an effective form of therapy for drug addiction. And because yoga doesn’t require any kind of special equipment or a great deal of space, it’s an exercise that works in an almost unlimited number of settings.

According to one yoga teacher, “Yoga can be done by anyone, anytime, anywhere, making it extremely cost-effective for prisons, schools, 12-step programs, and even individuals.”

Tommy Rosen, one of the most well-known yoga masters in the world, suffered from acute drug addiction. He has been sober for over 20 years — something he attributes to the discipline and dedication required of yoga masters. According to Rosen, “Addiction will dismantle a person’s life. It’s relentless…” Rosen uses yoga techniques that focus on breath control, meditation, and relaxation as part of his addiction recovery plan.

Contact Summit Behavioral Health Today

Summit Behavioral Health offers various addiction treatment options.

Clinical & Holistic Care that redefines detox and residential treatment

Call Today: 1-844-64-DETOX


We offer medically supervised Inpatient and outpatient programs, as well as medical detox, to help individuals overcome both prescription and illegal drug addiction and alcohol addiction. We design programs tailored to each patient’s needs and goals. Give us a call today at 1-844-643-3869 to learn more about the treatment options we offer.

Serenity at Summit


What Does “Drinking in Moderation” Mean?

Serenity at Summit, a NJ alcoholism treatment center, outlines the facts on what moderation means and why it’s important.

You may have heard the saying, “everything in moderation.” Generally, it means that most things are safe as long as you don’t overdo them. This can go for a lot of things, from eating sweets and drinking coffee to putting in time at work and exercising. Even activities that are considered healthy, such as jogging, can be bad for you if you take them to an extreme.

But how does moderation work with alcohol consumption? How much is too much, and is it different for everyone? Serenity at Summit, an alcoholism treatment center offers their thoughts on the subject.

CDC Facts about Moderate Drinking

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), “moderate drinking” is defined as:

  • No more than one drink per day for women.
  • No more than two drinks per day for men.
  • Individuals who should never drink include pregnant women, individuals with health problems where alcohol is contraindicated, people engaged in activities that require full mental competence and concentration, and people who are recovering alcoholics or otherwise unable to control how much they drink.

The CDC bases its data on the 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans. Furthermore, the CDC defines “one drink” as:

  • 12 ounces of beer
  • Eight ounces of malt liquor
  • Five ounces of wine
  • 5 ounces of distilled spirits or liquor (80-proof)

The CDC also reports that two in three adults admits to drinking above moderate levels at least once a month.

For some people, even moderate drinking is too much. There are several factors that can make people more or less susceptible to the effects of alcohol. These factors include:

  • Age
  • Gender
  • Ethnicity
  • Family history
  • Fitness level
  • Weight
  • Food consumed prior to drinking
  • How quickly alcohol is consumed
  • Drug use or use of prescription medication

For individuals who are sensitive to alcohol, even moderate drinking can be dangerous or at the very least inadvisable. And for those recovering from an alcohol abuse disorder, it’s important to avoid alcohol completely.

A CDC study, Prevalence of Alcohol Dependence Among US Adult Drinkers, revealed that the majority of people who consume alcohol have drinking habits that fall somewhere between the definition of “moderate drinking” and excessive drinking, with 90 percent of “excessive drinkers” not being dependent on alcohol. The authors of the study state that women should restrict themselves to fewer than eight alcoholic drinks per week. For men, the limit is no more than 14 drinks per week.

Contact Serenity at Summit Today

If you or a loved one has a drinking problem, expert help is available and you can speak to a substance abuse professional about a treatment plan designed specifically to fit your needs at 844-432-0416 Serenity at Summit provides both inpatient and outpatient programs, as well as medical detox, to help people who are struggling with an alcohol abuse disorder.

Practicing Self-Care: One of the Keys to Addiction Recovery

Addiction treatment experts agree that taking care of your mind, body and spirit are essential tools for maintaining addiction recovery and a life of sobriety.

Recovery from addiction is an everyday practice that can be overwhelming at times. Even those who have been successful at remaining clean and sober for a long period of time sometimes feel doubt and fear, and that can be a dangerous place for people in addiction recovery. When emotions are overwhelming it can quickly cause a downward spiral that ends in relapse.

To learn about how holistic activities can help you practice self-care read: What is the Role of Holistic Activities in Recovery?

If you went to rehab, you probably learned about the importance of practicing self-care in recovery. It was likely talked about a lot. That’s because as a person in recovery, dealing with emotions that you used to try to numb or escape from, self-care plays a huge part in avoiding the end of that downward spiral.

Self-care in recovery involves taking care of your mind, body, and soul. It is a self-nurturing that can help you deal with life on life’s terms, and keep you from making the wrong choices when you feel strong emotions or become overwhelmed.

The following is a list of things that you can do to take care of yourself, physically, psychologically, and spiritually in recovery.

  1. Get enough sleep. Everything feels worse and more intense than it is when you’re tired. Try to get a good night’s sleep every night, and talk to your doctor if you have trouble falling or staying asleep. Take naps when you can, they often act as a reset when you need one.
  2. Eat when you are hungry. Don’t allow yourself to get overly hungry. That will lead to grumpiness and discontentment. Do your best to eat regularly throughout the day – but be mindful to eat healthy foods that make you feel satisfied and energized.
  3. Get some exercise. Physical activity is not only good for your body, it helps ward off depression too. Even if you were not an exerciser before you got sober, you will find that increasing your physical activity, even a small amount, improves your mood.
  4. Keep your doctor appointments. Don’t miss appointments with your doctor, psychiatrist, or your therapist.
  5. Take your medication. If you are prescribed medication, for psychological, psychiatric, or medical issues, be sure to take it and to not run out between refills.
  6. Take a bath. Sometimes a long soak in a bubble bath can help calm down overwhelming feelings.
  7. Get outside. Spend some time outdoors – go to the park, or for a walk around the block, somewhere that stimulates your senses with a beautiful view, the smell of pine trees, or the touch of a gentle breeze.
  8. Talk about your feelings. Reach out to someone who understands, like a loved one, supportive friend, sponsor, or therapist when you are feeling overwhelmed. Sometimes just talking about what you are feeling takes the power away from it.
  9. Shut-down negative self-talk. Pay attention to the thoughts that you are having and consciously shut-down the negative self-talk. This isn’t always easy, but if you imagine that you are hearing someone say those things about someone you love instead of yourself, it might make it easier to quiet them down.
  10. Practice acceptance. Identify things that are upsetting to you that you have no control over, and try to let go of the negative feelings associated with them.
  11. A lot. Get together with someone who makes you laugh. They say that laughter is the best medicine for a reason.
  12. Do something creative. If you already have a creative interest in something, work on it. If you don’t, try something new. Being creative and focusing on an activity gets you out of your own head and lowers stress and anxiety.
  13. Just write. Whether it’s narrating your day, writing about your feelings, writing poetry, or writing about your dreams and goals, expressing things on paper can be very calming.
  14. Read a book or watch your favorite movie. While you don’t want to make avoidance a habit, a little bit of healthy distraction now and then can help you reset your internal stress-o-meter.
  15. Spend time with friends and family. This works if you have supportive friends and family. If the opposite is true, ignore this one.
  16. Tell yourself the truth. When negative thoughts and feelings begin, tell yourself the truth about them. Not everything that we think is necessarily true, so be objective and be honest with yourself.
  17. Don’t over schedule yourself. It’s alright to say no, or to not accept every invitation. If you lead a busy life, be sure to build some downtime into your schedule. Relaxation is an important part of self-care.
  18. Pray or meditate. Set aside some time to pray or meditate each day. Even if you aren’t spiritually inclined, a short period of quiet time can do wonders for your peace of mind.
  19. Go to meetings or support groups. Enjoy the fellowship at 12-step meetings or other recovery-related support groups. It’s always good to be around people who you know understand you.
  20. Attend worship or religious services. If you belong to a church, or would like to, attend services. Focusing on your spiritual needs can provide comfort, lessen anxiety, and help you to be mindful.

Self-care is vital to recovery. At first it may seem like you’re being selfish with your time, but in reality, if you don’t take care of yourself first, you will not have anything left over to offer anyone else. There is a huge difference in being the self-centered person you were when you were using or drinking and taking care of yourself first so you can offer your very best to your loved ones. Take time each day to do the things for yourself that you would do for someone you loved who is in recovery. Not only will it help you stay sober, it will help you be present for your relationships and it will help you stay firmly planted in your addiction recovery.

Reach out to us if you feel the need for support from caring experts who know how to develop a self-care plan and understand about addiction recovery.

Sweating Your Way to Sobriety: How Exercise Helps with Addiction Treatment

Addiction treatment programs that treat mind, body and spirit using a holistic approach help treat more than just the addiction.

We all know that exercise can boost emotional as well as physical health. Getting moving is a priority for most people, and nearly everyone wouldn’t mind shedding a few pounds or simply toning up, but many don’t realize the positive impact on addiction treatment. What you may not realize is just how important exercise is for keeping your mind and body in optimal condition. In fact, even moderate exercise can dramatically change the chemical composition in your brain, causing you to experience natural highs that make you feel happier and more productive. Focusing on your physical well-being can also help take your mind off the temptation to indulge in drugs or alcohol.

Addiction Treatment Program

Furthermore, research1 shows that regular exercise can help restore the brain’s chemical balance after drug or alcohol abuse. Many drug and alcohol treatment centers even incorporate an exercise regimen into their treatment programs.

If you’re just starting out with an exercise plan, here are several exercises that can help you ease into a healthier lifestyle.

  • Easy on the joints, yoga is a gentle yet powerful form of exercise that incorporates both the body and the mind. Many people also use it as a form of meditation that quiets the thoughts and improves overall mood.
  • Taking in a hike can also allow you to take in nature. Walking is generally easier on the body than running or jogging, and you don’t even need any special equipment to do it. Just lace up a pair of comfortable sneakers and head out the door. Several smartphone apps even allow you to track your hikes so you can see your progress and how far you’ve gone.
  • Strength Training. You don’t have to be a bodybuilder to benefit from weight lifting. Much has been written about the benefits of strength training for both genders and people in all age groups. In fact, even exercises using nothing more than your own body weight can help you build lean muscle that improves your posture and overall physique. Strengthening your core can also alleviate back pain and arthritis.
  • Biking lets you hit the road without getting behind the wheel, which is usually a much less stressful way to get from point A to point B. It’s also an activity you can use to cut down on fuel costs, parking tickets, and hefty parking garage fees if you live in an urban area with a lot of traffic.

Contact Summit Behavioral Health Today

If you’re curious to learn more about the addiction treatment options available at Summit Behavioral Health, get in touch with our substance abuse treatment physicians and professionals today. We offer both outpatient and residential treatment programs for drug, alcohol, prescription drug, and co-occurring disorders. Call 1-844-64-DETOX.



1   Research        

Food Addiction And Substance Addiction Share Dopamine Signaling

A stigma surrounds food and other process addictions – that they aren’t real. Many people don’t understand food addiction and so don’t associate it with the same effects as a substance addiction. However, food has the same effects on the brain’s dopamine receptors as chemicals do, making process addictions very real. Understanding dopamine signaling and addiction is the first step toward stemming a food addiction, just as it is for a substance addiction.

Understanding Addiction And The Brain

Addiction takes place within the brain’s reward center, involving dopamine release levels and receptor binding. Dopamine receptors, classified as D1 and D2 receptors, are in charge of changing a person’s behaviors and impulses. Low D2 receptor levels and dopamine release directly correlate to higher levels of impulsivity and the desire for short-term rewards – two major precursors for addiction.

Substance addiction alters the brain’s D2 receptor and dopamine release levels, literally changing the way an addict thinks, feels, and behaves. Studies prove that drugs and alcohol affect the brain’s dopamine receptors, leading to addiction and the tendency for relapse. Many studies also show that some people are predisposed to lower levels of D2 receptors and dopamine release, making them more at risk for addiction. Food addiction involves the same exact dopamine receptors as a substance addiction.

The hypothalamus in the brain is responsible for integrating hormonal and neuronal signals that control appetite and body weight. The brain makes a strong connection between food and reward, responding to food’s smell, sight, and taste with cues in the brain that override the natural energy balance. Thus, the brain’s food reward circuit controls eating behaviors just as it controls substance use.

What Dopamine Signaling Means For Food Addicts

Dopamine-mediated food reward is linked to obesity directly, an ongoing epidemic in America. In drug addiction, researchers know that the rewarding effects drugs have are induced mainly by increased dopamine release on specific receptor targets. Cocaine, for example, targets the dopamine transporter. Food addiction and dopamine reward signaling is more complex, and researchers are still uncertain about exactly how food triggers the same dopamine reward signals as drugs and alcohol. However, studies point to a few consistent facts:

  • Food with high fat and sugar content can activate the dopamine reward circuit significantly. Rewarding food stimulates the same dopaminergic transmissions as drug abuse. Both food and substance addictions have common neural substrates and depend on dopaminergic circuits.
  • Human brain imaging studies support the connection between dopamine circuits and the control of food intake. The dorsal striatum in the brain correlates with feeding behaviors the most. The reduction of dopamine receptor binding in this part of the brain relates directly to feeding.
  • Compulsive eating behaviors are related to D2 receptor expression. Manipulating the D2 receptor by deleting insulin receptors in mice showed that this increased body weight and fat mass. Different locations of D2 receptors in the brain could lead to different circuit outcomes.

Obese people and substance addicts both show a reduced expression of D2 receptors. Food-related and drug-related cues activate similar brain areas, suggesting pathological eating as a means to compensate for decreased dopamine release. Drug abuse stems from the same dopamine deficit. Individuals with naturally lower numbers of D2 receptors may succumb more easily to addictive behaviors, thus leading to obesity.

Learning How To Overcome A Food Addiction

Understanding how a food addiction affects the brain is the foundation for knowing how to stem the problem. Changes in dopamine signaling, when palatable foods are introduced into the system, point to an increased motivation to eat these foods. Researchers may address this issue by looking at D2 receptor expression and dopamine signaling.

Recent studies suggest a strong connection between the reward circuits and homeostatic circuits of feeding behaviors. Since it’s clear that D2 receptor function is a critical factor in food motivation and obesity, treatment naturally must address these processes in the brain. However, scientists still struggle to define the brain circuits involved in controlling food addiction. Addressing the underlying physiology of food addiction is difficult, but not impossible.

Today’s treatments for food addiction rely heavily on awareness of the problem. Once you realize you have a food addiction, you can begin recovery. Understanding your brain’s reward center and how it feeds your addiction can help you avoid foods that will give you a dopamine rush, such as fats and sugars. Just like a drug addiction, a strong support system will help you stay on track.


How To Manage Pain Without Becoming Addicted To Prescription Drugs

Chronic pain is a problem that is impacting a growing number of Americans. Currently, more than one-third of adults in the U.S. in their 50s or older suffer from chronic pain in their neck or back, according to the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index. A similar percentage are suffering from chronic knee or leg pain. And, more than 20 percent of those in their 40s or older have some type of recurring pain.

The reality is that chronic pain is a significant problem in the United States. Ongoing pain from automobile accidents, falls, and sports injuries is a widespread reality that affects millions of people.

Interestingly, lifestyle choices have much to do with this very common problem. There is a clear link between obesity and pain that was studied by Gallup senior scientist Dr. Arthur Stone. Dr. Stone outlined in his analysis of data, that there are complex physiological processes that result in inflammation and chronic pain due to excess fat. As well, certain medical conditions that cause pain, such as arthritis and certain spine conditions, can also lead to lower levels of exercise and more weight gain. In other words, there is a perpetuating cycle of weight gain and increased pain.

Using Prescription Painkillers For Chronic Pain

Many of those who are combatting pain due to chronic conditions are taking prescription painkillers on a regular basis. Unfortunately, one of the side effects of these drugs is addiction. The risk for addiction is particularly high for those who are recovering addicts or have a family history of addiction.

Because opioid painkillers release dopamine, a neurotransmitter that acts on the reward and pleasure system of the brain, they can quickly produce cravings for more of the medication and eventually cause addiction. Most individuals who currently are addicted to opioids are those who began taking them for chronic pain. The scenario usually begins with getting a prescription for chronic pain, then developing a tolerance and requiring higher and higher doses to quell the persistent pain.

Some pain experts believe that opioids are inherently ineffective in treating chronic pain. This begs an important question. What should someone do who is struggling with persistent, ongoing pain, but doesn’t want to risk developing a prescription drug addiction?

Alternatives To Prescription Painkillers

It’s important to stress that each person experiences pain in a unique way, and we all have varying abilities to tolerate it. For those who have difficulty managing day-to-day life because of pain, it’s wise to try all treatment options for pain-relief before turning to addictive opioid painkillers.

Stress ManagementStress Management To Prevent Pain Pill Addiction

Stress and anxiety are closely linked to physical pain. Often, stress management techniques, such as meditation, massage, yoga and individual therapy, can reduce stress levels and subsequently decrease levels of chronic pain. If you’re not sure where to start, you can simply start right now, wherever you are, by taking in a few slow, deep breaths. After just 30 short seconds, you can generally notice a greater sense of calm. This is a simple and well-known, but often underutilized, stress-relieving go-to.

Physical Therapy

Strengthening muscles and improving overall range of motion can also combat daily pain. In physical therapy, patients learn how to better care for their body and manage aches and pains. Talk to your doctor about getting on a physical therapy plan that works for you. If this is something your insurance doesn’t cover (often many insurance companies will, if a doctor recommends it), you can still research physical rehab facilities that can work with you and your needs.


A fundamental component to staying healthy and free from pain is regular exercise. Even those who suffer from chronic pain can incorporate exercise into their daily life. Inactivity is often the source of pain and can also cause decreased bone density, heart disease and depression. Starting with a trainer is a good idea to avoid overdoing it. In time, the body grows stronger, and pain is often relieved. Good exercise options that won’t exacerbate painful conditions, include yoga, walking, cycling and swimming.

AcupunctureAcupuncture-Holistic Alternatives To Prescription Painkillers

This ancient treatment is an alternative treatment that has become increasingly popular. In fact, many insurance companies are willing to cover acupuncture treatments for patients because of their ability to relieve pain. Make sure to choose an acupuncturist who is credentialed, licensed and in compliant with state regulations.

Holistic Addiction Treatment Facility

Have you or a loved one become addicted after taking prescription opioids for a pain condition?

Serenity at Summit treats addiction from both clinical and holistic methodologies. We focus on healing the mind, body and spirit. When you recover at one of our inpatient or inpatient treatment facilities, our specialized treatment staff will work with you in a personalized approach. Now is the time to recover and heal.

You’re not alone and help is available. Call an addiction specialist now to find out how you can get the help you need.

3 Tips To Reduce Daily Life Stress Triggers

What Is The Role Of Holistic Activities In Recovery?

Addiction impacts your physical, mental and emotional health. This is why addiction treatment needs to be comprehensive and holistic in nature. Every individual entering treatment is different, as is their specific story of addiction. Based on each person’s specific needs, an individualized treatment program can be developed that includes a variety of holistic activities.

Discover the role of holistic activities in recovery.

Why Holistic Treatment Is Important In Addiction Recovery

Holistic means whole. When it comes to addiction treatment, holistic refers to treating the whole person. With this multi-faceted approach to treatment, physical, mental and emotional/spiritual health can be addressed to support recovery.

For some individuals entering treatment their primary concern may be that of malnourishment. Meanwhile, other individuals may be battling co-occurring disorders such as anxiety or depression. Yet, those that are seeking treatment for PTSD or trauma have primary concerns of their own that may or may not be a focus for another.

Underlying factors such as family issues and work stress also play a role in the treatment of the individual. With that in mind, because of the wide variety of issues one may struggle with, addiction treatment must be able to address emotional problems, poor physical health, psychiatric conditions as well as trauma in order to ensure optimum treatment.

Types Of Holistic Treatments In Recovery

Forms of treatment that help heal the body, mind and spirit include:

  • individual and group therapy
  • nutrition therapy
  • cognitive therapy
  • journaling
  • meditation
  • yoga
  • multiple forms of exercise
  • and much more

Benefits Of Holistic Activities And Therapies

Holistic treatments that support mental health such as meditation and cognitive therapy can decrease anxiety and stress while changing destructive behaviors and habits. For example, meditation in recovery is used to help a recovering addict gain more awareness and to relinquish negative thought processes. Interestingly, studies have shown that meditation, even for just a few minutes each day, can help increase brain activity and improve impulse control.

Physical activities, like exercise and yoga, help to lower blood pressure, improve energy levels and increase the natural release of serotonin. Nutrition is integral to recovery by helping to restore levels of essential vitamins and minerals necessary to support good health. With proper nutrition and physical activity, sleep, energy levels and brain function improve which enables the body and mind to heal faster and more effectively, which is key for a recovery addict.

What Holistic Addiction Treatments Do You Need?

Are you searching for the best treatment option for yourself or a loved one? You may be unclear what holistic treatments will provide the best chance of recovery. This is why we provide a complete individual assessment to create an individualized treatment plan that is comprised of the most optimal holistic therapies and traditional treatments to support recovery.

Call now to learn more or to get started. We will be with you every step of the way.

Watch More Of Our Meditation Videos To Destress

4 Positive Habits To Replace Addictive Habits

Feed Your Soul-4 Positive Habits To Replace Addictive HabitsDrug addicts and alcoholics often have rituals that surround their drug use or drinking. Part of recovery is learning healthier skills and habits to replace these negative behaviors.

The recovery process requires giving up the familiar social situations, environments, friends, and activities that led to and supported the addiction. Getting rid of these is an important step in recovery. Yet, rather than simply stopping these behaviors, it’s vital to replace them with new healthy habits that fill the void that has been created.

4 Positive Habits To Support Your Recovery

While there are countless habits that can be incorporated into daily life to support your recovery, the following are a few of the most successful habits that are used by individuals in recovery to live healthier, more fulfilling lives.

1. Exercise

The benefits of regular exercise are multi-pronged. It is a proven reliever of anxiety and stress because it produces increased levels of dopamine and feel-good endorphins. It also creates more clarity, improves sleep, and obviously improves your overall physical well-being. The key is finding the exercise that is right for you, whether that’s running, yoga, swimming, or some other source of physical activity.

2. Journaling

Writing can be an extremely therapeutic activity for those in recovery. Regularly contributing to a daily journal helps to get out emotions and feelings of resentment. It’s also beneficial for chronicling what you’re grateful for on a daily basis.

3. Volunteering

Researchers have found that the act of helping others releases endorphins in much the same way exercise does. In other words, you get when you give!

4. Socializing

Being isolated is a set up for relapse. If you tend to retreat from others when you’re feeling stressed, down, or just blue, it’s an indicator that you need to change this habit by becoming more social in a healthy, substance-free environment. Join a group, a club or attend regular 12 step meetings and participate. Sharing with others and actively listening to them can go a long way toward supporting your recovery.

You CAN Change Your Habits

Both positive and negative habits create powerful neural pathways in your brain. Changing them doesn’t happen overnight, but it is very possible to replace negative habits with positive ones. Start small and build your confidence incrementally. You’ll soon find that you’ve replaced negative responses with healthy habits that you can embrace for a lifetime.

Want to learn more about changing negative habits and embracing recovery? Call Serenity to find out about our individualized holistic treatment programs.

You too can embrace healing and recovery. Our caring and professional staff will be with you every step of the way.

The Start To A New Beginning Is Just A Phone Call Away

5 Tips To Stay Sober During This Holiday Season

5 Tips To Stay Sober During The HolidaysMany individuals who are new to recovery dread the start of the holiday season. It’s a season when many feel down or depressed. As well, temptation is easy to find at holiday parties and get-togethers. The key is to embrace a few strategies to help you strengthen your resolve to stay sober.

Tips To Stay Sober During This Holiday Season

The following are five tips to help you stay strong and avoid relapse when others are toasting to the season.

1. Continue To Attend Meetings

Yes, it’s a busy time of year, but don’t be tempted to skip meetings. This is exactly when you need the support that meetings provide. It’s easy to begin feeling “left out” when you’re surrounded by friends and family who are drinking. By having a place to go to where others are experiencing what you are, you can get the support you need to avoid a relapse.

2. Avoid Familiar Triggers

Family members and friends are often triggers for those who are struggling with sobriety. It’s important to communicate where you’re at in your journey of recovery. Enjoy time with those who accept and respect your sobriety, and avoid the individuals who have the potential of causing you to relapse.

3. Remove Expectations

The holidays may look and feel different when you’re in recovery. That’s ok. Don’t get hung up on what used to be or what things should be. Stay focused on doing what you need to now to stay happy and healthy.

4. Give To Others

Although you may be going through challenges, there are others who have less than you. It can boost your mood and your self-esteem to serve others. Why not start a new holiday tradition to volunteer your time? This may become a part of your holiday season that you’ll continue year after year to remind yourself that you have much to give and to be grateful for.

5. Enjoy The Season

When you’re in a drug or alcohol-induced haze, you miss all that is magical about the holidays. This year, enjoy the lights on houses, delight in children opening up gifts, or take a brisk, winter walk while enjoying some of your favorite holiday songs. There’s much to appreciate when you’re sober!

Help Is Available – Just Reach Out

Are you struggling with alcohol or drug addiction this holiday season? Help is available. You just need to reach out. Summit Behavioral Health offers personalized treatment programs that are customized for your individual needs and goals. We will help support your entire recovery journey.

By taking this important first step in your recovery, you will give yourself and those who love you the greatest holiday gift possible.

The Benefits Of Exercise In Addiction Recovery

It’s simply a fact that drugs and alcohol can wreak havoc on both emotional and physical well-being. This is why it’s so important to focus on healing both the body and the mind as part of holistic drug and alcohol rehab. For many, exercise becomes a fundamental component of healing and a way to overcome cravings and triggers during treatment and recovery.

Benefits Of Exercise In Addiction Recovery

Along with helping strengthen the body physically, exercise offers a variety of other benefits in recovery including:

Stress Relief – Exercise has an amazing ability to reduce levels of stress that build up during daily life. And, by reducing the stress, the desire for using drugs or alcohol is often greatly diminished. When combined with the benefits of breathing exercises for addiction recovery, chronic stress and anxiety are much easier to manage which can help minimize the chance of relapse.

Greater Clarity – Exercise provides many of the same psychological and emotional benefits of meditation by enabling the individual to focus on well-being and not on life’s challenges and stresses that occupy thoughts throughout the day. Many people in recovery find that exercise enables them to have clearer thoughts while also feeling more focused.

Improved Outlook – Exercise also jumpstarts feelings of confidence and optimism. In fact, research has shown that exercise can help many individuals with addiction and even co-occurring disorders overcome feelings of depression and anxiety. This is due to both physiological changes that happen as a result of exercise, as well as the feelings of pride and self-worth that stem from achieving fitness goals.

Better Brain Chemistry – While drugs and alcohol alter the brain in an unnatural way, exercise releases feel-good endorphins to create a natural high. Yes, these are the same endorphins that are released while taking substances. The difference is that drugs and alcohol ultimately cause an imbalance in the brain that affects the ability to feel happiness and pleasure. Through regular exercise, the brain can once again produce natural levels of endorphins which help regulate brain chemistry and prevent mood swings and cravings.

Healthier Sleep Patterns – Drugs and alcohol interfere with the normal sleep cycle. This can lead to chronic fatigue, insomnia, and other sleep issues that can greatly reduce energy and cognitive thinking. Exercise has the opposite effect! With a daily exercise routine, individuals are often surprised to discover that they can once again sleep soundly through the night and wake up refreshed.

Begin The Journey To a Stronger, Healthier You

Are you struggling with drug or alcohol addiction? Take that first step in asking for help. Local treatment is only a call away. Let our caring and professional staff guide you toward healing and recovery.

We will create a customized plan, made just for you.

Take The First Step To Recovery – Call Us Now!

How To Give Yourself A Fresh Start For Spring Time!

Spring is in the air and with it comes new life – birds chirping, flowers blooming and sunny, warmer weather. It is hard to ignore all the new life blossoming right before your eyes. Why not give yourself the fresh start you have been looking for during this perfect time of year?

Discover how to give yourself a fresh start for spring time – the best time to change your life for the better!

Tips For Creating A Fresh Start For Yourself During Spring Time

Overcome Your Past

Just like the dark days of winter, the dark days of your past can be overcome by the light of spring. The warm weather, sunshine, and new life can inspire big changes in your life. Many people think of spring-cleaning as an activity for their home, but spring-cleaning your life can help in a variety of ways. It is time to put aside old habits and the friends that contribute to them and begin building a brighter future.

Take Up A New Hobby

It’s starting to get warmer and sunnier out. Take up a new sober hobby to enjoy the outdoors such as hiking, biking, basketball at a park, taking your dog on longer walks to new areas or to a dog park, etc. Meet new, sober friends by joining a local sober sports organization, or craft class, host a board game or movie night, host a sober BBQ or catch a play with some sober friends.

Continue Ongoing Healing

After addiction treatment, ongoing individual and group counseling as well as relapse prevention tools are vital to continue with your healing and recovery and for learning new coping mechanisms to help you deal with any stressors and cravings in your sober lifestyle.

Try a 12-step program or other sobriety group. You want to make sure you are continuing to both learn and grow and not get complacent in your sobriety. Both stress and boredom are huge reasons many people relapse. Don’t let these problems get the upper hand! With support and commitment, you can grow stronger each day and enjoy a life of healing and peace!

Change YOUR Life!

If you are looking for a way to change your life this spring, seeking treatment for your addiction is an important first step if you haven’t already. If you have, but have relapsed or feel like you are on the brink of relapse, don’t wait another day…

Call us now to start new…to begin a new chapter. We will be with you every step of the way!

Eating Well in Recovery: Slow Cooker Chicken Fajita Soup

Eating well while in recovery is very important. As a recovering addict, you need all the nourishment you can get and learning to cook healthy meals for yourself helps build confidence and stability.

Soup may seem like an intimidating dish to prepare, but it really doesn’t have to be. It is sheer comfort food that warms you from the inside out. Using a slow cooker makes this recipe easy; you simply assemble your ingredients and place them inside the crockpot and let them simmer to perfection over several hours.

If you enjoy chicken fajitas, you’ll enjoy this take on the recipe. You can choose to give it a bit more heat by using a medium or hot salsa, as opposed to a mild one, and the corn and black beans give it plenty of color, as well as fiber. The best part is that you can personalize it with the toppings you enjoy most.

Serve Slow Cooker Chicken Fajita Soup with crusty rolls or bread and a green salad for a hearty lunch or dinner.

Slow Cooker Chicken Fajita Soup

Makes 4-5 servings

Slow Cooker Chicken Fajita Soup - SummitHelps.comIngredients:

1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts (either fresh or frozen)
2 (10.75 ounce) cans condensed cream of chicken soup
1 cup salsa
2 cups frozen corn
1 (15 ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed
1½ cups water
1 teaspoon ground cumin
½ teaspoon dried cilantro
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Optional Toppings:

sour cream
diced tomatoes
green onions
diced avocado
tortilla strips


  1. Spray the bottom and sides of your slow cooker with cooking spray. Place boneless chicken breasts on the bottom of the slow cooker.
  2. In a medium-sized mixing bowl, mix the condensed cream of chicken soup, salsa, frozen corn, drained black beans, water, ground cumin and dried cilantro. Pour the mixture over top of the chicken.
  3. Place the lid on the slow cooker and cook on low heat for 4-6 hours. Remove the boneless chicken breasts and shred with two forks. Place the shredded chicken back into the slow cooker and add the shredded cheddar cheese. Continue cooking until the cheese has melted (approximately 15 minutes more).
  4. Ladle the soup into bowls and serve it immediately with your favorite toppings.

Holistic Detox And Treatment

At Summit Behavioral Health, we know that eating well is an important part of our clients’ recovery. Call us now to learn more about our holistic, medically supervised detox, as well as our holistic drug and alcohol treatment programs.

Enjoy Our Other Healthy Recipe Blogs!

Why Meditation And Yoga Are Beneficial For Addiction Recovery

Treating addiction involves adopting an entirely new mindset and lifestyle. It’s a very brave thing for people to give up the substances they have relied on as their coping mechanisms for dealing with stress and pain on the hope that sobriety has more to offer them. Fortunately, it does.

Here at Serenity at Summit, we offer holistic treatment to our clients, which address their physical, mental and spiritual needs.

Benefits Of Meditation And Yoga For Addiction Recovery

Mindfulness Meditation

Mindfulness meditation is a way of deliberately keeping one’s thoughts grounded in the present. Every time thoughts stray into the future or start to travel back into the past, they are gently and non-judgmentally shifted back to the present.

This approach to meditation for recovery is a wonderful way for our clients to learn how to keep emotions under control and to deal with stress. It also helps with healing, since it’s possible to look at unpleasant emotions or thoughts and experience them safely. Clients who practice mindfulness meditation learn to be less anxious and depressed, and become more self-aware.

When it comes to cravings, mindfulness teaches that the cravings for drugs or alcohol are just thoughts and that they are not under any obligation to act on them. They can look at the craving objectively, see that it doesn’t have any substance, and send it on its way – now that’s powerful!


Learning to do yoga offers several benefits for people in recovery. Clients have most likely lost touch with how their bodies and minds feel, since the disease of addiction numbs one to reality. Yoga helps clients to tune back in and get in touch again so that they can feel comfortable in their own skin.

Yoga is especially helpful for people in the early stages of their recovery. At this point, they are likely experiencing a significant level of stress. The practice of yoga can help clients learn to manage recovery. Yoga is also a good form of physical exercise that will help participants to improve physical health that is important for recovery.

Holistic Treatment Options For Recovery

Meditation and yoga are just two of the holistic treatment options for recovery offered at Serenity at Summit. We care about your mind, body and spirit. Call us today to find out more about our holistic drug and alcohol treatment programs!

We Are Here To Help You Obtain Long-Term Sobriety – You Deserve It…
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What Are The Benefits Of Breathing Exercises When Used For Addiction Recovery?

Alcohol and drug addiction is a devastating disease. At Treatment Dynamics At Summit, we offer treatment programs that are fact based and dynamic. We recognize that all patients are different. What works for one patient, may not work for all. Our treatment programs are customized to include individual, group and family based therapy.

We also use holistic therapies including yoga, nutrition, exercises, and many other alternative methods. One addiction recovery method that has shown to be effective in the many patients is the use of breathing exercises.

Types Of Breathing Exercises

Deliberately changing the pattern of breathing can have various beneficial effects. Throughout the centuries, different methods of breathing exercises have been used. There are four major types of breathing exercises that have been developed and that are useful in recovery from addiction.

Breathing Exercise Benefits For Addiction Recovery - SummitAlternate Nostril Breathing – This involves breathing through an alternate nostril, with each separate breath. It is helpful for people who are dealing with anxiety and stress.

Abdominal Breathing – Also called deep breathing, this is when the patient focuses on their stomach area when breathing, instead of the chest. Abdominal breathing calms the nervous system, increases oxygen to the heart and relieves anxiety.

Lion’s Breath – For this exercise, people exhale through their open mouths, and make a noise while breathing out. The tongue also hangs out of the mouth, like a lion or dog. Lion’s breath can improve circulation, and helps with relaxation.

Ujjayi Breath – Ujjayi breath is a technique where people take long, deep breaths. They cause a vibratory noise in the back of the throat. It promotes relaxation, and helps prevent insomnia.

Benefits Of Breathing Exercises For Addiction Recovery

For people in the early stages of addiction recovery, breathing exercises can be an immense aid. Emotions can be like a rollercoaster, going up and down sharply, and quickly. These exercises can help people be in more control of their emotions.

During detox and early recovery, concentration can be difficult as the mind struggles to deal with the effects of withdrawal. Proper breathing can partially alleviate severe cravings, anxiety, stress, and insomnia. People have been known to stay awake for long hours OR an extended period while in detox.

High blood pressure, panic attacks, chronic pain, asthma, extreme fatigue, skin conditions, and other withdrawal symptoms, can also be lessened by the calming and stress-relieving effects of breathing exercises.

The professional staff here at Treatment Dynamics at Summit can teach you these breathing exercises while participating in our holistic programs. We will assist you, or your loved one, in every step of battling drug and alcohol addiction.

Treatment Dynamics at Summit offers efficient and top notch outpatient substance abuse treatment. Our staff is professional, caring, and has expertise in all stages of recovery.

Call Us Now To Begin Your New Chapter Of Life!

Impact Of Nutrition In Rehab On Recovery

Most people, who suffer with drug or alcohol addiction problems, don’t tend to look after other areas of their health. Usually, once these individuals arrive for treatment, it is apparent that they do not have regular or healthy nutrition habits.

We work with our clients to teach healthy eating habits and help them see the role that nutrition has in their addiction recovery.

The Great Impact Of Nutrition In Rehab On Recovery

Those suffering from addiction often experience drug or alcohol cravings. Eating a balanced diet is one proven way of counteracting the inevitable cravings that occur.

Our mood is greatly affected by the food we consume. Wholesome meals that consist of lean protein, whole grains, vegetables, fruit and reduced fat dairy products provides the mind and body with vital nutrients. This enables neurotransmitters to be produced properly in the brain, which boosts emotional stability and mental alertness.

If large quantities of caffeine and/or sugar are consumed, it can result in erratic moods and behavior. This is why people who have just started their recovery treatment should take extra care to limit their intake of these substances.

Furthermore, sensible dieting allows clients to continue to care for themselves over the extended care and recovery periods.

Frequently, clients being treated for alcohol and drug addiction also have self-esteem issues. Making the effort to cook and consume wholesome food has a positive psychological effect on clients. It trains them to regard themselves as important enough to eat well, and be mindful of what they are putting into their bodies. Regularly carrying out tasks that improve their sense of self-worth is something that clients can do, once they progress into sober living and extended care.

Eating Well The Easy Way

Contrary to popular belief, a good diet can be straightforward. Clients, who lack the culinary skills to prepare impressive meals, might wish to begin by mastering how to cook easier cuisine.

Follow our Food Passion Pinterest Board with healthy and delicious recipes and step-by-step instructions!

Eating the right foods helps to strengthen the body and provide brain health, which facilitates recovery over the long term. Even though getting used to living a sober life takes time and effort, our tools and professional and caring staff will be with you ever step of the way!

Correct dieting is only one element of successful addiction recovery. We here at Treatment Dynamics at Summit offer a range of customized holistic treatment programs.

Call Us Now To Learn More!