Addiction Recovery & Gratefulness: Why The Two Go Hand In Hand

The pursuit of sobriety is often the pursuit of happiness. While the early focus of addiction treatment is to get through detox and stop using the substance, addiction recovery then transforms into a quest for a healthier, more fulfilling life.

Every recovery path is different, and the steps towards happiness and contentment in your own life will be tailored to your own needs and experiences. That said, one way that can help get you there faster is the ability to practice gratitude.

Practice Gratitude for a Change of Perspective

Addiction recovery comes with various challenges, so being told you should be grateful may come across as a bit silly at first. However, practicing gratitude regularly can actually change your perspective on the recovery process and even make staying sober an easier process. It all starts with knowing what to be grateful for each day.

While you can always be grateful for your home and your possessions, real happiness comes from being appreciative for the deeper things in life. It is up to you to decide what means the most to you, but just being in your current position means you already have at least a couple things to be grateful for. And it goes far beyond just saying “thank you” when someone does you a favor.

For example, very few people — if any — manage to overcome addiction and reach sobriety all on their own. As you are learning to navigate your life in recovery, it’s important to appreciate and acknowledge all of those who have helped you along the way. While you may not be in a position to actively thank them every day, you can still adopt a grateful mindset for having such a wonderful support network.

It’s also worth being grateful just for being in addiction recovery. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration estimates that there are more than 22 million people in the U.S. suffering from addiction, yet less than 20 percent of them manage to seek treatment. Just the fact that you are on a sober path is gratitude-worthy!

How Gratitude Fits in With Addiction Recovery

Live each day with an attitude of gratitude, and happiness will swiftly follow.

This isn’t just an anecdotal statement. A recent Harvard Medical School study found that people who regularly expressed gratitude in everyday life were generally happier and even had healthier relationships than those who did not. The study’s participants also expressed greater life satisfaction and contentment. This is important for addiction recovery, because all of these feelings are crucial to fading the desire to abuse substances.

Likewise, expressing gratitude to others has also been shown to increase levels of dopamine and serotonin. These brain chemicals are what make us naturally feel joy, and higher levels of both have an inverse correlation with drug abuse. Basically, a life of gratitude gives you a more positive outlook on your new life in recovery and makes you less likely to relapse.

Grow Feelings of Gratitude

Living a grateful life does not always come easy. But you’ve tackled substance abuse and made it to addiction recovery — you’ve got this! Here are some tips to help you grow your feelings of gratitude and appreciate everyday life:

  • Talk to others about things they’re grateful for – Getting perspective from others can be a great way to take a step back and see the things that you can be appreciative of. Try bringing it up in group therapy or in other settings where you may be around people who have been in your shoes.
  • Practice regular meditationLearning to meditate will help keep you grounded and more in tune with life’s beauty.
  • Keep a gratitude journal – Try to write an entry every day for things you are grateful for. You can also use this journal to help track your addiction recovery progress.
  • Make an effort to thank people – Making an effort each day to thank the people around you for things (even the smallest of favors) will not only help you build up your grateful attitude, but will help make up for the times during your addiction when you may have not thanked them enough.

We Can Help

Whether you are actively looking for an addiction treatment program or you’d simply like to learn more about gratitude and how it fits with sobriety, contact our team at Principles Recovery Center. Our rehab facility in Davie, Florida helps individuals from all walks of life become sober and build a life in recovery to be proud of.

Healthy Habits to Maintain Sobriety

You did it, you admitted to your family that you have a problem, you completed inpatient treatment for drugs and alcohol, and now you’re back home. Hopefully, you feel accomplished and proud of yourself because completing treatment isn’t always easy. It required a lot of work on your part and facing demons you most likely didn’t want to face. 

Now that you’re at home, Principles Recovery Center wants to let you know it’s important to continuously work on your sobriety. Treatment will get you sober but doesn’t necessarily keep you sober. Recovery is a lifelong journey and it’s up to you whether or not you want to work at it. Lucky for you there are little things you can do throughout the day, every day, that will help you stay sober. 

Developing Habits in Recovery

Working at maintaining sobriety doesn’t have to be a daily challenge. Building a routine and incorporating structure is a key component of practicing healthy habits. Some simple habits you can pick up are: 

  • Practice self-care: Taking care of yourself is important, especially in sobriety. Life can be stressful and we all deserve to feel good about ourselves. It’s easy to stay focused on making money and keeping everyone around us happy, but hard to remember to reward ourselves. You should make a point to do one nice thing for yourself a day, whether it’s complimenting yourself, treating yourself to the fancy coffee at the shop down the street, or doing a face mask at night.

  • Exercise: Working out is great for the body and mind. Implementing exercise a few times a week will make a huge difference in your overall well being. Working out releases endorphins and helps reduce stress. Feeling happy and calm will help reduce drug or alcohol cravings, which helps prevent relapse.

  • Practice gratitude: Being sober is a gift. Your life was probably in complete array at one point while you were using drugs or alcohol. Being grateful for no longer living in chaos and being healthy will definitely help keep you sober. An easy way to practice gratitude is by keeping a journal. You can spend a few minutes each night writing down what you’re grateful for. You can even get other people involved and start a group chat that asks everyone to contribute one thing daily.
  •  Cook: Learning to cook is useful for many reasons. Cooking at home is much healthier than eating at a restaurant, so you’ll feel healthier physically. Cooking is something you can do for yourself or others. It’s a great way to reconnect with the people around you. If you have a big meal to prepare, you can get your roommates or family to help you prep. It’s time you can all spend together and get closer. Cooking can also become a hobby that you can do for the rest of your life.

  • Set goals: Setting goals is super important in sobriety. Feeling motivated and having something to look forward to will give you purpose in life. You can set financial and personal goals for yourself. Maybe you’ve been wanting to travel lately but don’t know how to pay for it. You can set a goal to travel by a certain date. This will motivate you to save money weekly or monthly that can be put towards your trip. 

Let Us Help You!

At Principles Recovery Center, we are a drug rehab and addiction treatment center located in Davie, Florida. We offer a family-focused treatment program because we know that addiction impacts not only the individual but family members as well. We also provide a Spanish drug rehab program for those whose primary language is Spanish. We would be honored to help you with your recovery process. If you would like to learn more about our addiction recovery programming, please contact us today!

How To Have Fun in Florida While Sober

Although getting sober can be challenging, it will be one of the most rewarding experiences in your life. When your life is controlled by drugs or alcohol, you end up losing sight of what’s important. When you’re getting high, you think you’re having fun but in reality, you aren’t. There’s nothing actually fun about being incoherent and hurting the ones you love. Ruining your physical and mental health is also not fun. 

Now that you’ve gained sobriety and have your life back, you’re probably starting to learn what makes you happy. Your judgment is no longer hindered by drugs and alcohol, and your emotions are no longer numb. You’ll have the time and energy to learn new things and meet new people. 

A big component of being happy is having fun. When you have fun, you reduce the amount of stress you have and serotonin is released in the brain. Being happy and having fun will help you maintain your recovery. So, how to have fun you may ask? Traveling is a great way to have fun. By changing your scenery, you can learn new things and meet new people. A great place to travel domestically is Florida. 

Fun Things to do in Florida

Florida is a beautiful place with warm weather all year round. It’s also a large state that’s easy to drive around in. Florida also happens to be culturally diverse, Each city has its own charm and attitude. For instance, Miami Beach has a lot of Cuban influence. It’s a great place to visit if you want to learn about a different culture. Orlando, which is in central Florida, has a lot of activities to do geared towards family. Below are a few fun sober activities to do throughout Florida: 

  1. Theme Parks: Without a doubt, this is one of Florida’s main attractions. There are multiple major theme parks in Florida. One of the biggest is Disney World, which is a handful of amusement parks put together. This includes Animal Kingdom, Magic Kingdom, the new Star Wars area of the park, and more! Florida is also home to Universal Studios, which pays homage to some of this entertainment industry’s biggest hits. Florida is also home to Sea World, where people can explore some of the most majestic creatures of the sea.
  2. Beaches: For those who love the outdoors, Florida is the place to go. Florida is home to some of the world’s most beautiful beaches. The blue water and white sand are enough to put a smile on anyone’s face. Furthermore, the salty sea breeze will help everyone relax and appreciate nature for all its glory.
  3. Golf: Anyone who loves golf is going to be happy in Florida. The warm climate and blue skies mean that golf is played throughout the year. There are countless golf courses in cities like West Palm Beach and Tampa. Each course will -present a new challenge to the player. Anyone who is looking to develop a new hobby or hone a skill should consider taking up golf!
  4. Sports: Florida is home to numerous sports teams. Many people flock to Florida just to catch a football game, basketball game, or baseball game. There are also major tennis tournaments that take place throughout the year. Why not take this chance to see some of the world’s greatest athletes compete?

Principles Recovery Center is Here to Help!

At Principles Recovery Center, we are a drug rehab and addiction treatment facility located in Davie, Florida. This is one of the most scenic areas in the country and we like to take full advantage of our location to help people get sober and stay clean. We offer a family-focused treatment program because we understand that addiction and mental health issues can impact not only the individual but family members and friends as well. That is why we focus on the entire person, including loved ones. In addition, we know that addiction does not discriminate. That is why we also provide a Spanish drug treatment program for those whose primary language is Spanish. We would be happy to help you with the recovery process as well. If you are interested in learning more about our addiction recovery programming, please contact us today! 

5 Signs of an Oncoming Relapse

A relapse is when an addict starts to use drugs or alcohol again. It can be their old substance of choice or they start abusing a new substance. After recovery from drug abuse and addiction, it’s important to be aware of how relapse can occur. It’s also important for friends, family, coworkers, etc to know what to look out for if they know someone in recovery. While relapse is often unexpected, there are a few signs that can help someone realize that it is near.

Change in Behavior

If someone is acting strange or suddenly becoming irrational in different scenarios, it could be a sign of relapse. In many situations, this change in behavior is not necessarily a change in character, but can be a cover-up for an underlying issue such thoughts of using drugs or alcohol again. If you notice this you can ask questions to try to get to the root of the problem and see why someone is acting a certain way. Your loved one may even open up to you if they see that you care about what’s going on. 

Isolation

Isolation, also known as social disassociation, occurs when someone keeps to themself. If a person is on the verge of a relapse, they will refuse to attend events with friends and family, or will suddenly cancel plans to avoid social interaction. They have no interest in going out in public or connecting with others. 

When the Mundane Becomes Unmanageable

If someone is struggling to do basic day-to-day things like cook for themself, manage their hygiene, or get dressed, this can be a sign of an oncoming relapse. Addiction is consuming and the thought of using again trumps all other thoughts. If someone is thinking of using again it will be all that they think about. Brushing their teeth or cleaning up after themselves won’t be a priority.

Signs of Depression

Depressive states and feelings can also be a sign of relapse. This is because of the elevated stress and the fear of failing when starting a new life after recovery. For some people, the pressure to find success after rehabilitation can be overwhelming. This can lead to a period of depression. Depending on how they respond to the depressive symptoms and feelings, this state can sometimes lead to relapse if unsupported or untreated.

Change in Routine

When someone who has been sober suddenly decides to go out at night or hang out with the people that subjected them to their lifestyle while on drugs or alcohol, this could definitely be a sign of relapse. While we’d like to think that this isn’t possible, or that a person could not go back to their habits, it happens more often than we think. 

However, it’s possible to prevent this change in routine. By giving a person responsibilities and a different routine, you can potentially keep them away from the things that once lead to their drug abuse. Either way, it is important to recognize that a sudden change in routine could mean that someone is looking for a way to use drugs or alcohol again.

Recovery is a Journey, Not a Destination

Relapse is scary. Whether you’re a recovering drug addict or you know someone who is, it’s important to educate yourself as much as possible about the warning signs for relapse. Those in recovery have worked hard to become sober and have to work hard to remain sober. 

If you are looking for further information or resources about how to know the signs for relapse, please contact us at Principles Recovery Center in Davie, Florida. We are here to support you and help you to find the assistance you need in order to keep drug abuse and addiction out of your life and the lives of those around you.

How to Handle Triggers in Sobriety

Learning what triggers your desire to drink and getting a handle on it comprises one key to staying sober. You need to address both levels of trigger – the obvious and the underlying.

Emotional Triggers Defined

The term emotional trigger refers to anything that provokes you to a strong emotional reaction and that your brain sees as a threat. The trigger causes a reaction in you.

You need to recognize two things – the trigger itself and that you pick the reaction. If you are in meetings or rehab right now, prior to this, your trigger reaction has been to drink as a reaction. You can pick another reaction though, like going for a run or reading.

Types of Triggers

As Psych Central explains, a trigger sets off a memory that transports you back to the original trauma that led you to drink or use. A trigger can be external or internal. There are many types:

  • emotional,
  • physical,
  • people,
  • places,
  • things,
  • situations.

Emotional triggers like anger, fear, humiliation, joy, loss, resentment or stress can lead to the desire to drink because, at some point, you learned to numb emotions with alcohol. Physical triggers include things like a fear of intimacy – thinking that you cannot have sex without drinking first. It also includes pain, a major physical trigger.

Situations like celebrations, sports events and holidays can trigger drinking. Think of spending Christmas alone or of the festive huge family party each year. Both can trigger the desire to drink in different people and do nothing in others. For some people, the trigger is certain people, like the friends you once drank with or with whom you went through school. If drinking together was a large part, or the only part, of your time together, those people can trigger the desire to drink. Running into your old dealer or the manager of your favorite liquor store can do it, too. Things like seeing a bottle of alcohol on the table at a bistro or a friend’s house can do it. Your trigger might be the club where work held its semi-annual pep/morale meetings. There’s no way to skip it and the memories make you want to drink.

The Deeper Trigger

Once you know what exposure triggers your desire to drink, you need to know why it triggers that desire. There’s something deeper than psychology and counseling help you reach. You need to discover the underlying trigger and deal with it.

Rehab followed by recovery programs like Alcoholics Anonymous only go so far. You also need counseling that helps you deal with things on a deeper level. This addresses the trauma that triggers takes you back to that draws you to alcohol.

Long-term Strategies for Dealing with Triggers

While you identify and explore and discuss your triggers at counseling and meetings, you also need to explore and develop a healthier you. Three things you can begin at any time can help – exercise, journaling and meditation.

Walking and running top the easy exercise list. You only need a pair of track shoes to start. The activity releases endorphins that cause what is called the “runner’s high,” a physical rush that, in the brain, resembles what drug manufacturers craft in a lab. Exercise provides a natural high.

Journaling provides a self-help method of exploring your emotions, needs, triggers, and history. It only requires a few minutes of your day, a pen or pencil and paper. You can take your journal with you to counseling sessions to refer to while talking. It can help to ensure you do not gloss over details and help you honestly confront problems.

Meditation does not have to be goofy “om”-ing sitting Indian style. Yoga, Pilates, and prayer all count as meditation. Simply sitting in a chair or lying on the floor with your eyes closed and relaxing each body part also counts as meditation. The point of meditation is to release your thoughts and become aware of your body and breathing.

You can identify and learn to control your triggers. Your trigger does not control you. You can learn to control your triggers and your addiction. You can learn to manage it. You can remain sober one day at a time.

If you or a loved one are struggling with addiction, contact us today. At Principles Recovery Center, we know the road to recovery isn’t easy and it isn’t something you should have to do alone. Let us help today!

How to Survive Your First 30 Days Sober

The first 30 days of sobriety can be hard. While your physical state may be feeling better since you have rid your body of the toxins of drug or alcohol, it can be challenging for your mental state.

Have a Support Group

Support is a very important part of recovery. It can be family members, friends, or members of your 12-step group, but you want these people in your corner. These people can help motivate you to keep going. Be sure to have phone numbers and feel free to stop by and reach out to them if you need to. When there are other people in your life that care about what is happening, then the journey isn’t so lonely.

Self Reflection

Journaling can be a good way to vent any frustrations. When feelings arise, grab a notebook and write what is on your mind. You don’t want to censor this, so you should let out all the negative energy. You can even doodle or whatever you need to do to let it all out.

Exercise and Physical Activity

Exercise can help release endorphins to give you warm fuzzies. Exercise doesn’t even have to cost you any money. You don’t need a gym membership to reap the benefits of exercise. You can also go for a walk or run. Exercise can help you be social as well and have an activity that doesn’t revolve around drugs and alcohol. You can grab a friend to play tennis or a few friends for a basketball game at the local park. Exercise can also improve your health, and getting healthy is a big part of recovery.

Focus on the Now

Dwelling on the past doesn’t help and you need to focus on what you are doing now that you can control. Be in the present moment and focus energy into creating good things for that moment. Meditation is a good way to train your brain to focus on the now. While meditation might seem scary at first, it doesn’t have to be. All you have to is find a quiet spot without any distractions and give yourself 15 minutes a day to just focus on the present moment and your breathing.

Don’t Rationalize

Addiction can have a way of making your rationalize and justify any past bad behaviors. You may have thoughts such as “I have survived for 30 days, I can have one drink,” or feel like you may be able to handle it. When these thoughts arise, you need to remember the negative consequences of you using. Don’t romanticize any drug use in your past. Be prepared for feeling better, which can be deceiving. This doesn’t mean that alcohol or drugs are okay again.

What to Expect during Your First 30 Days Sober

Knowing what to expect for the first 30 days sober can help. You will have a balance of emotions. When you first get sober, your emotions can be all over the place, since drugs and alcohol have numbed emotions. This can be overwhelming when you can no longer use substances to numb your emotions. It can take some time for your emotions to balance out. You can expect to get mad and cry and even mourn your relationship with alcohol and drugs. At the same time, you will also feel happy and relieved. Once you stick it out for 30 days, your emotions settle and it does get easier.

You likely won’t feel different just emotionally, but also psychically. Once you have detoxed, then your body starts to learn how to function at the best capacity without alcohol or drugs. When you have been sober for 30 days, the fog will start to clear from the brain and you may start to feel like yourself before. You will sleep better and feel more energetic, and you won’t have any of the physical symptoms that come from drugs or alcohol, such as hangovers.

It’s not uncommon for people in the early stages of life in sobriety to have relapses or drunk dreams. This means you wake up feeling like you used or drank in your dream. These dreams can sometimes feel real or just a fleeting reminder of your former life. These dreams can be frightening because the mind is playing tricks on you. However, it’s a reminder to stay in the present and remember that these are just dreams and don’t affect your current state. As you spend more time sober, these dreams happen less frequently.

Drugs and alcohol not only numb the emotions but also numb the senses and brain, which means for the first 30 days you may have sensory and information overload. When using, it’s hard for the brain to process information, so when you stop using, the brain has to retrain itself. The information and sensory overload will lessen over time.

The pathway to recovery is a long road. It is a very difficult one as well. If you are struggling with addiction, don’t be afraid to reach out. Contact us today.

Killer Nation: Americans More Likely to Die from Overdose Than Car Accidents

A Serious Problem

Recent news based on published statistics about drug use comes to an alarming conclusion. Overdoses from opiates now cause more deaths in the USA each year than car accidents. This suggests that the opioid addiction epidemic is a serious problem and possibly may be getting even worse than ever. CBS News has reported that about 130 Americans each day now die from opioids and that teens and children are now also abusing both prescription and illegal opiate-based drugs at increased rates. The overall drug addiction problem in the USA seems to be growing, with over 64,000 people dying from overdoses in 2016 alone. Estimates for 2017 are at around 49,000 deaths from opiates. An increase in use of illegal fentanyl may be one of the main culprits in this rising death toll. Advocates are now calling for increased access to drugs that counteract the effects of addiction and overdoses such as naloxone.

Learning to Help and the Signs of Addiction

Considering the gravity of this situation now may be the best time to refer anyone you know with an addiction to some kind of substance abuse treatment program. Access to addiction treatment has been specifically recommended by the National Safety Council as one of the most important responses to the overdose problem. This means that drug treatment centers will play a vital role in helping to keep America safe and healthy in the coming years as we begin to collectively combat this issue. Average people can also become a part of the solution by learning to recognize the signs of addiction. These signs can include irregular sleep patterns with excessive amounts of sleep, loss of interest in hobbies or other activities, risk-taking behaviors, wearing long-sleeved clothing to hide track marks, not paying bills on time or suddenly skipping out on other obligations and looking to constantly borrow money. Withdrawal complications such as sweating and diarrhea can also occur if the person has gone for a while without using the drug. Learning to detect these signs early is also crucial, as opioid addiction can also cause damage to the brain and liver even if the person has not overdosed. Also keep in mind that legitimate prescription opiates are normally only given for a few days or weeks at a time, meaning prolonged use of the drug is always an indicator of addiction. When recognizing these signs, it may be important to stage an intervention or other means of causing the person to realize how serious opioid addiction can become. Family members can make it clear to their loved ones that seeking help for addiction is necessary and not merely an option. Recovery is definitely possible and taking serious action is the only way to get a person to change their habits. There are many different treatment options available depending on an individual’s personality and goals, but some level of professional guidance is always necessary.

Principles Recovery Center Can Help

For more information about substance abuse treatment, please contact Principles Recovery Center. Located in Davie, Florida near Fort Lauderdale, Principles has a proven track record of success for over thirty years along with special Spanish Language treatment programs. Principles also offer a number of programs such as traditional rehab, as well as intensive outpatient programs that allow for increased freedom and maintenance of outside obligations. All of this is done in a positive environment with individualized care based on each person’s strengths and needs. All programs include meetings and support from groups of peers and staff. Feel free to visit the website to learn more about Principles Recovery Center.