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.

Best Time to Go to Rehab: Some Signs to Know

Coming to terms with a substance abuse problem isn’t easy. There is still a great deal of stigma associated with addiction, and this fact alone often keeps people from reaching out to their families, friends, employers or doctors when they suspect they have a problem. But that’s not all that stands in the way.

The nature of addiction itself presents challenges. Denial is a huge factor and a powerful defense mechanism. Denial may have you believing you have things under control, that you’re not the one with the problem, or that you can quit any time—you just don’t want to.

Speaking of control, this is another issue that can keep people in the vicious cycle of substance abuse for far too long. Our society places a high value on control and independence. Admitting you have an issue with substance abuse, admitting you can’t stop, and admitting you need help is tough to do in a “do-it-yourself” world of people who don’t easily admit when they don’t have everything under control.

Deciding to Get Professional Help

You’ve been struggling for a while, and you’re tired. Oftentimes, it’s not one single, earth-shaking event that leads someone to want to quit using; it’s just the day-in-and-day-out chaos that becomes so exhausting, and you just want it to stop. Perhaps you’re tired of hiding your problem or tired of feeling trapped by your addiction. Whatever the case, you’re ready to get some help.

You may feel hesitant to take that step, though, and wonder if it’s really necessary. Do you really need to go to drug rehab? Maybe you should wait? You may have some fears around getting help or have some anxiety about committing to going to treatment.

It’s understandable that you may have some reluctance. A lot of it is simply fear of the unknown. You may not know what to expect from rehab, and you may have some misinformation.

How Do You Know Rehab Is What You Need?

Whether your problem is alcohol or other drugs, it isn’t always clear when it’s the best time to go to rehab. You may still feel that you can control the problem or quit on your own. It’s often when a person tries to quit and finds they can’t seem to do it that they realize they have a problem. Here are other signs that professional addiction treatment may be the way to go:

  • You’ve developed a tolerance or a physical dependence on a substance.
  • You have abandoned other activities that you used to enjoy because using substances is your primary interest.
  • You are experiencing problems at work or school, such as poor attendance or performance or job loss.
  • Friends and family have come to you with concerns about your drinking or using.
  • You are experiencing financial troubles related to your drinking or using. You find that you need to borrow money, you aren’t paying bills on time, etc.
  • You are engaging in unsafe or risky behavior.
  • You feel a need to keep your drinking or substance use a secret.
  • Substance abuse is interfering with your ability to spend time with your family or handle your responsibilities.
  • You are experiencing health problems as a result of substance abuse.
  • You’ve run into legal issues, such as a DUI or possession.

This is by no means a comprehensive list of red flags, but these arecommon signs that you have a problem that should be addressed immediately. Each person may experience the consequences of addiction differently. One common factor is guilt and shame. Most people find they feel badly about their substance abuse. If you find that you don’t feel good about your activities, if you find that you are behaving in ways that are out of character for you, that using is impacting your relationships, or that you are feeling depressed or anxious, it’s a good idea to talk to someone.

When Is It the Best Time to Go to Rehab?

The best time to go to rehab is right now. It’s an easy thing to put off. You can likely find plenty of reasons why you should go “later on.” You may have concerns about job or family responsibilities. You may be concerned about what other people think, or you might just be scared.

The reason right now is the best time togo to rehab is simple: It’s only going to get worse. Addiction is a progressive disease. However bad things may be right now, they can and will get a great deal worse.

If you’ve had an epiphany and realized you need some help,  you must seize that and pick up the phone. Denial may have you rethinking your decision. Talk to people. Talk to your doctor, your family, or trusted friends. Call a rehab, find out if you have insurance coverage that will pay for you to go to treatment. If you are employed, find out what their policies are on employee leave for rehab, many will allow you to take time off to get help without risking your job.

If you do have to leave your job to go to treatment, it’s important to realize that going to treatment can save your life and that eventually, addiction will take everything from you—including your job. And, if as things progress and the consequences pile up, you may find it difficult to find another job later on. It’s best to take the leap of faith and get help right now. Don’t let thesedrug rehab recovery myths deter you from your decision.

Considering Addiction Treatment?

Let us help you. If you, or a loved one, are fighting substance abuse or drug and/or alcohol addiction, call Serenity at Summit at 844-326-4514 today. Our advisers are standing by 24-7, ready to help you find a treatment program that will suit your needs and put you on the path to a new recovery and a new life. Make today your new beginning.

Dealing with Cravings in Recovery

If you’ve ever suffered from any kind of addiction, then you know what it is like to have cravings. It’s an overwhelming feeling of need that feels like it can only be satisfied by going back to your addiction. If you do go back, you’ve relapsed. Becoming aware of cravings and learning how to manage them is one of the biggest elements in relapse prevention.

Having cravings in recovery is normal. You can expect to have fairly intense cravings for your drug of choice as you get started in your recovery process. Up until the point when you stop using, drugs or alcohol are your way of coping with anxiety, stress, and all of life’s demands. It’s only natural that you will feel the need to have a coping mechanism when you get clean. However, in order to avoid relapse, you have to learn how to deal with cravings without going back to using. The goal isn’t to eliminate the cravings, instead it is to recognize when the craving cycle begins and intervene before you pick up drugs or alcohol to cope.

The Craving Cycle

The types of cravings and how intense they are depend upon the person, but there are some common patterns that most people in recovery share. Typically, the craving cycle progresses in this manner:

Trigger response- Something – a thought, person, event or thing – triggers an emotion or thought that makes you want to cope in your old addictive way. It could be a sound, smell, music that you listened to while using, or something as simple as driving by a bar you used to frequent. This sets the cycle in motion.

Obsessive thinking- Once you have become in touch with your old pattern of addictive behavior, your thoughts will lock onto the familiar habits. It becomes exceedingly difficult to get away from those thoughts. You may start to rationalize using again in your head, or start weighing the pros and cons. The more you consider it, the stronger the urge to use becomes.

Intense craving- This is when the full-blown craving feeling occurs. It’s often both emotional and physical. You feel a compulsive need to use or drink and can’t think of anything else. In a physical sense, you may start feeling a stress response like a pounding heart, sweating, and shortness of breath. When you get to this point, the pull toward using is extremely strong and it’s very hard to resist using.

Though the craving cycle can be very powerful, it isn’t out of your control. While you can’t always control a craving from happening, you do have the power to not act on it. The important thing to learn is that you need to identify when you are in the trigger phase of the craving cycle. Once you learn to do that, you will be able to avoid progression in the cycle and prevent relapse. When you successfully intervene on cravings, you will feel more in control, and you will continue to grow and heal in your recovery.

Ways to Resist Cravings

The following are five suggestions that may help you resist cravings and avoid relapse:

  1. Use healthy distractions Distraction can be a negative coping mechanism when it’s used to avoid dealing with emotions or situations. However, when used right, distraction can help you redirect your attention to more positive thoughts and actions. Some healthy distractions that may help you let go of cravings are:
    • Change of scenery – Go outside for a walk, jog, bike ride, or car drive. The goal of this is to get you away from whatever was in your environment that triggered you.
    • Talk to someone supportive – Call a friend, family member, or sponsor who understands and supports your recovery. They will likely be able to help you feel more grounded and reassure you that you can make it in recovery.
    • Do something fun – Play a video game, watch your favorite television show, read a book, or start a project you have been putting off. The key is to do something that you enjoy and that will replace your craving feelings.
  2. Play the tape until the end- Once you are triggered, you are probably romanticizing or glamorizing using again, imaging how it will feel and how it will make things better. Now is the time to remember your last, dark days of using or drinking. Consider what the outcome of having a drink or using a drug will be, by remembering where it got you in the past. Perhaps you were arrested while using or fought with friends and family. Maybe you injured yourself or someone else. Wherever your addiction took you before, it will likely take you again – and worse. When you remember drinking or using honestly, it will help to alleviate the desire to act on it again.
  3. Get physically active- When you exercise or do a physical activity, your brain produces natural feel-good chemicals that improve your mood, reduce stress, and ward off depression. You don’t have to work out intensely, a brisk walk, pulling weeds or other gardening, or even putting on music and dancing can help.
  4. Meditate or pray- For some people in recovery, relaxation, meditation, or prayer work well in alleviating triggered responses. Taking deep breaths and relaxing, repeating a mantra or affirmation, or doing some gentle yoga, can calm you down and help you release the craving feelings. If you are religious, prayer can offer you the same type of comfort.
  5. Don’t believe your first thoughtsWhen you are triggered, you may automatically have thoughts that arise that may seem indisputable. For example, you may run into an old drinking buddy who suggest that you go get a drink. Without even thinking about it, your mind may start rehearsing scenarios where it would be fun to hang out with that friend again. You have to tell yourself the truth about what would happen and resist the urge to fall back into old behaviors.

Cravings can be intense, and they can pop up when you least expect them, but when you have the tools to deal with them, you can intervene and continue on the path of recovery. The good news is the intensity of craving does lessen over time. While it may never go away completely for some people in recovery, it does get better. At Serenity AtSummit, we can help you learn to cope with cravings effectively to help you avoid relapse. If you are struggling with addiction or chronic relapse, contact us today and get the help you need.

What to Avoid While Going Through Drug Detox

Entering a detox facility for addiction treatment is one of the best things that you can do for yourself and your family. Addiction is a progressive condition that only gets worse when left untreated, so going to detox may just be a life-saving endeavor. In detox, you are monitored by medical professionals around the clock, so that your withdrawal symptoms are managed, and you are made as comfortable as possible. You will also get the support and encouragement that you need during your detox.

Unfortunately, even with the many benefits of receiving the help that detox offers, many people still relapse during or right after detox. But there are some mistakes that you can do your best to avoid during detox that will help you lay the foundation for long-lasting recovery.

Don’t Think That Detox is Enough

The purpose of detox is to safely rid your system of the substance to which you are addicted. It is to help you get started being sober, but there will still be a lot more for you to do. In reality, stopping your drug or alcohol use is the easy part, it’s staying stopped that is challenging. There are likely many reasons that you became addicted in the first place, and those reasons will likely still be there when you stop. That is why it will not be beneficial to you to go into detox believing that it alone will provide you with long-lasting recovery. You should follow up with additional treatment, like inpatient rehab to obtain the best results.

Don’t Be Overly Concerned with Withdrawal Symptoms

Many people who are addicted to drugs or alcohol fear the withdrawal symptoms that they will have when they stop using. In fact, many people who try to detox from substances on their own fail because they want to feel better, so they use again. But the truth is, most people who stop using drugs or alcohol don’t suffer withdrawal symptoms that are any worse than having a case of the flu. Of course, the symptoms will feel worse when you are overly attentive to them. One of the benefits of attending an addiction treatment facility and detoxing there is that there are things to keep you distracted. Detox doesn’t have to be an unpleasant experience, if you choose to participate in the activities and interact with other patients, you may even have a good experience despite some physical aches and pains.

Don’t Have a Bad Attitude

There is something to be said for the old expression, “the power of positive thinking.” If you go into detox thinking that it is going to be terrible, then chances are good that your experience will be just that. The expectations that you have going in can color the experience that you actually have. That means that if you approach detox as a positive thing, an opportunity to change the way your life is going and to finally be able to rid your body of drugs and alcohol, then the chances of the experience being positive for you greatly increase.  

Don’t Isolate

It may be easy for you to separate yourself from others while in detox – especially if you are an introvert by nature. That, combined with the fact that isolating is a common trait of individuals who have an addiction, may make you feel like you just want to be by yourself. Try to avoid that as much as you can. When you are able to interact with others in detox, you will get the support and camaraderie you need. That can make all the difference in your experience and the outcome of your stay in detox.

Don’t Dismiss Things Immediately

In detox and rehab, you will encounter a lot of suggestions from the staff, therapists, and doctors that you may be hesitant to try. For example, you may want to isolate while the staff suggests that you participate in activities. You will get much more out of detox when you are open-minded and willing to take suggestions instead of dismissing them right away.

Don’t Be Complacent

It’s quite possible that you will find that detox is easier than you thought it would be. It will likely go smoothly, which may make you think that staying sober will be easy as well. Thinking this way may put you at risk because it may lead to you not being willing to do the things you need to do to remain sober – like continuing with treatment after detox. Be mindful that recovery is a process and you are only in the very beginning stages while you’re in detox. Complacency at this stage doesn’t bode well for your long-term recovery.

Don’t Give Up

You can’t give up, no matter what. Deciding to go to detox in the first place was a huge step in the right direction. The time you spend in treatment, even if you go to residential rehab after detox, is a very small amount of time in the grand scheme of things. You can make it through the treatment, and you will find that with a clear mind and a head full of addiction recovery education and coping skills, you will have a great chance at recovery.

The above are just a few things to remember as you embark on your journey toward recovery by starting out in detox. If you keep these things in mind as you make your way through the detox process, you will have a much easier time and you will gain the knowledge that you need to stay sober. At Serenity at Summit, we can offer you the support you need as you go through detox and begin your new life in recovery. Call us today at 844-432-0416.

4 Reasons Travel is Helpful in Recovery

There is a wealth of benefits that you experience from getting clean and sober and living a life of recovery from addiction. Just one of those benefits is that you get to know and experience new things and new passions. When you are in active addiction, it’s unlikely that you spend any time at all thinking about the possibilities you have in life – you’re too busy using, thinking about using, or planning how to use. When you get sober and begin your recovery, you will see that there is an endless amount of new adventures to embark upon.

Some people in recovery find that they love to travel, and that not only is it enjoyable, but that it can also enhance their program of recovery. Here are some of the ways that hitting the road, or jumping on a plane, can help your recovery.

It Helps You Keep an Open Mind

A big part of recovery is having an open mind. You have to be willing to look at things differently and learn new, sometimes awkward-feeling, ways of coping with things. You are encouraged to view things without preconceived notions and to try things that feel foreign to you. In early recovery, you have to begin to become more self-aware and introspective in order to be able to make the positive changes that are necessary to stay sober.

Traveling to new, exciting places can be like that. You don’t know what to expect, but you are filled with the excitement to find out. Your mind is open to the possibilities. Isn’t that just what it was like when you decided you could no longer live a life of addiction? You were able to see that there were possibilities beyond what you knew at the time.

It Gives You a New Perspective

When you are facing challenges, sometimes the best thing you can do for yourself – for those who are in recovery and those who are not – is change your perspective. That is certainly something that you learn in recovery. What used to seem impossible, like quitting using, may actually be possible after all. Your addiction didn’t change, your perspective did.

When you travel, your perspective is constantly changing, figuratively and literally. You are able to see new places with open eyes or recognize new things about your favorite destinations that you return to over and over. Being able to see the same things differently is a wonderful skill to have, in your travels and in your recovery.

 It Provides You with New Discoveries

You started a journey of discovery when you began recovery. You had to discover who you really were and then get to know that person. Chances are, the person you have gotten to know in recovery is much different than the person you were in active addiction. What an amazing discovery that is!

Taking trips, whether for a day or for a month, offers you a world of discoveries too. With your newfound open-mindedness and positive perspective, you never know what incredible things you might discover in your travels.

 It Takes You Out of Your Comfort Zone

Your comfort zone may feel like a safe place, but you have to keep in mind that your comfort zone is where you lived when you were using. Mustering up the courage to make a change and seek treatment were you getting WAY outside of your comfort zone. And look at the benefits of doing that!

Traveling to somewhere that you have never been may feel like you are stepping outside of your comfort zone, and that’s great! You know how to do it, you’ve done it before, so why not see what awaits you?

It’s All About the Journey, Not the Destination

Traveling can be a wonderful way to augment your recovery. It has the potential to benefit your mind, body, and spirit, just the way that recovery does. Step outside your comfort zone and give it a try. You will likely find that the destination isn’t so important, it’s how you get there that is.

If you have not yet made it to recovery, but want to change the course of your life, seek treatment for your addiction and get yourself heading in the right direction. Contact us at Serenity at Summit and we can help you find the path to recovery.

4 Ways to Deal with Anger in Recovery

Anger is a universal feeling that everyone has from time to time. People typically feel it when they perceive that they have been wronged or mistreated in some way. There are times, of course, that anger is justified, but more often it is a function of fear that the individual is feeling. Excessive anger can be a dangerous thing because it can lead a person to suffer negative consequences physically, emotionally, and socially, especially when it leads to aggressive or passive-aggressive behaviors. For people in recovery from addiction, anger can be significantly destructive, and can eventually lead to relapse.

What is Anger?

Anger is an emotion that varies in degree from person to person and by the situation.Anger can arise in many different contexts and it can range from mild irritation to furious rage. While anger is a natural emotion that everyone feels sometimes, it is always a good idea to learn ways to deal with it in constructive ways. This is especially important for people who are in recovery because when they are triggered toward anger they are at risk of using drugs or alcohol again.

While it’s certain that you know what it feels like to be angry, it may come as a surprise that anger is usually a secondary emotion. That means that there is some other emotion underlying that is causing the anger, like fear or sadness. Because people are uncomfortable expressing fear and sadness, they often turn to anger because it provides a sense of control and energy rather than feelings of helplessness and vulnerability.

The Risks of Anger

Too much anger, or anger that is not expressed, can lead a person to negative consequences including the following:

  • Destroying personal relationships
  • Alienating friends and loved ones
  • Loss of jobs
  • Physical and medical issues like insomnia, fatigue, hypertension, and heart problems
  • Violence toward others, as well as becoming a victim
  • Becoming more likely to commit criminal acts
  • Becoming more likely to abuse substances
  • Feelings of remorse and guilt

Anger in Recovery

People who are in recovery often struggle with anger, especially in early sobriety. The first year of sobriety can be a very emotional time in a person’s life – with many highs and lows. Because they are used to avoiding both positive and negative emotions by drinking or using drugs, this overflowing emotion can be difficult to deal with, and can easily cause anger.

Typically, people with substance abuse problems used drugs or drank alcohol to avoid feelings of anger. So when they become sober and are no longer able to use their drug of choice to deal with angry feelings, they have to learn new ways of coping Unfortunately, anger is one of the most reported excuses for relapse after becoming sober. If a person doesn’t have the coping skills to deal with anger, then it will build up over time, ultimately resulting in the person exploding. They can’t think rationally when that happens, and they often return to using drugs or alcohol.

How to Deal with Anger in Recovery

You can see why it is so important to learn how to deal with anger when you are in recovery. Not knowing how to deal with anger while in recovery can be a huge risk for relapse. Here are a few ways that may help you deal with your anger effectively.

Therapy or Anger Management  The goal here is to talk to someone. Whether that’s a therapist or counselor or by taking an anger management class it’s up to you, but someone who is a professional will be able to offer you support and advice on how to handle your anger when it arises. Sometimes it’s also helpful to discuss the people or things that are triggering your anger with a close friend or sponsor. Just getting the feeling out of your head and out where someone else can hear it is often helpful in alleviating much of it.   

Distraction  This strategy you have to use with caution. You certainly don’t want to regress into avoiding your feelings or trying to stuff them down. However, if your anger is at a boiling point distracting yourself for a little while may be helpful. Doing something that you enjoy may help you calm down and allow you to see the situation form a more peaceful perspective. The key thing to remember is that you do have to return to the situation and deal with it after.

Physical Activity or Exercise Burning off some calories is a good, constructive and healthy way to release some of the physical aspects of anger. Whether that means taking a walk around the block, working out with weights, or going for a run, it will work off some of the negative energy and also release “feel-good” endorphins, which will improve your mood.  Once you are relaxed and in a calmer state of mind you will be able to focus on the issue at hand and deal with it more appropriately

Mindfulness and Relaxation  Deep breathing, meditation, and mindfulness are helpful when you feel your anger start to bubble up. Once you are relaxed and in a calmer state of mind you will be able to focus on the issue at hand and deal with it more appropriately

Anger is something that comes up for everyone, and it’s important that you learn to deal with it in a healthy way – especially if you are in recovery. It could mean the difference between continuing on a path of recovery or starting on the path to relapse.

Are you concerned about your anger? Or are you considering getting inpatient treatment for your substance abuse? If so, Serenity at Summit can help you. Contact us today at 844-432-0416 and we will help you begin your recovery.

Acupuncture for Addiction Treatment and Recovery

There are many different types of holistic therapies that can help with people who suffer from addiction. While many of them have to be used in conjunction with others to be effective, complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) therapies are becoming more popular for enhanced recovery from many medical conditions, mental illnesses, and addiction. One such treatment is acupuncture. It has been shown to be an effective treatment when added to your long-term recovery plan.

Acupuncture has long been practiced – it’s a 2,000-year-old treatment from China – and it is a low-risk treatment that can have positive effects on many body systems. Holistic drug and alcohol addiction rehabilitation facilities often use acupuncture for patients alongside traditional treatments.

How Does Acupuncture Work?

Acupuncture therapy originated from traditional Chinese medicine as a way to heal illnesses and improve wellness over 2,000 years ago. Chinese medicine believes that energy flows through body pathways and that pain, illness, disease or other discomforts are thought to be blockages of the energy flow in those pathways. Acupuncture, which it the placement of very thin, sterile needles into specific areas of the skin, is used to bring the flow of energy back into balance.

Western medicine explains the benefits of acupuncture with neuroscience. The acupuncture points are viewed as areas where the stimulation of muscles, nerves, and body tissues increases the blood flow and triggers the release of endorphins. Acupuncture has recognizable effects on many body systems including the nervous, immune, digestive, and cardiovascular systems. There are very few known complications and side effects associated with acupuncture.

Ear Acupuncture is Used for Addiction Recovery

Acupuncture can be effective throughout all stages of addiction recovery, from detox through long-term abstinence. There is a specific acupuncture treatment that is used for those with addiction called the National Acupuncture Detoxification Association protocol.

Acupuncture has been successful in helping ease the discomfort and cravings that are associated with the withdrawal phase of addiction recovery. Additionally, it is beneficial to the rehab process, improving patients’ willingness to engage in and complete treatment. Many people use acupuncture as a tool in their long-term recovery, as well.

The ear acupuncture treatment, also known as the NADA 5-point treatment, is done by inserting needles into five points on the outer ear area and leaving them for half an hour. The five acupuncture points in this treatment are:

Autonomic – Aids in relaxation and quiets the nervous system.

Spirit Gate – Lowers anxiety.

Kidney – Aids the healing of the body’s organs and soothes fears.

Liver – Assists with blood detoxification and lowers aggression.

Lung – Promotes air circulation and aids with calming grief.

The NADA 5-point protocol is the most common acupuncture treatment for people with addiction problems, specifically in the beginning stages of treatment. But it is only one of the numerous treatments that is successful for patients in recovery. Typically, a patient will work with an acupuncturist to determine which acupuncture points will provide them with the best outcome for their specific needs.

Benefits of Acupuncture for Addiction Recovery

Everyone works a different program of addiction recovery. Successful addiction recovery is often achieved with a combination of different treatments that individuals find useful to their individual circumstances and needs. While acupuncture is not a stand-alone treatment for addiction, it does have some amazing benefits that make it a useful tool to add to a holistic recovery plan.

Relief of Anxiety and Stress

Stress and anxiety are two of the most common reasons for relapse. Preventing relapse is best managed by finding ways that reduce stress and lower anxiety. While acupuncture alone cannot remove all anxiety and stress, it has been shown to be very useful when integrated into recovering addicts’ overall stress management strategy.

Lessens Depression

Depression is a common accompaniment to drug or alcohol abuse and addiction. Acupuncture research shows that when it is used on patients in addiction recovery, the instances of depression are lower.

Decreases Cravings

Dealing with cravings is one of the most difficult aspects of recovery for many people who suffer from addiction. Acupuncture, particularly the ear acupuncture described above, can be a huge help in reducing and coping with the intense drug and alcohol cravings in early recovery.

Helps Pain Management Without Medication

Treating acute pain is tricky for people in recovery because many painkillers are addictive, making using them a huge risk to their recovery. The use of narcotic medications for acute or chronic pain causes many people to slip back into addiction, even when painkillers were not their drug of choice. Acupuncture has been shown to alleviate pain without the use of medication, as it stimulates natural painkillers in the body.

Helps with Sleeping

Recovering addicts who have problems going to sleep or staying asleep are at risk for relapse, so ensuring that they get enough quality sleep is crucial. Many sleep medications are addictive in nature, so that is a slippery slope for those in recovery. Research suggests that acupuncture as a treatment for insomnia can be helpful without having to risk using sleep medications.  

Acupuncture isn’t a cure for addiction, but it can be a very useful recovery tool to help you maintain sobriety and live your new life of recovery. It doesn’t benefit everyone in the same way, so it is important that you discuss your specific challenges and needs with a knowledgeable acupuncturist for the best results. Overall, acupuncture is a very low-risk treatment that may genuinely enhance your program of recovery.

How to Support an Addict in Recovery

Paul Lavella of Summit Behavioral Health discusses key considerations for families trying to learn how to help an addict without enabling.

Throughout my experience as a professional counselor, whether it be in a treatment facility or a private practice setting, I’ve always found that when working with addiction, it’s best to have the family involved. As much family as possible. When it comes down to it, the support that a family provides to a patient recovering from addiction is essential to that patient’s success.

It’s unfortunate, however, that family members may be reluctant to be involved in the recovery process. They’re the one with the problem! Why do I have to go? Parents, spouses, and even children have usually been through the ringer a time or two before the identified patient agrees that treatment is needed. Families can be emotionally exhausted and resentful toward their loved one, or possibly just preferring to not have to deal with the aftermath because of all of the pain that had been caused in the past. No matter the journey that led the family to this point, it’s important for the successful recovery of the addict or alcoholic that the family stay involved.

In an article on Psych Central, Steven Gifford, a long time addictions counselor, and literary contributor offer, “It is important to understand that the family dynamic in drug and alcohol addiction is incredibly powerful… This type of positive family involvement can also help lead the rest of your family toward a journey of recovery and self-discovery.”

As the recovery process is clearly beneficial to the family as a whole, it’s worth investing some efforts to making it work. Although there are many suggestions for families of addicts, let’s just consider a few to begin with, shall we?

Don’t Drink or Use With a Person with Addiction

Don’t Drink or Use With a Person with Addiction

This tip may have you scratching your head. Doesn’t this go without saying? Well, no. You may be surprised (on the other hand, maybe not) how often this comes up during the initial phase of recovery.  

Abstaining from substance use requires some tough decisions usually including some significant lifestyle changes of the person with the addiction. But the buck doesn’t stop here. Family members may find themselves needing to consider changes as well. Think of some common life situations that may need to be re-thought.

Family Bonding Time

Football season is upon us. What a better way to get back to normal than to crack open a cold one with your family and watch the game? This is a great big NOOO! The folks over at NIDA (National Institute on Drug Abuse) can tell you, with loads of research to back them up, that if a person has an addiction to drugs or alcohol any use of substances can create significant barriers to the recovery process. It’s going to be beneficial to think of how socializing and family bonding may need to change to support the recovery process.

Sober Holidays & Getaways

Many families have traditions surrounding the holidays and vacations and in our current culture, most of them involve or revolve around alcohol use. This can pose problems for a person in early recovery (even if they say it’s fine). It’s best practice to have discussions as together on how you’re going to navigate these family gatherings. Coping with the holidays in recovery can be a daunting task, however with careful planning and support from families can lead to successes and strengthening relationships. Have alcohol free meals, plan for more time for sober supports such as self-help meetings (you’ll want to research some local to where you’re traveling ahead of time), agree on an escape route as a Plan B if it’s needed.

The main goal here is to create a safe environment for your loved one to be able to rest and be relieved of any triggers he or she may experience. Clear alcohol or any substances from the home. All family members should agree that the home needs to be a sober environment and by no means should it be acceptable to drink or use in front of the person in recovery. It’s a small sacrifice for the greater good of your family.

Go To Family Support Meetings

Go To Family Support Meetings

If you’re already taking part of your loved one’s treatment, you have likely already received this suggestion. Support groups are an excellent addition to a family’s recovery. They deliver a practical opportunity to learn from other families of addicts how to deal and what to expect with the changes during early recovery.

Benefits of Attending Support Groups for Families of Drug Addicts

  • Educate yourself on addiction and relapse prevention
  • Support yourself and your loved one through the recovery process
  • Practice self-care by addressing your needs
  • Learn how to set healthy boundaries with your family
  • Recognize negative behavior patterns that may contribute to the problem
  • Gain fellowship from others who understand what you are going through

There are many options for Addiction Family Support Meetings. In a Project Know article, Dr. Leigh Walker spells out the different types of addiction family support meetings including support groups for spouses, siblings, parents, and children. Some of these meetings have a national presence and some are more regional in nature, but always know, support is available, is usually free, and is highly recommended.

Summit Behavioral Health offers its own addiction family support groups. You can learn more about them here.

Open Up Communication Lines

Open Up Communication Lines

Family communication in early recovery can be complicated at best. As previously mentioned, there can be much anger, resentment, or fear as a result of the active addiction. Personal issues aside, many simply don’t know how to bring the topic to the table for discussion.

Gifford’s insight would suggest that family members struggle to bring up grievances or concerns and end up distancing themselves out of fear of confrontation or triggering the person with the addiction. Truth be told, the more nothing changes, the more nothing changes. If you’re going to have your needs and your family’s needs met, you need to talk about them.

Make time for weekly check-ins. No matter how hurt you may feel, focus the communication on being positive and constructive. Remember, you are supporting your loved one’s recovery and you are supporting yourself by allowing yourself to say what you feel. It may be helpful for you to remember the adage: Say what you mean and mean what you say, just don’t say it mean.

If you’ve already given this a few tries and find that the conversation falls off the rails, you may want to consider working with a professional. Couples counseling or family therapy can be a significant aid in learning how to communicate with a recovering addict in a way that is healthy for the couple or family as a whole.

Eric Patterson, addictions counseling professional, shares thoughts with DrugAbuse.com about when it might be time for family therapy:

  • If your family member struggles with relapse
  • If your mental and physical health has been impacted by the family member’s addiction
  • If you want to learn methods to improve your ability to communicate appropriately
  • If your family member has not found success from other treatment approaches
  • If you’ve experienced family issues that you believe are contributed to the addiction

There’s no shame in asking for help. In fact, continuing to ask for help is strongly advised for anyone in recovery and families seeking to do whatever they can to help their loved one with addiction. You’ve gotten this far along the journey toward health and wellness. Keep motivated and keep up the good work.

I share these suggestions with every family that I work with and am amazed that some hesitate to consider the family role in supporting recovery. You are important, not just to your loved ones, but as a person. If you’ve been affected by someone’s addiction, allow the space for your own healing. Supporting a person in recovery requires you to also heal for yourself.

About the Author: Paul Lavella Jr. MA, LPC, LCADC, ACS

“Wellness Based Counseling is a concept very dear to my heart. At the root of it, the counseling relationship is not solely focused on “the problem,” rather how you go about life’s journey in a way that leads you toward feeling and being well. Counseling is not about pathologizing; it’s about learning what’s not working and figuring out what will.

I am dually Licensed in the State of New Jersey as a Professional Counselor and a Clinical Alcohol & Drug Counselor with thirteen years of professional experience working with adolescents, adults, and families. As an Approved Clinical Supervisor, I also provide supervision for those seeking licensure for counseling or addiction counseling.”

Embarking on a journey towards wellness and recovery is perhaps the bravest and most inspiring thing a person can do. At Serenity at Summit, we are here for you every step of the way.

Sources:

https://psychcentral.com/lib/family-involvement-is-important-in-substance-abuse-treatment/

http://www.projectknow.com/research/support-groups-for-families-of-addicts-and-alcoholics/

http://drugabuse.com/library/family-therapy-a-vital-part-of-addiction-treatment/

https://www.helpguide.org/articles/addictions/drug-abuse-and-addiction.htm

Part of Addiction Treatment is Clearing Up the Wreckage of Your Past in Recovery

Dealing with your less than perfect past can be daunting, but once you start addiction treatment you have taken the first step towards recovery.

Getting clean and sober from an addiction to drugs or alcohol is one of the best things that you can do for yourself and your family. It is no easy task, and you will spend the first weeks and months of recovery working hard to maintain your sobriety and learning to live life differently than before. Navigating emotions, cravings, and whatever life throws at you will consume your time and efforts in early recovery, but there will come a time that you have to start cleaning up the messes your alcohol or drug addiction caused before you entered drug addiction treatment and got sober.

Thinking about clearing up the wreckage of your past is scary. Usually, drug addicts and alcoholics unintentionally create chaos around themselves and the effects are often widespread. Friends, family, finances, legal issues, and poor health are typically some of the areas where people in active addiction cause problems for themselves. And once you are sober, those messes are still there. It’s up to you to work to make them right.

In Alcoholics Anonymous, it is when people reach the ninth step that they begin to make direct amends – personal, financial, or otherwise – to the people who they wronged while in active addiction. Whether you are a part of AA, other 12-step program, or some other type of addiction treatment, there will be things that you have to deal with to further yourself in recovery.

How do you do that? Here are some insights and tips that will help you clear up the wreckage of your past in three areas: health problems, legal problems, and damaged relationships.

Health Problems

Addiction takes a toll on your health. Depending on what your drug of choice was, you may be suffering from various health issues. Most people in active addiction don’t eat in a healthy way, so you may be overweight or underweight. You may have damaged your liver, heart, or other organs. It’s likely that your skin has suffered due to dehydration (in the case of alcohol), picking (methamphetamine use causes drug abusers to pick at their skin), or poor hygiene. Some end up needing a lot of dental work when they get clean, either because of neglect or from smoking drugs. The health effects can be far-reaching.

The key to restoring yourself to good health is self-care. You probably didn’t take care of yourself at all during active drug and alcohol addiction, so now is the time to do it. Here are a few ways that you can improve your health:

  • Eat right. Whether you need to lose weight or gain it, you need to eat a healthy, balanced diet. Your doctor will be able to give you an idea of what that looks like for you.
  • You probably didn’t get a whole lot of exercise while you were using drugs or alcohol. Now is the time to start. Not only will it give you more energy and increase your physical fitness, it will also relieve depression and anxiety.
  • See your doctor and dentist regularly. Don’t skip appointments. Make sure that your medical providers know that you are in recovery.
  • Drink enough water. This is one of the biggest ways to improve your skin – but it helps with just about every other health issue as well.
  • Practice good hygiene. Take care of your physical self. It will make you feel better and increase your self-esteem and self-image.
  • Get enough sleep. Making sure that you sleep enough will improve your immune system and your mood.

Legal Problems

Most people with substance abuse problems end up having some type of legal problems. Divorce, child custody cases, DUIs, domestic violence offenses, suspended driver’s license, bankruptcy, and many other types of legal and criminal problems are fairly common in recovery circles. Dealing with those things in recovery is hard, and it may be tempting to try to avoid or ignore them. The thing is, they don’t go away, and having them hanging over your head creates fear and anxiety, which can be precursors to relapse.

Whatever your legal issues are, it’s important that you face them: the sooner, the better. More often than not, it happens that the anticipation of having to deal with them is far worse than the consequences you have to endure. Some things to consider about cleaning up your legal issues are:

  • Ask for help. Whether it’s from a sponsor, a friend or family member, an attorney, or a clergy person, don’t try to do it all alone. A little bit of support goes a long way.
  • Don’t ignore any legal proceedings. Be sure that you go to all of your court dates. Ignoring them will only make things worse for you in the long run. Be honest with judges and attorneys,; let them know that you have addiction problems and that you are in recovery. They are more likely to help people who are trying to better themselves.
  • See if you qualify for drug court. Many cities and counties now offer drug court to people with criminal offenses. If your case is currently in criminal court, see if it can be moved to drug court. Drug court judges are familiar with alcohol and drug addiction and they often offer defendants diversion as an option rather than jail time (depending on the offense).
  • Don’t create more legal issues. For example, if your driver’s license is suspended, don’t drive! The key is to clear up the wreckage, not create more.

If you know that taking care of your legal issues means that you will have to be incarcerated, facing them will be very difficult. Enlist the help of your support system to help you through the process. You know that it is the right thing to do, and with support, you will find the strength to make it through.

Damaged Relationships

Relationships that have been damaged by your active addiction might be the hardest thing to restore. You probably have people in your life who are proud of you for getting clean and who support your recovery. However, it’s likely that you also have people in your life who feel you can’t be trusted, who are angry with you, and who want nothing to do with you. It’s in dealing with those people that you will have a challenge. Here are some things to think about as you begin trying to restore damaged or lost relationships:

  • Make amends. Whether you need to make amends for your behavior, for money that you owe, or for hurt you have caused, reach out to the people you have wronged and see how you can make it right. Making amends is more than giving an apology or repaying a debt. It requires a conversation and an explanation. It’s alright to come right out and say, “How can I make this right?” Then, if it is within your ability, do it.
  • Show, don’t tell. Have you ever thought about how many times you have said you were sorry, but you continued to use or drink? Your loved ones probably don’t want to hear it anymore – they want to see it. The best way to earn back trust is to start being trustworthy. That’s an action, not a statement.
  • Clean your side of the street. Some people may not want you in their lives again, even when you attempt to make amends. All you can do is take care of your own mess, try to make things right, and then let it go. You cannot make someone else forgive you.
  • Be patient. Restoring relationships after drug or alcohol addiction takes time. You have to be patient with others in your life. You may feel that you have made significant changes, but others have to see progress before they come around.
  • Practice acceptance. Whatever the outcome is with your damaged relationships, you have to accept the other person’s decision. It doesn’t mean you have to like it, but you do have to accept it. Remember, it doesn’t mean that they won’t change their mind somewhere down the line.

Getting drug addiction treatment is just a click away. Reach out to Serenity at Summit to take that first step.

For more reading on the subject of recovery check out Changing People, Places, and Things in Addiction Treatment and Recovery

Have Realistic Expectations About Your Recovery

Alcohol and drug addition treatment experts recommend that people in recovery keep their expectations well grounded to avoid frustration and disappointment.

One of the things that you learn in recovery is that it’s not a good idea to have expectations about the outcomes of things. It tends to set you up for disappointment or resentment. However, letting go of expectations is much easier said than done – especially when it comes to your own recovery. People in recovery often have expectations about how their recovery will progress, how they think they should be doing, how happy they are, or how easy or hard it will be. When you can be realistic about your recovery expectations, it makes things easier and you don’t run the risk of disappointment and anger, according to alcohol and drug addiction treatment experts.

Unrealistic Expectations Bring Disappointment and Resentment

There is no doubt that getting sober results in some wonderful things happening. But, it doesn’t mean that life becomes perfect once you stop using drugs or drinking alcohol. Recovery is not an event, it’s a process. And like any other process, it takes time, patience, and effort, and things are subject to change at any time. Getting clean and sober is a great start to giving a person the chance to have the best life that they can have, but it isn’t going to happen overnight. Those who are beginning recovery that have unrealistic expectations about what the process of recovery is going to take will become disappointed, and perhaps even angry when things don’t go as they thought they would. The risk then becomes that the disillusionment might lead to relapse.

Why Recovery Expectations Need to Be Realistic

Having realistic expectations in recovery is crucial because:

  • It better prepares the person for what they are going to go through.
  • When expectations for recovery are too high, people may judge themselves and their progress too harshly. This can cause anxiety, depression, self-esteem issues, and of course, relapse.
  • When expectations for recovery are too low, people may not do the things that they need to in order to maintain sobriety.
  • When someone’s expectation is that recovery will be easy, they may become complacent and not feel accountable for working on their recovery. This can be a disaster in the making.
  • When things are not going well, or are just not as wonderful as expected, a person can become disappointed and unmotivated – another risk for relapse.
  • Realistic expectations about recovery will help people to know if they have gotten off track somewhere and when to ask for help.

Understanding the Phases of Recovery

It may be helpful to understand the phases of recovery in order to have more realistic expectations about your recovery. Each person progresses through recovery in their own way, at their own pace, but the following gives a description of the process in general.

The primary phases of recovery are:

  1. The first phase is willingness. This happens when the person reaches a point in their addiction where they become willing to make a change. Some people call it hitting rock bottom. Where exactly that rock bottom is, depends on the individual. Some people end up losing everything before they become willing to change, some become willing much sooner, before negative consequences get too bad.
  2. Next the addicted person begins to investigate options for getting help. There is usually only a small period of time when this happens because it’s so easy for someone with an addiction problem to slip back into denial.
  3. The next phase is when the individual actually takes action to battle their addiction. Maybe they enter rehab, start therapy, or begin going to 12-step meetings. Whatever it is, they are actually doing something and accepting help.
  4. Next is detox from the drug or alcohol. Withdrawal from substances, like alcohol opiates and benzodiazepines, can be very dangerous when done alone. The chemically dependent person should undergo a medically supervised detox for their safety.
  5. Early abstinence is the first months of sobriety. It’s during this phase that the person may feel like they are on a roller coaster of emotions. It’s a difficult time because they can no longer use drugs or alcohol as a coping tool, so they have to actually feel their emotions when they probably haven’t had to for a long time. People in this phase need a lot of support.
  6. The next phase is maintaining abstinence. This phase is where real life happens; there will be ups and downs. These are the years when the person in recovery is putting their life back together, restoring relationships, starting new ones, and learning to live life without drugs or alcohol. There will be challenging times, but also good ones.
  7. After five years or so of sobriety, a person reaches advanced recovery. They will have learned new coping skills and have a firm foundation in recovery, but there is still work to be done.
  8. Some people in recovery get to a phase of serenity. They have put in the work that recovery takes and they are mostly at peace with their life and their recovery. They are able to deal with difficult situations without having thoughts of drinking or using, and they are able to live a fulfilled and happy life.

Tips for Maintaining Realistic Expectations in Recovery

There are numerous things that people in recovery can do to maintain realistic expectations. Some of these include:

  • Reading recovery material that provides insight on what to expect in recovery. There are many good sources of information out there including recovery blogs online, memoirs and other recovery books, and Alcoholics Anonymous literature and other 12 step program literature, for example, Narcotics Anonymous
  • Talking with other sober people. Hearing other people in recovery share their stories is a great way to understand what ongoing recovery is like.
  • Joining a 12-step group is also helpful. It will provide individuals with the opportunity to meet and spend time with people in all different phases of recovery.
  • Writing in a journal can provide people in recovery with a record that documents their progress in recovery. It will allow them to see how far they have come and to set realistic goals moving forward. It is highly recommended to write a gratitude list as well.

If you are struggling with drugs or alcohol, now is the time to seek help from the addiction treatment experts at Summit Behavioral Health. They provide a continuum of care. You will be grateful you did.

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.

Why You Should Practice Gratitude in Recovery

According to Summit Behavioral Health, a NJ addiction treatment center, gratitude is more than simply being thankful; it’s a state of mind.

Gratitude may seem like a small thing, but it can be a huge factor in the success of your recovery from addiction, reports Summit Behavioral Health a NJ addiction treatment center. Consider the last time you felt truly grateful. Didn’t it make you feel happy? Content? Like everything was right with the world? How long has it been since you have felt that way?

Often times, it is the lack of gratitude and a discontentment with the general state of your life that makes way for addiction. And failing to develop and practice gratitude in your recovery can quickly place you on the path to relapse. You will likely work a lot on gratitude in rehab, but it needs to be a continual practice as you make your way in recovery after treatment.

There are some amazing benefits that are derived from gratitude in general:

  • Improved self-esteem – When you are grateful for things in your life you feel better about yourself.
  • Makes you feel successful – Feeling thankful for all that you have, rather than disappointed for what you don’t have, has a way of making you feel successful in your life.
  • It’s good for your heart – Studies have shown that heart-related illnesses are fewer in people who have higher levels of gratitude.
  • Increases resilience – When you practice gratitude, you are able to bounce back quicker from setbacks.
  • Fewer conflicts with others – When you are grateful, you tend to be less concerned with having your way and being right. This promotes much more harmony with others.
  • Increased circle of friends – People who are grateful are more pleasant to be around, thus they usually have a larger circle of friends.

Why You Need Gratitude in Recovery

Gratitude is much more than simply being thankful for something. It’s a state of mind that involves the body, mind, and spirit. It’s a way of thinking about life – a mindset. One you have created the mindset of gratitude, and you live it, your outlook on life can change for the better in an instant.

Harvard Health reports, “Gratitude helps people feel more positive emotions, relish good experiences, improve their health, deal with adversity, and build strong relationships.” Those are all aspects that are vital to recovery.

People who are in recovery have likely suffered through many struggles leading up to going to treatment. They will need those positive emotions, good experiences, better health, improved ability to handle diversity, and stronger relationships to stay on the path of recovery.

Some of the other benefits of developing a mindset of gratitude in recovery are:

  • It promotes better health – Practicing gratitude can lower blood pressure, relieve stress, boost your immune system, and make you less likely to have aches and pains.
  • It encourages you to help others – People who live in gratitude are more likely to be compassionate, understanding, and helpful to others.
  • It builds stronger relationships – Gratitude facilitates a deeper appreciation for others, which strengthens relationships with friends and family.
  • It provides contentment – Gratitude can reduce depression and anxiety, and provide you with a sense of contentment and joy.

One study shows that people who take the time to keep gratitude journals have 23 percent lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol. It also states that practicing gratitude daily can reduce the effects of aging on the brain.

Psychology Today reports that spending 15 minutes in the evening writing in a gratitude journal before bed helped people fall asleep faster and sleep longer than people who did not keep a gratitude journal.

Gratitude causes you to have a happier, more positive outlook, reduces stress, encourages you to make better choices regarding your physical and mental health, and helps you sleep better – these are all things that will aid your recovery from addiction.

The Importance of Having Gratitude in Recovery

When you are grateful in your recovery, it’s less likely that you will relapse back into active addiction. Gratitude helps motivate you to do what you need to in order to guard your sobriety. It’s when you stop being grateful, taking your recovery for granted, that you begin the downward spiral toward relapse. A grateful outlook will help you face challenges and struggles as they come up, without sinking into negative thinking and backsliding.

Gratitude is also important because it reminds you that it’s not all about you. One of the biggest problems for people with addictions is that they are self-centered or self-absorbed. They spend their time thinking about their own needs and wants, never considering the needs and wants of others. Once they get sober, that thinking may be slow to go away. They may continue to be self-absorbed even as they begin their recovery. When you feel grateful, there is a deeper sense of satisfaction for all that you have in your life, and you have less reason to be selfish and self-centered. Gratitude opens the door for you to pay attention to what others need too.

Finding Help for Addiction

Gratitude is just one of the tools that addiction treatment employs to help you improve your life. There are many others that are every bit as important to your recovery. If you choose to go to treatment for your addiction you will learn about coping and life skills, relapse prevention, addiction education, forgiveness, honesty, and a whole host of other things that will enhance your recovery.

You will be able to participate in therapy – individual and group – and receive psychiatric care, if needed. Most importantly, you will have the support and care of addiction professionals, and the understanding and support of your peers.

If you are struggling with drugs or alcohol, now is the time to seek help from an addiction treatment center that provides a continuum of care. You will be grateful you did.

You Finished Rehab, Now What?

Rehab may be the first step towards a life of sobriety but it’s important to find out what addiction treatment experts recommend after that first big hurdle.

Going to rehab for a drug or alcohol addiction is the first step to recovery, no doubt. It is an immersion in recovery with education, therapy, relapse prevention, 12-step meetings, and psychiatric care that serve to help the addicted see that they are able to stop using drugs or alcohol. Rehab typically begins with medically-supervised detoxification during which the drugs or alcohol are eliminated from the body of the addict. It ends after the patient has completed a program of 30 days or more, offers the addiction treatment experts at Summit Behavioral Health in New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Massachusetts.

While making the first step toward recovery is a huge undertaking on the part of the addict, it is only the very beginning of the lifelong recovery process. Unfortunately, most relapses occur within six months of an addict completing rehab. Returning to recovery after a slip or a relapse is difficult, and many people don’t make it back into recovery for a long time, if ever.

So it’s critical that when you complete rehab, you have a recovery plan for transitioning back into your daily life, and that you stick to it. There is a saying in recovery circles that says if you aren’t moving toward your recovery, then you are moving toward your addiction. Knowing what you need to do when you get out of rehab is important so that you stay on track with your recovery program.

The following are some things to consider as you start your new life in recovery after completing rehab.

Follow Your Recovery Plan

Usually one of the last things you do during your stay in rehab is work with your therapist to come up with a recovery plan. It includes things like any ongoing care you may be taking part in (outpatient treatment, aftercare programs, psychiatric care, therapy, etc.), 12-step meetings available in your area, what you will do if you are triggered to use, contact information of supportive sober people, and other information that is relevant to your recovery.

Sometimes, when confronted with the “real world” after rehab, addicts forget that they have this plan, or they fail to follow it. It’s important to keep it close at hand and make sure that you follow it to the best of your ability. It’s a great resource for early recovery.

Find Sober Friends

When you’re in rehab you may hear that you need to change your playmates and playgrounds when you get out. That means that you can’t continue to associate with the people and in the places that you used to use. This may be hard because it feels like you have to abandon old friends, but the friends that truly care about your recovery will support your new sobriety and give you the space you need. Developing new friendships with other people in recovery or with those who don’t drink or use drugs will provide you with social outlets and healthy relationships.

Evaluate Your Living Conditions

You may have no control over your living conditions, but if where you live is risky to your continued sobriety, you may want to look into sober living communities or a halfway house. If drugs or alcohol are used by others in your home, living there could be a very slippery slope for you. It’s best to try to avoid situations where there are drugs or alcohol (even the ones you didn’t previously use) present. If that’s your home, you might need to find other living arrangements.

Find Support

Attending 12-step meetings is usually suggested as a continued support for recovery. If you don’t like them, there are alternatives out there. The key is to find a fellowship of people with whom you have recovery in common. You are able to learn from their struggles and victories as they learn from yours.

Keep Yourself Busy

It’s really helpful for people who are leaving rehab to have a schedule or a routine that they stick to. This is easy for those who are returning to a job or school. If you don’t have either of those, then take some time to put together a schedule that keeps you fairly busy – especially if there are certain times of the day that you are more likely to feel triggered.

Continue Therapy

Ongoing therapy is another important consideration when you are finished with rehab. If you don’t already have a therapist or psychiatrist, now is the time to find one. You may have been prescribed medication in rehab, and it’s important that you have a medical professional who can monitor and refill your medication. If you have a supportive family, it may also be helpful to seek family counseling as your role in the family is changing and there will be a period of adjustment.

Be Active

Exercise is helpful both physically and mentally. If you were physically active before rehab, continue what you were doing (unless it involves other drug or alcohol users). If you were not active before rehab, get started! Even a daily walk around your neighborhood will do you good.

Volunteer or Help Someone Else

Helping others is great for your confidence and self-esteem and it helps you to not focus on yourself so much. If you have the time, consider volunteering somewhere a couple of days a week. You can also help others by being of service in 12-step meetings – even newcomers can find a role at meetings, just ask the chairperson what you can do.

Stay Vigilant

Only you truly know what your triggers are and what feelings, situations, or interactions might cause you to be in danger of using again. Pay attention to those and how you feel about them. Don’t try to do everything alone, confide in your trusted friends and supportive family members before your thinking takes you back down the road of addiction.

Seek Help If You Need It

If you find yourself struggling and are afraid you are going to use or drink, or you already had a slip, don’t hesitate to ask for additional help. It may be that you need additional treatment, or it may be that you can discuss what’s going on with your therapist, doctor, or sponsor and come up with strategies to help you with your challenges. Contact the addiction treatment experts at Serenity at Summit for help maintaining your sobriety.

Know the HALT Triggers

According to Serenity at Summit, an addiction treatment center, recognizing the four most common triggers can help keep you on the road to recovery.

We’ve discussed recovery triggers on our blog in the past, but it’s always helpful to revisit the topic, as triggers are generally a major obstacle in any recovery reports Summit Behavioral Health, an addiction treatment center with locations in New Jersey and Massachusetts.

Although triggers can vary from person to person, there are four triggers that tend to rear their ugly heads for just about everyone from time to time. An easy way to remember these triggers is by using the acronym HALT, which stands for hunger, anger, loneliness, and tiredness.

Overcoming the HALT Triggers

One of the best things you can do for yourself as you begin your recovery is to be aware of which triggers affect you the most. When you have identified the things that tempt you to relapse, you can do a more effective job of avoiding them. It may sound simple, but it’s amazing how quickly life and responsibilities can take over, causing you to overlook possible triggers in your path.

  • There is a reason the famous Snickers “you’re not you when you’re hungry” advertising campaign was so successful. Many people experience personality changes, including irritability, when they are hungry. All you have to do is take a glance at what happens to your body1 after just six hours without food to understand why hunger is such a common trigger. If you’re in a high-stress environment where you can’t break to grab a meal, pack some on-the-go food items, such as protein bars or string cheese.
  • People don’t always act rationally when they’re angry. If you have ever hit “send” on an angry email, only to regret it a few hours later after you have calmed down, you know how anger can lead you to do and say things you shouldn’t. When your temper is ready to boil over, turn your focus toward something fun or relaxing. Indulge in a bubble bath or do something physically demanding like going for a hike or a jog.
  • Fortunately, social media and technology have made it easier to connect with friends, even when you can’t meet up in person. If you’re feeling lonely and can’t find time to do lunch or take in a movie with a friend or loved one, jump on a phone call or ask someone you care about to talk online. If you feel comfortable, you can share that you’re struggling with loneliness and worried about relapsing. Sometimes, just talking about your concerns can help you work through them in a constructive way.
  • According to studies, up to one-third of Americans2 don’t get enough sleep. Sleep-deprivation can lead to a host of problems, including drowsy driving and delayed reaction times that put you in danger. Chronic sleep-deprivation can also make it easier to indulge in over-the-counter medications and substances that are supposed to perk you up. If you’re in recovery, however, even something like caffeine pills or caffeinated drinks can open the door to a relapse.

Get Started on Your Personalized Recovery Plan

Serenity at Summit will design a personalized recovery plan just for you. Call our addiction treatment center today to explore your treatment options. Local treatment centers are available to help you where you live. Call 844-432-0416.

 

Footnotes:

1 What happens to your body                  http://www.medicaldaily.com/now-entering-starvation-mode-what-happens-your-metabolic-processes-when-you-stop-feeding-280666

2 One third of Americans            http://www.cdc.gov/media/releases/2016/p0215-enough-sleep.html

 

4 Tips To Prevent Entering Rehab Over And Over

Have you ever seen a rehab center with a revolving front door? Not likely. The goal for addicts is to check in, recover, learn real-world strategy tips and hopefully never come back. For many addicts, spending time in rehab can be a life-altering experience. One of the main benefits of getting away to a facility is to create the opportunity for a break from the addict’s day-to-day reality.

Rehab presents the opportunity to step back and take a conscious break from bad habits and repeated negative behavior patterns associated with drug or alcohol abuse. The idea is to replace those negative patterns with newer, healthier habits. If you’ve completed rehab, more than likely you have no desire to go back.Revolving Door-4 Tips To Prevent Entering Rehab Over, Over

Tips To Prevent Entering Rehab Over And Over

Here are four vital tips to reduce your chances of experiencing “revolving rehab”.

1. Be Prepared For Intense Emotions

Upon leaving recovery, many addicts experience a wide range of intense emotions, thoughts and feelings, along with urges to revert back to previous negative behaviors. As any addict will tell you, these feelings are normal, but it’s important not to act on them. You need to have a strategy in place for recognizing and dealing with emotions. Many treatment programs will teach you stress-relieving techniques to help you deal with negative emotions and work through stressful situations. This is an important question to ask when deciding on a rehab facility.

2. Embrace Your Program

As part of your treatment program, as mentioned above, you most likely learned or will learn strategies for coping with emotions, as well as triggers that led to your addiction. These strategies weren’t just for the early days of your recovery. Rather, they are tools for supporting your long-term success. Continue to embrace activities like yoga, meditation, journaling, exercise and 12-step meetings to help you stay on track.

3. Develop A Strong Support System

Addiction recovery is not something to undertake alone. In fact, the opposite is true. Make sure you choose a strong support system of sober, like-minded individuals, as you need a positive, healthy group of people who are committed to your recovery and are willing to support you in both good and bad times.

4. Know Your Relapse Triggers

Another component of treatment is identifying your triggers or warning signs of a relapse. These include the people, places and situations that perpetuate thought processes and urges that have the potential of leading you down the path to using. An important way to prevent a return to rehab is having a “recovery buddy” in emergency situations who can help guide you back to a more balanced state.

See More Tips On How To Develop An Effective Relapse Prevention Plan

Sustaining Recovery For Life

Have you slipped back into using drugs or alcohol? Everyone messes up. A relapse doesn’t mean you’ve thrown away all you’ve done and how far you’ve come. This is an opportunity to commit yourself to recovery and to get the help you need. Start by calling Serenity at Summit now to speak with an addiction specialist.


Call us now to learn more about our outpatient program where you can still take care of life’s responsibilities while receiving beneficial treatment.

Find Out When A Relapse Really Starts

Part 2: 5 Stages Of Addiction Recovery As An External Process

Continued From Part 1: 5 Stages Of Addiction Recovery As An External Process

While addiction recovery certainly has internal phases that range from denial and acceptance to commitment and long-term recovery, recovery also has very clear external phases that can propel individuals battling addiction towards hope and reassurance.

Let’s discuss the five states of addiction recovery as an external process and how an individual works through them.

Five External Stages Of Addiction Recovery


1. Withdrawal/Detox

Once an individual stops abusing drugs or alcohol, there is a significant impact on physical health. At first, there are often symptoms of withdrawal. These can be unpleasant and even painful, but they are not long-lasting. In fact, many individuals begin to start feeling improved health within the first week of recovery. In addition, many detox programs, such as ours include medical supervision and holistic therapies to help ease the symptoms of withdrawal.

2. Better Sleep

One of the most remarkable external signs of addiction recovery is improved, more restful sleep. Alcohol and drugs can seriously impact sleep quality. Over time, sleep disturbances from substance abuse can cause chronic fatigue. With recovery, there is almost always better sleep which leads to greater daytime alertness and vitality, along with improved cognitive abilities.

3. Enhanced Health Benefits

Drugs and alcohol can wreak havoc on nearly every part of one’s body from vital organs and systems to teeth, hair and skin tone. Even in the earliest stages of recovery, there can be tremendous improvements to physical health which can help provide encouragement during the first days, weeks and months when relapse is most likely to happen. These improvements can be helped along through a professional addiction treatment program that integrates holistic treatments such as nutrition and exercise.

4. Hope For The Future

Positive health improvements and a more optimistic outlook on life give tremendous hope for continuing down the road of recovery. Renewed relationships and possibly new friendships from recovery groups, as well as new career opportunities and beginnings, can help create and sustain ongoing hope for the future.

5. Continuing Holistic Therapies And Healthy Lifestyle Habits

Supposed To Be Hard-Holistic Therapies For Addiction RecoveryOften, individuals will find that positive practices such as journaling, yoga, going to the gym or meditation have replaced unhealthy addictions. With these new habits comes better mental and physical health that offer tremendous encouragement to continue embracing recovery.

With each passing day, these healthy lifestyle habits including stress-relieving therapies as well as healthy eating and exercising become further engrained in the recovering addict, strengthening their resolve and minimizing the risk of relapse. Countless recovering addicts have gone on to lead healthy, productive lives thanks in large part to continuing on with the holistic therapies and tools they learned in treatment.

Individualized Holistic Addiction Treatment

By choosing a professional treatment program that offers individualized holistic treatments and real-world relapse prevention tools, you or your loved one will gain the foundation for long-term recovery.


Call Serenity at Summit to discuss your treatment options now. We will be with you every step of the way.

Learn More About 4 Positive Habits That Can Replace Addictive Habits

Part 1: 5 Stages Of Addiction Recovery As An Internal Process

An individual who is struggling with addiction goes through an extensive internal dialog long before they actually seek treatment. Alcohol and drug addiction is a mental, emotion and physical condition that must be treated on multiple fronts. This includes an extensive internal process to work through the various stages of recovery.

Five Internal Stages Of Addiction Recovery

Find out the internal process of the journey of recovery from drugs and alcohol through 5 unique stages.

1. Denial

Nearly every addict has a phase when they try and convince themselves that their use of drugs or alcohol is perfectly normal and not a problem. This initial phase can go on for a significant amount of time, especially for functioning addicts who are able to somewhat balance the responsibilities of everyday life, while their addiction grows. This stage of denial often comes to an abrupt end when there is a specific event such as a DUI, a problem at work because of the abuse or a breakup of a relationship.

2. Acceptance And Letting Go

When denial is no longer possible, there is a shift to acceptance of the addiction and a letting go of covering up or hiding the problem. This is a critical time in addiction recovery, because it is when the individual is willing to finally discuss the problem and be persuaded to get the help they need.

3. Seeking Treatment

Set You Free-5 Stages Of Addiction Recovery As An Internal ProcessGetting help is both an external and an internal process. Many addicts reflect on how they got to this place and decide that there must be a better option than continuing down the dead-end road of drug or alcohol abuse.

During this phase, professional addiction treatment can be especially important to assure the individual that they are making the right choice and to stay focused on the positive journey ahead.

4. Mental Clarity

During those first weeks of recovery, the fog of addiction begins to lift. With increased mental clarity, recovering addicts begin to truly understand the damage that alcohol or drugs have caused and can see the profound benefits of recovery. As the healing continues, the brain goes through a healing process that can dramatically improve mental and emotional well-being.

5. Commitment To Recovery And Ongoing Counseling

The internal conversation will continue throughout the life of a recovering addict. There is always the risk of a relapse. This is why it’s important to stay committed to recovery such as ongoing counseling or a group therapy or relapse prevention program.

Heal Your Whole Self

Recovery requires healing of your entire being – your mind, body, and soul. Start today by calling an addiction specialist. Listen to your inner-self and get the help you know you need. At Summit Behavioral Health, we’re committed to your recovery.


Call us now to learn more about our customized and holistic treatment plans.

Continue To Part 2: 5 Stages Of Addiction Recovery As An External Process

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

How Your Personality Type Affects Recovery

No two people are exactly alike. This is why every addict or alcoholic’s story is unique. Whether you’re an introvert or an extrovert, a type A or a type B, an optimist or a pessimist, recovery is possible. Yet, it does need to be tailored to your particular personality type.

Why Personalized Addiction Treatment Is Necessary For Each Personality

Stubborn About Goals-Personality Type Affects RecoveryOnly with a personalized treatment plan can you get the specific type of care you need for successful, long-term recovery.

Treatments that work for one individual may be ill-suited for another. For example, an introvert may be overwhelmed by a large group therapy session. In contrast, someone who loves to be the life of the party may be challenged with an inwardly-focused, holistic treatment such as meditation.

One of the many benefits of entering a well-rounded rehab program is that your needs are carefully assessed and you’re given the customized addiction treatment you need.

While it’s important to leverage the benefits of treatments that are suited to your specific personality type, it’s also beneficial to go outside of your comfort zone by trying protocols that may at first seem a little scary or uncomfortable.

It’s not uncommon for a self-proclaimed introvert to find a welcome home in a large 12-step meeting. It’s also likely that someone who is outgoing will find renewed peace and tranquility in the quietness of yoga or other reflective treatment.

The Evolution Of The Mind, Body And Spirit In Recovery

Regardless of your specific personality type, it is a fact that you will undergo significant changes in recovery. Your mind, body and spirit will heal, and things that seemed once impossible can become a reality. What was uncertain or difficult can become clear and simple.

One of the many benefits of recovery is the discovery of finding out who exactly you are without the cloud of drugs or alcohol. An introvert may find that she is actually quite extroverted when she is no longer plagued with addiction. A pessimist may find that he is unabashedly positive when the grip of alcohol or drugs is eliminated.

Discover The Real You

Many addicts will tell you that they discovered many new aspects of their personalities when they embraced recovery. The first step is getting help. At Serenity at Summit, we believe that a customized treatment plan is the best approach to treatment. We start with a comprehensive assessment and take into account your specific needs, goals, interests and, yes, your personality type.


Are you ready to discover who you are without drugs or alcohol? Pick up the phone now and speak to a caring addiction specialist to get started.

Call Now To Start Your New Beginning

Is It Possible To Speed Up Recovery?

You’re thinking about finally getting the help you need for your addiction. Whether you’re using drugs or alcohol, you don’t want the process of recovery to take longer than it should. Yet, taking a “quick” approach to recovery may not provide the results you want over the long-term.

The Problems With Quick Recovery

It would be great if there were a magic wand that would take all of your troubles away and make sobriety easy and pain-free. Unfortunately, there is no such thing. It took time for you to become addicted, and it will also take time to work your way through the critical first step of detox, and then maintain sobriety thereafter.

Along with breaking the initial habit of using, successful recovery hinges on understanding why the addiction happened in the first place and how you can avoid triggers to use in the future. There may be people or situations in your life that are unhealthy. You may have an underlying mental illness, such as depression or bipolar disorder, which has caused you to self-medicate. Without properly addressing these problems, the likelihood that you will have a relapse is extremely high.

A More Effective And Safer Approach To Detox And Recovery

While it’s not possible to just skip past any unpleasantness that comes with detox and recovery, the good news is advances in treatment have made it far more comfortable than the days when the only option was “cold turkey.”

It is possible to maximize an individual’s progress and minimize the pain and symptoms associated with detox. A professional detoxification program to rid your body of drugs or alcohol while being surrounded by addiction professionals who can help you through the process gives you a strong, early foundation for long-term recovery. You can also take advantage of medications and holistic treatments that have been proven to help ease symptoms and cravings. Holistic treatments can include meditation, yoga, nutrition and massage.


Call us now to start your journey to healing and recovery. The first step to a new beginning starts by picking up the phone.

Learn More About Summit’s Medically Supervised, Holistic Detox Program